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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / World War II
  • Language:English
  • Pages:389
  • eBook ISBN:9798350920925

The Bloody Path to Valkyrie

How Duty, Faith, and Honor Inspired the German Resistance 1933 - 1946

by Bryan J. Powers

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The attempted assassination and coup of the Nazi Regime under Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944 was nothing more than a blip on the radar during a war that was greater than anything ever seen. For decades, historians and researchers have speculated how the outcome of the war would have changed if the coup had been successful. The story that follows examines the role of the Western Allies and their lack of support to German Resistance movements through the eyes of three surviving members and two Americans. Well-documented Office of Strategic Services (OSS) memoirs, official correspondence, and firsthand memoirs of the surviving members of the German Resistance show a clear connection between the Allied intelligence services. These services were primarily based in Switzerland, which had the opportunity and ability to directly support several coup attempts. Despite the Allied reporting at the time and public knowledge of the events, the German Resistance wasn't comprised of desperate and opportunistic Wehrmacht commanders at the end of a losing war. Rather, they were comprised of an often-unorganized resistance going back years before the first shots were fired. The Bloody Path to Valkyrie examines these connections as a humbling intelligence failure in an otherwise successful Allied strategy and detail the foreign policy decisions of the Allied administrations, whose lack of foresight and occasional prejudice led to numerous lost opportunities which may have changed the outcome of the war.
Many great writers and historians have written about the failed Valkyrie plot and the Germans who led the operation. Historians and authors Peter Hoffman, Michael Baigent, Richard Dargie, and Nigel Jones have all written extensively on the events of Valkyrie and the failed 1944 plot, focusing much of their efforts on the iron will of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. The general theme following these works are that the German Resistance, while undoubtedly guided by strong personalities, lacked the dedicated support of the German High Command and the Western Allies. Furthermore, most historical works written on the German Resistance focus on the development of a resistance cadre developed in 1942 and 1943 among Wehrmacht officers on the Eastern Front. However, The Bloody Path to Valkyrie demonstrates that the core members of the German Resistance began their clandestine conspiracy in the mid-1930s, long before the tide of war turned against the Wehrmacht forces along the Eastern Front. More importantly, despite decades of misunderstanding, the German Resistance was anything but defeatist German officials and military officers looking to shift blame for the atrocities their nation committed. This story works to connect a fragment picture of how many of the men and women of the German Resistance were so driven by their faith in God or their own conscience that they were compelled to action despite all the inherent fears of discovery, and the shame and recognition of their own culpability to such crimes. For many of these men and women, their greatest fear and the basis of their actions was not failure in their mission or punishment for their associated crimes, but the shame of knowing they had a chance to do something to remove the world of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis… and failed to try. Bryan Powers has family who saw the conflict from both sides of the European theater and was motivated to write about the sacrifice of the German Resistance. Through his maternal grandparents, he was able to see and hear what life was like under the Nazi oppression as children, and how fear was used against anyone who resisted the Nazis authorities. These small stories of war, death, and fear were but a fraction of what an entire continent was subjected to. The retelling of this story of the German Resistance, through the eyes of a few of the war's survivors, is an attempt to honor those that resisted till the Bitter End.
About the author
Bryan Powers is a U.S. Army veteran with more than a decade of service including four deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jordan. Bryan is married to his loving wife Allie and is a father to their daughter Emma. He continues to serve the U.S. Army as a civilian and lives in Virginia, where he and his wife strive to continue their work in writing and in humanitarian support efforts for the Ukrainian people.

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