Heinz Guderian

Heinz Guderian

Heinz Wilhelm Guderian , sometimes referred to as Schneller Heinz, was a German general during World War II. He was a leader in the development of armoured warfare, and is often credited with the development of the Blitzkrieg.

Early LifeEdit

Guderian was born in Kulm, West Prussia (now Chelmno, Poland).From 1901 to 1907 Guderian attended various military schools. He entered the Army in 1907 as an ensign-cadet in the (Hanoverian) Jäger-Bataillon No. 10, commanded by his father, Friedrich Guderian.  After attending the war academy in Metz he was made a Leutnant (full Lieutenant) in 1908. In 1911 Guderian joined the 3rdTelegraphen-Battalion of the Prussian Army Signal Corps. On 1 October 1913 he married Margarete Georgen with whom he had two sons, Heinz-Gunter (2 August 1914 – 2004) and Kurt (17 September 1918 – 1984). Both sons became highly decorated Wehrmacht officers during World War II; Heinz-Günter became a Panzer general in the Bundeswehr after the war.

World War IEdit

At the outset of World War I Guderian served as a Signals Officer in the 5th Cavalry Division. After completing a practical war course, on 28 February 1918 Guderian was appointed to the General Staff Corps, which he described as 'the proudest moment of my life'. This allowed him to get an overall view of battlefield conditions. He often disagreed with his superior officers. He was transferred to the intelligence department of the army, where he remained until the end of the war. Like many Germans, he disagreed with Germany signing the armistice in 1918, believing the German Empire should have continued the fight.