Panzer Leader is an autobiography by Heinz Guderian. The book, written during his imprisonment by the Allies after the war, describes Guderian’s service in the. Panzer Leader has ratings and 76 reviews. Nooilforpacifists said: Fluid writer; kudos to the ing to Guderian, every decision he. —Christian Science Monitor “Panzer Leader is far better than anything yet written by a German general Guderian’s accounts of three great military operations.

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Heinz Wilhelm Guderian German: An early pioneer and advocate of the ” blitzkrieg ” lightning war doctrine, he successfully led Panzer armoured guserian during the Invasion of Polandthe Battle of France including the Low Countriesand Operation Barbarossathe invasion of the Soviet Union. Leadsr had developed motorized tactics in the pre-war armywhile keeping himself well-educated about armored formations in other armies. In particular, he implemented the use of radio communication between tank crews and devised shock tactics that proved highly effective.

In Mayhe commanded the Panzer divisions that overwhelmed the French defences at Sedan, Franceleading to the surrender of France a month later. After the German defeat at the Battle of Moscow in December he was transferred to reserve. After the defeat at Stalingrad in earlyHitler appointed him to a new position, rebuilding the Panzer forcesbut he bickered with many other generals, who managed to get his duties re-allocated.

Panzeer was then appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Army in Julybut this was largely a ldader role since Hitler had effectively become his own Chief of Staff. Guderian was dismissed in March From toGuderian was held in U. He later served as an advisor overseeing the establishment of the military in West Germany. Guderian died in Early inGuderian was selected as one of the four thousand officers to continue on in military service for the reduced size German army, the Reichswehr.

He was assigned to serve on the staff of the central command of the Eastern Frontier Guard Service. This Guard Service was intended to control and coordinate the independent Freikorps units in the defense of Germany’s eastern frontiers against Polish and Soviet forces engaged in the Russian Civil War. Rather than restrain the FreikorpsGuderian’s anti-communism caused him to empathize with the Iron Division’s efforts to defend Prussia against the Soviet threat.

The Iron Division waged a ruthless campaign in Lithuania and pushed into Latvia ; however, traditional German anti-Slavic attitudes prevented the division’s full cooperation with the White Russian and Baltic forces opposing the Bolsheviks.

Panzer Leader

Leaddr he joined the Truppenamt “Troop Office”which was a clandestine form of the Army’s General Staff which had been officially forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. In Guderian was promoted to major and transferred to the command of Army transport and motorized tactics in Berlin. This placed Guderian at the center of German development of armoured forces.

Guderian, who was fluent in both English and French, studied the works of British maneuver warfare theorists J.

FullerGiffard Martel and B. In he was promoted to Oberst or Colonel. Guderian wrote many papers on mechanized warfare during this period. These papers were based on extensive study of the lessons of the First World War, research on foreign literature on the use of armour, and wargaming done with dummy tanks and later with early armoured vehicles.

Some of these trial maneuveres were conducted in the Soviet Union. Britain at this time was experimenting with tanks under General Hobartand Guderian kept abreast of Hobart’s writings using, at his own expense, someone to translate all the articles being published in Britain.

In October he was made commander of the newly created 2nd Panzer Division one of three. PanezrGeneral Lutz asked Guderian to write a guderina on the developing panzer arm and the theories that had been developed on its use in war. It reviewed the state of armoured development in the European nations and Soviet Russia, and presented Guderian’s theories on the effective use of armoured formations and combined-arms warfare ideas of other general staff officers.

The book included the importance of airpower in support of the panzer units for future ground combat. Toward the end of World War I, the German army developed infiltration tactics — breaking through a defensive trench line with special combat teams of sturmtruppenwho advanced in dispersed order rather than massed rushes, and bypassed strong points to attack rear areas to collapse enemy positions.


This method was used in the German Spring Offensivebut the German forces lacked the mobility to exploit breakthroughs and achieve deep penetrations of the enemy defenses. They leadeg unable to sustain the impetus of the initial attack, and ultimately they failed to gain decisive results. Motorized troops ugderian the key to sustaining a breakthrough, and until the s the extent of motorization necessary was not possible.

Soviet marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky pursued the idea, but he was executed in in Stalin ‘s ” Great Purge ” of Soviet military leaders. Guderian was the leading advocate in Germany of motorization and tanks, lanzer of using armored forces in deep penetration operations. He is regarded as the chief architect of Germany’s panzer divisions. Guderian developed and advocated the strategy of concentrating panzer “armored” formations at the point of attack the Schwerpunkt and deep penetration.

In Achtung Panzerhe described what he believed were essential elements for a successful panzer attack: In his memoir Panzer Leaderhe wrote that as early ashe “became convinced that [ Guderian believed that among those things needed for success was for commanders of panzwr forces to be able to communicate with each other gyderian their sub-units.

Guderian insisted in that German tanks be equipped with radios and intercoms throat microphones to enable each tank commander to communicate with his crew and with other tanks in his platoon and company.

Moreover, German tanks worked collectively as teams, providing mutual protection and increased effective firepower. This allowed forward control of the division, which was critical to mobile warfare. This corps comprised a panzer division and two motorized infantry divisions.

Guderian led his corps in the Battle of Wizna and the Battle of Kobryn. In each of these, he abandoned his theories of rapid manoeuvre and was highly successful using tanks to deliver offensive sapper companies that successfully blew up the majority of the Polish guerian at Wizna. He showed great political astuteness in the battle of Kobryn by passing the initiative to the Soviets.

Following the completion of the campaign in Poland the armoured forces were transferred to the west to prepare for the next set of operations. The four light divisions had proved to have inadequate firepower, and they were brought up to strength to full panzer divisions, one of which was given to Erwin Rommel.

With this change, the total number of panzer divisions in the Heer stood at ten. Guderian continued to work in the development of the Panzerwaffe “panzer arm”. In the planning for the Invasion of FranceGuderian supported the change in the attack plan from a massive headlong invasion through the Low Countries to the Manstein Planwhich shifted the weight of the armoured formations to the Ardennes. Guderian’s corps spearheaded the drive and passed through the Ardennes and over the Meuse in three days.

He led the attack that broke the French lines at Sedanresulting in a general collapse of the French defenses. His guidance of the panzer formations earned him the nickname “Der schnelle Heinz” Fast Heinz. Faced with orders from nervous superiors to halt on one occasion, he managed to continue his advance by stating he was performing a “reconnaissance in force”, but the German High Command ultimately denied him the authority to attack the Allied forces encircled in the pocket at Dunkirk.

The unit later was redesignated 2nd Panzer Army. He became the 24th recipient of the Oak Leaves to his previously-awarded Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 July of that year after his armored spearhead captured Smolensk. Guderian’s panzer group was ordered to turn south in an effort to encircle the Soviet forces to the south.

Heinz Guderian – – Panzer Leader | César Calle –

Following the completion of the encirclement in the Battle of KievGuderian was ordered to make a drive for Moscow in mid-September In the aftermath of the battle, Hoepner and Guderian blamed slow commitment of the south flank of the 4th Army to the attack for the German failure to reach Moscow. With the outer defensive belt completed by 25 November, Moscow was a fortified position which the Wehrmacht lacked the strength to take in a frontal assault either.

In the face of the Soviet counter-offensive, Guderian was not allowed to pull his forces back but instead was ordered to “stand fast”, keeping them all in their current positions.


He disputed that order, going personally to Adolf Hitler’s headquartersbut it was not changed. After returning to his command, Guderian carried out a series of withdrawals anyway, directly disobeying his orders.

Guderian was relieved of command on 26 Decemberalong with 40 other generals. He was transferred to the reserve pool. Guderian held hard feelings on the matter against Kluge, who he felt had failed to support him. After the German defeat at StalingradHitler realized he needed Guderian’s expertise. Guderian made a number of stipulations to ensure that he would have the requisite authority to perform his duties.

Hitler agreed to these conditions, and on 1 March he was appointed to the newly created position.

Heinz Guderian

His responsibilities were to oversee the rebuilding pazer the greatly weakened panzer armto oversee tank design and production, and the training of Germany’s panzer forces, and he was to advise Hitler on their use.

His new position allowed him to bypass much of the Nazi bureaucracy and report to Hitler directly. Guderian was opposed by a number of officers in the Wehrmacht who did not want to see the scope of their own power and influence curtailed. He was very hard to get along with, and it’s a tribute to the German Army, as well as to Guderian’s own remarkable abilities, that he was able to rise as high as he panzet within the German Army.

Operation Citadelthe last major German offensive operation in the east, was an attempt by the German army to regain the initiative. The plans of the operation were known to the Soviet defenders, who spent months building up a defense in depth to sap the strength of the attacking panzer units.

The operation violated two of the three tenets for successful tank operations that Guderian had laid out in Achtung — Panzer! Secondly, and more importantly, the strike had to be delivered in a manner that took the defenders by surprise. In light of the obvious heavy defenses the Soviets had been preparing for the attack, the operation was a clear misuse of the Panzerwaffe.

The result would be a significant weakening of German panzer forces, forces that Guderian had been trying to rebuild. Whenever I think of this attack my stomach turns over. When General Wilhelm Keitelthe head of the OKWexplained the political importance of the offensive, Guderian remarked, “How many people do you think even know where Kursk is?

It’s a matter of profound indifference to the world whether we hold Kursk or not The attack, originally planned to begin in May, was delayed until July. It went on for a week before Soviet pressures on the Orel salient to the north and the necessity to respond to the allied invasion of Sicily resulted in the operation being halted. The Soviets then seized the initiative, which they held for the remainder of the war.

In his role as Inspector General of Armoured Troops, Guderian observed that Hitler was prone to experiment with too many designs, rather than finding an effective design and produce it in leadsr numbers. He believed this resulted in logistical and repair problems for German forces in the Soviet Union. On 21 Julyafter the failure of the 20 July Plot to assassinate Hitler, in guserian Guderian had no direct involvement, Guderian was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres succeeding Kurt Zeitzler who had guderkan on 1 July after multiple conflicts with Adolf Hitler.

Heinz Guderian – Wikipedia

Guderian and his staff surrendered to U. He remained as a prisoner of war in U. His conduct was investigated and no charges were brought. After the war he was often invited to attend meetings of British veterans’ groups, where he analyzed past battles with his old foes. During the early s Guderian was among the military advisors who helped in the establishment of West Germany ‘s military defence force, the Bundeswehrwhich has gone on to be the military defence force gurerian Germany today.

A documentary about his life aired on French television in After the invasion of Poland, a large number of estates were seized by the German government.