Luger Pistol Meant for Hitler Assassination

The luger pistol was a common device in German warfare, but not all were made exactly the same. One in particular was created solely for the assassination of Adolf Hitler. There were many failed attempts on the Fuhrer’s life, but this is potentially the only one that required a customized gun. It actually required two customized weapon. One was the aforementioned luger pistol, while the other was a Karabiner 98k rifle.

The rifle was to be used by a British sniper, while a man from Poland with a deep understanding of the German language was to assist him in his mission. Their mission was not to be an easy one, as they had to parachute into the Alps to find Hitler at his private home nearby. Using the rifle at the modified luger pistol, they were then to carry out their plan. Known as Operation Foxley, they were equipped with knowledge that Hitler was not always guarded when at his private residence. While the Briton readied his Karabiner, the Pole was to use his gun to keep any unexpected interruptions to a minimum.

The Pole’s gun is now part of an exhibition in Essex, at the Combined Military Services Museum. While the gun is of German creation, the large silencer with which it is equipped is made by the British. The intent was that if the luger pistol had to be used to mitigate any interruptions from Hitler’s guards, they did not want the sound to be so loud that it would attract more of them, the Express reports.

Unlike most assassination attempts against Adolf Hitler, this one was actually not so much failed as it was abandoned. The reason for this is that British intelligence officers, despite faith that the mission involving the Karabiner and luger pistol might work, were not certain that killing Hitler was the best option. Someone else would most likely take his place, and they were worried that the next Fuhrer might be more effective. They much preferred Hitler, who they felt was actually driving the Nazi party into the ground through his own incompetence.

The luger pistol now on display is one of a kind, and it nearly became one of the most historically significant weapons ever created. It would have secured a second-place position next to the sniper’s modified Karabiner if the Allies had gone through with Operation Foxley. Given their reasoning for the cancellation, however, it appears that the Karabiner and luger pistol may have been put to better use through the decision not to use them at all.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE