Man of Steel and Honour: General Stanislaw Maczek

Soldier of Poland, Commander of the 1st Polish Armoured Division in North-West Europe 1944-45

Evan McGilvray

General Stanislaw Maczek has been overlooked by most military historians in the West. Unlike most Polish commanders he rocked no boats and after his service was complete in 1947 he retreated into relative obscurity. When he died at the age of 102 he had left a single published book of his war memoirs.
Publication date:
November 2012
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Series :
Helion Studies in Military History
Illustration :
120 b/w photos, 4 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781908916532

Dimensions : 234 X 156 cm
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£29.95
Paperback
ISBN : 9781910777381

Dimensions : 234 X 156 cm
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+
£16.95
Unfortunately, due to sales rights restrictions, we cannot offer Man of Steel and Honour: General Stanislaw Maczek for sale in your country.

Overview
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• A fascinating biography of General Stanislaw Maczek, one of the most undervalued commanders of the Second World War

General Stanislaw Maczek has been overlooked by most military historians in the West. Unlike most Polish commanders he rocked no boats and after his service was complete in 1947 he retreated into relative obscurity. When he died at the age of 102 he had left a single published book of his war memoirs. This book is an attempt to try to put the historical record right, at least in the English language, and place front and centre into the wartime historiography the story of an extraordinary man.

Maczek's story is the story of 20th Century Poland and begins naturally enough with his birth in 1892. Born in the Austrian sector, he was conscripted into the Imperial Austrian Army, with which he served with great credit on the Italian Front, high in the Alps. It was this experience which was to serve Maczek well in his future career in the Polish Army after 1918.

Maczek should be remembered for his pioneering use of mixed armour and infantry units as well as the early use of commando-style units during the Polish border wars of 1918-1920. However, his work was ignored despite its obvious success. He should also be recognised as being the saviour of the Normandy Campaign, which by August 1944 was seriously bogged down. It was feared that the German forces in Normandy might be able to flee over the River Seine and head eastwards towards Germany. A magnificent, stubborn and costly stand by the Polish 1st Armoured Division during August 1944 prevented this happening, and the Normandy Campaign was able to succeed. This is yet to be credited to the Poles in the imagination of the West.

After the war, Maczek, now exiled and stateless and with his homeland seized by the Soviet Union, was stripped of his Polish citizenship by the Communists, and was left to bring up his young family on his wages as a barman. This is the story of a man who changed history, fully researched from archival and printed materials, and with a heavy reliance on original Polish language sources. The text is complemented by over 100 previously unpublished photographs. This book will be produced in a limited-edition hardback printing of 500 copies, all copies individually numbered, and signed by the author.

REVIEWS

The strength of this book lies in the mass of detail that McGilvray has amassed using sources from the National Archives and the Sikorski Institute. The book also has over 100 previously unpublished photographs. The book is very readable and the reader will gain a great deal of knowledge of what Maczek did.
Mars & Clio

...a very worthy tribute to this most undervalued and perhaps least recognised of World War II commanders... although McGilvray might not be Antony Beevor (not many writers on the Second World War are), he makes for a very edifying, as well concise and compelling writer
David Marx Book Reviews