An early pioneer and advocate of the " blitzkrieg " approach, he played a central role in the development of the panzer division concept. In , he became the Inspector of Motorized Troops. During the Invasion of France , he commanded the armoured units that attacked through the Ardennes forest and overwhelmed the Allied defenses at the Battle of Sedan. The campaign ended in failure after the German offensive Operation Typhoon failed to capture Moscow , after which Guderian was dismissed. In this role, he had broad responsibility to rebuild and train new panzer forces but saw limited success due to Germany's worsening war economy.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian. Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian ,. Liddell Hart Foreword by. Kenneth John Macksey Introduction. But in , when Guderian advised that ground forces should take a step back, Hitler dismissed him.
In addition to providing a rare inside look at key members of the Nazi party, Guderian reveals in detail how he developed the Panzer tank forces and orchestrated their various campaigns, from the breakthrough at Sedan to his drive to the Channel coast that virtually decided the Battle of France. Panzer Leader became a bestseller within one year of its original publication in and has since been recognized as a classic account of the greatest conflict of our time.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published December 27th by Da Capo Press first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Panzer Leader , please sign up. Which edition to get? Wanted to buy a copy for my Kindle, but Amazon has two versions, one at pages and one at pages. Which to get? See 2 questions about Panzer Leader…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Panzer Leader. Sep 05, Nooilforpacifists rated it liked it Shelves: world-war-two-history , german-history.
Fluid writer; kudos to the translator. According to Guderian, every decision he made led to a brilliant breakout; any other order -- especially Hitler's -- stayed his Panzers, likely at the cost of winning the war. Though at one point, he wonders just how anyone expected to beat England without an aircraft carrier.
It's a literate book, though his hand-drawn sketches of each section of each battle are near incomprehensible. And I don't really blame him for not questioning the underpinnings of Na Fluid writer; kudos to the translator. And I don't really blame him for not questioning the underpinnings of National Socialism--he was a professional soldier; there was a war.
But Guderian repeats, over and over, about the orders he did NOT pass to the troops: not the one about shooting Russian civilians; not the one about starving Russian soldiers; certainly nothing about the Jews. Methinks he doth protest too much. Of these, 3 is the most interesting take-away. But that doesn't mean his book isn't devoted to explaining why he could have won the war, were it not for high command and Hitler's interference, and settling scores on old comrades who blamed him for the defeat.
The second is a particularly dull read because the parties involved are dead, and few care. Guderian's most infuriating technique is passive voice.
When directing troops against the enemy, action verbs and first person pronouns are shot from a howitzer. The engine switches off when discussing responsibility for the war things were done plus the civilian casualties and the Holocaust orders were given; always by another. Meanwhile, Guderian decries actions Nazis took in defiance of "our Christian religion. Those and other tactical disagreements brought Guderian into near-daily infighting with headquarters staff.
The problem was Hitler's original plan, with three Army Groups, the first of which with a vague objective of Moscow. Between the Reds' T tanks better than anything but the last few Panzers built and the ability to retreat, the unlimited objectives of Operation Barbarossa remain astonishing to this day.
Hitler disagreed, and when the advance began to be rolled-back, sacked Guderian in retribution for…cold and comparatively crappy tanks. The book continues with a interesting short section, seemingly based partly on post-war writings, about Hitler's meddling in tank and armor design. Don't cry for me, Adolf Eichmann. Guderian had the good luck to be fired by Hitler six weeks before the end of the war.
The book ends there, but it's worth noting that although he spent several years in custody, no charges ever were filed. It's not a war crime to invent the Blitzkrieg: a better weapon--ask anyone in Los Alamos. View all 3 comments. Nov 24, Carol Storm rated it it was amazing. Brilliant memoir of some of World War II's greatest battles written by the one German general who was never intimidated by Adolph Hitler. One of the things that surprised me when I read this book was that General Guderian had a very dry sense of humor.
When he talks about Goering "devoting himself to fine dining with visible results. Reading on Wikipedia I see that General Guderian was imprisoned by the Allies for three years, but was never found guilty of any war crimes. Heinz Guderian lived on until I wish the general had written a sequel to this classic memoir.
I would have been fascinated to hear his impressions of the English and American soldiers he met while he was a prisoner, and what kind of advice he might have given his son on basically rebuilding the German army from nothing.
I also would have liked to hear his impressions of Germany and how the people responded to defeat. But the original is still the greatest! View 2 comments.
Nov 27, Steven Peterson rated it really liked it. Heinz Guderian's "Panzer Leader" provides an inside story of the development of the German armored forces before World War II and the operation of those forces during that war.
Guderian was one of the major figures helping to develop the Panzer doctrine of quick striking and deep thrusting armored attacks. And the book portrays the resistance from more traditional army leaders in the German military. The Introduction by Kenneth Macksey observes that page vii : "'Panzer Leader' is about one ma Heinz Guderian's "Panzer Leader" provides an inside story of the development of the German armored forces before World War II and the operation of those forces during that war.
The Introduction by Kenneth Macksey observes that page vii : "'Panzer Leader' is about one man's endeavor, at a moment of institutional change, to defend his country by the modernization of its army. In the "Foreword," B. Liddell Hart casually notes that page 13 : "'Their's not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.
No nation that maintains fighting services can afford to revoke that rule of experience. Where soldiers begin to question the rightness of the cause for which they are fighting, armies soon collapse.
When should a military recoil from the madness of a leader like Hitler? Hart may be far too forgiving of soldiers fighting for wicked causes. Still, a difficult issue. The book itself traces, briefly, Guderian's early life. It then considers his role in the development of German armor and the consequent doctrines of warfare based on the use of armor.
He discusses the German movements against Austria and the Sudetenland and then the invasion of Poland. The role of armor was most dramatically seen with the German attack on the Western front. The Panzer divisions sliced deep into the allied defenses, creating havoc.
Only Hitler's foolish calling off the army at Dunkirk allowed the English to rescue substantial elements of its ground forces. Guderian's tale of the preparation for and carrying out of the attack on Russia is detailed and dry. Much detail is provided and see Manstein's book on the same subject, "Lost Victories".
Perhaps most telling is his tale of the slashing retreat as German forces found themselves vastly outnumbered by Russian forces and subject to the awful weather of Russia.
Guderian explains the mad strategy of Hitler of refusing to let the German forces find better sites to defend their positions.
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