'It is now time that something was done. But the man who has the courage to do something must do it in the knowledge that he will go down in German history as a traitor. If he does not, however, he will be a traitor to his own conscience' - Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, July 1944. The July 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler was a desperate attempt by a group of senior officers to redeem Germany's honour and end the Second World War. They were heroic because they knew their chances of success were slight and that the result of their failure would undoubtedly be a terrible death.They wanted to leave a message for later generations: that there were Germans who understood the evils of Nazism and were willing to act against it.
This extraordinary story is the basis for Bryan Singer's major new film "Valkyrie", due to be released in February 2009. Published for the first time as a separate book, "Luck of the Devil" is taken from Ian Kershaw's bestselling "Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis" and is a brilliant account of just what happened in those fateful days at Hitler's Wolf's Lair headquarters, when his opponents came so astonishingly close to assassinating what is one of the modern era's most terrible figures.