Panzer Leader (book)


Panzer Leader (book)

"Panzer Leader" ( _de. Erinnerungen eines Soldaten, literally "Memories of a Soldier") is an autobiography by Heinz Guderian. The book describes his service in the "Panzer" arm of the "Heer" during World War II.

Guderian's insights are important because of his association with the Panzer forces from a very early period, his high rank and involvement in many of the most important mobile operations of the war, and his eventual rise to Inspector General of Armored Troops, which involved him into regular direct interaction with Hitler and Speer in their high-level decision-making of the conduct of the last year of the war. However, his memoirs — written while imprisoned by the Allies after the war — also seem to be colored with public relations spin and perhaps a bit of self-aggrandizement as well, and may merit a measure of skepticism on the reader's part.

In Panzer Leader Page 13 he said: "In this year (1929) I became convinced that tanks working on their own or in conjunction with infantry could never achieve decisive importance. My historical studies; the exercises carried out in England and our own experience with mock-ups had persuaded me that the tanks would never be able to produce their full effect until weapons on whose support they must inevitably rely were brought up to their standard of speed and of cross-country performance. In such formation of all arms, the tanks must play the primary role, the other weapons beings subordinated to the requirements of the armor. It would be wrong to include tanks in infantry divisions: what was needed were armored divisions which would include all the supporting arms needed to fight with full effect".

The most prominent English language version is the 1952 translatation by Constantine Fitzgibbon, with a foreword by Captain B. H. Liddell Hart. The Da Capo Press editions have an additional introduction by Kenneth Macksey.

Known editions

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See also

* Armored warfare
*Eastern Front (World War II)


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