Operation Valkyrie was a Nazi emergency continuity of government plan in case of a general breakdown of command. This plan could have been implemented in the instance of Allied bombings or forced labor uprisings.
General Friedrich Olbricht, Major General Henning von Tresckow, and Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg wanted to implement this plan to take control of Germany, disarm the SS, and arrest all Nazi leadership if the July 20, 1944, plot succeeded.
This plot was the attempted assassination of Hitler in the “Wolf’s Lair” in East Prussia. A bomb was secretly placed in a conference room inside a briefcase. When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed.
More than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.
“The whole world will vilify us now, but I am still totally convinced that we did the right thing. Hitler is the archenemy not only of Germany but of the world. When, in few hours’ time, I go before God to account for what I have done and left undone, I know I will be able to justify what I did in the struggle against Hitler. None of us can bewail his own death; those who consented to join our circle put on the robe of Nessus. A human being’s moral integrity begins when he is prepared to sacrifice his life for his convictions.” – Henning von Tresckow
At Rastenburg on 15 July 1944. Stauffenberg at left, Hitler center, Keitel on right. The person shaking hands with Hitler is General Karl Bodenschatz, who was seriously wounded five days later by Stauffenberg’s bomb. Wikipedia
Soldiers and Waffen SS at the Bendlerblock. Wikipedia
Claus von Stauffenberg, Chief-conspirator in Operation Valkyrie. Wikipedia
Henning von Tresckow in 1944. Wikipedia
Friedrich Olbricht was a German general during World War II and one of the plotters involved in the 20 July Plot, an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. Wikipedia
Hans Oster was a general in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany who was also a leading figure in the German resistance from 1938 to 1943. In April 1945 he was hanged at Flossenburg concentration camp for treason. Wikipedia
General Ludwig Beck became a major leader within the conspiracy against Hitler, and would have been regent (Reichsverweser) had the 20 July plot succeeded, but when the plot failed, Beck was arrested and executed. Wikipedia
Erwin von Witzleben was A leading conspirator in the 20 July plot, he was designated to become Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht in a post-Nazi regime had the plot succeeded. Wikipedia
Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was a monarchist conservative German politician, executive, economist, civil servant and opponent of the Nazi regime. Had the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler of 1944 succeeded, Goerdeler would have served as the Chancellor of the new government. Wikipedia
Henning von Tresckow was an officer in the German Army who helped organize German resistance against Adolf Hitler. He was described by the Gestapo as the “prime mover” and the “evil spirit” behind the plot of 20 July 1944 to assassinate Hitler. Wikipedia
Werner von Haeften was an Oberleutnant in the Wehrmacht, who took part in the military-based conspiracy against Adolf Hitler known as the 20 July plot. Wikipedia
Floor plan showing distribution of casualties. Wikipedia
The bomb had gone off with a deafening roar. The windows were blown out, the roof buckled and part of it collapsed. warefarehistorynetwork
The Wolfsschanze after the bomb. Wikipedia
Photograph of Hitler’s pants after the failed Operation Valkyrie. Pinterest
Hitler visits Admiral Karl-Jesko von Puttkamer in the hospital. Wikipedia
Ludwig Beck, one time chief of the Army General Staff. After his resignation in 1938, Beck became the center of the military resistance to Hitler. He was executed in 1944 for his role in the July 1944 attempt to kill Hitler. Germany, date uncertain. USHMM
The funeral of General Günther Korten at the Tannenberg Memorial. Wikipedia
Carl Goerdeler, former mayor of Leipzig and a leader of the July 1944 conspiracy to kill Hitler, stands trial before the People’s Court in Berlin. He was condemned and executed at Ploetzensee prison on February 2, 1945. Berlin, Germany, 1944. USHMM
Carl Heinrich Langbehn, an attorney who was slated for a possible cabinet seat had the July 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life succeeded, on trial before the People’s Court in Berlin. Langbehn was executed in the Ploetzensee prison on October 12, 1944. USHMM
Roland Freisler (center), president of the Volk Court (People’s Court), gives the Nazi salute at the trial of conspirators in the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler. Under Freisler’s leadership, the court condemned thousands of Germans to death. Berlin, Germany, 1944. USHMM
Participants in the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler and members of the “Kreisau Circle” resistance group on trial before the People’s Court. Pictured are Dr. Franz Reisert, Dr. Theodor Haubach, Graf von Moltke, Theodor Steltzer, and Dr. Eugen Gerstenmeier. Library of Congress
Participants in the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler stand trial before the People’s Court of Berlin. Berlin, Germany, August–September 1944. Library of Congress
Entrance to the Ploetzensee prison. At Ploetzensee, the Nazis executed hundreds of Germans for opposition to Hitler, including many of the participants in the July 20, 1944, plot to kill Hitler. Berlin, Germany, postwar. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research