A rare, enlightening account by an outstanding soldier reveals his thoughts and theories on ard warfare and motorized land battle which he then put in action to devastating effect during World War Two Guderian s treatise on the importance of tank development, and on modern mechanized technology, shows exactly why the Germans dominated land warfare in the early stage of the fighting....
|Title||:||Achtung - Panzer! (Cassell Military Classics)|
|Number of Pages||:||370 Pages|
|File Size||:||592 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Achtung - Panzer! (Cassell Military Classics) Reviews
Anyone who has studied the history of mobile warfare has been exposed indirectly to Guderian's precepts, but nowhere are they more coherently and simply explained than by the master himself. Most of this book is a history of World War I on the western front, but written in a way to draw conclusions, as sort of a giant debriefing examining where both sides screwed up. He lays out the evidence with hard numbers that destroys the arguments of his contemporaries, who advocated dispersing tanks and tying them to the pace of the infantry. He examines where the French and British hit on the right formula, and where they made mistakes and failed to exploit their tremendous success with massed tank attacks. Written in 1937, he spells out what Germany must do to exploit modern technology to avoid the stalemate of the Great War, and create a rapid victory. He describes the creation of Germany's Panzer divisions in detail that her enemies would have done well to study. It is rare for a man who was a vigorous, lead-from-the-front combat leader to have also the writing skill to put his well-reasoned studies into interesting form; hence the rare value of this volume. This belongs in your collection.
I am only through the first half of the book, and am very happy with Guderian's text and analysis. There are only occasional typos from lax editing, but when he gets to describing the major British and French offensives with large numbers of tanks in WWI, suddenly the German units defending against them are all Jaeger units (light infantry, originally with extra machine guns, used to augment cavalry formations to form a corps' advance guard early in the war). Every regiment and division mentioned is Jaegers. This really had me scratching my head, because there were only three German divisions in WWI that were composed of Jaeger regiments (Alpenkorps, Jaeger Division, and 200th Division), and none of these were present. It finally dawned on me what the problem must be: some older German printing and writing styles still popular in the 1930s (and later) had very similar "I" and "J" (not that odd: "J" and "Y" are modified forms of old Latin "I"). Someone must be have been looking at abbreviations for Infantrie Regiment (IR) and Infantrie Division (ID) at some point and mistaken them for JR and JD. Some translator should have his bippy slapped for this one. Anyone engaged to translate this work should have known better.
I enjoy WWI and WWII history, especially the machinery that came from those wars. WWI, especially, was the first time the modern ways of the Industrial Revolution clashed with the previous century's way of conducting war. Since this title will be of interest mainly to those who share a similar interest I will spare everyone a detailed history lesson. I can sum it up by stating that the refinement of the machine gun, improvements in artillery, the introduction of gas attacks, the development of a military use for aircraft, and the huge human resources available to feed into the meat grinder produced a slaughter unimaginable at the time and still horrendous today. The conflict evolved into a stalemate that seemed to do little but demand more sacrifice on the part of all combatants and civilians caught up in it all. The need to breach fortified defenses and hold them led to the development of the tank. While slow, unreliable, cumbersome and unwieldy at first, once tactics learned by trial and error as well as bloody experience began to yield results, the tank was on its way to becoming a battlefield necessity.Even though the British and the French were the pioneers in the development, there were still many who doubted its value and wanted to abandon it just as aircraft had their detractors. A few had the vision to understand the potential of the tank and began to think of how it could be deployed to maximum effect. A few of these also had the courage to state that the old ways of war, especially with mounted cavalry, were obsolete. Heinz Guderian was one of these men and this book, originally published in 1937, is a translation of a thesis/report/history he wrote of the tank after some 15 years of study and just a few years before he was to put his thoughts into action. The contents are his words and ideas. As such I cannot criticize or argue with them because there would be no point in that. The book is well annotated because some of the material Guderian used in writing it was faulty. These errors and clarifications are corrected at the end of each chapter. To read it and then know what happened after when his ideas were put into play is an amazing historical perspective on tank warfare. If I have one complaint about the book it is that many of the maps are small and poorly reproduced. The smaller print is blurry and hard to read. Some maps have too much detail for their size and it is very hard to sort things out and relate them back to the text. They may be his original sketches and that's why they are that way, but to truly appreciate and follow the battles and deployments he refers to I found a couple books of WWI maps very helpful. The West Point Atlas of War: World War I edited by General Vincent J Esposito was outstanding and Martin Gilbert's Atlas of World War I less so, but still useful. There is a section of glossy plates with b&w pictures showing a variety of armored cars, tanks, and other combat images. This book would be of little use to the military modeler since there are no in depth discussions or descriptions of vehicles in it. Consider as well, that when it was written many of the more famous vehicles of WWII were not in production yet. But, for someone interested in tactics, the evolution of the same relating to armor, or just the history of the wars, I can't say enough about this book.