Book Review: Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer by Mark Felton

August 10, 2020

Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer by Mark Felton is a non-fiction book focusing on the security arrangements of Hitler during his rise to power. Mr. Felton is a British historian and author.

Book Review: Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer by Mark Felton
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This is a book with fascinating insights of both the official and private life of Hitler, especially during the latter part of World war II. The author walks the reader through the oppressor’s rise to power, the numerous unsuccessful attempts on his life and how his security detail has dealt with them, and changed to accommodate their new reality.

Mr. Felton did a tremendous amount of research into this book, as is evident from his list of source, relying on official reports, memoirs and personal testimonies of those close to the events.

Hitler was the first head of state to be closely guarded, new routines, regulations and operating procedures had to be invented. Some of those procedures are either used today, or we have new procedures based on them. Hitler was also the first head of state to travel by car, train, and plane all of which are vulnerable and had to be reinforced to prevent assassination attempts.
And there were many attempts.

Even with all my reading about World War II, I never realized how close Hitler came to being assassinated since the Beer Hall Putsch. It seemed that he created many enemies with his hateful rhetoric, and even those who agreed with him in some manner (for example his foreign policies) viewed him as a dangerous leader who will end up causing Germany to be occupied by its enemies and adversaries.

Hitler himself knew that many are out to kill him, he was obsessed with poising to the point where his food had to be specifically grown and was kept under constant watch by men he trusted from the moment it was picked (Hitler was a vegetarian), prepared, and plated. He even had food tasters, just in case.

If there is one constant in the book, is the notion of how lucky Hitler was. Several times he was saved by sheer luck, a bomb didn’t go off due to temperature, an assassin didn’t have the nerve, a bomb was moved, being late or early to an event due to weather, and more.

Guarding Hitler: The Secret World of the Führer by Mark Felton is not a book about assassinations though, it is about the security measures taken, and invented, to protect this horrible man. The author goes into some detail about the specialty vehicles Hitler used. His plans (Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor,Ju 290), trains (Führersonderzug), and automobiles all needed protection, used with great affect and were used as models for generations to come.

This book is concise, well researched, and very interesting. It details the conception, growth, and changes in Hitler’s personal team of bodyguards from his early rise as a small-time politician to the dictator who has thrown the world in turmoil, killing, conquering and committing atrocities.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
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