Night of the Long Knives

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The Night of the Long Knives (also known as "Operation Hummingbird") was a Nazi purge of Adolf Hitler's potential political rivals over the weekend of June 29 and June 30, 1934.

Those eliminated in the purge were felt to hold more socialistic views on the economy and some were alleged to be homosexuals. Among those killed was Hitler's former close ally Ernst Röhm, leader of the Brownshirts (Sturmabteilung, or SA).

The term is now often used to describe any ruthless purging of enemies, with or without bloodshed, as in the peremptory sacking of seven cabinet ministers by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in July 1962.