Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

MAY 10th  

On this day in history in 1941, Rudolph Hess parachuted into Scotland.  

Hess was a prominent member of the German Nazi regime who made a secret and daring flight to Britain in a futile attempt to negotiate a truce in the Second World War.

Hess was concerned by the war with Britain and hoped to secure a dramatic diplomatic triumph by sealing a peace between the Third Reich and Britain. He flew to Britain in May 1941, hoping to meet the Duke of Hamilton, parachuting from his Messerschmitt over Renfrewshire, and landing, sustaining a broken ankle, at Floors Farm near Eaglesham, south of Glasgow. Hess believed Hamilton was an opponent of Winston Churchill, whom the Nazis held responsible for the outbreak of war. His proposal for peace was similar to the deal which Hitler had tried to make with Neville Chamberlain in 1939, that Germany would help sustain the British Empire, and Britain would ignore Germany’s actions in Europe.  

Hess was arrested soon after touching the ground, and taken, under armed guard, to the Tower of London. He was not taken seriously as a negotiator and was kept in prison until the end of the war, when he was sent to Nuremburg for trial. Hess was sentenced to life imprisonment and died in Spandau Prison on 17th August 1987. In 1977, Britain's chief prosecutor at Nuremburg, Hartley Shawcross, spoke of Hess's continued imprisonment as ‘an international scandal.’

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