Pen & Sword Books

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Britain's Plot to Kill Hitler

Britain’s Plot to Kill Hitler - The True Story of Operation Foxley & SOE

written by Eric Lee and published by Greenhill Books - £20 - Hardback - Pages 216.


Operation Foxley was the name of the secret plan supported by Winston Churchill to

assassinate Hitler in 1944-45. More than 75 years after its conception, the assassination

plan remains shrouded in mystery. Eric Lee’s new book is the product of painstaking

research and sheds more light on this plan. Lee also asks what would have happened if

Foxley had been executed successfully.

Concocted in 1944 by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Foxley’s objective was to kill Hitler and any high-ranking Nazis or members of the Fuhrer’s entourage who might have been present at the time.

Different methods of assassination had been considered by the SOE, but were ultimately deemed too complicated. These methods included derailment and destruction of the Hitler’s personal train, the Fuhrerzug, by explosives, and also clandestine means such as slipping a tasteless poison into Hitler’s drinking and cooking water. Some of the ideas were considered quite bizarre, including one scheme to hypnotise Rudolf Hess and return him to Germany to kill Nazi leaders. The Americans and Soviets had their own plans to kill Hitler too, with some equally strange ideas (including injecting female hormones into the Fuhrer's vegetables).

Eventually, after intel gathered revealed that Hitler took a routine, solitary walk every morning to the Teehaus on the Mooslahnerkopf Hill from the Berghof residence, a plan was created to assassinate Hitler using a sniper rifle fitted with a silencer.

A perfect investigation for readers who enjoy reading about modern history, and the Second World War in particular. It is also tailored to those with an interest in the “secret war”, covering topics like the SOE, and military intelligence.

This is quite an intense feeling book from the start as the reader learns about various plots and plans not just from the British side and SOE, we also learnt that there were schemes to assassinate Hitler by the Americans & Soviets too. I understand there had to be lots of secrecy and deviance, but I did think as it seemed many were looking to assassinate Hitler, could there not have been some plotting between interested sides. I enjoyed the way this book was presented as the first half is written by the author but the second half contains photocopies of the various sources of information and files/documentation which kind of made it feel even more realistic as you were reading through the info that was being passed around at the time. Although I must admit there were only a couple I found weren’t that easy to read.


I really enjoyed this book as it felt as if it was half story and half fact. I quite enjoy the author’s

writing and really enjoyed his previous book Night of the Bayonets, his writing feels very well

explained but to the point. I’ve taken notes of some of the excellent books from the bibliography,

and I’ll be reading these in the near future hopefully. Overall, I would happily recommend this

book for anyone into their World War II history.

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