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Guderian: Panzer General (ePub)

Military > Biographies Military > Frontline eBooks Military > Tanks P&S History

By Kenneth Macksey
Frontline Books
File Size: 4.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9781526713377
Published: 2nd August 2017


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Born in Kulm, Germany, on 17 June 1888, Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was the son of an army officer. He eventually joined the German Army and was commissioned in the Jaegers in 1908 where he became a communications specialist. He fought in the First World War and afterwards was a member of the right-wing Freikorps units.

Between the wars, Guderian became a catalyst for developing a Panzer division in the German Army. By February 1938 he had been promoted to Lieutenant General; later that year Hitler appointed Guderian to the new post of Chief of Mobile Troops.

Guderian was a man of ideas equipped with the ability to turn inspiration into reality. A master of strategy and tactics, he was the officer who led the attack on Poland in September – and in so doing introduced the world to the reality of Blitzkrieg.

This biography draws on material from Enigma sources and information taken directly from the extensive Guderian family archives to explore the man who was partly responsible for the development of modern tank warfare and who is considered to be the father of Blitzkrieg. The author also looks at Guderian’s reaction to the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler as well as illuminates the struggles within the German hierarchy, in the process investigating why Guderian was so admired by some while denigrated by others.

A superbly researched account of General Heinz Guderian, who proved himself to be an able commander but is primarily known for his role in developing the panzer arm of the Wehrmacht during the inter-war years, and in evolving the idea of Blitzkrieg, which revolutionised warfare when his massed formations of panzers rapidly overran Poland, the Low Countries and France in 1939-40. Most of the book focuses on these earlier periods in the conflict and his part in the opening phases of the invasion of Russia, before his dismissal in the final days of 1941. The remainder follows his return to favour as Chief of the General Staff in 1943, though so dire were Germany's military prospects at this time that his impact was limited. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including material from the Guderian family archive, Macksey explores how his ideas were put into effect, and sheds light on his character, as well as his complicated and sometimes difficult relationships with Hitler, senior figures in the Nazi party, and his fellow generals.

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Pegasus Archive

Overall, Kenneth Macksey writes a very detailed biography of Heinz Guderian, portraying him simultaneously as an ambitious military officer who wanted to restore the army’s glory days and as a loving father/husband who wanted to spend time with his wife and children. Having read this book, it seems almost impossible for anyone to fully understand the origins of the German Panzerwaffe without studying its creator: Guderian. I heartily recommend this book and suggest that military historians examine specific armour tactics and strategies developed by Guderian.

Kunwon Saw, Freelance

As featured in

The Armourer, January 2018

A welcome new edition of a book, first published in 1997 by Greenhill, is packed with information and original insights. Guderian is the father of the panzer concept of armoured fighting vehicles with personnel carriers and artillery intended Upload Files for fast moving warfare with air superiority and tactical bombing to ensure rapid mobility – Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.


About Kenneth Macksey

Kenneth Macksey served in WWII under the command of Percy Hobart, later writing the authoritative biography of that leader. Amongst many other books, Macksey wrote two volumes of alternate history, one dealing with the (successful) invasion of England by Germany in 1940 (Operation Sea Lion); the other describing a NATO-Warsaw Pact clash in the late 1980s.

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