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Heinz Guderian
HeinzGuderian

Name

Heinz Wilhelm Guderian

Born

17 June 1888

Died

14 May 1954 (aged 65)

Known for

Armoured warfare
Being kicked out by Hitler

Nickname

Der schnelle Heinz (Fast Heinz)

Mentioned by

Wilhelm Keitel

Portrayed by

Yves Brainville (The Bunker)

“Wie Rundstedt, wie Guderian!”
“Very worrying.”
―Heinz Guderian's opinion on the T-34.
 
“Thump them hard, don't pat them!”
―Guderian's tip on how to perform Blitzkrieg
 Heinz Wilhelm Guderian (17 June 1888 – 14 May 1954) was a German general during WWII, who was a pioneer in the development of armored warfare, and the leading proponent of tanks and mechanization in the Wehrmacht.

Guderian's Contributions

Guderian was born in Kulm, West Prussia, (now Chełmno, Poland). He entered the Army in 1907.

Although the British Army was the first to conceive and attempt armoured warfare and the concept of "Blitzkrieg" (lightning warfare), they did not fully develop it. Soviet marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky pursued the idea, but his doctrine was repudiated as contrary to Communist principles, and Tukhachevsky was executed in 1937. Guderian was the first who fully developed and advocated the strategy of blitzkrieg and put it into its final shape.

During the French campaign, he led his panzer forces in rapid blitzkrieg-style advances and earned the nickname "Der schnelle Heinz" (Fast Heinz) among his troops.

Conflicts with Hitler

He protested against Hitler's decision and as a result lost the Führer's confidence. He was relieved of his command on 25 December 1941. It was only after the German defeat at Stalingrad was Guderian given a new position.

In the final days of the war, Guderian he had a long series of violent rows with Hitler over the way Germany should handle the war on both fronts. Hitler finally dismissed Guderian on 28 March 1945 after a shouting-match over the failed counterattack of General Theodor Busse's 9th Army to break through to units encircled at Küstrin. He was replaced by General Hans Krebs.

Together with his Panzer staff, Guderian surrendered to American troops on 10 May 1945 and remained in U.S. custody as a prisoner of war until 17 June 1948. Despite Soviet and Polish government protests, he was not charged with any war crimes during the Nuremberg Trials.

Guderian died on 14 May 1954 at the age of 65, in Schwangau near Füssen (Southern Bavaria).

Role in Downfall Universe

Guderian does not appear in Downfall and he's mentioned once by Keitel, when he refutes Fegelein's idea of confronting Hitler. Subtitles sometimes don't mention Rundstedt and Guderian by name, because this would necessitate a long explanation of who they were.

The mention of Rundstedt and Guderian is also an indirect explanation of why the generals in the movie are such spineless yes-men. All of the competent generals were gone by that point. When they tried to explain to Hitler that the war was lost, he simply fired them.

Guderian is mentioned in one of PiretBCN's parodies, General Guderian goes on a sick leave. He also appears there as a photo.

Guderian briefly appears in the sixth episode of the War of The Hitlers series, where he is a member of The Bunker Hitler's general staff. Like his real life counterpart, Guderian gets dismissed by The Bunker Hitler. He would not be mentioned again in the series, leaving his fate ambiguous.[1]

Gallery

References


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