Hitler's Last Plot The 139 VIP Hostages Selected for Death in the Final Days of World War II
File Size: 36706 KB
Print Length: 327 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0306921553
Publisher: Da Capo Press (April 16, 2019)
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
In April 1945, as Germany faced defeat, Hitler planned to round up the Third Reich's most valuable prisoners and send them to his "Alpine Fortress," where he and the SS would keep the hostages as they made a last stand against the Allies. The prisoners included European presidents, prime ministers, generals, British secret agents, and German anti-Nazi clerics, celebrities, and officers who had aided the July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler--and the prisoners' families. Orders were given to the SS: if the German military situation deteriorated, the prisoners were to be executed--all 139 of them.
So began a tense, deadly drama. As some prisoners plotted escape, others prepared for the inevitable, and their SS guards grew increasingly volatile, drunk, and trigger-happy as defeat loomed. As a dramatic confrontation between the SS and the Wehrmacht threatened the hostages caught in the middle, the US Army launched a frantic rescue bid to save the hostages before the axe fell.
Drawing on previously unpublished and overlooked sources, Hitler's Last Plot is the first full account of this astounding and shocking story, from the original round-up order to the prisoners' terrifying ordeal and ultimate rescue. Told in a thrilling, page-turning narrative, this is one of World War II's most fascinating episodes.
I have been studying this book and the depth of detail is somewhat overwhelming.
The book begins with a detailing of the history of the Prominenten ( 139 high profile prisoners Hitler ordered the SS to take from the camps) and their locations before they were used as bargaining chips.
Sayer and Dronfield team together to bring us a novel of connections and to make us witness to many things, among them are the interactions between the Prominenten and the SS / SD.
The characters and locations are skillfully described and cleverly interlinked against the backdrop of World War II.
Yes, there was some leniency by the SS, but if the thought of a very possible execution didn't make the Prominenten think twice, I'm sure the idea of an arthropod giving them an infection that caused internal bleeding would.
Neither thought was inescapable due to fact guards with machine pistols lined the roads and it was well known there were areas surrounded with bleak barbed-wired enclosures, riddled with poor sanitation, and close human contact.
In closing, I felt this was a well-researched book which depicted the inconceivable life of the Prominenten, who were heralded by peasants, helped by partisans and in the days after the official surrender, rescued by US forces.
I received a copy of this book through the generosity of Quinn Fariel/ Marketing Manager/ Hachette Books