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July 20 Plot

The July 20 Plot was a failed coup d'état which involved an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. It was initiated on July 20, 1944 by officers of the Wehrmacht. The leader of the plot was Claus von Stauffenberg. Others who participated in the plot include Erwin Rommel and Alfred Delp.

The plan required Von Stauffenberg to place a time bomb near the seat of Hitler at the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia, and then immediately travel to Berlin to command the troops of the uprising. A new government had already been formed.

However, due to unexpected circumstances Hitler survived the bombing: because the day was unusually hot, the meeting at which Hitler was to have been killed took place above ground rather than in a bunker. Furthermore, Von Stauffenberg could not place the briefcase with the bomb next to Hitler and Hitler was shielded from the blast by the conference table. Although four people were killed and almost all present were injured, Hitler was so only lightly. Only later in Berlin Von Stauffenberg learned of the failure.

The plot ringleaders, Oberst Claus von Stauffenberg, General Friedrich Olbricht, Oberst Mertz von Quirnheim, Leutnant Werner von Haeften and Oberst Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim were caught that night and shot by firing squad in the courtyard of the Bendler-Block (War Ministry), on July 21.

See also