WWII tour de force hits bookshelves in the US
A book detailing the harrowing first days of World War II has gone on sale in the US.
‘Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II’ by Roger Moorhouse is described as having “moments of heroism and defiance here that will put a catch in your throat and a shiver down your spine.”
Published as ‘Polska 1939’ in Poland and ‘First to Fight: The Polish War’ in the UK, Moorhouse’s fifth book covers the immediate aftermath of the September 1st attack on Poland.
Although the German invasion was met with brave resistance, Poles could not match the aggressor in terms of numbers nor equipment. The Soviet attack from the East on September 17th sealed the country’s fate.
The British historian and author wrote about the book: “[It] is an examination of the September Campaign of 1939, one of the least understood military campaigns of World War Two in Europe.”
Moorhouse describes and analyses in detail the atrocities committed by the Germans during the first stage of World War II, overthrows myths related to the September Campaign, and assesses the role of Great Britain and France.
According to the author, the Polish defensive war of 1939 never made it through to the common consciousness in the West, and the consequences of this are harmful myths on the subject, which have a bearing on contemporary international relations.
Working on the book, the historian drew on letters, memoirs, and diaries by generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides, to present a dramatic account of the military events entwined with a tragic human story of courage and suffering and a dark tale of diplomatic betrayal.
Roger Moorhouse is a graduate of the University of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He began his writing career with Professor Norman Davies working on such bestsellers as ‘Europe: A History’, ‘The Isles: A History’, and ‘Rising ‘44’, a book on the Warsaw Uprising.
Moorhouse published his first solo book, ‘Killing Hitler’ in 2006. Since then, he has written about the fate of Berlin during the war (‘Berlin at War’), the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement (‘The Devils’ Alliance’), as well as the history of Nazi Germany (‘The Third Reich in 100 Objects’).
He is also a visiting lecturer at the College of Europe’s Warsaw Campus.
The historian hinted on tweeter, that the next story he plans to focus on is about the secret ring of diplomats, led by consul Konstanty Rokicki, who produced fake passports for Jews fleeing the Holocaust.
To learn more about the book, catch TFN's Paddy Ney in a series of interviews with the author: