Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination…
Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius
stone torn from the Church floor in the attempt to apprehend the paratroopers
stairs out of the crypt
Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination attempt on General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942, in Prague. It was by sheer luck that the explosive used by the Czech Resistance of paratroopers, which missed its original target, hit the backboard of Heydrich’s Mercedes, sending splinters of automobile parts through his seat and into his chest.
The retaliation for his attempted assassination (which was successful several days later, when Heydrich died in a Prague hospital from septic shock combined with a systemic infections) was swift and brutal.
On the run, the paratroopers took refuge in several Czech houses before making a last stand in the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius armed with small-caliber pistols. Over seven-hundred German soldiers were unable to smoke, flood, or draw the men out by other means.
Three men were killed in the prayer loft, and the remaining four paratroopers, with no other way out of the church’s crypt, chose suicide.