2nd World War & The Truth Behind His Flight to Britain

Objectives: To look into the backgrounds of as many of the key players in the Second World War as time permits. To try to convey the history of the 2nd World War in a concise and easy - to - read way as possible and how such War Crimes came about and the men responsible for those War Crimes.

Flight To Britain 1941 >> Full Biography

Adolf Hitler >> Heinrich Himmler >> Josef Goebbels >> Triumph of the Will >> Triumph of the Will 2 Dvd >> Leni Riefenstahl >> Rudolf Hess >> Martin Bormann >> Herman Goering >> Who Helped Hermann Goering Escape The Hangman? >> Josef Mengele >> Adolf Eichman >> Irma Grese

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Rudolf Hess ~ Flight To Britain

Source: Myths and Legends of the Second World War

The bizarre arrival of Rudolf Hess by parachute near Glasgow on the night of 10 May 1941 has given rise to more outlandish myths and legends than any other single event during the Second World War. Since 1946, more than twenty books dealing with the Deputy Fuhrer's mysterious 'peace mission' have appeared in print, spawning a thriving worldwide Hess conspiracy industry to rival those surrounding Jack the Ripper and the Kennedy assassination. Among the many contentious issues are whether Hitler approved of the ill-starred plan, whether Hess was expected by a well-connected peace lobby in Britain, or else lured to Britain as part of an elaborate intelligence sting, whether the Allies replaced Hess with a double, and whether he was murdered at Spandau Prison in 1987, or died by his own hand. Although few if any of these questions are likely to be resolved to the satisfaction of every Hess investigator, some of the more outlandish theories can today be safely dismissed.

Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess

The established facts of the Hess affair run as follows. At 5.45 pm on Saturday 10 May Hess, a pilot for more than twenty years, took off from the Messerschmitt works airfield at Augsburg, Bavaria, in a twin-engined Bf 110 fighter-bomber. After a journey of almost 1,000 miles lasting four hours, Hess crossed the British coast over Ainwick in Northumberland, then flew on towards his objective, Dungavel House, eventually baling out at 11 pm to land near the village of Eaglesham. Detained by the local Home Guard, Hess gave his name as 'Alfred Horn' and asked to see the Duke of Hamilton, then a serving RAF officer. After being transferred into army custody Hess was unmasked, and explained to various interrogators that the purpose of his flying visit was to seek peace between Britain and Germany. In this he failed magnificently: Hitler quickly issued a statement which alleged that Hess was mentally disordered and 'a victim of hallucinations', while Hess was detained in Britain as a prisoner of state until his conviction for conspiracy and crimes against peace at Nuremberg in 1946. Thereafter Hess was held as a Prisoner No. 7 at Spandau Prison in Berlin, always denied parole, and died on 17 August 1987 at the age of ninety-three.

Myth and falsehood surround his epic flight even before Hess set foot on British soil. In his controversial account The Murder of Rudolf Hess (1979), Dr Hugh Thomas reproduced a series of photographs said to record Hess departing from Augsburg on 10 May. The Bf 110 shown was not equipped with long range drop-tanks, leading Thomas (and others) to surmise that the aircraft lacked sufficient fuel to reach Glasgow, and would therefore have had to land to refuel en route, or that two aircraft were involved. According to Thomas, Hess was shot down by the Luftwaffe, and replaced by a double for the flight to Scotland. However these various suppositions are based on careless research. Hess flew to Scotland in a Bf 110E, which with drop-tanks boasted a more than adequate range of 1,560 miles, and which bore the works number 3869 and the radio code VJ+OQ. The machine shown in the photographs carries the works number 3526, while Thomas managed to misquote the radio code as NJ+OQ. Although reports that a drop-tank was later recovered from the Clyde have never been verified, the simple fact is that the photographs were taken on one of the twenty-odd training flights Hess made from Augsburg before 10 May, using a completely different machine.

map of rudolf hess flight
Map

Some accounts offer that Hess must have landed and refuelled at an intermediate airfield such as Schiphol or Aalborg, but this would not have been necessary. Nor is it true that Hess flew from Calais, as reported from Sweden in 1943, or that for part of his flight Hess was escorted by no less a dignitary than the future SS Reichsprotektor of Bohemia, Reinhard Heydrich, in a Bf 109 fighter. A postwar claim by the Luftwaffe fighter ace Adolf Galland should also be treated with caution. In his memoir The First and the Last (1955), Galland claimed that 'early in the evening' of 10 May he received an agitated call from Goring, ordering his entire group into the air to bring down the Deputy Fuhrer. A dubious Galland responded by sending up a token force. However, the claim is only credible if Goring and others had advance knowledge of the Hess flight, and opposed it, which raises the question of why Hess was allowed to take off from Augsburg in the first place. In the same vein, some have claimed that it would not have been possible for Hess to have flown over German territory without prior authorisation, but this is convincingly countered by Roy Nesbit and Georges Van Acker in their book The Flight of Rudolf Hess (1999). Suggestions by Richard Deacon that the Bf 110 flown by Hess was fitted with American parts are plainly nonsensical.

The account given by Hess of his route to Scotland is also suspect. Hess was said to have been very proud of his achievement in flying from Augsburg to Eaglesham, a distance of almost 1,000 miles, the last 400 over water and enemy territory. On a map drawn by Hess on 8 August 1941 (click here to see enlarged map), while a prisoner, he claimed to have flown north-west from Augsburg to Den Helder in Holland, then north-east for 70 miles, and then north-west again to a point above the middle of the North Sea. Here, at 8.52 pm, he made another 90 degree turn to port in order to approach the British coastline from the east. Hess claimed he then realised he had an hour to kill, since at this more northerly latitude the sun set later than in southern Germany, whereas he wished to fly overland at dusk, and as a result executed several complicated zig-zag manoeuvres to kill time. But as Picknett, Prince and Prior argued in their highly detailed study Double Standards (2001), there is good reason to doubt this account. When Hess left Augsburg he was observed heading north, not north-west, while a part of his later zig-zag manoeuvres were carried out within range of British Chain Home radar, who instead recorded Hess (designated Raid 42J) as flying straight in from the east. Hess, at bottom an amateur pilot, claimed to have been navigating alone, which makes it highly unlikely that he could have followed such a complicated course over open water, yet still managed to land just eleven miles from his intended destination, Dungavel House. Given that Hess had been considering his mission since at least September 1940, and may have made several previous abortive attempts, it is unlikely he would have overlooked the fact that dusk fell later in the north. Instead, the authors of Double Standards guess that Hess made use of a then-secret German radio-navigational system, broadcast from the station at Kalundborg on the west coast of Zeeland in Denmark. Kalundborg lies precisely due north of Augsburg, and due east of Alnwick and Dungavel House, thus making Hess's journey far more simple, but 250 miles - and one tell-tale hour - longer.

Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess

It is abundantly clear from the timing of his flight that the Hess mission was closely linked to the impending German invasion of the Soviet Union, which was launched just six weeks later, on 22 June 1941. This much was confirmed by Lord Beaverbrook on several occasions after the war. The conquest of Russia by Germany, never viable under any circumstances, would certainly be made harder by fighting a war on two fronts. The Russian factor would also explain why Hitler might deny all knowledge of the mission if it failed, assuming he was privy to the plan from the outset. Had Stalin discovered that Germany wished to make peace with Britain, he would have deduced immediately that an attack on Russia was close at hand. Instead, Germany sought to lull her notional Soviet ally into a false sense of security by continuing to threaten Operation Sealion, the seaborne invasion of Britain. Furthermore Hitler might not have wanted his Axis partners, chiefly Mussolini, to think that he was negotiating behind their backs. While this hypothesis does nothing to prove Hitler knew and approved of the Hess peace mission, it does show that he would hardly have admitted so even if he did.

On being informed of the Hess flight, Hitler is reported by some (including Albert Speer) to have flown into a paroxysm of rage, although other accounts (Hess adjutant Karl-Heinz Pintsch) relate that he received the news calmly. Some are of the opinion that what followed was part of a German strategy of plausible denial. Surprisingly, the first public announcement about the affair came not from London but Berlin, in the form of a radio bulletin broadcast on 12 May at 8 pm:

    A letter which he left behind unfortunately shows by its distractedness traces of a mental disorder, and it is feared he was a victim of hallucinations. The Fuhrer at once ordered the arrest of the adjutants of party member Hess, who alone had any cognizance of these flights, and did not, contrary to the Fuhrer's orders, of which they were fully aware, either prevent or report the flight. In these circumstances, it must be considered that party member Hess either jumped out of his plane or has met with an accident.

While it is true that his driver, bodyguard and two adjutants were arrested, little punitive action was taken against others close to Hess. Karl and Albrecht Haushofer, his trusted geopolitical advisors, were arrested and detained, but neither was ill-treated and both were released without penalty. The aircraft designer Dr Willi Messerschmitt was merely rebuked by Goring, and no action at all taken against his chief test pilot Helmut Kaden (who had given Hess intensive instruction), or against Ernst Bohle, the chief of Hess's own foreign intelligence bureau, the Auslandorganisation. His wife Use and son Wolf were allowed to remain in their villa in the Munich suburb of Harlaching, and awarded a pension. Had Hess really acted alone, and against the express wishes of Hitler and the party in general, one might have expected the outcome to have been very different.

It has often been claimed that Hess was deliberately lured to Britain as part of an elaborate intelligence sting. This theory has spawned a number of books in recent years, including Hess: Flight for the Fuhrer by Peter Padfleld (1991), Ten Days That Saved the West by John Costello (also 1991), Churchill's Deception by Louis Kilzer (1994) and Hess: The British Conspiracy by John Harris and M.J. Trow (1999). Certainly this chimes with the theory favoured by Stalin, who initially believed that Britain was in league with Germany to destroy the Soviet Union, and that the Hess mission was engineered by British intelligence with the Duke of Hamilton as a go-between. Moreover the Russians had some difficulty in understanding why Hess was not immediately prosecuted as a war criminal, and instead detained in comfortable quarters to await a postwar trial. In October 1942 the party newspaper Pravda (Truth) declared:

    It is no coincidence that Hess's wife has asked certain British representatives if she could join her husband. This could mean that she does not see her husband as a prisoner. It is high time we knew whether Hess is either a criminal or a plenipotentiary who represents the Nazi government in England.

Several days later Pravda published a photograph of 'Mrs Hess' giving a piano recital in London. However this turned out to be Myra Hess, the well-known pianist who boosted wartime morale in London by playing lunchtime concerts to packed houses at the National Gallery. Indeed Churchill and Stalin argued over the point when they met for the Moscow conference in October 1944. Churchill recorded in a later memorandum:

    The Russians are very suspicious of the Hess episode and I have had a lengthy argument with Marshal Stalin about it at Moscow in October, he steadfastly maintaining that Hess had been invited over by our Secret Service. It is not in the public interest that the whole of this affair should be stirred at the present moment.

The intelligence sting theory is superficially attractive, if only because it would explain the dense veil of official secrecy which still surrounds much of the Hess affair. According to Padfield and Costello, MI5's Double Cross Committee masterminded the affair, while Harris and Trow favour the Special Operations Executive. Anthony Cave Brown concluded that the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) was behind the trap, while it has been suggested by Philip Knightley that MI6 induced Hess to come to Britain as they too favoured a negotiated peace with Germany. According to KGB sources, the traitor Kim Philby later revealed that SIS lured Hess to Britain by means of forged letters from the Duke of Hamilton, although Philby made no mention of this in his memoir My Secret War.

The greatest problem with the sting theory is that it is not supported by the conduct of the British authorities after Hess landed at Eaglesham. Had Hess been expected by the intelligence services, and by extension the military, it seems unlikely he would have been detained in a number of scout huts by the Home Guard for four hours until transferred to Maryhill Barracks in Glasgow. Even if the confusion on the ground in Scotland is explicable in the fog of war, the fact remains that Britain did nothing to exploit the windfall as a political and propaganda coup, or announce to the world that Hitler was suing for peace. Instead the flight of the Deputy Fuhrer to Scotland was announced to the world by Berlin, and only afterwards admitted by the British authorities on the most neutral terms. Far from being paraded before the world media, Hess was kept under close confinement for the next five years, and not seen in public until Nuremberg. If any photographs of Hess were taken between May 1941 and October 1945, not a single one has been released into the public domain. Even Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, expressed his bafflement. Moreover Hess himself seems never to have indicated that he was lured to Britain.

Probably the most outlandish variation on this theme is the proposition that Hess was lured to Britain by bogus astrology. This fantastical notion was a favourite of spy writer Richard Deacon (alias Donald McCormick), who developed it at considerable length in books such as British Secret Service and 17F: The Life of lan Fleming, despite the fact that there is no verifiable (or even circumstantial) evidence to support it. According to Deacon, the luring of Hess was 'a brilliant coup' for which Fleming, the creator of James Bond, deserved full credit:

    Hess, however, presented a somewhat easier target. Vanessa Hoffman's information convinced Fleming that while Canaris could not be won over by any faked horoscopes, Hess might well be exploited in this way . . . There was everything to be gained and nothing to be lost by planting faked horoscopes on Hess. Fleming had discovered through various of his occultist friends such as Aleister Crowley and Ellic Howe that Hess regularly consulted astrologers, and that one of these was Karl Ernst Krafft. . . Exactly how the bogus horoscopes were worded, or the advice they gave to Hess, remains a mystery.

According to Deacon, Fleming, in wartime a serving officer in the Naval Intelligence Division, was acquainted with infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, and with Dennis Wheatley became involved in a 'very hush-hush' assignment called Operation Mistletoe. This in turn involved nocturnal occult rituals staged in the Ashdown Forest, involving 'a dummy dressed in a Nazi uniform, sat on a throne-like chair', with the object of influencing Hess. Deacon also stated that after Hess arrived, Fleming suggested he be questioned by Crowley. Others have cited the involvement of Maxwell Knight, Tom Driberg and Louis de Wohl in this same astrological plot. Deacon quoted with approval a claim by Nicholas Campion, cited as 'one of the founders of the Institute for the Study of Cycles in World Affairs and a leading astrologer', who in 1984 advised Deacon that he had:

    Cast the horoscope for the time at which Hess took off from Germany. It was most inauspicious. It transpires that this is a most evil horoscope in any traditional sense, largely because six planets were in the house of death and two other points were strong: the fixed star Algol (which leads one to lose one's head) and the evil degree Serpentis, so called 'the accursed degree of the accursed sign.'

Aspects of this farrago of nonsense are repeated in books such as The Man Who Was M (Anthony Masters, 1984) and The Occult Conspiracy (Michael Howard, 1989). Yet in his own introduction Deacon had warned his readers that this tale of the luring of Rudolf Hess was 'far removed from reality' and 'totally bizarre'. In truth, the only contemporary references to Hess and astrology appeared in newspapers in London and Berlin on the same day. 14 May 1941. According to an article in the Volkischer Beobachter:

    As is well-known in Party circles, Rudolf Hess was in poor health for many years and latterly increasingly had recourse to hypnotists, astrologers and so on. The extent to which these people are responsible for the mental confusion that led him to his present step has still to be clarified.

In London The Times published some highly speculative information supposedly received from a correspondent in Switzerland:

    Certain of Hess's closest friends have thrown an interesting light on the affair. They say that Hess has always been Hitler's astrologer in secret. Up to last March he had consistently predicted good fortune and had always been right. Since then, notwithstanding the victories Germany has won, he has declared that the stars showed that Hitler's meteoric career was approaching its climax.

The detail disclosed by The Times was almost certainly official disinformation, with both newspaper reports intended to discredit Hess as deluded or mentally unstable. Hitler's motive for a policy of plausible denial in relation to the Hess peace mission have already been discussed. In Britain, however, very different reasons may lie behind the official policy of silence and secrecy surrounding Hess.

There is a strong body of evidence, not all of it circumstantial, that Rudolf Hess came to Britain expecting to conclude ongoing peace negotiations with senior officials, and then to fly back to Germany from Dungavel. In their minutely researched account Double Standards, Picknett, Prince and Prior offer the following facts in support of this argument. By May 1941 Britain was losing the war: Greece had fallen. Rommel was winning in North Africa. U-boats were sinking a colossal tonnage of Allied shipping, and Britain's cities were being heavily bombed from the air. At this time Churchill was by no means as popular as postwar myth suggests, having endured a vote of confidence on 7 May. In Britain there remained a strong peace lobby which included Lloyd George, Lord Halifax, Rab Butler, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Nevile Henderson and Sir Samuel Hoare. It is also possible that senior figures within MI6, including Sir Stewart Menzies, favoured peace. Moreover other senior establishment figures had been pre-war members of the Anglo—German Fellowship, including the Duke of Hamilton. Hamilton later denied this, just as he denied meeting Hess at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, but in fact his own archives betray his membership of the Fellowship in 1936, while there is ample evidence of the meeting in Berlin from Henry Channon, Kenneth Lindsay and even Churchill. Hitler too wished to end the war in the west, as is clear from his 'last appeal to reason' of 19 July 1940, since the occupation and administration of Britain and the Empire would be a complicated task, and deplete those resources required for the planned attack on Russia. Against this background it seems more than likely that Hitler knew of, and endorsed, the Hess mission.

According to the authors of Double Standards, their research suggests that the proposed terms of the armistice included a 25-year alliance between Britain and Germany, and the adoption by Britain of an attitude of 'benevolent neutrality' towards Germany's forthcoming war on the Soviet Union. Britain would continue to rule her Empire, while Germany would govern Europe. It is also suggested that there were detailed proposals regarding other issues, such as a reduction in strength of the Royal Navy and RAF. The main obstacle to the plan was the staunchly anti-Nazi Churchill, as the prime minister himself admitted to the Commons on 27 January 1942:

    When Rudolf Hess flew over here some months ago, he firmly believed that he had only to gain access to certain circles in this country for what he described as 'the Churchill clique' to be thrown out of power and for a government to be set up with which Hitler could negotiate a magnanimous peace.

Sir Patrick Dollan, a former editor of the Glasgow Daily Herald and the then Lord Provost of Glasgow, seems to have been privy to inside information which he felt strongly should be made public. During a series of lectures given around the city in June 1941, Dollan made revelations which were summarised by the Bulletin and Scots Pictorial on 20 June, clearly having been missed by the censor:

    Hess came here an unrepentant Nazi. He believed he could remain in Scotland for two days, discuss his peace proposals and be given petrol and maps to return to Germany.

The precise identity of those within the 'certain circles' to which Churchill alluded remains the subject of fierce debate, and is unlikely now to be established with any certainty. A wide-ranging study of pro-peace groupings in Britain before and during the Second World War can be found in Profits of Peace by Scott Newton, published in 1996. Some were pro-Hitler, but most appeasers simply wished to avoid another European war which would have a devastating effect on economic and social stability.

It is clear from a letter which the Duke of Hamilton published in The Times of 6 October 1939 that he too remained pro-peace even after the outbreak of war. The Hess affair caused the Duke of Hamilton a great deal of personal embarrassment, and led to his uttering a number of libel writs against journalists and Hess commentators until his death in 1973. It is only since then that historians have been able to publish detailed research. According to the authors of Double Standards, there is reason to believe that a reception committee awaited Hess at Dungavel House, which may have included the Duke of Kent and a Polish contingent, and that the mission went awry only after Hess failed to locate his destination and instead baled out over Eaglesham. Hamilton, then a serving Wing Commander stationed at RAF Turnhouse near Edinburgh, remained a Privy Councillor and a Keeper of the Royal Household. A former member of the Anglo-German Fellowship who had hoped to avoid war, he was also a friend and sponsor of Albrecht Haushofer, a close political advisor to Hess who had been privy to the flight from its inception.

On landing Hess asked to be taken to Hamilton, and although the official version holds that the Duke slept through the night and did not see 'Alfred Horn' until about 10 am the following day, at Maryhill Barracks, the evidence of his widow supports the theory that Hamilton in fact left his bed and went to meet Hess while the latter was being escorted to Maryhill. Indeed this was reported as fact by the Glasgow Herald on 16 May 1941, who added that 'representatives of the Intelligence Service and the Foreign Office were present'. Some have claimed that it would not have been possible for Hess to have landed his Bf 110 on the small grass airfield at Dungavel, but the strip was a designated Emergency Landing Ground and there is evidence that a comparable Bristol Beaufighter set down safely there the previous month.

What had initially been promoted as a crack in the Nazi regime was in danger of being recognised as a crack in the British hierarchy. Indeed rumours of collusion between Hess and people in high places, and whispers that Hamilton was a Quisling, quickly entered into circulation in Britain, raising the dread spectre of a Hidden Hand or fifth column. Although Churchill subsequently dismissed the Hess mission as merely an 'escapade', in truth he must have recognised it as a potential turning point in the war. In May 1941 the defeat of Germany hinged on two main factors: America joining the conflict, and Germany invading the Soviet Union, so that Stalin too would become a British ally. Little was revealed to the press about Hess, and Churchill made no statement to the Commons until January 1942. Rather than exploit Hess's arrival as propaganda for short-term gain, Churchill instead reversed the crisis to further his own ends. By accident or design, the truth slipped into print in America later in 1941, in the somewhat mystic book That Day Alone by the Canadian commentator Pierre van Paassen. According to van Paassen, Churchill pretended to negotiate with Hess in order to ensure that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, to strengthen British ties with America, and to bring about the end of the Blitz. The book was published in abridged form in Britain in 1943, but with this passage deleted. It seems unlikely that van Paassen was privy to inside information. Nonetheless, the devastating night attack on London by 520 bombers on 10 May 1941 was the last significant German raid on the capital until the so-called Little Blitz early in 1944, which again suggests the complicity of Hitler in the Hess peace plan. In short. Churchill ruthlessly exploited the Hess affair to stifle the peace lobby, and those who wished to remove him from power.

Another persistent Hess legend is that the RAF did little or nothing to intercept Raid 42J, which in turn is offered as proof that Hess was expected and protected. Here the evidence is confusing. Three Spitfires from 72 Squadron based at Acklington attempted to intercept the Bf 110 as it crossed the Northumberland coast, and as it approached Glasgow an airborne Defiant night fighter from 141 Squadron at Ayr was alerted, although not scrambled as some accounts suggest. In Ten Days That Saved the West (1991), John Costello claimed that the Duke of Hamilton refused to allow fighters to attack Hess, and that anti-aircraft defences in the areas he overflew were ordered not to open fire. Both statements are incorrect. The sectors over which Hess passed were Ouston and Ayr, rather than Turnhouse, and both tried to shoot down the intruder. Moreover, for obvious reasons it was common practice for AA batteries to refrain from firing on enemy targets which were being pursued by the RAF, since this carried the risk of bringing down friendly aircraft. In 1999 it was claimed that two Czech Hurricane pilots from 245 Squadron, Vaclav Bauman and Leopold Srom, had been closing on Hess when their attack was inexplicably called off. Soon after returning to their base at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland, the two men were subjected to an intensive interrogation by several senior RAP officers who arrived in an Avro Anson. Their story possibly tallies with an article published in the American Mercury in May 1943, which stated that 'two Hurricanes took off to trail the mystery plane with orders to force it down but under no conditions to shoot at it'. However, there is no record of Srom having flown that day in the Operations Record Book for 245 Squadron, while the convoy patrol undertaken by Bauman between 9.35 and 10.40 pm would not have taken him anywhere near Hess. In all likelihood the various other RAF pilots who claimed to have been scrambled to intercept Hess on 10 May were simply mistaken.

Several sources have claimed that Hess was the target of an assassination attempt while at Mytchett Place. According to a former army intelligence officer named John McCowen, the three would-be killers were German and arrived by parachute near Luton Hoo on the night of 28 May 1941. After being captured and interrogated, the trio revealed that they had expected to find Hess at the London Cage at Cockfosters, and to obtain help from Abwehr agents already in Britain. They were later executed without trial at the Tower of London. Predictably there is no record of any such agents being captured in 1941, or executed, and the facts seem highly unlikely. In June 1942 Hess was moved from Mytchett to Maindiff Court near Abergavenny, apparently because it was feared that a group of Poles were planning to break into the camp, kidnap Hess, and beat or kill him by way of revenge for Nazi atrocities in Poland. Indeed in an MI5 file released by the PRO in 1999 there is an odd reference to a reported gun battle between Polish soldiers and guards at Mytchett, although no precise details are given. However, as with so many aspects of the Hess affair, the whole truth is never likely to emerge.

More imaginative even than the occult explanation of the Hess mission is the theory that the real Rudolf Hess was replaced with a double, and that the man who died at Spandau in 1987 was not the Deputy Fuhrer at all. The most celebrated proponent of the so-called doppelganger theory is Dr Hugh Thomas, a former army surgeon who examined Hess in September 1973 while attached to the British Military Hospital in Berlin. The publication of his book The Murder of Rudolf Hess in 1979 prompted questions in the House of Commons and the Bundestag, and generated further controversy in 1988 when it appeared in revised form under the title Hess: A Tale of Two Murders. Thomas relied on his own medical expertise. During the First World War Hess was known to have been wounded twice: once by shrapnel in June 1916, followed by a more serious chest wound caused by a rifle bullet on the Romanian front in July 1917. According to Thomas, the 'major scars on his chest and back' caused by both wounds should have been highly visible even after 60 years, yet were not recorded by any one of the 58 doctors who examined Hess after 1941. Thomas was unable to locate any detailed contemporary medical notes, but made a number of assumptions which hypothesised extensive tissue damage and a large exit wound on the back. Thomas also accepted muddled assertions that Hess had been treated by the renowned chest surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch, whose technique for treating gunshot wounds usually entailed the partial removal of a rib. The fact that Hess refused to see his wife and son until 1969 was also cited as further evidence...cont.

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Flight To Britain 1941 >> Full Biography

Adolf Hitler >> Heinrich Himmler >> Josef Goebbels >> Triumph of the Will >> Triumph of the Will 2 Dvd >> Leni Riefenstahl >> Rudolf Hess >> Martin Bormann >> Herman Goering >> Who Helped Hermann Goering Escape The Hangman? >> Josef Mengele >> Adolf Eichman >> Irma Grese

Kristallnacht >> The Final Solution >> Auschwitz >> Nuremberg Party Rallies

Daily Mail - 2nd May 1945 >> Daily Mail - 3rd May 1945 >> Daily Mail - VE Day - It's All Over >> Scans added of the best books of Germany during the war and after incl. definitive guide on The Nuremberg Rallies - Smartphone Page >> Best 2nd World War Book Scans Added >> British War Dvds

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