German General Heinz Wilhelm Guderian, possibly in Russia, c. 1944. Heinz Guderian (1888 – 1954) was a Prussian military theorist and renowned general during World War I and especially, World War II. Having originally fought in the 5th Cavalry Division in 1918, he later distinguished in the use of motorised units leading panzers in the invasions of Poland, France, and the USSR. Being in reserve after the disaster of Moscow of 1941, he wouldn’t lead a panzer unit until 1943, while in 1944 he was promoted to Chief of the General Staff of the Army. After the war Guderian was held in U.S. custody for three years but was later released without charge. He would work as a military advisor in West Germany.