Born in Kulm, Germany, on 17 June 1888, Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was the son of an army officer. He eventually joined the German Army and was commissioned in the Jaegers in 1908 where he became a communications specialist. He fought in the First World War and afterwards was a member of the right-wing Freikorps units. Between the wars, Guderian became a catalyst for developing a Panzer division in the German Army. By February 1938 he had been promoted to Lieutenant General; later that year Hitler appointed Guderian to the new post of Chief of Mobile Troops. Guderian was a man of ideas equipped with the ability to turn inspiration into reality. A master of strategy and tactics, he was the officer who led the attack on Poland in September and in so doing introduced the world to the reality of Blitzkrieg. This biography draws on material from Enigma sources and information taken directly from the extensive Guderian family archives to explore the man who was partly responsible for the development of modern tank warfare and who is considered to be the father of Blitzkrieg.The author also looks at Guderian s reaction to the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler as well as illuminates the struggles within the German hierarchy, in the process investigating why Guderian was so admired by some while denigrated by others.
Born in 1923, Kenneth Macksey was commissioned into the Royal Armoured Corps during the Second World War, going on to serve under Percy Hobart he later wrote an authoritative biography of that leader. Having been promoted Major in 1957, Macksey retired from the Army in 1968, having been awarded the Military Cross in December 1944. Macksey has enjoyed a long and successful career as a historian and author specialising in military history and military biographies. He passed away in November 2005.