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No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Kenneth K. Koskodan
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There is a chapter of World War II history that remains largely untold, the story of the fourth largest allied military of the war, the only nation to have fought in the battles of Leningrad, Arnhem, Tobruk and Normandy. The story of millions of young men and women who gave everything for freedom and in the final victory lost all. In a cruel twist of history the monumental struggles of an entire nation have been forgotten, and even intentionally obscured. This book redresses the balance, giving a comprehensive overview of Poland's participation in World War II. Following their valiant but doomed defense of Poland in 1939, members of the Polish armed forces fought with the Allies wherever and however they could. With previously unpublished first-hand accounts, information never before seen in English, and rare photographs, this title provides a detailed analysis of the devastation the war brought to Poland, and the final betrayal when, having fought for freedom for six long years, Poland was handed to the Soviet Union.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"No Greater Ally is an absolutely crucial contribution to the history of the Second World War. Anybody who seeks to understand the dynamics of betrayal and resistance as they apply to this period, in Poland, in Europe, must read this book." -Alan Furst, auhor of The Polish Soldier

"This fascinating book fills a yawning gap in our knowledge of the Second
World War. By bringing in the personal reminiscences of people of all
stations, the author gives pace and immediacy to this extraordinary story."
Adam Zamoyski, author of Forgotten Few: The Polish Air Force in World War II

"
This book should prove to be interesting to any WW2 history enthusiast who yearns to learn more about Poland and the Polish people in the war." -C Peter Chen, www.ww2db.com (June 2009)

"Koskodan presents a moving history of the long Polish involvement in World War II, with many details of the brigades, air squadrons, and infantry divisions under the Home Army or with Allied Forces... [He] has shown the bravery and undaunted spirit of the Polish people. He has provided details of the Home Army, the Polish Air Force, the many cavalry and infantry divisions, their battles in Europe and Africa and a history of the atrocities of the Polish population as well as testimonials from twelve Polish people. They were soldiers, school-girls, boy scouts, farmers, doctors and lawyers, determined to aid in saving their nation and their lives." -Florence Waszkelelwicz, Clowes, Polish American Journal (June 2009)

"I hadn’t realised, before reading this outstanding book, just how crucial the Polish contribution to our victory actually was. If it hadn’t been for their pilots, for instance, we might well have lost the Battle of Britain: on some days, Fighter Command could scramble only 350 pilots, of which 100 were Poles..." -Henry Coningsby, Waterstones (July 2009)

"Kenneth K. Koskodan’s book No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II covers every aspect of Poland’s contributions during the war. It is the perfect starting point for learning about that nation’s struggle during those dark days. It gives an overview of all the major Polish operations during the war as well as the betrayal they suffer at the hands of their friends and allies at the end of the war." - Historia Infinitus (November 2009)

"Koskodan spent years researching his subject, which included many hours of interviews with Polish veterans, and his immensely readable book is a giant leap towards an increased understanding of the incredible and heartbreaking story of the Polish contributions to the Allied cause during WWII." -Kathryn Attwood, bookpleasures.com (December 2009)

"Whether you are a historian or modeler, No Greater Ally is a captivating book. With the amount of authoritative detailed information, clarity of delivery, and abundance of supporting photographs and images, Poland’s fight for liberation is an educating and fascinating book." -Frederick Boucher, Armorama

Review

""No Greater Ally" is an absolutely crucial contribution to the history of the Second World War. Anybody who seeks to understand the dynamics of betrayal and resistance as they apply to this period, in Poland, in Europe, must read this book." -Alan Furst, auhor of "The Polish Soldier"
"This fascinating book fills a yawning gap in our knowledge of the Second
World War. By bringing in the personal reminiscences of people of all
stations, the author gives pace and immediacy to this extraordinary story."
Adam Zamoyski, author of "Forgotten Few: The Polish Air Force in World War II
""This book should prove to be interesting to any WW2 history enthusiast who yearns to learn more about Poland and the Polish people in the war." -C Peter Chen, "www.ww2db.com "(June 2009)
"Koskodan presents a moving history of the long Polish involvement in World War II, with many details of the brigades, air squadrons, and infantry divisions under the Home Army or with Allied Force

Product Details

  • File Size: 4058 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; Reprint edition (December 20, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0067AZFBG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,673 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Too few books in the Second World War genre are really new and novel in historical content; fortunately Kenneth K. Koskodan's "No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II (General Military)" doesn't fall into this category. Koskodan has produced a first class piece of historiography that is both new and novel, and simultaneously engaging and extremely enjoyable to read. Even if you think you know something about Poland during the war you'll certainly find something to merit your time spent with this book!

Each of the ten chapters in Koskodan's 250 pp of formal prose is essentially dedicated to a single story, whether a discussion of a single time period or group of Poles engaged in fighting the Nazis. Some of the stories are not unknown, while others have been only vaguely covered in the past, and still others are quite new. Simply what Koskodan has done is to put all major the pieces of the Polish puzzle into one book, something never done previously at this level. Appropriately, if somewhat predictably, Koskodan bookends his prose with appropriate discussions of political and military environments associated with Poland and her `allies' and `potential adversaries' at the beginning (Chapt 1 and 2) and end of the war (Chapt 10), respectively. Buttressing these `bookends' from either inside edges are stories of the Polish underground. In Chapter 3 Koskodan does a wonderful job setting up the overall story of the Polish underground and Home Army (AK), which were arguably the most organized and effective resistance groups of the the Second World War. There is much to learn in this chapter as Koskodan has certainly done his research.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poles apart November 16, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a good "look" at the contributions of Polish citizens to the defeat of Germany in WW II. It is interesting that Poland's contribution to victory in WW II has been so slighted. What is very interesting was the way Poland was treated by the West as Roosevelt snuggled up to "Uncle Joe". What a travesty of justice. Interesting to consider the reasons why none of this was covered in my 147 hours of undergraduate and graduate history and political science.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Overlooked June 16, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Never have a people been as overlooked in history books, particularly in the history books covering WW11, as the Polish people. My father served in the Free Polish Forces and books such as this make his sacrifice worthwhile. The Poles after bloody battles were occupied in 1939 by both the Germans and the Soviets, but never surrendered as their Government went into exile. They fought on as partisans, resistance fighters, Warsaw insurgents (1943 Ghetto Uprising and 1944 Warsaw Uprising). They fought as soldiers, paratroopers, amoured personnel, bombers, spys, pilots and sailors alongside their British allies in all Western theatres against Germany. Since 1943 they fought alongside the Soviets, and participated in the defeat of Berlin. They saw bitter defeat in France (1940) and Narvik (1940), but saw victories in North Africa, Italy (they took Monte Cassino) and Normandy (they beat the German panzers in Falaise). They gave the allies the Enigma Machine codes, which seriously undermined the German war effort. In return their country was handed over to the communists. The Poles were dismissed in history as easybeats and sickenly portrayed as collaborators that hunted down Jews. A complex history has been simplified and usually in favour of the negative. During the recent Normandy landing ceremony the ignorant French President failed to invite the Polish President and, thereby, insulted the Polish veterans who attended. This was one of several slights to those who, like my late father, fought for the freedom of others to ensure their own freedom. Books like this are very few and overdue for publication in English. I am of part Polish extraction and am very in interested in Polish history. I wish more people knew about the Poles and their contribution to WW11 rather than continue to make stupid and negative comments based on ignorance.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Researched Story of Untold Valor and Heartbreak January 4, 2010
Format:Hardcover
The title of this book says everything: the U.S., Britain, and France had no greater ally than Poland during WWII and yet the story of the Poles' fierce loyalty to the Allie cause during that war has been, up till now, almost completely untold.

Why is that? Why do history books always paint a pathetic picture of Poland's mounted cavalry defense against the blitzkrieg, inferring by that image that the invasion was over in a matter of days because the Polish defense was apparently laughable? Why does no one ever mention that nearly 20 percent of the RAF airmen were Poles? Why does no one seem to know that Polish servicemen supported the Allies in nearly every major conflict during WWII?

It is very possible that stories of the major Polish contributions to the Allied cause were swept under the rug out of sheer embarrassment. If the stories got out, the obvious question would be, "why then did the Allies hand over Poland to the Soviet Union at the end of the war? Why didn't we fight for their freedom as they had fought for ours?"

As one reads through the extremely well-written, well-researched, and well-organized text of Kenneth Koskodan's book, that heartbreaking question, though not actually posed by the author, comes to mind again and again.

Koskodan's narrative - which focuses on military specifics while remaining immensely readable - generally follows the timeline of the war and clearly delineates the contributions of the Polish armed services along that timeline.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars World War II as You've Probably Never Read Before
Excellent account of Poland's role in WWII and the bravery of their men and women. So much here that never gets told in accounts of famous battles in history books and the like. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Dan K. Varns
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and important historical book!
Very good book with information that I hadn't seen before. Unfortunately it shows how shamefully we tried some of those who counted themselves as our allies prior to and through WW... Read more
Published 9 days ago by DLSmith
5.0 out of 5 stars great background to Poland's impossible strategic position between...
great background to Poland's impossible strategic position between NAzi Germany and Communist USSR 1933-1939
Published 14 days ago by GERARD LA TOURNERIE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I fond the book very interesting and informative. It made me look at the war a whole other way.
Published 15 days ago by Robert Addison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book
Published 16 days ago by professer
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous read
Borrowed this book from my dad, and very glad I did. It is an enlightening account of Poland's actions during WWII. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Clinton Wisniewski
5.0 out of 5 stars Sobering
The fight for freedom never dies and the Polish nation is the example the world can look toward as the absolute champion in war and peace
Published 1 month ago by jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book on a much neglected subject.
Published 2 months ago by glen frakes
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Poland
In reading many histories of World War II, Poland is often passingly mentioned as being conquered by Germany and not much else. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert B. Lloyd LCSW
4.0 out of 5 stars After reading this you wonder why they are still talking ...
After reading this you wonder why they are still talking to us. It shows the determination of the Polish people for freedom .
Published 3 months ago by Kenneth Koestner
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