Today marks the 67th anniversary of the 20 July 1944 Operation Valkyrie plot, the most famous attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. There were many other attempts to kill Hitler. The most famous 20 July conspirist, Lt. Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, was part of at least a handful of assassination attempts before 20 July.
Obviously, none of the myriad attempts to kill Hitler succeeded. The key failure in the 20 July attempt was another officer pushing Stauffenberg’s bomb-laden briefcase further under the heavy oak briefing table in the briefing room. Another factor was the room’s open windows. What many don’t consider, however, is the fact Stauffenberg didn’t see to it his bomb hit its target. Stauffenberg was already on his way back to Berlin when the bomb actually went off.
The concept of a suicide bombing shouldn’t have been foreign to Stauffenberg, based on a least one movie. And Stauffenberg’s plot failed because he was not willing to be a suicide bomber.
Yes, Stauffenberg took action on his beliefs, which is more than most of his peers did. Yes, he paid the ultimate price for his efforts. But Stauffenberg failed because he was not willing to blow himself up to kill Hitler.