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Poland in World War II: An Illustrated Military History (Illustrated Histories) [Hardcover]

Andrew Hempel
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books Inc.,U.S. (1 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781807581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781807586
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 13.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,844,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Poland's participation in World War II is generally little known in the West and is often reduced to stereotypes advanced by the media: German planes attacking the civilian population in 1939 and Polish cavalry charging German tanks. In actuality, it was not an easy victory for the Germans in 1939, and after the conquest of Poland, the Poles continued to fight in their homeland, on all European fronts, and in North Africa. This illustrated history is a concise presentation of the Polish military was effort in World War II, intermingled with factual human interest stories and 50 black and white photos and illustrations.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but way too short 10 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book is a neat little introduction to Poland's participation in World War II. It begins with a quick, six-page overview of Polish history prior to WWII, and then launches into the war. This book is quite short, being a mere 106 pages when the bibliography and index are not counted (in the hardcover, 2000 edition). However, it contains many excellent black-and-white pictures, but no maps at all.
Overall, I liked this book, but did find it a little too short to be of much value. It would make a good book for younger readers, who need a (very) short overview of Polish activity during the war. But, I would not recommend it for adult readers.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A concise overview of Poland's effort in WWII 12 Jun 2003
By Richard J. Brzostek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Poland in World War II: An Illustrated Military History" by Andrew Hempel is a great overview of the Polish military effort in the second World War. This book is a concise outline, and not a lengthy volume, so it makes a great introduction to the topic. With more than 50 black-and-white photographs, the people and events described are brought to life.
As this book is concise and written in a straightforward manner, it makes great reading for young people or even postgraduates like me interested in the topic.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Primer on Polish Armed Action in WWII 9 Aug 2007
By Jan Peczkis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The brevity of this book doesn't detract from its usefulness. Moreover, there is a "For Further Reading" section at the end. This book is ideal for those seeking an introduction to this topic.

There is a brief history of Poles-in-Arms, with mention of Sobieski at Vienna, Napoleon's Polish Legions, the 1830 and 1863 insurrections against Russia, re-acquisition of Polish independence in 1918, the 1920 Polish-Bolshevik War, etc.

Moving on to WWII, one reads about the German conquest of Poland and ensuing brutal German actions against Poles and Jews, early Polish guerilla resistance (e. g., Hubal), the Polish solution of ENIGMA, Katyn; Poles in the French campaign, the Battle of Britain, Normandy and Arnhem; the Warsaw Uprising, etc. Polish soldiers constituted 10% of Zhukov's and Koniev's armies in their taking of Berlin.

Perhaps the greatest value of Hempel's little book is his refutation of certain anti-Polish myths. Against the one about the Polish Air Force being destroyed on the ground on the first day of the German blitzkrieg, he gives the example of the Warsaw Fighter Brigade. On Sept. 1-6, it alone was responsible for shooting down 43 German planes and damaging another 29--all at a cost of 38 of its own planes (p. 10).

Hempel also debunks the myth of Polish cavalry charging German tanks (p. 11). An invention of German propaganda, this canard has become widely believed by both non-Poles and Poles through frequent retelling. In actuality, cavalry units would only attempt a charge against a motorized unit if there was a hole in the deployment of the motorized unit and the cavalry unit sought to avoid encirclement. Otherwise, members of the cavalry, when in a combat encounter with an armored unit, would dismount and attempt to fight the tanks as an infantry unit. In the above-cited instance, the flow of battle had placed a Polish cavalry unit in the line of fire from a German mechanized unit before the Poles could dismount. Thus there were dead Polish soldiers found mounted on dead horses. An Italian photographer was later brought to the scene, at which time a German distorted the combat events into the fairy tale of Polish cavalry charging German tanks.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST RIGHT AMT INFO IN QUICK EASY READ; BOOK IS INTENDED TO INTRODUCE YOU TO POLAND'S STORY - ITS ACHIEVES THIS. GREAT NUTSHELL. 28 Aug 2008
By Forhasta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is basiically the best intro on the Polish side of history/suffering around,i.e., wets your appetite to read more - as you will want to after reading this great and powerful little book. You can read this in under an hour and be pretty well informed. This book works and is great because it will not be overwhelming. This book is cear, concise and to the point - not a wasted word.

Great, great starter book on learning the "real truth on how a heroic and proud Poland endured through the war. The American media, or whomevers' it is, has distorted and lied merclessly and horribly about Poland's role in WWII. This book is a perfect start to correct and proper thinking on Poland's incredibly "heroic," role. Fact: Poland, unlike every other country in Europe, NEVER, EVER COLLABORATED with the Gemans! However, Denmark/One of Germaan's most enthusiastic helpers,i.e., Danish SS Terror machine!;, Sweden, Czeckoslovakia (back then), France, Romania, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Norway, even Jews and Jewish Communists/Kapos etc, etc, etc... collaborated with the German Nazis...! Again, ONLY POLAND, NEVER, EVER, collaborated with the Germans - Period! After reading this, read "The Forgotten Holocaust: Poles Under Nazi Occupation," by noted historian Richard Lukas. Get this book to every library and school you can - but do something. Jane Kooyeh/Thank you!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good General Information 11 Mar 2008
By MLB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a goog general information book on Poland in WW 2. I've read some of its information in other works, but enough new tid bits to purchase this book.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but way too short 1 Sep 2013
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a neat little introduction to Poland's participation in World War II. It begins with a quick, six-page overview of Polish history prior to WWII, and then launches into the war. This book is quite short, being a mere 106 pages when the bibliography and index are not counted (in the hardcover, 2000 edition). However, it contains many excellent black-and-white pictures, but no maps at all.

Overall, I liked this book, but did find it a little too short to be of much value. It would make a good book for younger readers, who need a (very) short overview of Polish activity during the war. But, I would not recommend it for adult readers.
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