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Panzer Leader (Penguin Classic Military History) Paperback – 28 Sep 2000


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Frequently Bought Together

Panzer Leader (Penguin Classic Military History) + Achtung Panzer!: The Development of Tank Warfare (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) + Lost Victories: War Memoirs of Hitler's Most Brilliant General (Zenith Military Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (28 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141390271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141390277
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 944,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Guderian was a professional soldier. He commanded the the German panzer forces in Operation Barbarossa, but was dismissed for taking a timely step backward instead of pandering to Hitler's illusions. He was eventually recalled, but only when Germany's situation had become desperate. General Guderian was adjudged free of any connection to war crimes, and he did not stand trial at Nuremburg.

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I first saw the light of day at Kulm on the Vistula, one Sunday morning, the 17th of June, 1888. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tony Roberts on 30 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I've always had a sneaking admiration for Heinz Guderian and what he managed to achieve during WW2. His behaviour from other sources and historical books on the period would indicate he was something of a maverick and didn't care too much for the National Socialist government or his superiors who couldn't see the strategic view that Guderian did.

When I saw this book was on amazon I jumped at the chance to buy it and read. I must admit that the book was interesting in that it gave an account from the pen of the man behind much of the success of the wehrmacht in 1939 and 1940 - and the first part of '41 too - but after a while it seemed to become a little cold and formal, being merely a succession of clipped reports on a day by day basis of where he was and who he saw.

Although factual, it hardly made for interesting reading and maybe the biographer taking down the notes from Guderian's conversations with him could have done us all a little more service by cutting down on the boring cold points and interspercing them with some interesting anecdotes that always confront the soldier in times of war.

I also began to doubt some of Guderians assertions that he was the only one within the entire high command who had any idea of what to do and that every setback that happened had been forseen by him and if only they had done what he said then things would have very different.

It seemed very much to me that this book, written in 1953 and so only 8 years after the final surrender, was still full of bitter resentment and a carry over of the back biting and back stabbing that was endemic within the upper echelons of the German armed forces and government.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Paul on 22 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Opening with an excellent foreword which puts you in the mindset of the German General Staff, this book allows you to understand WWII from the German perspective.
The book starts off by describing the development of German armoured warfare which arose out of a need for mobile defence, a direct result of the Treaty of Versailles. This gives valuable insight into how the Germans were able to bring about swift victories in Poland and France at the start of the war by using their experiences from re-militarising the Ruhr region and the friendly invasion of Austria.
Guderian then gives an account of his campaigns in Poland, France and Russian up to the end of the first year when he was dismissed by Hitler. The account is backed up by sketch maps and you get an impression of what it was like to be there with the difficulties they faced from supplies to weather, the enemy and worst of all with their own high command.
Later in the war Guderian is recalled to service to try to reverse the worsening fortunes of the Army and it is this part of the book which is probably the most interesting as you see his constant battles with Hitler and the high command to make them see sense such as not to launch operation Citadel (at Kursk). However in the end sense rarely prevails and you see the disastrous consequences that Guderian has predicted come to light.

At the end of this book you come away with a good impression of Guderian and I feel that he was trying to make the best of a bad situation.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Sep 1997
Format: Paperback
"Panzer Leader," written by a former Colonel-General of the Wehrmacht, Heinz Guderian, is a fascinating book. It is fascinating in its own right in that it describes Guderian's efforts to create and operate effective all-arms formations including armor, armored infantry and towed (later self-propelled) artillery in spite of the opposition from the more traditional elements of the Wehrmacht. With Hitler's keen interest and help, Guderian succeeded in creating such formations in "Panzerdivisionen" - armored divisions. The subsquent successes which Guderian had as a commander of such formations in Poland, France and Russia make an exciting and informed reading.

However, the book is also fascinating because of the falsehood contained in it. Principally, there are two major "untruths" which often escape notice from the casual reader. The first falsehood is the credit which Guderian attributes to the late Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart as the "founder" of Blitzkrieg "doctrine." Guderian was jailed after the Second World War by the Allied authorities in the West, and it was Sir Liddell Hart who championed his (and other jailed German generals') cause. He brought them gifts and attempted to convince the authorities to free them, and eventually became the editor of their memoirs in the West. Sir Lidell Hart had been indeed an innovator of military doctrine in the 1920's, but he had, by 1930's, rejected the concept of armored warfare as viable. In any case, his reputation had fallen during the war, and this he attempted to salvage rather successfully with the help of the grateful ex-German generals after the war.
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