May 10, 1941 – Hess lands in Scotland

May 10, 1941 – Hess lands in Scotland

On May 10, 1941, Rudolf Hess, deputy leader of Nazi Germany, flies a small plane to Scotland and parachutes to the ground in a bizarre attempt to negotiate a peace settlement with Britain. He claimed he wanted to speak with the Duke of Hamilton, whom he met at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, with the goal of persuading Britain and Germany to join in war against the Soviet Union.

Adolf Hitler labeled him insane, and the British agreed, but this did not keep Hess from judgment at Nuremberg for war crimes. He was sentenced to life, eventually becoming the sole prisoner at Spandau Prison in East Germany. He died in 1987 after apparently trying to hang himself with an electrical cord. He was 93.