Osprey's study of the involvement of Poland's Home Army in World War II (1939-1945). Poland had apparently lain dormant under the Nazi heel for nearly five years, suffering the waves of genocidal round-ups, organized looting and the brutal suppression of its culture. The Poles, however, had in fact formed an underground army, the Armia Krajowa (Home Army), and waited for the moment when German weakness would offer the opportunity for a successful rising. That moment seemed to have arrived in July 1944. As the Soviet armies began to advance into eastern Poland following the destruction of the German Army Group Centre in the successful Bagration offensive, the AK launched its revolt in Warsaw on August 1, 1944. Though its 5,000 fighters achieved some initial successes, the Germans were able to retain control over both the Vistula River bridges and the airbase, which ultimately doomed the revolt to isolation and defeat. The SS was put in charge of suppressing the rebellion, beginning another wave of atrocities, shocking even by Eastern Front standards.
By the beginning of September, it was clear that the rebellion was doomed. The Western Allies attempted to fly weapons and supplies to Warsaw, but their efforts were undermined by Stalin's unwillingness to provide airbases. Stalin himself waited until the rebellion was approaching its death throes before allowing the First Polish Army (part of the Red Army) to cross the Vistula River to aid the rebellion. Although these reinforcements succeeded in briefly establishing a link-up, it was too late. The AK finally agreed to surrender on October 2.
"Throughout the book, author Robert Forczyk has used available archival materials to bring this story to us. Thanks to a goodly number of period photos from all sides of the conflict as well as the superb illustrations of Peter Dennis, we are able to visualize what it was like during the insurrection. It is a gripping tale of bravery, tactical errors, and a look that what could have been were not the Allies so callous in their unwillingness to provide assistance. It is a book that I think every scholar of WWII should have on their shelves." -Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (April 2009)
"Reading this book is a humbling experience. It gives one strong insight into what courage and defiance are all about... This highly recommended book is a must-read for students of modern history as well as anyone interested in German armor." -Peter Terry, Toy Soldier and Model Figure