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The Contender
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0 Points

Heinz Guderian was a better general than Erich Von Manstein

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2013 Category: Arts
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,785 times Debate No: 41208
Debate Rounds (5)
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I personally believe that Rommel and Guderian were the two best generals of WWII. I am challenging ej3467273 to this debate because he believes that Manstein was the best general of WWII. I will argue that Guderian was a better general. By "better" I don't only talk about how successful a general was, but also about how skilled a general was.

Round 1 is for acceptance only.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


There were multiple generals that were just as skilled, if not more skilled, than Manstein.

In his book, Panzer Leader, Guderian wrote:

"In this year (1929) I became convinced that tanks working on their own or in conjunction with infantry could never achieve decisive importance. My historical studies; the exercises carried out in England and our own experience with mock-ups had persuaded me that the tanks would never be able to produce their full effect until weapons on whose support they must inevitably rely were brought up to their standard of speed and of cross-country performance. In such formation of all arms, the tanks must play the primary role, the other weapons being subordinated to the requirements of the armour. It would be wrong to include tanks in infantry divisions: what were needed were armoured divisions which would include all the supporting arms needed to fight with full effect." [1]

Guderian was one of the major generals who developed the Blitzkrieg strategy which became so useful while fighting in Poland, France, and the Soviet Union. Heinz Guderian realized the potential that a combination of tanks and infantry could be deadly.

Hermann Balck said: "The decisive breakthrough into modern military thinking came with Guderian, and it came not only in armour, but in communication." [1]

The German victories from 1939 through 1941 were not due to superior equipment, but to superior tactics in the use of that equipment, and superior command and control which allowed the German panzer forces to operate at a much higher pace. Guderian developed the strategy which helped Germany conquer Europe.

Now onto the Second World War:

Invasion of Poland

Guderian led the XIX Corps during the invasion of Poland. This corps comprised a panzer division and two motorized infantry divisions. Guderian led his corps in the Battle of Wizna and the Battle of Kobryn and defeated Polish forces. In each of these battles his theories of rapid maneuver in combat proved highly successful. Following the defeat of Poland, Guderian continued to improve the Panzers in armor and firepower.

Invasion of France

Guderian helped to develop the Manstein Plan for the invasion of France. His force spearheaded the invasion of France which proved successful. He led the attack that broke the French lines at Sedan which proved successful. Guderian's panzer group led the "race to the sea" that split the Allied armies in two, depriving the French armies and the BEF in Northern France and Belgium of their fuel, food, spare parts and ammunition. Faced with orders from his superiors to halt, he managed to continue his advance by stating he was performing a 'reconnaissance in force'. Guderian's column was famously denied the chance to destroy the Allied forces trapped in the pocket at Dunkirk by an order coming from the high command.

Invasion of Russia

In 1941 he commanded the Panzergruppe 2 in Operation Barbarossa. His armoured spearhead captured Smolensk in a remarkably short time and was poised to launch the final assault on Moscow when he was ordered to turn his army south to encircle the Soviet forces to his south in the Battle of Kiev. He protested this decision.

Guderian then spearheaded the drive on Moscow. With winter fast approaching the offensive seemed to be doomed. He was ordered to continue the advance anyway. Several units under Guderian's command made it to the outskirts of Moscow. The Soviets then launched a counterattack that sent the German forces reeling and threatened a general collapse. Guderian was not allowed to pull his forces back, but instead was ordered to "stand fast" in his current position. He disobeyed the order, going personally to Adolph Hitler's headquarters. The order was not changed. After returning to his command, he carried out a series of withdrawals anyway in direct contradiction of his orders. After a final clash with von Kluge, Guderian asked to be relieved of his command. On December 26, 1941 Guderian was relieved, along with 40 other generals. He was transferred to the reserve pool.

In September 1942, when Erwin Rommel was recuperating in Germany from health problems, he suggested Guderianas the only man suitable to replace him in Africa. The response from the Oberkommando came in the same night: "Guderian is not accepted."

Manstein did originally develop the plan for invading France, but he suffered many defeats. He was defeated at the Fourth Battle of Kharkov by Ivan Konev and the at the Battle of Kursk by Georgy Zhukov. [2]

Manstein failed to break through to Stalingrad in 'Operation Winter Storm'. [3]

Manstein was later defeated by the Soviets at the battle of the Dnieper and sacked by Hitler. [4]

More info on Guderian in the next round.



ej3467273 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Oh well, I suppose that ff is a sign that I win this debate.

Manstein suffered multiple defeats while Guderian only lost at Moscow. Manstein used tank tactics that Guderian developed. Guderian enabled the German invasion of different countries in WWII.


ej3467273 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Debate is over I guess...


I have to concede. My internet has been shut down for the last few days and I didn't have enough time to do find all my sources.
Debate Round No. 4


Very well. Please type something for this round to make it end faster.


Which is better, Ice cream or pie?
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Gs325jcbd 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: ej3467273 forfeited all of his turns except 3. and i prefer ice cream over pie.