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The Black Devils' March - A Doomed Odyssey - The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939-45 Hardcover – 1 Nov 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Helion & Company; 1st edition (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1874622426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1874622420
  • Product Dimensions: 31.3 x 22.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The 1st Polish Armoured Division, formed during the Second World War, was comprised of soldiers who had fled their native Poland after the disastrous campaign following the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, swiftly followed by the Soviet inva Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Straszynski on 5 Dec 2006
Format: Hardcover
I did find the title of this book a bit misleading. As my Father served in the 1st Tank Regiment, 1st Polish Armoured Division I was looking forward to more details of the 1st Tank Regiments movements as well as the movements of all the other the main units in the 1st Polish Armoured, in order to help me place together events I remember my Father speaking about.

However, the book tends to concentrate on the activities of 10th Mounted Rifles (10PSK) and only really mentions the 1st Tank Regt (or any other unit) when it is involved in the same action as 10PSK.The Battle of Falaise being the exception.

The Story of 10PSK is a story well worth reading and gives a great insight on how one unit moved through North West Europe and how an armoured division operated. The photos are excellent (I often found my self looking for my Father milling around in the background of a photo) as are the original military maps, it would have been nice to have seen more cross referencing of the actions to theses maps and referencing these maps to larger regional maps for those of us not familiar with the country the 1st Polish Armoured passed through. I agree with "normngrey" review and I would love to see Mr. McGilvray produce a more comprehensive follow on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr J Etherington on 5 Sep 2005
Format: Hardcover
Before I begin this review I must confess that I know the author and therefore am likely to be a bit biased in his favour so feel free to take the review with a pinch of salt if you like.
The Black Devils March is a well writen and excellently researched acount of the actions of a little reported division in WWII. The author obviously knows his stuff and there is a great balance between the details provided and the background to set the actions in context. I have only given the book 4 stars because it is let down in parts by the less than brilliant editing but on the whole I would recomend the book to both academics and ordinary readers as well worth buying, it truly does credit to the brave men who served in the division.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By normngrey on 30 Nov 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a brief history based mainly on personal recollections and scant records with many illustrations. The actual history is approx. 115 pages one third of which is taken up with photos and maps. I am surprised at the glossing over of the communication and tactical issues which the 1st PD encountered in Normandy. I know from other sources of the problems these caused amongst the english speaking supporting units be they in the vanguard or main body of 1st PD operations. The author has made a good start here and I would like to see a more comprehensive follow on in much more depth. A good overview of 1st PD operations in North West Europe.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Drew Peacock on 25 May 2005
Format: Hardcover
To say that I enjoyed "The Black Devils March" wouldn't be quite right. It is a harrowing account of unremitting horror and suffering but the narrative of the unfolding tragedy is so compelling that you are drawn back to the book until its conclusion. The book has all the technical insight and personal drama of "Stalingrad".
What marks this book as different from any other military history I have ever read is the degree to which McGilvray brings to prominence the nightmare, which descended upon the men of Poland. The style of McGilvrays writing is second to none. The book profoundly illustrates the remarkable efforts of the Polish military and their immensely important part played in the bringing about of the downfall of Hitler and Nazism. This book is highly recommended to anyone interested in recent history or who still thinks that war can bring anything but misery, particularly to the most vulnerable.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. R. Manton on 30 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
Black Devils March follows the journey of the 1st Polish Armoured division. As others have commented it does follow the exploits of certain elements of the division rather more than others. It is a reasonably well written history with plenty of maps and photos. Some of the photos could do with a little more explanation rather than having one comment to cover four or five.

For what you get though I feel the book is over priced. I have to confess I bought it elsewhere brand new for under 10 pounds and even at that price felt it was expensive.
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