9780304358595: Guderian: Panzer General (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS)

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 most responsible for creating blitzkrieg in World War II. This biography--fully updated with new material on Enigma and Guderian’s reaction to the July plot--illuminates the struggles within the German hierarchy and examines why Guderian was so admired by some while denigrated by others. This revised edition of the biography of a famous German general provides insight into the man behind blitzkrieg and includes information taken directly from the extensive Guderian family archives.

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About the Author:

Kenneth Macksey is internationally known for his works on military history, including his biography of "Field-Marshal Kesselring" (1853674222) and his recent "Why the Germans Lose at War" (1853673838).


This is a fairly old work, having been written in '75 or so. I find myself constantly returning to it for the gems it contains. Maj. Macksey paints a vivid picture of a passionate and brilliant soldier who "tended to be more Prussian than the Prussians themselves" which G. himself actually was - a fervant monarchist too, and very prone to show willingness to sacrifice himself for a cause in his younger days. A strong and charismic personality who, by virtue of his training as a Prussian Staff Officer and military apprenticeship in Radio Communications during the 1st world war, after much study came to see the fundamental flaw in the British modus operandi vis-a-vis a new weapon of war - the tank. It is he that brought to fruition the concept of Combined Arms Mechanised Warfare wherein all the arms of service acted in an intergral fashion with the tank as the core arm. Today we take this methodology for granted but as Macksey himself said when interviewed on the subject "It is very rare, but on this occasion they got it Right" He was referring to the Battle of France in which Guderians' personal contribution was both paramount and utterly decisive. The same goes also for the early campaign in Russia the following year of 1941 and in the ressurrection of an emasculated Panzer arm just prior to the debacle at Kursk in July 1943. Macksey also illustrates Guderians' moral courage in consistantly standing up to and contradicting Hitler during G.s marginalised tenure as Chief of the General Staff. Macksey also delineates his memorable dismissal in late March 1945 after delivering Hitler the ungarnished truth of what the latter had done to Germany. A man worthy of much more adulation than that meted out for Rommel, but who never had the opportunity to capture the imagination of the Western Allies in quite the same way. One of the great military biographies in my humble and make sure your military library contains a copy! --A Customer

Heinz Guderian was the pioneer of German panzer warfare who, along with Rommel allowed the reputation of the Wermacht to retain some dignity amidst Hitler's bloodlust. Guderian perhaps lacks the glamour of Rommel but precedes him in terms of military importance. Kenneth Macksey is a World War II veteran who served in the Royal Armoured Corps and the Royal Tank Regiment and is therefore more than qualified to appraise a fellow exponent of tank warfare. This is a revised edition of original 1975 document of the man who helped make the idea of Blitzkrieg possible. This may sound like a black mark against the man, but with Hitler hell-bent on a European war, we should be thankful a man came along at the right time with the ideas and tactics to make such a war as short as possible. His success in Poland, France and in the early days of the invasion of Russia mark him out as a General who knew how to win. But Guderian was a victim of this success. His panzer armies ploughed deep into Russia towards Moscow and were ordered to stop. Guderian was no slave to fascism. He was a rebel who wasn't afraid to voice his critical opinions to Hitler and was one of the few who had a shouting match with the dictator and lived. Macksey describes Guderian as "another rebellious senior product of the General Staff" and it was this which saw him being fired from his job. But when things started going badly for Hitler he brought back the man who had once openly challenged him. As Inspector General of Armoured Troops he worked closely with Albert Speer's Armaments Ministry and the two men worked wonders. null Macksey portrays Guderian as a guardian of Prussia's heritage who resisted Hitler and I would agree with that. As a German officer he obviously had to take orders from Hitler, but Guderian is one of the few who came away from the ruins of Berlin with their dignity intact, possibly even enhanced. --Mr. Hugh Harkin

I already knew about Guderian before, but learned more insight reading this book. A good companion for Guderian's own Panzer Leader. Macksey has made his interpretations and I largely have to agree with those. The book opens the personality of Guderian, and his hot temper, which gave him strength to argue with Hitler, but also got him enemies among other German generals. Some of the nice details in the book are comments on Rommel and von Manstein, with whom Guderian had much in common. --Finnish Major

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