Published on
April 29, 2020
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Robert Forczyk
Other Publication Information
Hardbound, 416 pages, a few black and white maps.
Product / Stock #
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site

Osprey Publishing has recently released a book by Robert Forczyk covering the Invasion of Poland. He is a well-known author and superb researcher of military topics. Certainly, this book is not an exception to his well-earned reputation.

The book is broken down in the following sections

  • Poland is not lost
  • Poland prepares for the next round
  • The Threat Emerges
  • Countdown to War
  • Opening Moves
  • Total War
  • Apotheosis
  • Occupation
  • Epilogue

Plus several appendices covering military ranks, glossary, etc.

I would argue that this book is two sub-books in one single binding. The first sub-book covers the political history of Poland during the 1920s and 1930’s (the first 3 chapters) while the second sub-book covers military history of the actual invasion of Poland in 1939. 

I applaud the author for taking the the time to research and explain the issues going back to the early 1920’s which setup the invasion of Poland in 1939. The author covers how the political situation in Europe, plus the League of Nations lack of significant response to German and Italian expansionism in the 1930’s unintentionally bolstered Hitler’s expansionism in Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. That is not often found in history books. Nor is the level of detail on the military actions during September and October of ’39. There are descriptions of individual battles or even individual air sorties, if relevant to the action being narrated.

While you can tell the author went into painstaking research to collect all the details, reading the book is not painstaking at all. It has the proper balance of detail, references and narrative, without loosing the “big picture” of what the military operation was all about. 

Regarding the military operation details, the author makes very clear that while it was a German/Soviet victory, the Polish armed forces fought courageously and in several cases were able to delay and even counterattack the invading armies. It was just the lack of more modern tactics, combined with the overwhelming superiority of numbers and having to fight on two fronts that sealed the fate of Poland. 

Perhaps the best endorsement I can provide is that I was having a hard time putting down the book at the end of each chapter. That is how well written it is.

Highly recommended.

I would like to thank Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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