Panzer Leader (book)
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Panzer Leader (German: Erinnerungen eines Soldaten, literally "Memories of a Soldier") is an autobiography by Heinz Guderian. The book, written during his imprisonment by the Allies after the war, describes Guderian's service in the Panzer arm of the Heer before and 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.
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 translation by Constantine Fitzgibbon, with a foreword by Captain B. H. Liddell Hart. The Da Capo Press editions have an additional introduction by Kenneth Macksey.
- Guderian, Heinz (1950) . Erinnerungen eines Soldaten (Original German edition ed.). Heidelberg: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag.
- Guderian, Heinz (2001) . Panzer Leader (Da Capo Press Reissue edition ed.). New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81101-4.
- Guderian, Heinz (1957) . Panzer Leader (abridged) (First Ballantine Books Edition ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-25329-9.
- Guderian, Heinz (1952). Panzer Leader. Delhi, India: Army Publishers, Hindustan Offset Press. Cover Title misspelled "Panzar Leader".
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