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Panzer Leader

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4.1  ·  Rating details ·  2,973 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
General Heinz Guderian’s revolutionary strategic vision and his skill in armored combat brought Germany its initial victories during World War II. Combining Guderian’s land offensive with Luftwaffe attacks, the Nazi Blitzkrieg decimated the defenses of Poland, Norway, France—and, very nearly, Russia—at the war’s outset. But in 1941, when Guderian advised that ground forces ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published December 27th 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published 1950)
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Nooilforpacifists
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
...more
Steven Peterson
Nov 27, 2009 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
...more
R.M.F Brown
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Battlefield and politics should never mix, and nowhere is that clearer than in Panzer leader. Charting the developments of Germany's Panzer forces during the 1920s & 1930s, Panzer Leader provides valuable insights into the challenges Guderian faced within his own service branch from vested interests, and the political interference that dogged him at every turn.

As others have pointed out, Guderian takes credit for the works of others, and any serious student of world war two would do well to
...more
Stephanie
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I finally found time to finish this, although I have gone back to reread various sections that are of especial interest. What I wrote below remains true; however, I am struck by the relationships among senior military and civilian leadership and insight this provides into the period. I'm also struck by Guderian's candor regarding his obvious political divergence from the nazi political viewpoint despite his continued service.

I am also entertained by his comments on Churchhill. A very different
...more
Jacob
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in warfare and WW2
Shelves: military
I've read through most of the book and am nearing it's end, but I can't seem to get past the part where the author is constantly at odds with his leader, Hitler. I guess the frustration of Guderian, expressed throughout the book, just builds up to the point where it becomes hard to move forward.
Don't get me wrong, this book is awesome so far, it's just that the tragic incompetence of those at the top of the command structure is saddening.

I'd also have to agree with another reviewer: this book n
...more
Carol Storm
Nov 24, 2015 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.
Pieter
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: militair
Well-written memoirs of one of the most famous and talented panzer generals ever existed, Mr Heinz Guderian. Being active during the Anschluss and the wars in Poland, France and Soviet-Union, he describes in detail the ‘blitz’ progress of the German Army. But next to that, he also discusses technical features of the tank armies (armour plates, speed, guns,…). Both Guderian and Manstein (cf ‘Lost Victories) wondered why France did not attack Germany while it got involved in Poland. Truly a missed ...more
Charlie
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book out of a group of my Dad's books. I was surprised that the author was the architect of Germany's armored warfare capability during WW2 (think 'Blitzkrieg'). He learned lessons from WW1 and applied innovations even while Germany was banned from owning tanks (workaround: develop techniques with wooden mockups). As he described his activities (day by day) during the war in France, I found myself wanting to hear more about the battle. Then, I realized (Duh!) that the title was "P ...more
Graham
Heavy duty tactical stuff: Guderian was a military theorist and innovative General of the German Army during the Second World War. Germany's panzer forces were raised and fought according to his works, best-known among them Achtung - Panzer!

As some have already pointed out, this is not a cowboy action book like a "D-Day" or "Bridge too far". Instead, it is a detailed account covering the formation of german tank forces, key battles and an exhaustive analysis of the russian campaign. This book i
...more
Michael
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well written autobiography of General Heinz Guderian, particularly from the development of the Panzer tank forces prior to WWII, their use in Poland, France and Russia, and the subsequent defeat of those forces at the end of the war. This book traces Guderian's rise from commanding a wireless station at the outbreak of WWI to Chief of the Army General Staff at the conclusion of WWII. A fair and insightful look at the disconnect between the life and actions of one that is entrusted to fight the w ...more
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Military theorist and innovative General of the German Army during the Second World War.

Guderian is considered to be the brain behind the Blitzkrieg strategy and one of the leading tank warfare tacticians.

After the war Guderian the allies failed to find any war crimes committed by Guderian.
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“I shall always remember with pleasure and gratitude the lovely and instructive time that I was fortunate enough to spend in Sweden.” 1 likes
“Ostrich politics were here combined with ostrich strategy. To” 0 likes
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