Heinz Guderian

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Zoya, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    because a what do you think of guderian question was asked.i was trying to point out that logistics imo was not guderians greatest asset in russia,nor rommels in africa.montgomery however,in a huge area,like russia was a huge area as well,did understand logistics.lee.
     
  2. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    i am still only able to post small posts.i am trying tomaster my p.c am sorry i cant rite gert long posts.o.k.lee.
     
  3. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    because a what do you think of guderian question was asked.i was trying to point out that logistics imo was not guderians greatest asset in russia,nor rommels in africa.montgomery however,in a huge area,like russia was a huge area as well,did understand logistics.lee.

    In response to this, I think that one of the reasons why the Germans were eventually defeated on the Esatern Front was due to the sheer scale of operation, so I get what you mean, 4th wilts. I have read that the size of the Steppe, and the seeming never-ending landscape was enough to drive soldiers mad. I guess at the same time, it was probably enough to scramble even the best military brains, who weren't used to planning wholescale attack or defense on such a vast scale. One of the most effective weapons of the Motherland was the Motherland!
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    i thought zoyas origional 1st post was pointing rather more to the eastern front.lee.
    which makes your point about Montgomery totally irrelevant. North Africa and the Eastern Front are not comparable at all. In terms of Army's size the North African Campaign was a sideshow compared to the Eastern Front Lee.
     
  5. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    the north african theatre,from the torch landings in the west,casablanca,to alamain in the east,covers a huge geographical area does it not.lee.
     
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    It covers a huge area but in terms of armies fighting there well it doesnt really compare with Russia now does it?? And by the way, since when did Montgomery command the forces in the Western Desert? In fact he was only in Command of 8th army and was under the Command of Harold Alexander. We can keep this up but this is a discussion about Guderian and as you have already said Zoya's post was about the East so our continued discussion about North Africa is a bit of an irrelevance is it not?

    Zoya, if Guderian had won the argument to redeploy 6th SS Panzer Army to the Seelow area, I would imagine that the only result would have been Zhukov would not have reached Berlin, the prize would have been taken by Koniev.
     
  7. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    Zoya, if Guderian had won the argument to redeploy 6th SS Panzer Army to the Seelow area, I would imagine that the only result would have been Zhukov would not have reached Berlin, the prize would have been taken by Koniev.

    Yes, good point :)
     
  8. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    but,do you think stalin would have allowed that.i know he played his generals against each other,but surely everybody in ussr knew zhukov was perhaps their greatest general,i dont think stalin had any choice but to let zhukovs armies take berlin.
     
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    In Fact Koniev's Units reached the south of the city Lee and were fighting in some of the suburbs by the end of the battle. But Zhukov got the Centre to himself.
     
  10. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    Am I right in thinking Koniev was deliberately sent to the south of Berlin to ensure the capture of Heisenberg and von Weizs├Ącker's atomic research and supplies of uranium before the Allies got their hands on it? Stalin needed both the materials and the scientific knowledge for nuclear research. That's one of the reasons why an encirclement of Berlin was so important, rather than a simple Eastern approach.
     
  11. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    if patton had his way and got to berlin first,the americans would have even more scientists.lee.
     
  12. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Am I right in thinking Koniev was deliberately sent to the south of Berlin to ensure the capture of Heisenberg and von Weizs├Ącker's atomic research and supplies of uranium before the Allies got their hands on it? Stalin needed both the materials and the scientific knowledge for nuclear research. That's one of the reasons why an encirclement of Berlin was so important, rather than a simple Eastern approach.
    Certainly Beevor's book puts this theory forward Zoya and I've found nothing to say that this wasnt the case. As regards the Allies getting there first I think that Eisenhower knew that Berlin as a prize was not worth the human cost. Remember the Allies werent to know that the Germans:
    (a) werent planning a National Redoubt in the Alps
    or
    (b) would flock to surrender to the Western Allies.

    Eisenhower knew the cost of taking Berlin would be horrendous and why not give it to the russians. They were closer and were planning to take it.
     
  13. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    yes,i know zhukovs troops took berlins centre,thankyou for reminding me gott,i nearly forgot.
     
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    yes,i know zhukovs troops took berlins centre,thankyou for reminding me gott,i nearly forgot.
    Well I'm glad I could help Lee. :D All part of the service!! ;)
     
  15. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    on a serious note,imo he should have been made to jig,like the other generals at the war trials in nurmberg.lee.
     
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Who? Guderian?
     
  17. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

    Rather than looking at theatre and battles, we need to judge the Generals on their grasp of Generalship.

    Guderian was no doubt one of the great generals of the war.
    He managed to flesh out a new doctrine for the Germans.

    Well sort of new. The stosstruppen taktik was invented in WWI, the aufdragstaktik/mission command is even older. Guderian managed to put together the old teachings and some interesting ideas form Britain regarding armoured warfare. The result was a sound all-arms doctrine that worked.

    In addition he was willing to risk reputation by standing up for his views. Schnelle Heinz got an A+ on his exam in France 1940. By 1942 the Germans were reduced to a one trick pony, that lingered on due to their mission command.

    Monty is also a great of the war.
    Monty was an eager student of his profession, and put it in good use during the war.

    As a young Mj.General in 1940, he trained his men to be able to follow the 'Dyle plan'. Once back in Britain he quickly grasped how to acheive an effective defence with little mobile troops. The idea of a light crust, coupled with a strong mobile reserve was inoventive and effective.

    Monty was also able to size up the situation. In North Africa he changed his plans to suit the level of training and equipment of his men. He stood up to Churchill in his quest to go on the offensive straight away.

    In Africa Monty displayed his grasp of new technology and application of it. He did sterling work in making the Desert air force a part of his army.

    Hampered with a deep embedded autocratic command style he sought to find a way to fight effectivly with it. The real gem of lessons learned in the desert is the reorganisation of deployment and command of the Royal Artillery.

    Monty also developed a doctrine. His balance concept coupled with his view of the Air War, points at the Air-Land doctrine used by so many today.

    Monty was also a cool and calculating commander, holding his attack until he was ready. Deception to gain surprise was an important tool to him, and he managed to pull it off in most of his battles.

    His care for his men is also an important point. He held the soldiers to be the most important asset. He drew a picture of the Tommy as an enlightened person that had to be treated as such. Giving out as much information as possible, and giving the men the training they needed points to his professionalism.

    So there you have it. Two great commanders each in their own right.
     
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    on a serious note,imo he should have been made to jig,like the other generals at the war trials in nurmberg.lee.
    Why, in your opinion, should have Guderian been hung?
     
  19. MLW

    MLW Senior Member

    I find it ironic. On one hand, many people attribute almost omnipotent knowledge and power to Hitler, yet then we like to believe certain senior officers had no knowledge of the dirtier side of the war. Perhaps Guderian was not directly involved in war attrocities, but it hard to believe that he had no knowledge of what was going on. Higher level command and staffs just do not operate that way. Here is a photo of Guderian in happy years.

    Cheers,
    Marc
     

    Attached Files:

  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'd agree with that, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, or one ends up executing the entire population for varying degrees of complicity in the Reich. The trials made something of a speciality of defining that line and in their contemporary view Guderian lay outside their remit. A degree of complicity (even a fairly substantial one), as is inevitable in such an exalted position within such a bizarre regime, doesn't necessarily make one a war criminal.

    (Another nice shot, and what a remarkably tall General. Or was Guderian five foot nothing...)

    Cheers,
    Adam
     

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