gen_1.1.gifgen_2.1.gifHomeVeteran InterviewsLinksSchedule for 2014Suggested ReadingVeteran EndorsementPolish National AnthemOriginal DocumentsManual DownloadsEvent pics 2007Event pics 2008Event pics 2009Event pics 2010Event pics 2011Event Pics 2012Event pics 2013Event pics 2014Veteran ResearchVeteran Picse-mail me


gen_705.1.gif
500px-Herb_Polski.svg.png

Books Concerning Poland's Armed Forces in WWII

For a listing of books dealing specifically with the 1st Polish Armoured Division, please visit our Dragoons website


Bor-Komorowski, Tadeusz The Secret Army S. Yorkshire UK Frontline Books Reprint 2011

Description: Hardcover 407 pp, English Text. Great reprint of the 1950 memoirs of General Bor-Komorowski. As one would expect this is a very interesting book for those interested in the organization of the AK. The General outlines the early formation and chronicles the history of this important organization. His intimate knowledge of the key figures of the movement lends personal touch to the struggle against both the German occupier and Soviet antagonist. He writes in great detail about the Warsaw uprising and its affect on both the military and civilian population. As with all stories of  Poland during this time period, we know it does not have a happy ending. It is well worth the read.

Ciechanowski, Jan Defeat in Victory Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc 1947

Description: Hardcover 397 pp, English text. Mr. Ciechanowski was the Polish Ambassador to the United States from 1941 to 1945. As anyone who know the history of politics between Poland and the Allies during this time, the book is heart wrenching. A must read for anyone interested in the first hand account of the man who negotiated with the Roosevelt administrations' top politicians.

Peszke, Michael Dr. The Polish Underground Army, the Western Allies, and the Failure of Strategic Unity in World War II 
McFarland & Company, Inc Jefferson, North Carolina 2009
Description: Softcover, 244 pages. - Another very well done book by Dr. Peszke. As the title implies, this work takes a detailed look at the behind the scenes strategic planning by the Allies as Poland was concerned. Excellent footnotes, well researched and thorough this book does not disappoint. As always the disappointing part is watching Poland's fortunes spiral out of control as Roosevelt plays his disinterested hand in the affairs of Eastern Europe, acquiescing to Stalin's demands. This book however changed some of the more negative views I had of Churchill. Even late in the war the British government did at least make an attempt to work on Poland's behalf. I highly recommend this book to any serious student of World War Two.

Koniarek, Jan Dr. Polish Air Force 1939 - 1945 Texas: Squadron Signal Publications 1994
Description: Soft cover, 64pp, English text. An excellent overview of the PAF in typical Squadron pubs format. I would liken this to Zaloga's book as an excellent first step in learning about Poland's Air Force in WWII. The author debunks myths about Poland planes being destroyed on the ground within 24 hours of the 1 September invasion. It also should be noted that Poland had the fourth largest allied air force during the war with fighter and bomber squadrons serving throughout Europe.

Lietgeber, Witold Capt. Editor It Speaks for Itself What British War Leaders Said About the Polish Armed Forces 1939 - 46
London: 1946
Description:
Paperback, English text 163 pp. This is a compilation of communiques,
speeches and press reports which were publicly broadcast from 1939 -
46. It chronicles the high regard that field commanders and politicians
had for their Polish allies during the war. It can be difficult to read
knowing all the while that despite their best wishes and praise for
their longest fighting ally, Poland's political future was sold down the
river at Yalta. There is much irony in the words of this book. A good
read for anyone not already indoctrinated to the double speak of
politicians.

Henderson, Diana Dr. The Lion and the Eagle: Polish Second World War Veterans in Scotland Glasgow: Cualann Press 2001
Description:
Soft cover, 159 pp, English text. An interesting, personal story of 11
different interviews from Polish vets who are now residing in their
adopted home. This reads not like a military history but more of a human
interest book. The vets relate their experiences of heeding the call to
defend Poland from around the globe. From there they all have stories
about their lives in combat as well as the trials of learning a new
language and new customs in Scotland. It documents the personal
triumphs and tradgedies that the war brought about for these
individuals. 


Zamoyski, Adam The Forgotten Few The Polish Air Force in the Second World War New York: Hippocrene Books Inc. 1995
Description:
Hard cover, English text 239 pp. I would consider this as a next step
book after the Koniarek book. The author goes into much more detail on
the PAF's exploits during the war. He delves into very interesting
facets of the PAF documenting everything from officer / enlisted
relations to the other foreign nationals who volunteered to fly in
Polish squadrons.

Anders, Wladyslaw An Army in Exile The Story of the Second Polish Corps Nashville: The Battery Press Inc 1981

Description: Hardcover 319 pp, English text. This is the story of Gen. Andres prewar experience and subsequent deportation to Soviet Russia along with over million other Polish soldiers and civilians. He documents his terrible treatment at the hands of the NKVD and the politics which lead the eventual "amnesty" whereby the a Polish army was formed on Soviet soil. Their evacuation and subsequent retraining the the Middle East is detailed herein. Any student of Polish military history is well aware of the famous battles of Monte Casino, Ancona and Bolonga, all of which are described in the book. Definitely worth the read if you can get a copy.

Lane, Arthur Bliss I Saw Poland Betrayed New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1948
Description: Hard cover, English text 344 pages. One could consider this the "sister book" to Defeat in Victory. Here the U.S. Ambassador to Poland expresses the frustrations of dealing with Roosevelt's politics toward Poland during the war. An honorable man, Lane eventually retires from years of foreign service as a result of our betrayal of the longest fighting ally of WWII. Depressing to read but again required if you wish to study the politics behind Yalta and
other U.S. dealings with Poland.

Modelski, Tadeusz The Polish Contribution to the Ultimate Allied Victory in the Second World War Sussex: Caldra House Ltd 1986
Description: Soft cover, English text 280 pp. A very interesting read. Not only does
the author hit on many well known contributions such as Anders' II
Corps, Maczek's 1st Division and other military units, he also chronicles
the breaking of the Enigma code before the war. In addition other
incidents such as smuggling the V2 rocket guidance system out of Poland
is here as well.

Olson, Lynne & Cloud, Stanley A Question of Honor The Kosiuszko Squadron Forgotten Heroes of World War II New York: Alfred Knoff Publisher 2003
Description:
Hard cover, English text 495 pp. A well done work by the authors
initially focusing on one of the most famous Polish fighter squadrons of
WWII. The book details their exploits during the formation on British
soil and their amazing record during the Battle of Britain. As the book
progresses however it also begins to explore the politics behind the
allies betrayal of Poland. As I read it the book became more and more
dark as did Poland's prospects. The culmination of disappointment is
when Polish soldiers were not allowed to march in the WWII Victory
parade in London at war's end. A good but depressing read much like
Defeat in Victory  and I Saw Poland Betrayed.

Sosabowski, Stansislaw Freely I Served Nashville: The Battery Press 1982
Description:
English text, hard cover 203 pp. The story of the Polish 1st
Independent Parachute Brigade written by the man who formed it. Gen.
Sosabowksi begins with his prewar army life and moves on to series of
events which lead to the forming of the brigade. The events and politics
of the ill fated Arnhem drop and subsequent reorganization in the UK
are all detailed here. This book does not read as a self serving, "yeah
for me" book about the General but touches on the heroes that made up
his paratroopers.


Zaloga, Steven & Madej, Victor The Polish Campaign 1939 New York: Hippocrene Books Inc. 1985
Description:
Paperback, English text, 195 pp. After reading this I threw away my
other books about the 1939 campaign. For years and years falsehoods
about forlorn cavalry charges and the PAF being destroyed on the ground
have been repeated in other books. Even the U.S. army's 1956
The German Campaign in Poland though
a supposedly researched work doesn't come close to the accuracy I find
in Zaloga's book. Orders of battle, TO&E comparisons between German
and Polish forces, it's all here. He even goes so far as to list the
various regiments and their home stations that comprised the Polish
infantry and cavalry divisions. If you're serious about studying the
September campaign, get serious about getting a copy of this book.


Zaloga, Steven & Hook, Richard The Polish Army 1939 - 1945 London: Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 1982
Description: English text, soft cover 40 pp. This is the first book I purchased when I began to study Poland's involvement in WWII. This is an excellent primer for anyone who wants a quick overview of the Polish contribution.Well done color plates and many pictures as typical of the Osprey series. Highly recommended as a first step book towards further reading.

Langer, Rulka The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt : War Through a Woman's Eyes 1939-1940 Los Angeles: Aquila Polonica Ltd. 2009

Description: I believe limiting one’s study of WWII to battles and tactics will never give you a full picture of the years 1939 – 45. The destruction of civilian life and property was perpetrated on an unprecedented scale by the despotic armies of Hitler and his accomplices. Langer's book takes the reader of through the personal struggles of her immediate family and friends during the opening stages of the war. This is an important work not because it was written by a politician or a general, but because it was written by a regular person struggling through daily life in war-torn Poland. Rulka could have been one of us, a friend, an everyday person you’d pass on the street. Her relation of the horrors of bombings, scrounging for food and nazi oppression are as relevant today as 71 years ago. Her style of writing is easy and flowing. I suggest that any serious student of Polish history should pick up a copy and read it.


Lietgeber, Witold Capt. Editor It Speaks for Itself What British War Leaders Said About the Polish Armed Forces 1939 - 46
London: 1946
Description: Paperback, English text 163 pp. This is a compilation of communiques, speeches and press reports which were publicly broadcast from 1939 -
46. It chronicles the high regard that field commanders and politicians had for their Polish allies during the war. It can be difficult to read knowing all the while that despite their best wishes and praise for their longest fighting ally, Poland's political future was sold down the river at Yalta. There is much irony in the words of this book. A good read for anyone not already indoctrinated to the double speak of politicians.


Peszke, Michael Alfred Poland's Navy 1918 - 1945 New York: Hippocrene Books Inc. 1999
Description:
222 pp, English text, hard cover. Basically 222 pages of information I
had no clue about. Very well worth reading. Did you know the Poles had
destroyers at Normandy on D-Day? Did you know it was a Polish destroyer
that found the battleship Bismark after the royal navy temporarily lost
her? All very interesting information with several appendices with
technical data about order of battle, Polish naval air arm and Polish
women navy volunteers.