Rommel, Rundstedt and Stülpnagel were on Allies' secret hit-list of Nazi assassination targets during World War II

Memo contains names of senior Gestapo officers in France and logistics experts thought vital to German troops ahead of D-Day landing

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The Independent Online

A top secret list of top Nazi figures to be assassinated ahead of the D-Day landings has been released by the National Archives.

The memo titled 'Assassination Priorities for Overlord' written by British political officer Charles Peake in 1944 contains names of senior Gestapo officers in France and logistics experts  thought vital to German troops.

Included on the list are field marshals Erwin Rommel and Gerd von Rundstedt, Gen Carl Heinrich von Stülpnagel, and members of the Vichy regime.

The memo reads: "The Chief of Staff has asked me to look at this, and to advise him about suitable candidates to who attention might be paid, prior to, on and after 'D' Day."

Records show that the Special Operations Executive – Britain’s wartime sabotage organisation – hinted that some of their agents based in France "would be ready to have a shot at it".

Though MI6 were also asked to draw up a list of possible targets, concerns about the legality of the plan and fear of reprisals led to its quashing two days later.

Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, then head of the Joint Intelligence Committee said that, although he was not squeamish, the plan would cause revulsion.

He said: "The Germans may take reprisals on our prisoners, and at that game they always win."