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Hitler may have relied on astrology

Hungarian Ludwig von Wohl convinces senior British intelligence officials that he could help work out the Fuhrer's erratic strategic moves by studying the dictator's horoscope.

world Updated: Mar 04, 2008 16:25 IST

Adolf Hitler may have relied "heavily" on astrology, suggested a man who convinced senior British intelligence officials that he could help work out the Fuhrer's erratic strategic moves by studying the dictator's horoscope.

Hungarian Ludwig von Wohl claimed that as Hitler relied heavily on Swiss stargazer Karl Ernst Krafft's predictions, the British military could gain insight into his thinking process if they knew the astrological advice being given to him, recent declassified documents released to Britain's National Archives showed.

Von Wohl, a controversial figure also known as de Wohl, persuaded senior British intelligence figures that he could duplicate the forecasts of the Nazi leader's personal astrologer.

The plan appealed to some top officers, including the Director of Naval Intelligence Admiral John Godfrey, who found Hitler's erratic strategic moves hard to work out.

Although many, including the security service MI5, dismissed the Hungarian as a "charlatan", some suggested that he had a keen insight into the thinking of leading Nazis.

His plan was enthusiastically embraced the Political Warfare Executive and members of British Special Operations Executive (SOE) - the World War II sabotage organisation - which recruited Von Wohl for its SO2 propaganda section, the BBC reported today.

However, many historians believe that Hitler had little respect for astrological forecasts.