Warfare in News

Posted on Monday 16th May

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Rudolf Hess’ flight to Britain, a historical event that has been described by many as one of the most extraordinary and bizarre moments of the Second World War.

On 10 May 1941 Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, flew to Britain on an undercover mission with the hope of brokering a peace deal. It is thought that he believed the 14th Duke of Hamilton could get him an audience with King George VI.

However, that was not to be. Hess crash landed in farmland at Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire after parachuting from his plane. Thick fog thwarted any plans he had of landing anywhere near the Duke’s house and brokering his deal. Instead, he was taken prisoner and detained until the end of the war and sent to Nuremberg for trial. He spent the rest of his life in Berlin’s Spandau Prison, where he committed suicide in 1987.

There are many speculations surrounding the story of Hess. Some say that he never flew to Scotland and it was in fact an imposter, others say his arrival was expected and arrangements had been made for him to fly though RAF defence’s unscathed.

James Douglas-Hamilton, the Duke’s son, explores many of the myths that still surround the affair. He draws on British War Cabinet papers and his unparalleled access to the Hamilton papers among other documents to relay the story in his book The Truth About Rudolf Hess.

Further Reading

The Truth About Rudolf Hess

Only £19.99

The Truth About Rudolf Hess

(Hardback - 368 pages)
by James Douglas-Hamilton

The unauthorised solo flight to Britain by Hitler’s Deputy Rudolf Hess in May 1941 still stands out as one of the most bizarre and intriguing episodes of World War II.

In a new expanded and updated Paperback Edition of his book “The Truth about Rudolf Hess” James Douglas-Hamilton examines the background to this extraordinary affair and the myths which surround it. He traces the developments which persuaded Hess to undertake his deluded… Read more...

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