Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Fascinating view of the war but........
on 30 March 2010
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. Guderian spent far too much time on scoring points over the others, both dead or still alive, and so made this book seem a little bit of a pulpit for self justification.
But this doesn't take away the fact it was overall a very important account of the panzer successes, and you wonder how on earth they managed to succeed with what was going on behind the scenes during even the victorious years.
Technically a successful account of his war years, but as an intersting story in itself not so successful, hence the three star rating. I also doubt his statements on a number of occasions but since every surviving German officer was trying his best to denounce the Nazi elements at that time I can see why.