In his last days, Adolf Hitler raged in his bunker that he had been defeated because he had been betrayed from the inside. In part, he was right. His armies were being crushed on all fronts but from the beginning there were Germans determined to bring him and his Nazi party down.
This is the story of those who, starting in 1934, repeatedly attempted to kill Hitler, frustrate his war aims, pass his military secrets to the Allies and, from 1943 onwards, strike a separate peace with the West, which would have avoided eastern Europe falling under the Soviet yoke.
The narrative follows four main strands: the repeated pre-war attempts of the plotters to warn the Allies about Hitler’s plans with the aim of preventing the war; the actions of Abwehr head Admiral Wilhelm Canaris to frustrate Hitler’s policies once the war had started; the plots to kill Hitler and, finally the systematic passage of key German military secrets to London, Washington and Moscow through MI6, the OSS (fore-runner to the CIA) and the “Lucy Ring” Russian spy network based in Switzerland.
Based on newly released files, Paddy Ashdown tells this story for the first time. What is revealed is that the anti-Hitler bomb plots, which have received so much attention are, in fact only a small part of a much wider story; one in which those at the highest levels of the German state used every means possible, from conspiracy, to assassination, to espionage, to ensure that, for the sake of the long-term reputation of their country and the survival of liberal and democratic values, Hitler should not be allowed to win the war. It is a matter of record that the Germany that has emerged to such a powerful position in the European Union and the world, is, in very large measure, the kind of post-war Germany which the plotters envisaged and for which they gave their lives.
‘Ashdown has a great gift for narrative history. He unearths little known stories and places them in context with great dexterity. His new book throws fresh and important light on a crucial topic.’ Jonathan Dimbleby
‘Ashdown has done a good job in bringing the manifold strands of this tangled story together in a thoughtful and readable way, without too much speculation.’ The Spectator
‘Riveting new detail is added to the story of the men and women who lost their lives trying to stop the Führer, in the final book by Ashdown.’ The Observer
PUBLISHER: William Collins
DATE: 4th October 2018
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