Fascinating and quite informative indeed
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 05/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fascinating video covering two topics that probably do not get enough attention among historians and those interested in World War II. Hitler's Secret War covers the decryption of Germany's vaunted Enigma codification system. Many would be surprised to learn that German codes were being intercepted and decoded by Polish intelligence before the war really even started with Hitler's invasion of that country in September 1939. The Polish code breakers made their way to England, and English intelligence basically listened and decoded to a wealth of strategic information coming out of Germany throughout the course of the war. This intelligence breakthrough was arguably the most important aspect of World War II, essentially guaranteeing Germany's ultimate defeat. Many questions do arise about this subject, however. While some information was obtained too late to be put to use, it is clear that some intercepts were ignored by the British. The most important example of this is the bombing of Coventry and the resulting massive loss of innocent lives; this could have been prevented, but such action on the part of Britain, it was feared, could clue Germany into the fact that its Enigma code had been broken. As things turned out, the Germans apparently never figured this out at all. This in itself is quite amazing, given a string of unexpected and unpredictable moves by the Allies in latter stages of the fight, although it can be explained in part by the fact that the Allies, even in 1944, were still ignoring or refusing to acknowledge intelligence data that should have clued them in to such important German moves as the final Ardennes counteroffensive.Kill Hitler covers much more than the failed attempt to murder the Fuhrer in 1944. It in effect traces the opposition inherent in the Wehrmacht from the first days of Hitler's ascendancy as chancellor, exploring a number of issues that deprived Hitler of ever achieving the completely loyal support of army officers that he demanded when he declared himself Fuhrer upon the death of von Hindenburg. It discusses several plots to arrest or kill Hitler, the first important example of which came before the secession of part of Czechoslovakia to Germany; ironically, it was the fervent initiatives of France and England, personified in Neville Chamberlain's determination to avoid war at any cost, that derailed a move that could have removed Hitler from power long before World War II ever began. The fluid history of the relationship between the Wehrmacht and Hitler is covered quite well here and proves nothing short of fascinating. The entire collection of Unsolved Mysteries of World War II videos is quite impressive, and I believe this particular tape to be the best of the series."