By that late hour on the night of April 27, 1945, there was not one person in Germany who thought that the Nazis could still win.
Deep in his bunker, even the man who had brought such destruction to his country – indeed, to the world – knew that the war was over. As Adolf Hitler gazed at a portrait of his hero, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and a brilliant military mind, he was certain there would be no eleventh-hour reversal of fortune.
The so-called ‘miracle weapons’ had never arrived, and his once mighty armies existed more in memory than in flesh and steel.
The Führer had three options.
He could allow himself to be captured by the Russians; but the humiliation was unthinkable. He could kill himself, but who could possibly replace him? A Fourth Reich would surely rise, and he would be needed to lead it. That left one option: escape.