“Fast Heinz (Schneller Heinz)”, “Hammering Heinz” are the nicknames of Heinz Guderian, who was one of the pioneers of the blitzkrieg strategy. He brought the methods of making a mechanized war to perfection.
In Panzer Strategy:Blitzkrieg Guderian possesses the following skills:
Having distinguished himself in the Poland Campaign as the commander of the XIX Corps, Guderian successfully continued to run the blitzkrieg in France. As well as Rommel, he preferred acting without reference to the military commanders and moved his tanks at rapid-fire pace which was inconceivable for the enemy. It became one of the key factors of the success of the whole Campaign- after Gudarian’s 2nd Tank Group had cut across the Marne, the French left the Maginot line and subsequently, they wouldn’t be able to establish an effective defence any more... At that moment, the German tanks didn’t have any advantage over the French ones except that every German vehicle was equipped with a radio set. The other reasons of the German tank blitzkrieg success centered around a good organization. First, in the Wehrmacht all the tanks were drawn in the detached units, acting independently from the infantry. Secondly, they were led by the officers specially trained by Guderian. Thirdly, the tank units were constantly interacting with “the flying artillery”- the diving bombers, which gave them an effective air support on the battle field.
In the Operation “Barbarossa” Guderian’s warcraft showed its effectiveness again, allowing to organize the blitzkrieg for the first months of the war against the USSR. Early in September Guderian’s Army along with Kleista’s Army drew a cordon around Kiev. 600.000 Soviet soldiers were encircled. But the wide spread of Russia turned out to be very vast for the blitzkrieg. Continuing to gain tactical victories, Guderian’s troops were quite exhausted when they went up to the Soviet capital. In December 1941 the era of the German blitzkrieg came to a full stop. The Battle of Moscow ended with the defeat of the Germans and the Soviet counter-offensive. After that, “Fast Heinz” was dismissed from commanding the tank units for a long time. In 1943, he was appointed to the post of Inspector-General of the panzer troops. Here, he along with Reich Minister of Armaments Albert Speer succeeded in increasing the number of produced tanks.
After the failure of assassinating Hitler in 1944, Guderian became Chief of the Wehrmacht General Staff, however, in March 1945 he was discharged from the service for the proposal to conclude an instant peace with the Allies.
In spite of the fact that “Fast Heinz” was one of the chief architects of the Third Reich’s annexation wars, he managed to escape the Nuremberg trial. Guderian as well as Rommel wasn’t involved in the military offences.