Panzer Leader is a candid and dramatic account of the development and campaigns of the panzer forces that, along with the Luftwaffe, stood at the heart of blitzkrieg; it is also a searing group portrait of the Third Reich's leading personalities as they turned early victory into a protracted, agonizing defeat. }Germany's opening run of victory in World War II was only made possible by the panzer forces that Heinz Guderian (18881954), the father of modern tank warfare, had created and trained, and by his audacious leading of those forces from 1939 to 1941. Guderian's breakthrough at Sedan and lightning drive to the Channel coast virtually decided the Battle of France. The drive he led into the East came close to producing the complete collapse of Russia's armies, but at the end of 1941 Guderian was dismissed for taking a timely step back instead of pandering to Hitler's illusions. He was recalled to service only when Germany's situation had become desperate, and he was eventually made chief of the General Staff when all had become hopeless. Panzer Leader is a candid and dramatic account of the development and campaigns of the panzer forces that, along with the Luftwaffe, stood at the heart of blitzkrieg; it is also a searing group portrait of the Third Reich's leading personalities as they turned early victory into a protracted, agonizing defeat. } --Larry Petersen
Opening with an excellent foreword which puts you in the mindset of the German General Staff, this book allows you to understand WWII from the German perspective. The book starts off by describing the development of German armoured warfare which arose out of a need for mobile defence, a direct result of the Treaty of Versailles. This gives valuable insight into how the Germans were able to bring about swift victories in Poland and France at the start of the war by using their experiences from re-militarising the Ruhr region and the friendly invasion of Austria. Guderian then gives an account of his campaigns in Poland, France and Russian up to the end of the first year when he was dismissed by Hitler. The account is backed up by sketch maps and you get an impression of what it was like to be there with the difficulties they faced from supplies to weather, the enemy and worst of all with their own high command. Later in the war Guderian is recalled to service to try to reverse the worsening fortunes of the Army and it is this part of the book which is probably the most interesting as you see his constant battles with Hitler and the high command to make them see sense such as not to launch operation Citadel (at Kursk). However in the end sense rarely prevails and you see the disastrous consequences that Guderian has predicted come to light. At the end of this book you come away with a good impression of Guderian and I feel that he was trying to make the best of a bad situation. --Paul R.
A very good book, describing the difficulties of Guderian's battles against the Inept Nazi high command, plus the actual battles he fought in against the allies. He comes across as a good general who didn't mind getting up front to where the fighting was, and seems genuinely worried about the wellfare of his troops. He is also critical of the Nazi policy against the Slavic people saying it was a wasted opertunity to rally the russian people against the threat of communism, instead treating them as slaves instead of allies. Overall a very good book. --Adrian Formann
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Heinz Guderian (18881954) rose through the ranks of the German military to become chief of the general staff. He was also the author of Achtung, Panzer! and With the Tanks in the East and West.