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"September plot" 1938 in Germany: plans and results

UDK 94 (430).086



© R.R. Hamidullin

Birsk state social and pedagogical academy Birsk, Cheverev St., 7.

"the September plot of generals" as poorly studied aspect of relationship of the Nazi leadership of Germany and officer corps is covered 1938 in article. Work is written on the basis of the analysis of the German sources and works of modern historians.

1938 - one of the key moments of the contemporary history. An anschluss of Austria in the spring and the Munich conspiracy predetermined inevitability of World War II in the fall. The army which is brought up in conservative spirit of service of Germany was the last institute of the German state which could resist to plans of of an itler. Events "Blomberg's affairs - Frich" February - March demonstrated style of the Nazi management. However these events are resulted by natsionalnokonservativny opposition within the country.

On November 5, 1937 Hitler organized a confidential meeting where there were a Minister of Foreign Affairs von Nejrat, the Minister of War Blomberg, a top of army - Frich, Reder and Goering. On it for the first time Hitler accurately designated the extremely aggressive plans concerning Austria and Czechoslovakia which Nejrat, Blom-berg, Frich sharply opposed (records about a meeting received the name "Hossbakh's protocol" by name the aide-de-camp Hitler subsequently) [1]. This meeting was the reason "Blomberg's affairs - Frich" and Nejrat's resignations in February, 1938

The chief of the General Staff Ludwig Beck about whom the general Guderian said that "it is the noble person of old school" [2] subjected Hitler's position to sharp criticism [3]. Different assessment of a position of Great Britain and readiness of Wehrmacht for war was the cornerstone of a confrontation of opinion. The Fuhrer let know to the commander-in-chief of ground forces Braukhich that he intends to get rid, "at last", of Beck [4].

Hitler on May 28, 1938, addressing the high-ranking political and military leaders, urged "to crush Czechoslovakia in the near future" [5]. Beck demanded guarantees that there will be no war with England. Hitler flatly refused, having explained that "the Wehrmacht is a tool of policy. The army has a right to perform a task, but not to argue, it is correct or not". Then Beck said: "I do not take the responsibility for orders which I do not approve" [6].

Beck suggested generals collectively to refuse to submit if Hitler does not refuse war. Though even in the spring during "Blom-berg's crisis - Frich" he said: "A revolt and revolution -

these words are not in a lexicon of the German officer" [7]. Beck opposed not most & #34; фюрера" and against policy of war and against persons interested of war party & #34; радикалов" [8].

To defend the position, he had to obtain consent and participation of Braukhich who gave to Beck "only sluggish support" [9]. Without seeing an exit, Beck gave on August 18 to resignation which was rather an a symbol of disappointment, than resistance.

The general Halder became Beck's successor, but the Yodel noted that, "despite personal changes, in the General Staff the strong counteraction to Gitle-r's plans" remained [10]. Though, according to Hossbakh (which was divided by Beck), Halder would hardly have courage to break a fidelity oath to the Fuhrer. For such people as Halder, the military oath is comparable with a solemn vow. The Fuhrer considered that Halder "it is modern is focused" and "openly moves towards" to the course of his thought, especially it "is much more progressive", than officers of "so-called Prussian officer corps" [11]. The granddaughter Gal-dera said later that it "found Hitler awful, illogical, uneducated" [12]. At the same time colleagues noted that he "was not a person of fast decisions" [13].

On the one hand, Halder decided to continue expeditious preparation of a campaign against ChSR, assuming that limited war after all is possible. On the other hand, he, contrary to Beck, gave up hope for a possibility of evolutionary development of the mode and began to prepare a coup in case aggressive policy of Hitler will lead to a war with the western powers. Arose so-called & #34; September заговор" 1938. Around Halder the Os-tera group of an abver, and also such highest military functionaries as Kanaris, Witzleben and Shtyulp-nagel united. In actions of these conspirators the purpose of prevention of war contacted the purpose of change of the mode. Therefore they acted in two directions:

>- continued earlier begun secret contacts to induce the abroad, first of all the British, to

Bulletin of the Bashkir university.2007. T.12, No. 2


and to show to the firm attitude towards Hitler all gravity of situation;

>- accelerated military technical training of a coup in Berlin around Ostera-Gizevius's group.

Kanaris's investigation created the think-tank where information on reaction of the abroad to the taking place events was flown down [14].

Now Hitler, and not just & #34 was their purpose directly; радикалы" from its environment. The dictator needed to be deprived of the power, and to change a system. But in the opposition basic divergences in motives and the purposes appeared. For Gal-der's group - Kanaris the coup had to become the last opportunity to prevent war. For Oster's group - Gizeviusa the probable beginning of war promoted overthrow of the regime therefore she prepared a revolution with very distant prospects. Gizevius spoke about later "a plot заговора" inside;.

With huge precautions the counterplan which came into force along with the beginning of the operation "Grün" was developed; possibly, his author was Halder. Among those who decided to oppose the dictator were the policeman president of Berlin count Geldorf, the general von Witzleben ordering the military district of Berlin, the general von Brokdorf-Alefeld, the chief of the Potsdam garrison which part the 23rd infantry division (9th, 67th, 69th infantry regiments), the colonel von Hase with the 50th infantry regiment was [15].

Halder, being afraid of Hitler's influence on masses, suggested to wait until war breaks out. The others convinced him that as soon as Hitler issues the order on offensive at Czechoslovakia, von Brokdorf-Alefeld's troops will occupy the area where government agencies are located, and will arrest Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich  and employees of Gestapo [16]. The Fuhrer will appear before the court on a charge of attempt to involve Germany in war. the 1st division will block a way to Berlin of the Lejbstandarte Adolf Hitler division. Her commander major general Hyopner was devoted in the plan of conspirators. Conspirators decided to devote also Braukhich in the plan. Braukhich was not ready to act, but "reluctantly agreed".

However, the subsequent actions of conspirators are not absolutely clear. According to Raushninga, it was supposed to establish temporary military dictatorship led by the famous and dear person that then to restore the constitutional state.

The disturbing atmosphere, appear, promoted success of a military coup. On August 17, 1938 troops of CC since the Fuhrer did not consider Wehrmacht one of reliable pillars of a Reich [17] any more were created. Mad speeches of Hitler with threats to Czechoslovakia, the promotion which is conducted for the sake of Sudeten

Germans of whose problems the Germans in Germany had a vague idea - all this gave rise to feeling of the coming war in masses. The ordinary German could not understand how problems of the Sudetes can be compared to horror of future war.

The discontent was expressed even by young officers. The colonel Tousen at a meeting with the Yodel expressed surprise that officers do not seek for war at all. Several lieutenants opened fire at a portrait & #34; фюрера" in officer casino and then dug the shot picture in a garden. An incident cost them to the commander of a position. Lieutenants got off in view of the forthcoming war with insignificant penalties [18].

On September 8 the general von Stuelpnagel demanded that the headquarters of the commander-in-chief of overland army in five days was warned about the beginning of the operation "Grün" that it was possible to take the corresponding actions. The yodel had no slightest concept that this information is required to conspirators to begin a revolution.

At a party congress in Nuremberg on September 12 Hitler it is excited said that "demands that in Czechoslovakia the oppression of Germans" stopped [19]. This hysteria did not make on generals any impression [20]. The yodel called Hitler's speech "grandiose" and hoped that "many in officer corps will redden with shame for the cowardice and a chistoplyuystvo" [20]. Keitel added that he "is deeply revolted" with a position of Braukhich who is not able to change hostility of the General Staff towards Hitler, and said that he "will not tolerate from one officer of critical statements or complaints" [20]. In the diary Yodel wrote that "it is extremely upset", seeing that behind the Fuhrer there are all people, but there are no generals [21].

on September 20, having met on Oste-r's apartment, conspirators agreed upon Halder's signal to occupy all major buildings and squares of Berlin, the main strong points of CC and Gestapo. The group of volunteers under command of the former frayko-rovets of the captain Heinz had to take a reykhskantselyariya and kidnap Hitler. Halder was a supporter of "accident" with Hitler, Vitsleben wanted to declare him the madman. Heinz and Oster just wished Hitler to shoot down [22]. The group totaled about 40 people, consisted of junior officers, students and workers. Kanaris provided to group weapon and explosive and also two saboteurs ober-lieutenants Hertsner and Knaak [23]. On September 27 at 13 hours 30 minutes Halder received the telephone message with the order on reduction in full readiness of divisions of "the first wave". It meant that Berlin assumes to begin approach on September 28.

On the same day on September 27 Hitler to lift fighting spirit of the population, Witz-lebena in the full fighting calculation to front doors ordered to troops to march on streets of Berlin. People, having seen to -

the lonna marching to the station for loading in echelons decided that war is inevitable. Nobody welcomed soldiers; they went in silence. Hitler, observing this scene, in rage shouted to Goebbels: "with such people I cannot wage war" [24]. In turn, the general Vittsleben admitted later that he was ready to deploy guns directly before reykhskantselyariya windows, to enter and arrest "this type" [24].

Then came on September 28. Halder gave the order on the beginning of a revolution. A part of troops of Witzleben was already on the way to border with Czechoslovakia, but Hyopner was in two days of the course from Berlin. Tension increased. In the middle of the day Braukhich went to office to find out a situation before troops move to Berlin. There he learned that Mussolini made the tempting proposal on the partition of Czechoslovakia and that Chamberlain and Daladye leave to hold a conference with Hitler in Munich. Braukhich immediately cancels a revolution. It is impossible to arrest the person who gained a bloodless victory. They say that Halder completely lost control over himself: "what to do to us? It in everything is accompanied by success" [25].

The Munich conference meant severe defeat for national and conservative opposition. Conspirators did not consider, unlike Hitler, readiness of British "policy of appeasement" to make a compromise for the purpose of preservation of peace in Europe. At the same time conspirators kept all prerequisites for action: Hitler did not give the order to attack, the western powers did not declare war. For representatives of anti-war party the purpose - prevention of war - was reached without coup.

On the other hand, the success of a revolution in the army raises doubts, too much was in plans of a revolution of improvisations and, respectively, unreliability. Why did not involve Beck, the former commander of Hammershtayna army famous for the anti-Nazi moods and the possessing authority on officer corps in a plot? How the 23rd division was going to capture Berlin how Parts CC the regiments "Dead Head" had to be blocked? How to convince the young officers who are brought up Hitler Youth of correctness of a plot against the one who raised their status? What position of Braukhich who promised to bring together army and National - socialism [25] about which Keitel said that "it - only the soldier" [25]? Why in the first half of day active actions were not taken on September 28? How to combine opposition of generals and their diligence at execution of the office powers? Why the subsequent steps of conspirators were not thought over? Remains only

to assume that all plans of a revolution were only good intentions which could not be carried out in these historical conditions.

In the opinion of of an itler the stubborn generals and the made skeptic, careful the eneralny headquarters lost any value. In Hitler's behavior of generals the immorality, and his irresponsibility most of all revolted not him. From here, under any pretext to play for time, observing their tendency - to move back back whether the risk will come true. Besides, Hitler's progress was followed by the valid strengthening of professional efficiency of army, and it could not but be pleasant to officers.

Nevertheless, the German historians consider "a September plot" 1938 one of the important facts of anti-Hitlerite military opposition.


1. Festival Y. Adolf Hitler: Biography. 3 t. - Perm, 1993, -

Page 390.

2. G. Guderian. Memoirs of the soldier. - Rostov N / D, 1998, -

Page 39.

3. Müller K. - J. Armee, Politik und Geselschaft in Deutschalnd 1933-1945. - Paderborn, 1980. S. 87.
4. Belov N.Ya's background was Hitler's aide-de-camp. 1937-1945. - Smolensk, 2002, - Page 144.
5. W. Keitel. Memoirs of the field marshal. Victories and defeats of Wehrmacht. 1938 - 1945. - M, 2004, - Page 70.
6. Schlabrendorff von F. Offiziere gegen Hitler. - Fisher Bücherei, 1959, S. 28.
7. V. Berthold 42 attempts at Adolf Hitler. - Smolensk, 2003, - Page 111.
8. Müller K. - J. Armee und Drittes Reich 1933 - 1939: Darstellung und Dokumentation. - Paderborn, 1997. Dok. 161. S. 351-352.
9. Varlimont V.V to Hitler's rate. Memoirs of the German general. - M, 2005, - Page 23.
10. Hitler's colleagues / Yubersher G. General-polkownik Franz Halder. Gerlits V. Karl Dennits, gross admiral. - Rostov N / D, 1998, - Page 42.
11. Engert Jü. (Hg.) Soldaten für Hitler. Text, Bild und Dokumentation. - Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 1999. S. 166.
12. Ibid, S. 168.
13. Abzhagen K. Admiral Kanaris. - Rostov N / D, 1998, - Page 183.
14. Thun-Hohenstein Graf Romedio Galeazio. Wehrmacht und Widerstand//Die Soldaten der Wehrmacht. - München: Herbig Verlag, 1999, S. 87.
15. Schlabrendorff von F. Op.cit. S. 29.
16. N. Belov background. Decree. soch. - Page 152.
17. Gersdorff von R. - Ch. Soldat im Untergang. - Frankfurt/M, Berlin, Wien, 1977. S. 63.
18. Unknown Hitler / O. Gyunshe, G. Ling; The Bus - sost. M. Ul, H. Eberle. - M, 2005, - Page 56.
19. N. Belov background. Decree. soch. - Page 156.
20. Varlimont Century. Decree. soch. - Page 24.
21. A. Ermakov. Squires of the nation. Wehrmacht in Nazi Germany. - M, 2006, - Page 283-284.
22. V. Berthold. Decree. soch. - Page 127.
23. G. Gizevius. Till the bitter end. Conspirator's notes. - Smolensk, 2002, - Page 304
24. V. Gurleyts. German General Staff. History and

structure. 1657-1945. - M, 2005. - Page 325.

25. W. Keitel. Decree. soch., - Page 51.

Came to edition of 08.11.2006

Richard Robert
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