Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s Deputy, On a Secret Peace Mission

It’s been over 70 years since Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, parachuted into Scotland on an ill-fated peace mission to Britain. It is believed that this endeavor was done without the Nazis’ consent or even knowledge. However, there has been a discovery of a blocked oil pipe in the remains of the crashed aircraft. This discovery suggests that he may have had help from inside Germany.

While the plane was being examined at the Imperial War Museum in Cambridge, authors John Harris and Richard Wilbourn found the crucial pipe which was blanked off with a large brass nut. The men has told the Daily Mail that with only the main oil tank available, Hess would not have been able to make the flight from Augsburg, Bavaria to Scotland—a five hour trip—without having to stop in Germany to refuel.

In their newest book about Hess, the authors state that this probably means Hess had connections in Germany to help adhere to the plans and keep the mission on track.  Mr. Harris spoke to the Sunday Express and said: ‘Our recent discoveries have essentially destroyed the illusion of a solo flight by the deputy Fuhrer who was trying to regain his former prestige. ‘Our new work clearly demonstrates that the flight was planned in minute detail and required official support and connivance.’

Rudolph Hess was captured by the Allies in 1941 while he was discovered flying low over Scotland to see the Duke of Hamilton—a gentleman he had never met—in the hopes to persuade Britain to the negotiating table.  As Hitler’s right hand man, Hess had seen his influence over the Fuhrer began to deminish when the Nazi party began to gain power and the mission was viewed as a desperate act to regain Hitler’s favor. When Hess was captured, Hitler disowned him, abolished the position of deputy, and promoted Hess’s rival, martin Bormann to the new post of Party Chancellery.

Hess remained behind bars in Britain for the remainder of the war, and was among the first to be tried at Nuremberg following the end of the fighting. He was jailed for life in 1946 and held at Spandau Prison in Berlin until he hanged himself in 1987 at the age of 92.

Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, was captured in 1941 while flying to Scotland on a peace mission. Until now it was thought he acted alone

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE