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From Warsaw to Rome: General Anders' Exiled Polish Army in the Second World War

From Warsaw to Rome: General Anders' Exiled Polish Army in the Second World War

In May 1944, 40,000 Polish soldiers attacked and captured the hilltops of Monte Cassino, bringing to a close the largest, bloodiest battle fought by the western Allies in the Second World War. Days later the Allied armies marched into Rome seizing the first Axis capital. No-one in 1939 could have foreseen an entire Polish Corps engaged on the Italian Front. Most had been held prisoner in the USSR following Polands defeat and their release by Stalin was only achieved through the intense negotiations of British and Polish politicians generals, notably Sikorski and Anders,. The Polish Army was evacuated to Iran in 1942 and subsequently incorporated into the British Army as the Polish II Corps. Their ultimate post-war fate was shamefully ignored until too late. This book, which charts the extraordinary wartime story of the exiled Polish Army in the east, makes extensive use of undiscovered archive material. It reveals in depth the relations between the British and Polish General Staffs and the never ending hardships of the Polish soldiers.

Introduction

Chapter 1. The First Blitzkrieg

Chapter 2. A Polish Army in the USSR

Chapter 3. Exodus to the Middle East

Chapter 4. Along British Lines

Chapter 5. A Year of Challenge

Chapter 6. Ready to Fight

Chapter 7. The Move to Italy

Chapter 8. Mountain Warfare and the Defence of the Sangro River

Chapter 9. The Monastic Fortress

Chapter 10. Preparations for Battle

Chapter 11. Assault on the Gustav Line

Chapter 12. A Brief Respite

Chapter 13. Victory at Monte Cassino

Chapter 14. Breaking the Adolf Hitler Line

Chapter 15. The Aftermath

Notes

Appendix 1. Orders of Battle for Polish II Corps May 1944

Appendix 2. Personnel Statistics and Equipment Holdings of II Corps

Picture section

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