Guderian

Individual German officers, soldiers and award holders.

Moderator: Commissar D, the Evil

User avatar
Einsamer_Wolf
Banned
Posts: 759
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:45 pm
Location: New York, NY

Guderian

Post by Einsamer_Wolf » Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:30 am

SALUT!

I am presently reading the memoirs of Heinz Guderian. A truly awe-inspiring text that only intensifies a great sense of admiration and respect for the German Armed Forces. One recurring theme in the text that I have noticed is the impression the author gives the reader that pretty much the whole OKH was time and again opposed to Guderian's ideas. There is even a sense that there is a personal vendetta against the man. In particular, the anecdotes regarding interaction between Guderian and Von Kluge are pretty venomous.
I was wondering to what extent other readers felt this was fair and accurate, and to what extent the author is overstating things to try and pass the buck so to speak, ie vindicate himself from any responsbility for Germany;s tragic defeat.

Einsamer Wolf
Mögen die Flammen unserer Begeisterung niemals zum Erlöschen kommen.

User avatar
Kameraden
Contributor
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:48 am
Location: West Lothian Scotland

Post by Kameraden » Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:29 am

Well Von Kluge once challenged Guderian to a Duel with Hitler as his Second.

So i don't think there is any over statement there.
I will show you were the Iron Crosses Grow!

User avatar
Einsamer_Wolf
Banned
Posts: 759
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:45 pm
Location: New York, NY

Post by Einsamer_Wolf » Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:51 am

I know Guderian and von Kluge did not get along. But the prior gives the impression that the rest of the OKH hardbiored similar dislike for him. Guderian obviously has an incentive to overstate things, to absolve him of responsiblity for his nation's failure to win the war. Ie, is this fair and objective to characterize the rest of his peers this way, or is it just passing the buck, so to speak?

EW

LUFC
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:16 pm
Location: London

Deipenhof

Post by LUFC » Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:19 pm

Am also reading and enjoying Panzer Leader.
In 1942, for services rendered, Hitler gave Guderian a grant for the purchase of an estate. After recovering from illness Guderian and his wife settled at Deipenhof. Where is this located (area was given as Hohensalza/Inowroclaw) and what is its Polish name today?

PaulJ
Contributor
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 3:29 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Post by PaulJ » Mon May 03, 2004 4:23 pm

There is another issue here besides blame for Germany's defeat, that is the question of the extent to which Guderian was opposed by the established interests of the German higher command during the formative years of his theories and the early years of the war. Indeed, I would suggest that blame for Germany's defeat is not, in fact, the central theme of Guderian's book.

I would submit that the central theme of Guderian's memoirs could fairly be summarized thusly:
I am a genius who invented the blitzkrieg and brought it to realization against opposition at every turn from the hide-bound traditionalists in the High Command, which makes the eventual triumph of the blitzkrieg technique so much the more remarkable an accomplishment of mine.
I exagerate somewhat, but not by much.

It is now pretty clear that this view was, essentially, egoism on Guderian's part, egoism indulged in the historical literature by that other great self-promoter Liddel-Hart. Not that Guderian was not a military genius, but he neither single-handledly invented the "blitzkrieg method" of panzer warfare nor was he particularly opposed by the German hierarchy.

For an excellent modern scholarly view of this, see "The Roots of Blitzkrieg" by Jame Corum. For a truly outstanding examination of the First World War stormtroop tactics background to the sort of thinking that (with the addition of panzers) became "blitzkrieg", see "Stormtroop Tactics" by Bruce Gudmundsson.

Beppo Schmidt
Associate
Posts: 657
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:25 pm

Post by Beppo Schmidt » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:16 pm

Unfortunately no memoir or autobiography is likely to be objective. Most generals are going to naturally tout their own accomplishments.

User avatar
Craig Soward
Supporter
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Tasmania, Australia

Guderian

Post by Craig Soward » Thu Jul 08, 2004 6:01 pm

Guderian may not have single handedly invented the BLITZKRIEG but if there had been more leaders like him (& they were allowed to actually have some free reign in running the war, instead of it being run by the Lance Corporal & military ignoramus Hitler), things may have turned out a little different for the German army, in many of the key battles EG; Kursk.
Guderian should be remembered as being a great leader of men & one of the fathers of the Panzerwaffe & tank warfare in general.
They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun & in the morning...WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. LEST WE FORGET!

PaulJ
Contributor
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 3:29 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Guderian

Post by PaulJ » Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:39 am

Craig Soward wrote:Guderian may not have single handedly invented the BLITZKRIEG but if there had been more leaders like him ... things may have turned out a little different ...
Quite so. So thank God there weren't.
Craig Soward wrote:Guderian should be remembered as being a great leader of men & one of the fathers of the Panzerwaffe & tank warfare in general.
Well... one of the fathers of German armoured warfare certainly, and a highly effective military leader. But why this persistent romanticization of German military leaders? This is quite a strong theme in places like this forum.
Paul Johnston
Per Ardua ad Astra
http://tactical-airpower.tripod.com

User avatar
Craig Soward
Supporter
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Tasmania, Australia

Post by Craig Soward » Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:19 am

Paul,

Not really romanticising German leaders, just I guess interested in how things may have turned out, had things been done a bit differently, in regards to OKW & how the war was conducted; EG Hitler's ridiculous stand & fight till the last man & bullet orders which seemed common place throughout the war & which cost the German army a huge toll, in both men & materiel.

We, in theWest (The victors) have all been told & taught one version of events, it is just nice to be able to see things from the other perspective too (as there are always two sides to every story).

Cheers,

Craig.
They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun & in the morning...WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. LEST WE FORGET!

User avatar
mellenthin
Supporter
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Belgium

Re:

Post by mellenthin » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:30 am

PaulJ wrote:There is another issue here besides blame for Germany's defeat, that is the question of the extent to which Guderian was opposed by the established interests of the German higher command during the formative years of his theories and the early years of the war. Indeed, I would suggest that blame for Germany's defeat is not, in fact, the central theme of Guderian's book.

I would submit that the central theme of Guderian's memoirs could fairly be summarized thusly:
I am a genius who invented the blitzkrieg and brought it to realization against opposition at every turn from the hide-bound traditionalists in the High Command, which makes the eventual triumph of the blitzkrieg technique so much the more remarkable an accomplishment of mine.
I exagerate somewhat, but not by much.

It is now pretty clear that this view was, essentially, egoism on Guderian's part, egoism indulged in the historical literature by that other great self-promoter Liddel-Hart. Not that Guderian was not a military genius, but he neither single-handledly invented the "blitzkrieg method" of panzer warfare nor was he particularly opposed by the German hierarchy.

For an excellent modern scholarly view of this, see "The Roots of Blitzkrieg" by Jame Corum. For a truly outstanding examination of the First World War stormtroop tactics background to the sort of thinking that (with the addition of panzers) became "blitzkrieg", see "Stormtroop Tactics" by Bruce Gudmundsson.
If there is one thing that Guderian did not say, it is that he inventred the theory of Blitzkrieg. In spite of that, you will continuously read statements that he did say so. Strangely enough, the same individuals will say that he overstated the influence of Liddel Hart. There is a contradiction there. He cannot have invented the theory and be influenced by others. Even the nitpicking on that point has no merit as Guderian could scarcely exactly remember what he read from whom and when and what influence it had 20-30 years later when he wrote his memoirs.From the only 50 pages he devotes on the period of his life before 1939, one could get the impression that Guderian considered that his wartime service dwarfed all the rest. He would be probably very surprised about the amount of attention that is given on the lesser important part of his life.
The truth is that Guderian was the driving force behind the application of offensive armoured warfare in Germany,most importantly on the battlefield. That is what leading german panzer officers state and they would know. The resistance of more conservative officers certainly existed as is ackowledged by Manstein who did not agree with Guderians criticism of the general staff but at the same time recognizes Guderians important role and the resistance he faced.
i have great problems with individuals that pretend to refute myths that actually do not really exist, even if they are scholars.

LUFC
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:16 pm
Location: London

Re: Deipenhof

Post by LUFC » Wed May 09, 2012 11:02 am

LUFC wrote:Am also reading and enjoying Panzer Leader.
In 1942, for services rendered, Hitler gave Guderian a grant for the purchase of an estate. After recovering from illness Guderian and his wife settled at Deipenhof. Where is this located (area was given as Hohensalza/Inowroclaw) and what is its Polish name today?
All these years later, I've found it - it's Głębokie, two towns east of Lake Goplo (Goplosee). http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msa=0& ... 1485a85b4e. Right on the 1914 border.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Guderian

Post by julian » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:32 am

Even today, you still have these useless revisionists trying to refute on internetforums that Guderian invented the theory of offensive armored warfare. Mentioning the minor detail that he never pretended this never stops them.
It even goes so far as denying the man any contribution on the theoretical side which is unjust, incorrect and without any merit as Guderian would have been pleased with his role concerning the practical application, particularly on the battlefield.

lwd
Enthusiast
Posts: 472
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:35 am

Re: Guderian

Post by lwd » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:52 pm

Craig Soward wrote:Guderian may not have single handedly invented the BLITZKRIEG but if there had been more leaders like him (& they were allowed to actually have some free reign in running the war, instead of it being run by the Lance Corporal & military ignoramus Hitler), things may have turned out a little different for the German army, in many of the key battles EG; Kursk. ....
May have but it would probably not have changed things much. Then there's the little matter of giving the devil his due. Some of Hitler's decisions especially his early war ones turned out quite well for the Germans. The decisions he made as head of state were the ones that ruined Germany not those that dealt with tactics.
julian wrote:Even today, you still have these useless revisionists trying to refute on internetforums that Guderian invented the theory of offensive armored warfare. Mentioning the minor detail that he never pretended this never stops them. ....
They are hardly revisionist then are they, nor are they useless. Here's a hint it really doesnn't matter whether or not he started the myth or someone else did the myth exists and needs to be refuted.

User avatar
julian
Supporter
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:34 am
Contact:

Re: Guderian

Post by julian » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:14 am

It will be difficult to anybody that will say that Guderian invented the theory of armored warfare.
So there is no myth to be refuted and trying to put out that Guderian overstated his own role on the theoretical side is not even close to the truth.

lwd
Enthusiast
Posts: 472
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:35 am

Re: Guderian

Post by lwd » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:54 pm

julian wrote:It will be difficult to anybody that will say that Guderian invented the theory of armored warfare.
Yet I have seen it stated on a number of forums by a number of posters.
So there is no myth to be refuted
Your opinion does not appear to correlate with reality.
and trying to put out that Guderian overstated his own role on the theoretical side is not even close to the truth.
Isn't it? I'm not an expert but depending on just what your are referring to I've seen what look like valid arguments to that effect. So it appears to me you are not correct here either. By the way I'm not saying he did just that I've seen arguments to that effect which list his writings as sources.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron