Heinz Guderian

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At the center Major General Heinz Guderian and Brigadier Semyon Krivoshein to the right.

Heinz Guderian (June 17, 1888 - May 14, 1954), a German WWII general and tank commander, theorist of tank combat and one of the founders of blitzkrieg strategy. He was not charged with any war crimes during the Nuremberg Trials since his actions and behavior were ruled to be consistent with those of a professional soldier. Heinz Guderian died on May 14, 1954 at the age of 65, in Schwangau near Füssen (Southern Bavaria) and is buried at the Friedhof Hildesheimerstrasse in Goslar.

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  • Klotzen, nicht Kleckern! (Boot'em, don't spatter'em!)
    • This is Guderian's most famous quote, which has become a stock phrase. It is said that Adolf Hitler was so impressed by the quote that he often used it. It roughly means "Don't do things by half." Quoted in "How Great Generals Win" - Page 227 - by Bevin Alexander - History - 1993
  • Es gibt keine verzweifelten Lagen, es gibt nur verzweifelte Menschen. (There are no desperate situations, there are only desperate people.)
    • Quoted in "Die Deutschen gepanzerten Truppen bis 1945" by Oskar Munzel - Tanks (Military science) - 1965
The engine of the Panzer is a weapon just as the main-gun.
  • Der Motor des Panzers ist ebenso seine Waffe wie die Kanone. (The engine of the Panzer is a weapon just as the main-gun.)
    • Quoted in "Die Deutschen gepanzerten Truppen bis 1945" - Page 159 - by Oskar Munzel - Tanks (Military science) - 1965
  • Fahrkarte bis zur Endstation. (Ticket to the last station.)
    • Shouting to his Panzertroops when they were roaring past him, meaning that they should go as far as they could. Quoted in "Panzerkrieg: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions" - Page 83 - by Peter McCarthy, Mike Syron - Technology - 2003
  • We have severely underestimated the Russians, the extent of the country and the treachery of the climate. This is the revenge of reality.
    • Quoted in "Images of Kursk: History's Greatest Tank Battle, July 1943" - Page 7 - by Nikolas Cornish - History - 2002
We have severely underestimated the Russians, the extent of the country and the treachery of the climate. This is the revenge of reality.
  • If the tanks succeed, then victory follows.
    • Quoted in "Panzerkrieg: The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Tank Divisions" - Page 33 - by Peter McCarthy, Mike Syron - Technology - 2003
  • Logistics is the ball and chain of armored warfare.
    • Quoted in "Sword Point" - Page 141 - by Harold Coyle - 1988
  • It's simply our duty to save these people, and we still have time to remove them! But it's useless to sacrifice men in this senseless way. It's high time! We must evacuate those soldiers at once!
    • To Adolf Hitler, about the German army being cut off in Courland. Quoted in "Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs" - Page 534 - by Albert Speer - National socialists - 1971
  • Man schlägt jemanden mit der Faust und nicht mit gespreizten Fingern. (You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread.)
    • Meaning that you should concentrate your Panzers for one mighty push in one direction and not distribute them over a large area. Quoted in "Die Deutschen gepanzerten Truppen bis 1945" - Page 209 - by Oskar Munzel - Tanks (Military science) - 1965

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You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread.
  • Der Kampf gegen die eigenen Oberen macht manchmal mehr Arbeit als gegen die Franzosen. (It is sometimes tougher to fight my superiors than the French.)
  • Whenever in future wars the battle is fought, armored troops will play the decisive role...
  • It is decisive to completely destroy Warsaw.

About Guderian

  • If Guderian was not always successful in carrying out his theories everywhere during the war, it was due to the struggle against the mistrust of so many elderly officers who knew nothing, or little, about tanks. He was the creator and master-teacher of our Armoured Forces - and I lay particular stress on the word 'master'.
    • Hasso Manteuffel
  • Sixty per cent of what the German Panzer Forces became was due to him. Ambitious, brave, a heart for his soldiers, who liked and trusted him; rash as a man, quick in decisions, strict with officers, real personality, therefore many enemies. Blunt, even to Hitler. As a trainer - good; thorough; progressive. If you suggest revolutionary ideas, he will say in 95 per cent of cases, 'Yes', at once.
    • General Freiherr von Geyr

External links

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