Panzer Leader (Penguin World War II Collection) Paperback – 6 Aug 2009
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About the Author
General Heinz Guderian commanded the German panzer forces in Operation Barbarossa, but was dismissed for taking a timely step backward instead of pandering to Hitler's illusions. Guderian was adjudged free of any connection to war crimes, and did not stand trial at Nuremberg.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Guderian, like most senior officers in the Second World War, had survived the First World War. He was lucky enough to be selected as an officer in the 100,000 strong defense force, the Reichswehr, allowed to Germany. When Hitler came to power, this army had to be expanded to millions and trained. Tanks had to be built, even though Germany no longer had the facilities to make armor plate. Tank divisions, always called panzer divisions, had to be devised, furnished with tanks, and trained together.They were mostly light tanks, some armed only with machine-guns.But they brushed aside the much heavier British and French tanks.
This new army was thrown into war years before the generals considered it ready. What they achieved was astonishing, hence the interest in Allied circles how they managed it. But the Wehrmacht was ground down because Hitler could never bear to give up ground. In the closing days of the war he was dismissed from all offices by Hitler for defeatist views.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
IT TOLD YOU WHAT HEINZ GUDERIAN DID IN THE FIRST PART OF THE WAR. IT ALSO TELL HOW HE SAW THE DECLINE OF HITLER IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE WARPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Had this book some years ago and found it very interesting. Then somehow I lost it so ordered a new one from Amazon. Read morePublished 10 months ago by PeterB
Brought as a gift for son who is studying. This just adds to his vast collection.
Nicely packaged and fast service.
the book is so informative and a great read , shows why he was respected by all sides, MUST BUYPublished on 2 May 2014 by kevin warr
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