- Guderian, Heinz Wilhelm
Generaloberst der Panzertruppe. Oberbefehler B 2nd Panzer Armee.
- 17-06-1888, Kulm, Westpreussen.
- 14-05-1954, age 65, Goslar.
Goslar, Hildesheimerstrasse. Family-grave.
Guderian, Heinz Wilhelm
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian, born 17-06-1888 in Kulm, West Prussia, entered the Army in 1907, age 19, as an ensign-cadet in the Jäger Bataillon No.10, commanded at that point by his father, Friedrich Guderian. He married Margarete Goerne, daughter of Generalarzt Ernst Goerne , who died age had two sons, Heinz (1914–2004) (see Guderian Heinz Günther) and Kurt (born 1918) (see Guderian Kurt). Both sons became highly decorated Wehrmacht officers during World War II, Heinz Günter became a Panzer Peneral in the Bundeswehr after the war. During World War I his father served as a Signals and General Staff officer. This allowed him to get an overall view of battlefield conditions. He often disagreed with his superiors and was transferred to the army intelligence department, where he remained until the end of the war. After the war, Guderian stayed in the reduced 100,000-man German Army, Reichswehr as a company commander in the 10th Jäger-Battalion. Heinz wrote many papers on mechanized warfare,
which were seen in the German Army as authoritative. These papers were based on extensive war gaming without troops, with paper tanks and finally with armored vehicles. In the Second World War, Guderian first served as the commander of the XIX Corps in the invasion of Poland. General von Kleist began the offensive on 09-05-1940. Following the Manstein Plan, Kleist's troops attacked through the wooded hills of the Ardennes. Kleist wanted to move cautiously but General Heinz Guderian, who commanded the 1st , 2nd and 10th Panzer Divisions , moved at great speed and crossed the Meuse near Sedan on 14th May. Kleist now ordered Guderian to halt until the arrival of General Siegmund List (see List) and his 12th Army. Guderian disagreed with Kleist's view that the panzers needed the support of the infantry. After a heated argument with Kleist, who had the support of his superiors, Gerd von Rundstedt (see Rundstedt) and Heinrich von Brauchitsch (see Brauchitsch), on 17-05-1940, Guderian threatened to resign. Kleist responded by sacking Guderian. In 1941 he commanded Panzergruppe 2, also known as Panzergruppe Guderian, in Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, receiving the 24th award of the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He protested against one of Hitler's (see Alois Hitler) decision and as a result lost the Führer's confidence. In September 1942, when Erwin Rommel (see Rommel) was recuperating in Germany from health problems, he suggested Guderian to OKW as the only one who could replace him temporarily in Africa, the response of Hitler came in the same night: "Guderian is not accepted". Only after the German defeat at Stalingrad (see Paulus) was Guderian given a new position. On 21-07-1944, after the failure of the July 20 Plot in which Guderian had no involvement, Guderian was appointed Chief of Staff of the army. However, he had a long series of violent rows with Hitler (see Adolf Hitler) over the way in which Germany should handle the war on both fronts. Hitler (see Hitler Paula), finally dismissed Guderian on 28-03-1945 after a shouting-match over the failed counterattack of General Theodor Busse's 9th Army (see Busse) and Wenck's (see Wenck) Twelfths Army. Together with his Panzer Staff, Guderian surrendered to American troops on 10-05-1945 and remained in U.S. custody as a prisoner of war until his release on 17-06-1948.
Guderian died on 14-05-1954 at the age of 65, in Schwangau near Füssen Bavaria and is buried in a family grave at the Friedhof Hildesheimer Strasse in Goslar. Next to their grave is the grave of SS Obergruppenführer Richard Darré (see Darré). Further away are the graves of WWII Generals Gustav Wagner (see Wagner), Ernst Adolph (see Adolph) and Friedrich Foertsch (see Foertsch).