List of people killed or wounded in the 20 July plot
On 22 June 1944, the Soviet Armed Forces launched a massive attack against the German forces based in Belorussia, which were made up of two strategic army groups known as Army Group Centre. By mid July, Army Group Centre had lost no fewer than 250,000 men in less than a month of fighting, making the German position close to hopeless.
In deciding what to do, a series of military conferences were scheduled at the Wolf's Lair headquarters in East Prussia. On 20 July, Adolf Hitler and his top military commanders entered the briefing hut of the headquarters, as the usual bombproof room, with no windows and thick walls of solid concrete, was considered "unbearably hot". In attendance was Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who had lost an eye, his right hand and half his left in action during the North African theatre. Undetected by Hitler's ring of bodyguards, Stauffenberg carried a British-made bomb in his briefcase. His plan was to get as close as possible to Hitler, leave the briefcase nearby, and then make an excuse to quickly leave the conference by car with his adjutant and fellow conspirator Werner von Haeften. This was part of a larger planned coup d'état led by a group of army officers who were appalled by the way Hitler was leading Germany. Everything proceeded according to plan until the bomb exploded, as Stauffenberg walked towards his car, earlier than anticipated. When the explosion tore through the hut, Stauffenberg was thoroughly convinced that no one in the room could possibly have survived. Unbeknownst to Stauffenberg, Colonel Heinz Brandt had moved the bomb-containing briefcase further away from Hitler, placing it behind a solid wooden table leg, as it was in his way. Hitler survived with only minor injuries, as did most of the others present, although three officers, including Brandt, and a stenographer were killed.
Although strictly against security doctrines imposed at the Wolf's Lair, Stauffenberg and Haeften were allowed to pass through all three checkpoints and proceed to the airport, succeeding in getting away before clarity could be established back at the now completely demolished briefing hut. In the last hours of 20 July, Stauffenberg, Haeften, and several other plotters, were arrested and summarily condemned to death. The executions were carried out by soldiers under Major Otto Remer early on the morning of 21 July.
Following the assassination attempt Hitler came to believe that the Wehrmacht leadership could not be trusted; he launched a purge of the officer corps and also used the shock of the attack to round up all the surviving members of the old opposition in the Reichstag. At the same time, those officers who had been injured or killed by the bomb were awarded the 20 July Wound Badge and hailed as heroes. General Günther Korten, General Rudolf Schmundt, Colonel Heinz Brandt and stenographer Heinz Berger were given a state funeral with a eulogy delivered by Vice-Chancellor Hermann Göring.
Approximate positions of participants when bomb explodedEdit
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 20 July plot.|
- Jean-Pierre Isbouts (writer, director) William Schwartz (creator, producer) (2008). Operation Valkyrie - Stauffenberg's Plot to Kill Hitler (television documentary). Koch Entertainment. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Jonathan Martin (writer) Tim Newark (historical advisor) (2009). Attempts to Kill Hitler at the Wolf's Lair (television documentary). World Media Rights. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Hitler Plot "Heroes" Commemorated". BBC News. 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2015.