By James D. Crabtree "Doc Crabtree" (North Carolina)
This review is from: Codename 'Valkyrie': General Friedrich Olbricht and the Plot Against Hitler (Hardcover)
General Olbricht died the night of the assassination attempt, killed by a firing squad. As a member of the conpiracy which tried to eliminate Hitler, Olbricht has been portrayed in books and movies as a weak character, as a man who refused to act until he had confirmation of Hitler's death. Provided by Stauffenberg, this confirmation proved to be untrue, yet Olbricht is portrayed as the man who "doomed" Operation Valkyrie to failure. Thanks to Shrader, Olbricht is turned from a 2-dimensional character to a real human being and a man of honor and his role in the Resistance is clarified.
Stauffenberg's role in the conspiracy has been built up at Olbricht's cost. Olbricht was a professional staff officer, a man who served in the old Imperial Army, in the Reichswehr and finally in the Wehrmacht. He was highly decorated for courage during World War One, helped to deal with Red uprisings after the defeat and worked hard to make the Reichswehr a force capable of defending the Weimar Republic. Unlike Stauffenberg, Olbricht was clearly NOT one of the many German officers who saw Hitler's rise to power in a positive light, recognizing that Hitler represented a step away from rule of law.
Another difference between the two officers was in their military experiences and competence. Stauffenberg had NEVER commanded soldiers in the field, whereas Olbricht had a successful division command in Poland and was recognized as both an excellent staff officer and a unit commander. Olbricht had always been on the "fast-track," where Stauffenberg was not. Indeed, as the chief of the General Army Office Olbricht made the assassination attempt possible (in theory, IF FRomm could be persuaded to carry out the Valkyrie order) and he was one of the key members of the military resistance well before July 20.
Olbricht would resist the Nazis passively at first but would eventually become part of the active effort to rid Germany of the tyrant Hitler.
Illustrated with photographs and highlighted with quotes, Codename Valkyrie does justice to one of the men who tried to stop Hitler but had the fates against him.
At the sound of his name, Leonidas jumped guiltiy and turned around to face his older brother.
Dorieus was beautiful. In fact, he seemed to embody manly beauty in the abstract, as if he were a direct throwback to Herakles himself. He was tall for his age. His shoulders were as broad as a grown man's. His arms and legs were a melody of entwined muscle. his belly wa flat and hard as if it were made of bronze. He was now an awesome 18 years of age, and so Leonidas had to stand with his hands at his sides and his eyes at his feet and call him "sir." "Yes, sir," he said dutifully.
Dorieus came to stand directly before him. His head was shaved too, of course, but he was wearing training armor, carried a shield slung on his back, and a real sword hung from his baldric -- something Leonidas couldn't even dream about for another ten years.
"Is it true what I hear? That you were not elected herd leader?" Dorieus had been herd leader of his unit ever since he had enrolled in the agoge. He had won the contest of Artemis Orthia at 16. He had innumerable prizes for running, wrestling, javelin and discus. Dorieus was quite simply the most splendid of all the young men in the agoge -- not excepting even those youths in the age-cohorts ahead of him.
"Yes, sir," Leonidas answered the question.
"And why not?"
"Ask the others, sir. They were the ones who voted." Even as he answered, Leonidas stiffened his stomach muscles and braced for the blow Brotus would have given him for such an impudent retort.
Dorieus was made of different stuff. "That was a very facile answer, bloy, and you know it. Try again."
"Ephorus is faster and stronger than I am, sir."
"They why aren't you in the gymnasium improving your strength rather than loitering around the agora looking for handouts like a mongrel dog?"
Everyone in the whole agora (it seemed like the whole city to Leonidas) was listening to them.
"Because, sir, if I get that meat pasty over there, I will have far more strength than if I try to exercise in the gym when I'm half starved to death."
The pastry vendor laughed outright, but Dorieus was unimpressed. "You are either a fool or you are trying to provoke me. The leanest dogs run fastest, and the hungriest lion makes the kill."
"How do you know that the hungriest lion makes the kill, sir? Have you talked to one?"
"Now I know you are just trying to provoke me, little brother, but I won't play your silly game. You disgrace our house and our mother, just as Brotus told me you did." Dorieus turned on his heel and dparted, everyone in the agora making way for him as if for a reigning king. Leonidas stood in his wake, feeling very small, silly and worthless.
Someone jostled his arm. He looked over alarmed, but it was only the pastry vendor. "Here you go, lad." He offered him one of the good pasties -- not the one picked at by the birds. "Eat up and enjoy it. Don't let that pompous ass get you down."
of the most common misperceptions about Sparta today is that the Spartan army
had a tradition of “do or die,” that is, that it was against Sparta's laws to retreat. This myth has its roots in Leonidas’ stand at Thermopylae, and the most important piece ...
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- The German Resistance to Hitler: Codename Valkyrie: General Friedrich Olbricht and the Plot Against Hitler, Haynes Publishing, 2009.
- The Berlin Airlift: The Blockade Breakers, The History Press, 2008.
- Women in Aviation: Sisters in Arms: British and American Women Pilots in World War II, Pen & Sword Aviation, 2006.
- King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo: a biographical novel in three parts: Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy of the Agoge, Leonidas of Sparta: A Peerless Peer, Leonidas of Sparta: A Heroic King
- Archaic Sparta: Are They Singing in Sparta? Spartan Slave, Spartan Queen, The Olympic Charioteer.
- Tales from the Languedoc during the Albigensian Crusades: A Widow's Crusade, The Disinherited, The Devil's Knight (not yet released).
- Tales from the Crusader Kingdoms: The Lion of Karpas, a novel about the Latin Kingdom of Cyprus in the early 13th Century (not yet released.)
- Biographical novel about Balian d'Ibelin, the defender of Jerusalem against Saladin. (In progress.)
- The Templar Tales: St. Louis Knight, The English Templar.
- Battle of Britain: Chasing the Wind, (published in Kindle format as: Where Eagles Never Flew.
- The Air War 1943: The Lady in the Spitfire.
- The German Resistance to Hitler: An Obsolete Honor (published in Kindle format as Hitler's Demons.)
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