Nazi Germany

The strongest weapons from World War II: Nazi Germany’s King tiger tank

One of the most powerful machines from the World War II is Nazi Germany’s Tiger tank. According to reports, allied tanks were completely powerless to Tigers, that is, it took 5 Sherman tanks to attack Tiger so that one of them would be able to approach and defeat it. The Mark VI,soon became the strongest war weapon on battlefield, also known as Tiger I.

Due to its main purpose of breaching enemy defenses, the tank’s appearance (square, castle-like shape and long cannon) was specially designed to look deadly. Despite its weight, it was able to move pretty quickly. However, Hitler’s designers wanted to improve the weapon, as they considered that its KwK 36 gun was not appropriate and forceful enough for its 88-millimeter cannon. For this reason, soon they focused on building its successor.

Source:wikipedia

Its new, better version was named Tiger II or Konigstiger (King Tiger tank).What TigarII was known for was the cannon. Very precise 88 mm KwK 43 L71 top, 6.3 m long, indicating the L71 mark (71 caliber long). Tiger II was larger than its predecessor. Initially, it was equipped with a binocular TZF 9b / 1telescope, and later with a monocular TZF 9d. The top could rise 14 degrees above the horizontal and could drop 8 degrees below. Thanks to the extremely thick front armor, which was resistant to almost everything the allies had in their arsenal, Tigar II made a significant initial advantage in the confrontation with opponents.King Tigar tank had lots of improvements over the Tigar I. What contributed to Tiger II’s thickness of armor was its sloped armor, whereas Tigar I had vertical armor.

Source:amazonaws.com

The only real threat to this tank were aircrafts that could easily destroy it.

Source: nationalinterest.org

HBO’s “The Mighty Eighth” Has a $500 Million Budget

Aviation advisers who are associated with a new World War II mini-series, created by Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks, visited Lincolnshire in England. Lincolnshire has a history of working with the US Army Air Force.

Speilberg and Hanks created the Mighty Eighth, which is a mini-series consisting of 10 parts and it is the third part of the trilogy which includes Band of Brothers and Pacific. The Masters of The Air, the companion piece to Band of Brothers and The Pacific, changed its name sometime in the process to The Mighty Eighth. It is a great thing this happened, and the title is quite suitable since there was no better force in the war than the Eighth Air Force.

In the new series, people will get familiar with daylight bomber raids conducted by American forces over Nazi Germany. The planes took off from the bases in Norfolk and Suffolk that are on the east coast of England. Currently, we don’t know how much of the action will be filmed in the United Kingdom, but the authorities in Lincolnshire insist for their location to be used since they were linked to the USAAF in the war. Around 30,000 US servicemen were in the Grantham during the war, and they were preparing for D-Day at this spot. North Witham was the place from which Pathfinder parachutists of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division took off and became the first Americans to land in Normandy on D-Day.

The show is based on the book called Masters of the Air, written by Don Miller. John Orloff is the scriptwriter, and the two of them are exploring Lincolnshire and the sites that are linked to the USAAF. Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire organized this tour. The two men visited the Imperial War Museum Duxford, and they were there for the launch of The Friendly Invasion. This is a new tourism package which is intended to draw more and more tourists from the USA to explore these places that are related to their history.

Source:www.us-militaria.com

According to Miller, the average age of a US crewman was 24, and the survival rate was 11 missions. As for the series, The Mighty Eighth is supposed to be aired in 2019. Currently, the crew is discussing whether they should film in Lincolnshire or not. In 1942, so many American aviators arrived in this place that they called it the “Friendly Invasion.” RAF Gloxhill was one of the first airfields that the USAAF received, and the Americans started calling it Station 345. It was used as the base for the First Fighter Group, including the 71st Fighter Squadron and the 94th Fighter Squadron with P-38 Lightning.

Miller says that the new series will focus on the camaraderie and the bonding inside the bombers, which means that it will be similar to Band of Brothers. These fighters were affectionately called The Mighty Eighth because their service and reputation quickly became familiar across the old continent and even the people in the USA heard of their heroic acts.

They managed to launch thousands of bombers in just one mission. On the night of 19-20 February, the Eighth Air Force put up over 1,000 B-17s and B-24s, and with more than 800 fighters, they attacked Germany, inflicting serious damage to the Nazi machinery. 17 members of the Mighty Eight received the Medal of Honor, but the crew also had the record of 220 Distinguished Service Crosses and 850 Silver Stars.

Source:alchetron.com

Besides the death and destruction by high-altitude bombing of Nazi Germany, the series will also focus on the personal stories of the crew.

Are you interested in watching such show? Enjoy these and other movies by subscribing to either of Dish Network’s tried and tested TV plans. Read Dish Network Reviews to learn more.

Source: warhistoryonline.com

The Hetzer: Unknown Tiny Nazi Tank Killer

Despite the popular belief, Nazi Germany didn’t blitzkrieg through Europe in early stages of the World War 2 thanks to their superior tanks. Instead, it was their doctrine that brought them their victories. In other words, it’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it.

French Char B1 tanks were superior to German Pz III and Pz IV tanks in both armor and firepower. A single B1 tank destroyed thirteen German panzers in several minutes at the Battle of Stonne, before being forced to retreat. Germans guns were ineffective against it. It was Rommel who devised a tactic to use famous 88 mm anti-air gun as an anti-tank weapon, thus providing a weapon that could defeat the thick front armor of French tanks. Soviet KV 1 and KV 2 tanks and British Matilda tanks were an enigma to German panzers until they applied Rommel’s wonder weapon.

All this led German high command to believe that they needed a dedicated anti-tank gun that was mobile enough to keep up with panzers. Thus, Panzerjägers (tank hunters) and Jagdpanzers (hunting tanks) were born. The trouble is that German industry was already stretched thin and could barely keep pace with losses, let alone produce enough of tank destroyers to make a difference. Germans had to find another way, and they did. The first dedicated tank hunter was Panzerjäger I. It used the chassis of, by then obsolete, Panzer I tank with its turret removed. Instead, it was armed with captured Czech 47 mm anti-tank gun. About 200 of these were made and they saw action in France, North Afrika, and Russia. The design was moderately successful, but the penetrating power of the Czech gun was limited.

Source:www.tanks-encyclopedia.com

The next version of a tank destroyer was Marder I. Again, instead of making it from the scratch, German engineers used the captured French Tracteur Blindé 37L tractors and armored personnel carriers and slapped a 75 mm PaK-40 anti-tank gun on its chassis. The result was a very top-heavy vehicle, with cumbersome maneuverability, but powerful enough to defeat even the heaviest enemy tanks.

There were several Marder versions. Marder II used Panzer II chassis, while Marder III was equipped with captured Soviet 76 mm anti-tank gun. Unfortunately for Germans, there wasn’t enough of old and captured equipment to create enough of these tank hunters. They had to come up with another solution.

Source:wikipedia

In 1944, Germans had at their disposal a wide variety of tank destroyers, including Jagdpanter, based on Pz V Panther chassis and armed with a powerful 88 mm gun. Still, they needed more of these machines, and more importantly, they needed it cheaper, as their industry was well behind on their orders. Once again they resorted to tried and tested method of converting captured equipment into battle-worthy machines. After the fall of Czechoslovakia in 1938, Germans got their hands on several hundred of Pz 38(t) tanks. They also captured Škoda factory that produced them. Germans had enough of them to equip two full panzer divisions in time for the invasion of France.

The tanks were obsolete by 1944, but their chassis could still be used. Marder III used some of these chassis, but its high silhouette made it vulnerable. The new design, named Jagdpanzer 38(t), had a much lower profile. Combined with small size, it was far easier to conceal and ambush the enemy. It’s powerful 60 mm front armor allowed it to resist most of the Soviet anti-tank guns. It was armed with 75mm L48 PaK39 anti-tank gun, which was very reliable and able to penetrate even monstrous IS Soviet tanks. One of the German after battle reports states: “In a short period, one company destroyed 20 tanks without a single loss. A task group destroyed 57 tanks, of which two were JS 122s at a range of 800 meters.”

As the design was cobbled together from various parts not intended to be used together, there were problems. The gun position had to be offset to the right, in order to accommodate the hull width. This resulted in a poor gun traverse, allowing it only five degrees left and 11 degrees right movement. If more was needed, the driver had to turn the entire vehicle. The crew compartment was cramped, and it was very uncomfortable to drive in it for any period of time.

Source:nationalinterest.org

Despite all those shortcomings, Hetzer was a highly successful design. Operated in teams, they could destroy everything soviets threw at them. The powerful main gun, using tungsten-cored PzGr-40 shells, could deliver a killing blow at ranges well above 1,000 meters. Its small size meant that it was Hetzer who fired the first shot, which was essential for winning a tank engagement.

The fact that more than 2,800 of them were built, more than any other tank destroyer in German service, is a testimony to the successfulness of the design. It was even used after the war in Swiss Army.

Source: nationalinterest.org

Ilse Koch, The Bitch of Buchenwald

Ilse Koch’s childhood is not what one would expect from a sadistic villain who would go on to earn the nickname the Bitch of Buchenwald in one of the worst concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Born in Dresden in 1906, Ilse had a regular upbringing. Her teachers described her as a polite child, always happy during her stay in elementary school. Her father was a factory foreman in a local factory and was able to provide the family with a decent living. At the age of 15, Ilse enrolled in an accountancy school, and after the graduation, she was able to find a job as a bookkeeper.

The 1930s were tough times for Germans. The country was suffering one of the worst inflation in history. Coupled with political violence, the economic crisis threatened to unravel the very fabric of German society. Like many of her fellow countrymen, Ilse fell for the rhetoric of Adolph Hitler and joined the Nazi Party in 1932. Two years later she met Karl-Otto Koch, a rising star in the SS.

Source:thevintagenews.com

Koch was in command of Sachsenburg Concentration Camp at the time. He was praised by his superiors for his administrative abilities and slated for bigger commanding positions in the future. In 1936, he and Ilse got married and next year, Koch, a colonel by then, was appointed the commander of the new concentration camp at Buchenwald.

The Kochs set up their home in a lavish villa inside the camp. Their lifestyle was like something out of a badly written horror story. Ilse Koch discovered her love for riding and kept a horse inside an indoor sports arena built with funds embezzled by her husband. One of her favorite activities was riding around the camp and singling out prisoners with interesting tattoos. She would then proceed to have them killed and skinned. The house was filled with lampshades and other objects made out of human skin. Ilse became known for beating prisoners to death with her riding crop.

There were also rumors of orgies Ilse and Karl-Otto hosted regularly. Finally, the word of their debauchery reached German command and Koch was transferred to Majdanek camp. Ilse stayed in Buchenwald until she was arrested in 1943, together with her husband. He was sentenced to death for private enrichment, embezzlement, and the murder of prisoners to prevent them from testifying against him, but Ilse was acquitted and released. She lived with her relatives in Ludwigsburg, where she was arrested by the Americans in 1945.

Source:strangehistory.net

Ilse Koch had two trials for her crimes. In the first one, she received a life sentence for “violation of the laws and customs of war.” However, her sentence was reduced, and she was released in 1948. When the news became public, the uproar was so great that she was arrested again in 1948 but this time sentenced to life in prison. She committed suicide in her cell in 1960.

Source: ww2gravestone.com

Martin Ludwig Bormann – Secret Leader Of Nazi Germany

Martin Ludwig Bormann was born on 17th June 1900, in Halberstadt. He had two half-siblings, Else and Walter from his father’s first marriage with Louise Grobler who passed away in 1898. Antonie Bormann gave birth to three sons, but one died at infancy. The other two Martin and Albert survived to adulthood.

Martin had a bad relationship with his father, whereas he received a Lutheran education. He dropped out of college and worked on a farm in his youth, but he decided to join the German Army during the last few months of the First World War. The army rejected him because of the young age, and even though he managed to join, later on, he was never near a battlefield.

After the war was over, Martin decided to join the Rossbach Freikorps where he fought with Rudolf Hoss, who was later appointed to the position of the commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz. Hoss was hanged in 1946. Together with Hoss, Bormann was guilty of the murder of Walter Kadow, who had been accused of betraying saboteur Albert Leo Schlageter. Luckily for Bormann, he only had to spend one year in jail. In 1926, it was the first time for Bormann to see Adolf Hitler during a manifestation of the then forbidden NSDAP. He was impressed by Hitler, and he joined the National Socialist German Workers Party when he was 27. At that time, he married 19-year-old Gerda Buch, daughter of Major Walter Buch.

Hitler was one of the witnesses at their wedding, and Gerda Bormann gave birth to 10 children, and only one died after birth. His kids were named Adolf Martin, Ilse, Ehrengard, Irmgard, Rudolf Gerhard, Heinrich Hugo, Eva Ute, Gerda, Fred Hartmut, and Volker.

Source:ww2gravestone.com

Gerda died of cancer in 1946, at the age of 36, in Merano, Italy and she was buried in the military cemetery sharing grave with a German soldier. Later, her body was removed, cremated and the ashes given to the sea. Catholic clergyman Theodor Schmitz adopted the eight children (two of them died, one after birth and one in 1946.) Meanwhile, Martin Jr. decided to abandon the Lutheran faith of his family, and he became a Roman Catholic priest in 1953 but left the service after more than 15 years. He married ex-nun Rosemarie in 1971 and became a theology teacher in Berchtesgaden. He died on 11th March 2013, aged 82, in Herdecke.

The Army

Bormann managed to rise to a high level in the Nazi hierarchy. In 1941, he became the Head of the Party Chancellery. He proved to be a master of intricate political combats, and even though he was married, he had a mistress, the actress Manja Behrens. After Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933, Martin became the party treasurer. In 1942, Bormann became Hitler’s secretary and earned the post of deputy Fuhrer. He raised so high that he had the chance to see the same papers as Hitler saw and influenced the policy of the government. This man had was able to prevent most powerful men in Nazi Germany such as Josef Goebbels, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Alber Speer and Joachim von Ribbentrop from seeing Hitler.

Source:propagander.tripod.com

However, as the war was drawing to a close, his judgments weren’t so clear, and Eva Braun hated him. Bormann was in charge of Hitler’s paperwork, personal finances and appointments and Hitler trusted him with everything. At one meeting, he even said: “To win this war, I need Bormann.”

According to some historians, Bormann was Germany’s “secret leader” near the end of the war. He advocated harsh and radical measures in the treatment of Jews. In 1942, he signed a decree which said that “the permanent elimination of the Jews from the territories of Greater Germany can no longer be carried out by emigration but by the use of ruthless force in the special camps of the East.”

It became evident that Germany would lose the World War II and Bormann wanted to break through the Soviet lines together with Hitler’s driver Erich Kempka, SS Brigadefuhrer Wilhelm Mohnke and Goebbels’ right hand Werner Naumann as well as some others. They have tried to escape through underground tunnels and after a series of events, their group dissolved, so it was every man for himself. Martin was shot in the back, together with Stumpfegger. Bormann’s bones were later cremated and his son, Martin Bormann Jr. was permitted to take the ashes and throw them in the Baltic Sea, outside German territorial limits. The German Government paid $4,700 for the cremation and burial.

Source: ww2gravestone.com

Benito Mussolini’s Death – Rise And Fall Of Il Duce

Benito Mussolini was executed exactly 73 years ago. However, there are still some controversies around the dictator’s death and his killer. Evidence comes basically from partisan testimony and from a large number of different sources. All these sources claim that Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci died in Giuliano di Mezzegra, a small village near Lake Como.

The Spectator’s Nicholas Farrell states: “If your destiny is to be shot dead with your mistress, where better than Lake Como, which, in the words of Shelley, ‘exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty, with the exception of the Arbutus Islands in Killarney’?”

Source:youtube.com

The Background

Mussolini was a fascist who ruled Italy since 1922, and he was called Il Duce, which means Leader. He led the country into the Second World War, joining the side of Nazi Germany in June 1940, but most of the Italian forces suffered defeat after defeat in North Africa. By the fall of 1943, Mussolini led the German puppet state while waiting for the Allied counter-attack from the south. When he realized that Germany had no chance to win the war, he fled with his mistress for the Swiss border.

However, the anti-fascist partisans stopped the convoy and Professor David Kertzer, the author of The Pope and Mussolini, told Foreign Policy: “You can imagine the shock when they found him. They had no idea what to do with him.” In fear that the Nazis would do anything to liberate Mussolini, “the partisans hid the pair in a remote farmhouse for the night,” says History.com.

The Day of Execution

Mussolini and his mistress were driven just outside Giulino di Mezzegra, and they had to stand in front of a stone wall of a manor house, Villa Belmonte. They were executed by machine-gun fire. History.com writes: “The identity of the triggerman remains a point of contention, but it was likely communist partisan commander Walter Audisio.”

The bodies were taken to Milan and laid out on the ground together with the other dead fascist leaders. “The mob surged and swayed around the grisly spot,” Ingraham wrote. “One woman emptied a pistol into Il Duce’s body. ‘Five shots!’ she screamed.’ Five shots for my five murdered sons!’ Others cried: ‘He died too quickly! He should have suffered!’ But the hate of many was wordless. They could only spit.” Mussolini and his mistress Petacci were hung from a scaffold for everyone to see.

How did Mussolini’s Death Affected WWII?

Source:ww2gravestone.com

The Allied nations celebrated Mussolini’s death and The New York Times reported: “The wretched end of Benito Mussolini marks a fitting end to a wretched life. Shot to death by a firing squad, together with his mistress and a handful of fascist leaders, the first of the fascist dictators, the man who once boasted that he was going to restore the glories of Ancient Rome, is now a corpse in a public square in Milan, with a howling mob cursing and kicking and spitting on his remains.”

Hitler was in his Fuhrerbunker below Berlin, hiding, when the news reached him, according to Foreign Policy magazine. Some historians claim that Mussolini’s death influenced Hitler to kill himself instead of surrender. The others were not so convinced that was the reason.

What are some other theories?

Italians question Mussolini’s death after the war and numerous conspiracy theories became popular. According to one, it was Winston Churchill who sent the British secret agents to assassinate the Italian dictator.

Churchill “is said to have made all sorts of embarrassing offers to keep Mussolini out of the War,” says The Spectator’s Farrell. He wanted to destroy the evidence which pointed to the relationship between the two leaders. However, “not a shred of hard evidence has ever come to light” to support the claim, Farrell concludes.

Operation Bagration: Crushing Defeat of Nazi Germany

June 22nd, 1944 marked the third anniversary of the Operation Barbarossa, the devastating German attack on the Soviet Union. USSR came to the brink of destruction but managed to pull through. Three years later, the tables have been turned and it was Soviets’ turn to spring a massive assault against the Germans. 1.2 million soldiers, 4,000 tanks, 34,000 artillery pieces and 4,800 aircraft were poised for attack, waiting to be unleashed against an unsuspecting enemy. Just to put things into perspective, according to Glantz, German forces gathered for Operation Barbarossa in 1941 had 3,350 tanks and 2,770 aircraft.

Source:britannica.com

Not only did Soviets achieve almost 2:1 advantage in human forces, they completely outnumbered Germans in every other aspect. On the day of the attack, German Army Group Center, a main target of the Operation Bagration, had 495 tanks, some 2,500 artillery pieces, and 602 aircraft. The formation was a mere shadow of its former glory, with a majority of its tanks sent south to counter an offensive German command was expecting, due to Soviet “maskirovka.” It was a term denoting Russian military deception and in Operation Bagration it worked flawlessly, completely deceiving German High Command, preoccupied with the Soviet offensive against Finland and Allied invasion of Normandy. It wasn’t until the third day of the Soviet deception that Hitler and his generals understood the full scope of the operation. By then, it was too late to save Army Group Center and it soon ceased to exist as a fighting force.

A massive artillery strike on an undocumented scale, including Katyusha rocket launchers nicknamed Stalin’s Organs by the German soldiers, preceded the infantry and armored units assault at thin German lines on a 200 km front. It was a textbook example of the Soviet deep battle doctrine, which envisioned a constant forward movement, as wave upon wave of fresh troops were being thrown at the enemy positions. For Stalin and Soviet generals, who cared little about the lives of their soldiers, it was a perfect strategy, the one that allowed them to keep constant pressure on retreating German troops and not allowing them to set up a strong defensive position. Hitler’s insistence on defending until the last man and the last bullet only complicated the already hopeless situation, forcing German commanders to give up mobile defenses, perhaps the only tactic that offered at least some hope of slowing down the Soviet steamroller.

By June 28, component units of Army Group Center, Fourth, Ninth, and Third Panzer Army were either destroyed or encircled. Hitler replaced the Army group commander Field marshal Ernst Busch with Walter Model, but the change in command didn’t help German troops in the field. The second phase of Operation Bagration begun on June 29th and resulted in the liberation of Minks and Polotsk. By the first week of July, the entire German front has collapsed and Model was struggling to establish a new defensive line near Lida with whatever troops managed to survive the Soviet onslaught. These forces were destroyed by the third phase of the Operation Bagration, which saw Soviets advance to Vistula River, Baltic republics, and East Prussia. A huge chunk of Soviet land and population were recovered from under German control.

Source:warfarehistorynetwork.com

Officially, Operation Bagration ended on August 19th, 1944. It was one of the biggest battles of World War 2. Germans suffered between 300,000 – 550,000 casualties, including some 100,000 to 150,000 prisoners of war. It was the single worst defeat in terms of losses Nazis have sustained on the Eastern front. About one-quarter of the entire Eastern Front personal was lost. A fact that out of 47 divisional and corps commanders 31 were lost testifies to the magnitude of the German defeat. To make things worse, at the same time on the Western Front Allies managed to encircle and destroy Falaise Pocket, eliminating 60,000 German soldiers and 500 tanks.

Soviet suffered even worse losses. Some historians claim that there were as much as 800,000 Soviet casualties, with almost 3,000 tanks destroyed and more than 800 aircraft lost. The difference is that German losses were irreplaceable, both in terms of manpower and equipment. On the other hand, Soviet replaced their casualties in time for the next round of operations, which brought them at the gates of Berlin.

Source: nationalinterest.org

Operation Anthropoid – Assassination Of Reinhard Heydrich

Who could have assumed that the most dangerous man in Nazi Germany would go on his last ride in May 1942? It is not Hitler we are talking about. Reinhard Heydrich was the true epitome of the ideal Nazi man – he was tall, blonde and he had blue eyes. Even though he could have been mistaken for a European playboy, Heydrich was ruthless, and nobody could stop his ambitious nature. He had risen high and became the chief of Reich Main Security Office, and he controlled the Gestapo. Heydrich spoke at the Wannsee Conference in 1942, exposing a plan for the extermination of the European Jews, plus he became the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, provinces in the occupied Czech Republic.

Unfortunately, the people soon realized what his protection looked like. Historian Chad Bryant wrote: “Within days of his arrival buildings across the Protectorate were splattered with red posters listing the names of people—ninety-two in the first three days of Heydrich’s rule—sentenced to death by newly established summary courts. The summary courts allowed only three possible verdicts: the death sentence, shipment to a concentration camp, and release. By February 1942, five thousand people had been tried.”

When Heydrich went on his last ride, he was going through Prague without a bodyguard, and that was a mistake. However, he firmly believed that his people would not do him any harm and that they wouldn’t do anything to risk national security.

Source:pinterest

Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis were two men who carried out Operation Anthropoid. This was a specifically thought out operation to assassinate the brutal leader. These two men were trained by Britain’s Special Operations Executive. The first man who came up with the idea was the former Czech president Edvard Benes. However, Benes wanted to gain political points, and he wasn’t looking at the operation as a necessity to “free” his people from Heydrich, according to writer Callum MacDonald. Benes was confident that the Nazis on the one side and the Brits and Soviets on the other would come to peace terms, leaving Czechoslovakia under the Nazi rule. He was looking for a spectacular event to show that they would not allow this, no matter the cost.

Kubris and Gabcik parachuted from a British Halifax bomber, but the missions didn’t start according to plan. They landed twenty miles from the drop point, but luckily they weren’t discovered even though they landed out in the open. Czech gamekeeper helped them hide and connected them with people in Prague’s underground. They had to wait months to carry out the assassination, and they were hiding in safe houses around Prague. They couldn’t risk attacking Heydrich who was well-protected while he was at home. Luckily they knew where the Nazi leader would be on May 27 and they waited for him at a sharp curve where the vehicle would have to almost come to a stop to make a turn. Even though some of the Czech leaders opposed the operation, they went on with the plan.

They were standing at the sidewalk, watching Heydrich pass by and Gabcik opened his raincoat, but his Sten submachine gun jammed as he tried to pull the trigger. “Heydrich then made a fatal error,” MacDonald writes. “Instead of ordering Klein to accelerate out of the ambush, he stood up and drew his pistol, yelling at the driver to stop. Neither he nor Klein had spotted Kubis and believed that they were dealing with a lone assassin. As the car braked in front of him, Kubis stepped out of the shadows and tossed a bomb at the two figures in the front seats.”

Kubis and Gabcik started running as Heydrich, and his driver shot at them with pistols. The assassins were convinced that they missed the target, but Heydrich suddenly collapsed badly injured from the shrapnel. He was rushed to the hospital, and the Czech doctors were fighting for his life. It was time for Czechoslovakia to pay the price.

source;allthatsinteresting.com

“Throughout the Protectorate blocks of flats, suburbs and villages were randomly cordoned off and searched,” MacDonald writes. “Everyone over fifteen was ordered to register with the police by 30 May. Those who failed to do so were shot along with anyone found guilty of harboring them.” Although a Nazi doctor was sent to attend Heydrich, he died on June 4 succumbing to injuries.

One part of the vengeance was capturing and sending Jews to the concentration camp, but the other part involved the village of Lidice. Hitler ordered his men: “Lidice was to be destroyed. The men were to be shot on the spot and the women sent to a concentration camp. Children worthy of Germanisation were to be handed over to SS families. The village was to be burned to the ground, and its remains leveled so that no trace remained.”

Lidice was utterly wiped out as if it never existed, on June 9, 1942. The Nazis killed 199 men, and 195 women were sent to the Revensbruck concentration camp. As for the children, only eight were adopted by families in Germany while eighty-one were put into the gas chamber. This was devastating news for the two assassins who were hiding in the crypt of a church together with five other commandos. They had no plan for escape, and they couldn’t get out without being seen. Unfortunately for them, a Czech sergeant approached the Nazis and gave up their position.

The Nazis sent troops to take the crypt and kill everyone who was down there. However, to their surprise, the people underneath were putting fierce resistance, and they needed fire brigade to get them out. Once the shooting stopped, the German found five parachutists dead, whereas Kubis and Gabcik took poison. In order to show that it was useless to fight the Reich, the Germans mounted their heads on spikes.

Source:germanwarmachine.com

There is a site in Prague today where the attack on Heydrich happened. You can still see the bullet holes on the building walls, and it is a popular tourist attraction. Was this attack successful or not?

We can claim that Kubis and Gabcik were heroes. They attacked one of the most powerful people of Nazi Germany, realizing that they were risking their lives and the lives of others. The people of the Czech Republic went through hell under the rule of Heydrich. Most of them must have been relieved to see him dead, but they were aware of the retaliation. Instead of finding and killing the assassins, the Nazis punished the common folks who did nothing wrong. Thousands of people died just because of one man, and it is hard to determine whether the mission was successful or not. On the other hand, Heydrich was eliminated, and if he had lived, the lives of the people in that region wouldn’t have improved much.

What is ironic was that Heydrich was so arrogant that he believed that these were his people and that they would not harm him. However, ever since he became the ruler of Bohemia and Moravia, agents have been sent to spy on him and sabotage him, but there was a low chance for success. He believed that the Gestapo brought peace and order to this country, but apparently, he was wrong and it was his arrogance that killed him.

source: nationalinterest.org