• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the relative importance of the reasons why the July 1944 Bomb Plot to assassinate Hitler was unsuccessful

Extracts from this document...


Assess the relative importance of the reasons why the July 1944 Bomb Plot to assassinate Hitler was unsuccessful. This question focuses on an evaluation of the significant factors that resulted in a failed coup d'etat, which involved an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler on the 20th July 1944. For the purpose of this essay a coup d'etat may be interpreted as; ' a sudden overthrowing of government and seizure of power by others' and assessing the 'relative importance' refers to evaluating the weight of factors in comparison to one another. In order to assess the relative importance of the reasons for the unsuccessful event, it is essential to consider the failure to eliminate Hitler, the failure to cut off the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) from Berlin, the difficulties of communication for the plotters in a police state, the lack of unity amongst opponents of the Nazi regime, the impact of the army oath of loyalty to Hitler, the effect of the systems of Gleichschaaltung, Germany at war making opposition hopeless, and finally other factors involved in the failure of the Bomb Plot. However before assessing these possible factors causing failure, it is necessary to outline the background to the July, 1944, Bomb Plot. By 1944 the war had turned crucially in favour of the allies and as a result, the German High Commanders thought it fundamental that the war be brought to an end as soon as possible. A plan was devised, primarily to assassinate Hitler, neutralise the SS and the remains of the Nazi leadership and to finally replace the existing government with a provisional one, with powers to hopefully end the war through negotiation. The conspirators involved in the plot were a group of high-ranking Wehrmacht officers serving on the Russian front, they key leaders including Henning von Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Karl von Stulpnagel. However it was Claus von Stauffenberg in particular who gave the plotters a sense of moral purpose and the enthusiasm needed in order for it to have a chance of success. ...read more.


Moreover the German police state was decidedly effective in eliminating opposition at all levels of society. For example, this is indicated by the arrest of von Moltke in January 1944, a key leader in the Kreisau Circle to which von Stauffenberg had become attached. A further problem was the conspirator's inability to gain the support of any outstanding frontline commanders in the major German cities and consequently the conspirators based in Berlin came to be of crucial importance.9 Through methods of consolidation power, the mixture of legality and violence, of authoritarian powers from above and the Nazi revolution from below, Hitler established his dictatorship so that by late 1934 it was impossible to remove him legally. Subsequently Hitler was able to keep power through genuine support for successful policies, through propaganda and indoctrination and through systems of repression. Consequently, there was a lack of widespread opposition to the Nazi regime and what opposition evolved was largely ineffective for a number of reasons. Political opposition was divided between left and right and within the left KPD and SPD parties. There was also a crucial underestimation of Nazi power potential from both political elites and from the other popular parties of the centre and left who believed that Fascism would not last and that Hitler could be manipulated in the meantime. Thus, whilst there was a wide variety of opposition to the Nazi regime, the number of actual registers was small and their aims and methods were uncoordinated This crucial lack of unity, the isolation of opposition groups, meant that the Nazi regime was secure and was only brought down by the vast coalition of enemy powers.10 For example, the July 1944 Bomb Plot resulted from a military conspiracy, (which involved two long-established civilian underground groups, which had contrasting political aims.) in the background of which stood two long-established civilian underground groups, but which differed in their political aims. ...read more.


Tresckow put the matter succinctly when he told von Stauffenberg: 'the assassination must be attempted.... Even if it fails, we must take action in Berlin. For the practical purpose no longer matters; what natters now is that the German resistance movement must take the plunge before the eyes of the world and of history. Compared to that nothing else matters.29 1 Heinrich Fraenkel The July Plot, 1966 2 Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936-1945 Nemesis, 2000, pg 676-679 3 Alan Bullock, Hitler - a Study in Tyranny, 1952, pg 744-751 4 Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, 1995 pg 445 5 Joachim Fest, Hitler, 1973, pg 711 6 Peter Hoffmann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945, 1966 7 As recorded in a BBC monitoring Report of 21st July 1944 8 D. G. Williamson, The Third Reich, 2002, pg 122-123 9 Jackson J. Spielvogel, Hitler and Nazi Germany, 1992 10 John Hite and Chris Hinton, Weimar and Nazi Germany, 2000 11 Michael Bloch, Ribbentrop, 1992, pg 440-441 12 David Evans and Jane Jenkins, Years of Weimar and the Third Reich, 1999............... 13 Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death, 1994 14 Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopaedia of the Third Reich, 1976 15 Jackson J. Spielvogel, Hitler and Nazi Germany, 1992 16 Based in detail provided in the guide to the Plotzensee Memorial, 1973 17 Michael Burliegh, The Third Reich, 2000, pg 714-716 18 Heinrich Fraenkel, The July Plot, 1966 19 Ian Kershaw, The Hitler Myth- Image and reality in the Third Reich, 1987, pg 215 20 D. G Williamson, The Third Reich, 2002, pg 122-123 21 Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler's Death, 1994 22 A recorded in a BBC Monitoring Report of 21st July 1944 23 Joachim Fest, Hitler, 1973, pg 709 24 David Evans and Jane Jenkins, Years of Weimar and the Third Reich, 1999 25 Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader, 1953 26 ??? Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936-1945 - Nemesis, 2000, pg 676-679 27 Gitta Seremy, Albert Speer:His Battle with Truth, 1995, pg 445 28 John Weitz, Hitler's Banker-Schacht, 1997, pg 284 29 Michael Burliegh, The Third Reich, 2000, pg 714-716 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    * Even more important was that the disasters of 1812 and the defeats in the Peninsular War shattered Napoleon's reputation for military invincibility. * It had always been a weakness in his command structure that he did not take his senior officers into his confidence when on campaign, nor allow them any independence of action.

  2. How far had Hitler achieved his Third Reich?

    Therefore they used it, alongside the forcefulness of the Gestapo (Nazi secret police), to help eliminate opposition influence and enforce their own. Moreover, several departments for the Reich Chamber of Culture were created, which took the responsibility of deciding who could work in these areas, practically eradicating the need for censorship.

  1. How Powerful was Hitler in the Third Reich?

    However, Hitler was still crucial to the regime. Public image, as he had always believed, was vitally important to the success of the party, particularly during the Second World War, and Hitler was still a great symbol that united the German people.

  2. "War became inevitable by 1939 and, when it came, it was a surprise to ...

    of this happening too was inconceivably remote, since Italy had been decisively alienated from the West and allied with Germany through the Pact of Steel and the anti-Comintern Pact, and especially since in August 1939 the Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed, destroying any chance of Britain, France and the USSR allying against Germany at that point.

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    A new University Statute (1863) gave the universities more autonomy in the conduct of their affairs than at any previous point in their history. These reforms did not (arguably) strengthen the Tsarist regime as hoped but still managed to acclaim Alexander II the title of 'Tsar Liberator'.

  2. 'Stalin's leadership was the most significant reason for Soviet victory over Germany in the ...

    He was also very good in planning offensives, such as Operation Uranus. There was also Molotov; who was the foreign minister from 1941 and the leader of the GKO, so a key member. Molotov rose to the occasion as he took control during Stalin?s breakdown and he also made the first radio speech.

  1. Albert Speers Role as German Armaments Minister during the War

    However he ?denied all knowledge of, and personal involvement in, The Final Solution?[11]. Speer was found guilty on the last two counts and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. While in prison Speer endeavoured to write his memoirs in an attempt to explain his actions and motives.

  2. "The Wannsee Conference was entirely responsible for the Holocaust" How valid is this assessment ...

    Arranging these particular events in order of least radical to the most suggests that there was a clear and defined plan from the very beginning, however many were just by chance they happened as they took advantage of the opportunity at hand, something which the Nazi party were extremely good at.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work