Suggested Reading

Books with a specific emphasis on the 1st Armoured Division or 10th Dragoon Regiment

Englert, Juliusz. General Maczek Sussex: Polish Cultural Foundation 1992

Description: Excellent paper back book with Polish & English text about Gen. Maczek from prewar Poland to post war reunions. 168 pages of pictures with main emphasis on the 1st Armoured Division’s exploits in England and the continent.

Solarz, Jacek. 1 Dywizja Pancerna 1939 – 1944 Vol I. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Miliataria 2003

Description: Paper back 75 pp documenting the prewar 10th Mechanized Brigade and some of it’s exploits when reformed in France. Many pictures and colour plates showing the vehicles, formation signs and reorganizations the unit went through until it’s deployment to France in ’44. Text is both in English and Polish. Highly Recommended.

Solarz, Jacek 1 Dywizja Pancerna 1944 – 1947 Vol II. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Militaria 2004

Description: Sister paperback to volume 1. Again both Polish and English text with over 73 pages full of photos and history. As the title suggests the main focus is their experiences on the continent from Normandy and occupation duty in Germany.

McGilvray, Evan The Black Devils’ March – A Doomed Odyssey- The 1st Polish Armoured Division 1939 – 45 West Midlands:
Helion & Company Ltd 2005

Description: Hard cover, English text of 153 pages. Overall a good book filled with facts based on operational reports and personal histories. A little dry in some spots as a recall however very much worth the read. More text than pictures, many of the pictures have been seen before and at least two I believe annotated incorrectly. Also has many period maps to illustrate route of march. Good appendixes with Divisional OOB as well.

Jamar, K With the Tanks of the 1st Polish-Armoured Division Hengelo, Holland: H.L Smit & ZN. 1946

Description: The best book in the entire world if you wish to study the history of the division. K. Jamar was the nome de plume of Maj. Marowski who served on the divisional staff. The book was only published in soft cover that I know of and most of the copies were in Polish. My copy is one of the rare English version consisting of 332 pages. The personal insights into the lives and men of the units are unbelievable. This does not read like a dry history but is full of life and one reads of the loss of so many characters you’ve come to know with great sadness.

Szygowski, Ludwik Dr. Seven Days and Seven Nights in Normandy London: Self Published 1976

Description: Soft cover 342 pages, English text. This is also an excellent personal history of a medical doctor attached to the 9th Rifle Battalion. It mostly relates his expierences fighting on hill 262 also known as “The Mazcuga” during the closing of the Falaise Gap. Not only did Dr. Szygowski write and publish it, but he also illustrated it as well. The forward to the book is written by none other than Gen. Maczek himself. An excellent read full of details from individual personalities to what type of rations they were eating.

Skibinski, Franciszek Pierwsza Pancerna Warsaw: Czytelnik 1979

Description: Soft cover, Polish text originally written in 1959 I believe. Approximately 468 pages with some maps and photos but mostly text. I admit that I purchased this with the hope that I will some day be able to translate it. As my Polish is not fluent enough to get any real details from this book, I can not adequately review it.

Kurcz, F.S. The Black Brigade Middlesex: Atlantis Publishing Co. Ltd. 1943

Description: Soft cover, English text translated by Peter Jordon, 232 pages. This book is in two parts, the first being the campgaing in Poland. The second is a detailed account of the even faster campaign in France. The author was the chief of staff to Gen. Maczek and therefore was intimately familiar with the situation. There are no photos and only a few maps however the author’s text is very detailed and interesting. Definitely a must read to better understand the background of the later Polish 1st Armoured Division in the UK.

Nowak, Eugeniusz Piotr 10 Pulk Dragonow Krakow: 2005

Description: Hard cover, over 430 pages. The text is all in Polish however there is no way I could pass up purchasing this book. It is very well illustrated with drawings of equipment and liberally sprinkled with period photographs I had never before seen. It lists every thing in minute detail from correct hood markings for vehicles down to which NCO’s commanded which line rifle sections during the Normandy campaign. In addition there are several original orders and documents reproduced from the Divisional and Regimental staff level. Everything is here to include dimensions of the regimental flag.

Nowak, Eugeniusz Piotr Dywizjon Rozpoznawczy 10 Brygady Kawalerii 1938 – 1939 Krakow: 1999

Description: Soft cover, Polish text 357 pages. Again this book follows the same pattern as Nowak’s other history of the unit. This of course specifically deals with the prewar period and September campaign. As mentioned previously I can’t read it however much like 10 Pulk Dragonow is has tons of drawings, details and original documents relating to the regiment. Definitely a must have even if you can’t read Polish.

Maczek, Stanislaw Od Podwody do Czolga Edinburg: Tomar Publishers 1961

Description: Hard cover, all Polish text 304 pages. Excellent pictures and maps although the pictures have been published before. I’m sure there’s a lot of great information and details in here if I only read Polish. Anybody wishing to donate a copy of Rosetta Stone for learning Polish to me would be greatly appreciated.

Whitaker, Denis, Coop, Terry Victory at Falaise The Soldiers’ Story The Defeat of the German Army in Normandy August 1944 Ontario: Harper Collins Publisher Ltd. 2000

Description: English text, hard cover 371 pages. The author is a Canadian Brigadier General  who served at Dieppe and subsequent campaigns throughout Normandy and the continent. Although this book does not deal solely with the Polish 1st Armoured Division, it does give one a perspective of the battle from a Canadian point of view. Worth reading if you want a slightly bigger picture than the Polish perspective.

Keegan, John, Six Armies in Normandy New York: The Viking Press 1982

Description: An excellent hard cover book, 365 pages. This again is a broad overview of the campaign as a whole however has an entire chapter entitled “A Polish Battlefield.” Jan Karcz was consulted during the writing of this section and is it is very well done. Very few photos or maps but the descriptive writing style makes up for it. Again, not soley dedicated to the Polish 1st Armoured Division but worth the read for the big picture.

McGilvray, Evan. Man of Steel and Honour: General Stanislwaw Maczek West Midland UK: Helion & Company Ltd 2012

Description: I found this to be a very interesting book. As the title implies the main focus is on the life and military career of General Maczek. The details of his early military experiences were all new to me. Some of the information concerning the years with the 1st Armoured Division were a bit of a recap, however overall I thought this was a very good read. McGilvray is not afraid to tackle political issues or viewpoints that might be contrary to the most ardent Polish supporter’s perspective. I will let the reader make their own decisions about that subject. As is typical with most post war Polish experiences, Maczek’s life after the military was a troubling disappointment in terms of recognition for the achievements of both him and his men. It is gratifying to know however that at least he lived to see his native country free from the yoke of  Soviet dictated communism. I would definitely recommend this book as a worthwhile read. This hardcover printing was limited to a run of 500. Hopefully more will be forthcoming. 250 pages well documented with photos throughout.

Latawski, Paul. Battle Zone Normandy, Falaise Pocket Gloucestershire UK: Sutton Publishing Ltd 2004

Description: Hard cover, 189 pages. This is the first of the Battle Zone Normandy series that I’ve read. This came recommended by a visitor to our website and I am thankful that he mentioned it. It was a very interesting read, well illustrated with black & white, color pictures as well as maps. I found it to be well researched and the subject matter concise for the purpose of touring the battlefields. The author gave just enough information to inform the reader of the historical background of the battle without going into too much detail. Latawski did a spectacular job of detailing the modern roads and landmarks to place the reader where specific actions referenced in the book occured. The is major emphasis on the participation of the Polish First Armoured Division but the author did not ignore the contributions of the Canadian, British, French and American divisions employed as well. Interspersed with the allies accounts he has also referenced several German first person documentation as well giving it a very well rounded feel for the relative brevity of the work. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the closing of the Falaise Pocket.

Jarzembowski, Janusz. Armoured Hussars Images of he Polish 1st Amoured Division 1939 -47 West Midlands UK: Helion & Comp. 2014

Description: Soft cover, 145 pages. This book is mostly pictures annotated as to time frame and location. Some I have seen previously published in previous works but a good many appear to be from the private collections. A large portion of these center around images from the 1st Anti tank Regt. These include good shots of uniforms for crew in the field. I also found nice photographic documentation of individual vehicle markings to indentify Regt. squadron, etc. There’s a nice one showing what appears to be a field variation of the allied star on page 112. The book is divided by time periods and of interesting note is some of the insignia applied to battle dress as well as possible helment paint modifications during the occupation period.