Heinz Guderian Bio

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Heinz Guderian also was known as Heinz Willhelm Guderian was born on June 17, 1888, in Kulm. Germany. Currently known as Chelmo in Poland.
He was a German general and tank expert who significantly contributed to Germany’s victories in France, the Soviet Union and Poland in World War Two.

He studied in military schools and the military academies in Berlin.
He fell in love with Margaret Goerne, but his father feared that he was too young and hence he sent him to Telegraphen-Battalion Nr.3. He returned in 1913 after finishing the course, and He married Margeret. They had two sons who both participated in the World War Two.

Later, he joined the German army in 1908. He served as a staff officer in the World War One and then gained Adolf Hitler’s attention in 1935.
He is known as the father of the Blitzkrieg, a method used for attacking which surprised all the nations up to 1942 during the World War Two. His plan was to make war mobile by having a force that was rapidly moving forward, without giving the enemy time to regroup. In July 1934, Hitler gave Guderian the task to perfect the fighting technique of the panzers.

The Achtung Panzer also known as Attention Tanks, involved combining many theories of the British General J.F.C. Fuller and General Charles de Gaulle, who had advised on the creation of independent and armored formations and mobile infantry support with the intention of increasing mobility on the ground by penetrating enemy lines.

As the chief of Germany’s mobile troop in 1938 November, he brought his theory into existence in the Polish campaign of September 1938 and marched to the French coast of the English Channel. He managed to eliminate France from the war.

This method of fighting also left an impact on the west of Europe and Poland resulting in the withdrawal of Allies at Dunkirk and victory during the large attack on the Soviet Union at Barbarossa.

However, he was dismissed in 1941 by Hitler after withdrawing his troops in the face of a Russian counteroffensive, during the Russian campaign where he had reached the outskirts of Moscow before he was driven back in October and hence losing Hitler’s favor. Later, Hitler reinstated him on March 1943 as inspector general of armored troops.

As the inspector general of armored forces, he commissioned for more production of tanks and later after July 20, 1944, prevented an attempt on Hitler’s life, Hitler appointed him as acting chief of staff. Hitler’s numerous meddling in Guderian’s actions led to his resignation on March 5, 1945.

In His path of duty, he faced numerous obstacles including the one within the Wehrmacht’s hierarchy, where an attack on Belgium and France would fail because of the rivers flowing in that region. However, He came up with a plan which used specialist engineering units to assemble pontoon bridges that could take the weight of tanks and that of the supporting vehicles.

Guderian wrote a book named Erinnerungen eines Soldaten in 1951. Translated into English as ‘Reminiscences of a soldier.’

Guderian died on May 14, 1954, in Schwangau bei Fussen, Germany at the age of 66 years.


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