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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Blitzkrieg was created.
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...
Published on 22 Jan. 2003 by Paul

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating view of the war but........
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...
Published on 30 Mar. 2010 by Tony Roberts


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insider's testament to Hitler's Incompetence, 26 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Panzer Leader (Penguin World War II Collection) (Kindle Edition)
There is arguably no other military figure in Hitlers Third Reich who had more access to the dictator himself than Guderian. Overall the book serves as a scathing testament to Hitler's incompetence in all matters military. Although the book's written style lacks the flair and quality of prose written by prominent historians such as Lawrence Rees and Antony Beevor it serves as an invaluable eyewitness account of what transpired behind the facade of wartime Germany.
Translated from German, the prose comes over as a little regimental. Guderian reels off rafts of military divisions and names of places where conflicts took place backed up with copious amounts of maps, far too many for the average reader to commit to memory. Although the book has got an academic feel to it, Guderian tells a fascinating story blowing the lid off many of the myths that surround what really happened during the Second World War from the German perspective. Guderian was right, for example, when he wrote if it hadn't been for Hitler's indecision and hestitancy, the Germans would have easily reached Dunkirk first and encircled the British expeditionary force, dealing Britain a mortal blow. From that moment onwards German were losing the war. Guderian writes, sometimes humorously, about Hitler and the coarse bunch of sociopathic, megalomaniacs he surrounded himself with at German High Command and in the highest ministerial positions. As the war ground on, Guderian's account of Hitler is that of a hopeless gambler who recklessly throws the dice overseeing one disaster after another. Hitler was the German military's biggest liability and paradoxically his constant interference in all matters military was the allies biggest asset. Guderian was one of the very few generals who stood up to Hitler and openly disagreed with him. Guderian was also one of the chief architects of blitzkrieg and the formation of the panzer divisions that executed it. The overall impression I got from this book was an ongoing struggle between one of Germany's most brilliant generals and a clueless Bohemian Corporal who led a noble race to abject ruin.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite technical, 1 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Panzer Leader (Paperback)
the very detailed and technical account of the war on various theaters such as Poland, France, and of course the eastern front by Gen. Guderian.

This book could sound a bit repetitive as the same points are repeated again and again:
- The relation between the General and Hitler
- The complaints on the lack of "warm clothes", lack of fuel, etc.
- As a reviewer clearly pointed out: the same text formulas are constantly repeated: "We move to A, repulsed a russian attack from X divisions, hold the position B, etc...which makes the reading a little bit dull and repetitive.

I must say I have a lot of respect for the man and enjoy reading his prophetic "Achtung Panzer" but this book was quite a hard read.
It is still worth a buy if you have any interest in military history but its definitely not for the amateur reader.

The photographs are quite stunning while the maps a bit confusing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars terrific, 23 Oct. 2014
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thankyou. terrific book
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A first person insight into the Panzer branch of Germany, 19 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Panzer Leader (Paperback)
Excellent book. Once you adjust to the author's meandering way of describing his work you will find a very insightful account of the inner workings of the Panzer arm of the German Army.
Guderian is rightfully known as the force behind the armoured forces of the Third Riech and this work clearly is an important account of the behind the scenes action. The personal accounts of his arguments with Hitler and of the Eastern Front are excellent, once you take into account his slightly biased viewpoint.
I highly recommend this book as the in depth look at the Panzer arm, but be prepared for a somewhat circuitous path and somewhat hard to read maps. Some excellent photos , but a book written for the military historian and not the everyday reader.
Daniel Arsenault, BA History and Foreign Diplomacy Worcester State COllege 1996, Phi Alpha Theta 1993
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really captivating account of a senior Wehrmacht Officers experiences, 15 Sept. 2013
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This self experienced account of leadership of the Wehrmacht leading up to, during and the final collapse of the Third Reich kept me reading it almost non-stop. Even though we all know the end of WW2 the view from the German side provides an interesting read.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into the German High Command, 30 Nov. 2001
A very good book, describing the difficulties of Guderian's battles against the Inept Nazi high command, plus the actual battles he fought in against the allies. He comes across as a good general who didn't mind getting up front to where the fighting was, and seems genuinely worried about the wellfare of his troops. He is also critical of the Nazi policy against the Slavic people saying it was a wasted opertunity to rally the russian people against the threat of communism, instead treating them as slaves instead of allies. Overall a very good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Nov. 2014
very good
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Guderian, 23 Nov. 2007
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Luis Miguel Vale (Porto, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An incredible description of "the other side of the hill". Another great book from an ever greater general.
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8 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ve vuz robbed, 7 Sept. 2011
The German war memoirs I'd really, really like to read would be those of someone who was called up in 1938, joined the SS, did the mandatory stint in a concentration camp, experienced three years of cataclysmic military defeats and then observed his country despoiled, and Europe divided for 40 years, as a result of the cause he espoused.

Ideally, such a memoir would also relate why the writer had no qualms at the time about all the atrocities, how he later came to regret it all, and how - as an expression of penitent remorse - the writer had spent the rest of his life working for orphans' and disabled people's charities.

No such German memoir appears to exist, or if it has, I've not read it. Instead, what we have is stuff like this.

Guderian was an influential thinker on tank warfare in the higher echelons of the German command, and played a significant role in shaping strategy. He later fell out with Hitler, was appinted Inspector of Panzer Troops and was reappointed to a field command only very near to Germany's final collapse.

His memoirs are classic apologia. Thus, Germany was beaten by the near-invincible KV1 tank, the miraculous T-34 tank and by the bottomless well of Soviet manpower. The strategic failures on the eastern front were Hitler's mistakes, because he wasn't a proper career soldier. Had Guderian only had his way, he could have brought the Red Army to at least a stalemate by producing anti-tank and assualt guns, rather than all those over-engineered Tiger tanks.

All these claims have been comprehensively debunked in the 50 years since this was written. Russian tanks were in fact of moderate quality and poor reliability; their real advantage was that Russian industry could produce them in decisively large numbers. The Soviet state suffered 28 million losses in WW2 and was in fact running out of both men and women by 1944; there was no bottomless well of manpower, just of courage and tenacity - more so than on the German side. Chastened by Stalingrad, Hitler somewhat let go of directing operations in 1943 and started to accept the army professionals' advice; the result was epic German defeat at Kursk. Guderian's claims about how he coulda stopped the Red Army assumes that the Red Army would have done nothing different in different circumstances. The Red Army defeated every other German wheeze (and every other German general) they encountered in WW2, however, so it's unclear why they'd have been foxed by anything Guderian came up with.

Guderian describes volcanic arguments with Hitler, but even these aren't really to his credit. Guderian didn't argue with Hitler about what Germany was doing, but merely rather about how to do it better.

The book's tone is dry, and reads like an expansion into prose of a unit's daily movement sheet. On this day he was at X and repulsed a Russian tank attack. The next day the division moved to Y and overcame Russian resistance to capture the town. And so on, for hundreds of pages. The only place it really comes alive is when Guderian expresses his regret that thanks to Hitler he was unsuccessful in keeping Prussia, his ancestral homeland, out of Russian hands. Well, no doubt he sincerely did regret it, but I suspect those who spent 45 years living under Communist control regretted it even more. Those who spent even as many months under German occupation in the east regretted that too, and tens of millions didn't get to live to regret it in their memoirs at all.

This book is thus flawed in a number of ways. Guderian is effectively arguing that invading Russia could have been a good idea, if only it had been done his way, but that Germany was doomed by Hitler's interference, the enemy's magic tanks, and by Russia's infinite manpower. Well, you can't have it both ways. Apart from 1918, when the Russian state fell apart and surrendered, nobody has ever successfully invaded Russia in modern times. Every other potential invader of Russia has foreseen the risks and avoided them, usually by not invading Russia at all in the first place. The unpalatable conclusion Guderian doesn't want us to draw is that defeating Russia in 1941 in the manner of 1941 was in fact possible, but didn't happen because he and his colleagues were defeated by superior Russian generalship and resilience.

Guderian didn't get this at the time and didn't want to get it afterwards. His impression of Russian military competence seems to have changed quite little between 1941 and 1945. Essentially he seems still to have thought the Red Army was just invincibly large, rather than highly skilled. His book thus reads like a long excuse note, and between this, the turgid prose and the almost total lack of empathy, it is an unrewarding read.

It gets two stars because it is a good idea for anyone interested in the German side of WW2 to read at least one of these apologia, and this one is a typical example of the genre.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 21 Feb. 2015
Has shlockhorrer not heard of Sven Hassel?
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