Rudolf Hess flight to Britain 'approved by Hitler'

Discussion in 'Stories' started by vikingBerserker, May 15, 2013.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Interesting read from Rudolf Hess flight to Britain 'approved by Hitler' - Telegraph

    Rudolf Hess's doomed flight to Britain in 1941 was approved by Adolf Hitler and was an attempt to bring the British into the war against the Soviet Union, according to a recently discovered document.

    Any information that hinted at secret British dealings with Nazi Germany would have been welcomed by the suspicious and neurotic Josef Stalin Photo: APBy Matthew Day
    3:07PM BST 31 May 2011
    A historian studying the Russian archives in Moscow found a letter written by Karlheinz Pintsch, Hess's adjutant, that claims Hitler knew of the leading Nazi's plans to make the dangerous, solo night flight from Germany to Britain.

    In the 28-page statement discovered by Matthias Uhl, Pintsch writes that Hess's mission was to "use all means at his disposal to achieve, if not a German military alliance with England against Russia, at least the neutralisation of England". It also states Hitler was fully aware of the mission.

    Pintsch's statement also claims the flight had taken place with the "prior arrangement of the English".

    Hess parachuted into Scotland 70 years ago but received a welcome perhaps less ebullient than he had expected, spending the rest of the war behind bars, including a brief stint as one of the last prisoners of the Tower of London.

    The document contradicts the conventional historical narrative of Hess working on his own accord in the mistaken belief that he could aid Hitler by signing a separate peace agreement with the British, although the exact reasons for the flight have always been shrouded in secrecy and speculation.

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    But Pintsch wrote the statement in 1948 when still a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union and may have used his claims as a means of attaining his freedom.

    With the start of the Cold War it could have been possible that the German knew that any information that hinted at secret British dealings with Nazi Germany would have been welcomed by the suspicious and neurotic Josef Stalin.
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Interesting, especially considering Hess's own statements during his prolonged interrogation, as published in 'Camp Z'.
     
  3. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, interesting; the 'prior arrangement with the English' bit is something that has been discredited already. The question has to be asked, with whom was the flight a prior arrangement? The Duke of Hamilton (Marquess of Clydesdale) certainly had nothing to do with it, he'd never met Hess despite claims that he did. So, who was it? I'm not convinced.
     
  4. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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  5. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Not sure. If Hitler wanted to contact Britain he could always go through a neutral go between.
    Hess was probably stark raving bonkers so anything he said and done must be seen through that prism.
     
  6. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    I lost interest the moment I read this line. If it is to be believed that it was Churchill who brought about a continuation of the war because of a lack of negotiation between his government and the Nazis, then he did the right thing. The Nazis had to be defeated and the Allies were right to not stop until that was done. At any rate, what good could Hess have done? Churchill was right to ignore him.

    VBF, read The Truth about Hess by the Marquess of Clydesdale and the After the Battle magazine featuring Hess' movements in the UK and back to Spandau; both excellent accounts. They won't give too many answers that a lot of people hope for, but they are objective and without any of the sensationalism that tends to stalk the Hess story.
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #7 tyrodtom, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
    Recently discovered documents ? 2011?
    I've heard this very same theory a lot longer than a few years ago, more like 20 years ago. And that's when I read it, it's probably been around since Hess's flight.

    The problem is nobody seems to know WHEN Hess went bonkers, but there really is no exact point where one goes from just delusionial to crazy and then to stark raving mad.
    Anybody who believed in the Nazi's had to be at least delusionial IMO.
     
  8. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Add around 10 years to that and that's around the time I first heard it. My professor brought him into our class. He was on some kind of university tour in the U.S. No, he didn't parachute in.

    Nuuumannn is right. Let's keep this in perspective.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The book I mentioned in my previous post 'Camp Z', by Stephen McGinty, covers the story of Hess's arrival in Britain, and the complete interrogation, much of it verbatim, along with transcriptions of the detailed notes kept by the interrogators, guards and 'minders', from arrival until eventual death in Spandau.
    All of this indicates that Hess himself believed that Hitler had no knowledge of his 'mission'.
    There is far too much to cover here, so anyone who really wants to know what went on - read that book!
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Terry. I had just finished reading a section of the book when I came across this. The book is very interesting!
     
  11. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    I already have Nuuumannn's and Terry's books written down in my "To Do" list. :)
     
  12. merlin

    merlin Member

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    I have just recently finished reading "Ten Days That Saved the West" by John Costello - it covers the Hess affair and the intrigues before and after, his researched covers papers recently available in Russia, together with documents made available in the US - it's still subject to the 'Official Secrets Act' here.

    Points I can recall - the 'madness' was a cover that Hess provided - in a letter to Hitler after the event he advised - if nothing came of it - to say he had gone insane!

    He also showed, how he could have previously met the Duke of Hamilton!

    While on the one hand Stalin was paranoid about the British concluding a separate peace, but then not believing British warnings about an impeding German attack.

    The whole affair was the climax, of 'peace feelers' from both sides through various intermediaries - from the Swedes, to Swiss through to Americans - but none at the behest at Churchill. The Germans, fell for the line that sections of the aristocracy were able to over-rule/over-throw Churchill in order to bring peace! And perhaps this 'line' was spun by the British intelligence as revenge for the Venlo incident!
     
  13. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    Galland says in his book that his squadron was scrambled to intercept and destroy the Me110 that Hess stole. Would they do that if it was a pre-arranged deal?
     
  14. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    It does make one think. The one thing that has always perplexed me was the fact he was kept locked up for such a long time.
     
  15. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    Oddly, it was the Soviets who refused to allow his release, while the US and Britain were willing to agree to it.
     
  16. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    That has always been the "Red herring", if you will. One wonders why, if Hess was such a mess, that they wanted to keep him in such strict confinement. After all, Admiral Donitz was the Fuhrer for three weeks, and he was let go after a minimal prison stay. One wonders...
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Donitz was sentenced to 10 years and that's what he served.
    Hess was sentenced to life, The Russian judge wanted the death penalty but were overruled by the majority of the judges.
    A reduction of the sentence later required all of the original powers to agree on a reduction, the Russians would never agree to a early release.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #18 stona, Jul 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
    Exactly.

    As Deputy Fuhrer and the man who signed into law many of the most infamous Nazi racial laws of the pre-war period he was very lucky to escape the death penalty at Nuremberg, given the context of those trials.

    Hess was not kept in any more a strict confinement than any other Nazi war criminal. Eventually his fellow detainees were executed, released or died leaving him as the only prisoner in Spandau prison.

    There will always be conspiracy theories but they rarely stand up in the light of known and provable facts.

    Donitz was convicted of the same offenses that others were executed for ("planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression" and "crimes against the laws of war") though his latter role as head of the Nazi government was not relevant. He served no time specifically for his role in Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare for reasons obvious to anybody who cares to examine how the allies conducted their own submarine operations.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
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