During Hitler's last few months he did not leave his bunker. His leading supporters schemed to save their own skins and few were with him to the end.
Looks at the various unsuccessful attempts that were made to assassinate Hitler at the Berghof, his house in the Bavarian mountains which he bought with the proceeds of Mein Kampf.
The Wolf's Lair or Wolfsschanze was closely guarded, but Hitler was almost killed by the bomb ignited by Stauffenberg on 20 July 1944.
As Hitler's empire expanded, the need for a secure, mobile military headquarters led him to use a special train, the Fuehrer-Sonderzug. Code named 'Amerika', this became an armoured monster with anti-aircraft armament and state-of-the-art communications.
Hitler appreciated the power of aircraft, not only as a military weapon, but as a political tool. During the early 1930s, he hired aircraft for election campaigning, often facing weather and mechanical problems, as well as specific assassination attempts.
In 1940, Hitler intensified his war efforts, invading France. His preferred mode of travel was by car, and Ferdinand Porsche designed large Mercedes for him with every possible security feature.
Rommel is put in charge of a new unit of bodyguards for the Fuehrer in 1939, just before the invasion of Poland. And, in a Munich beer hall, an attempt on Hitler's life fails.
This episode covers the period from 1938 to the invasion of Poland in 1939. Hitler's annexation of Austria and then Czechoslovakia and his plans to invade Poland led to serious attempts on his life which were foiled by chance as much as by his elaborate security system.
Disaffected Jews living inside and outside Germany plotted to assassinate Hitler and other leading Nazis as counter-intelligence and security agencies expanded in Germany.
Plotting and power struggles between Hitler's "bodyguards" led to the blood purge of the Night of the Long Knives, which strengthened Hitler's grip on power by gaining him the support of the German army and of political leaders.
Many of his early followers and bodyguards remained loyal to him and were rewarded by Hitler. They included later Nazi leaders Rudolf Hess, SA leader Ernst Roehm, former war pilot Hermann Goering, and Heinrich Himmler, and bodyguards Emil Maurice and Bruno Gesche. The SA was formed in 1921, and the SS as an elite personal guard unit in 1925. During this period, Hitler had several narrow escapes.
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