No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II
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No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  20 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Osprey Publishing
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Best of Polish History
10th out of 123 books — 29 voters
The Eagle Unbowed by Halik KochanskiNo Greater Ally by Kenneth K. KoskodanThe Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman by Andrzej SzczypiorskiDying, We Live by Julian E. KulskiRed Runs the Vistula by Ron Jeffery
Poland in World War 2
2nd out of 26 books — 10 voters


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Charles

No Greater Ally was no doubt a great read, and an excellent choice by the World War Two Readers group for the Poland theme-read month.


For me, the book allowed me to learn about a number of areas in the war that had hitherto been a little underexplained, or perhaps even undersold in common history to me - namely the opening stages of the Second World War and the Polish military and political rationale for the country's actions, as well as the attitudes of some neighbouring states in letting refug

...more
Kathryn
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 Allied 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 d...more
Wanda
May 20, 2010 Wanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people of Polish descent, history buffs
No Greater Ally by Kenneth Koskodan is a work that presents brand new information about the WW2-era Poland. My father was in General Anders second armored division, as well as in the special forces (Cichociemni) and the AK. He did not tell me much about his exploits, but he did tell me that the history of WW II was significantly skewed and the Polish contribution diminished. I did not believe him and thought he was exaggerating – until the past few years. This book is yet another confirmation th...more
Andrew Brozyna
You may be surprised to learn that it was an all-Polish squadron that scoured the most enemy kills and fewest lost planes during the Battle of Britain. These Polish pilots reported enemy kills only when doubly-confirmed. This careful reporting was meant to accurately display their value to the doubting British military and public. Author Kenneth Koskodan accomplishes a similar goal with the same means. Based on first-person interviews, official military documents, and other published works his w...more
A.L. Sowards
I have a huge admiration for the Poles and the sacrifices they made during WWII, and a huge amount of sympathy for all the horrible things that happened to them during the war and the forty (plus) years of Communist rule they endured after such a heroic struggle. This book added significantly to my knowledge of their efforts and it’s a good place to start for someone interested in learning more about Poland during WWII. I felt most of the chapters covered topics that would make for interesting r...more
Ben
Congratulations, Kenneth Koskodan. 70 years after World War II, you have managed to find a new and largely untapped angle to the war, an untold story that everybody should hear.

All I knew about Poland's involvement in WWII was that the German invasion triggered the war... that, and a vague story about Polish cavalry charging German tanks and getting mowed down. That's consistent with the Polish stereotype over the years - Poles are dumb, ineffective, naive. Indeed, in the 2004 presidential deba...more
Sweetwilliam
No Greater Ally, The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II by Kennth K. Koskodan.

My brother insisted that I read this book. Our family is of Polish descent and my brother thought that all family members that are students of history should read this book. I had other books on my TDL but I agreed to read this book first and I’m glad I did. As a result, I am convinced that this book should be required reading for any student of European history. The Polish contribution to the War effort w...more
Marc
This book was worth reading because it provides an account of the history of Polish forces that is not very well known. I was absolutely amazed at some of the stories in there and shocked at others. However I couldn't help but feel like the authors perspective was very biased toward Poland and that if there were any blemishes they would not have been mentioned anyway, perhaps I will need to do some research of my own into the history. The book also suffers at times from just listing events as t...more
Pierre Lauzon
The subtitle begins "The Untold Story . . ." and the book was certainly an untold story to me until I read it.

My recollection from youthful reading was that Poland was overrun quickly by the Nazis and were enslaved and killed through the duration of the war.

I learned from this book that Poland had the fourth largest Allied army before being overrun. I also learned that many soldiers and airmen escaped the Nazis and participated in the Battle of Britain, the conquering of Italy, service in North...more
Joshua Letchford
Very good. It explores all parts of the war, from the German invasion of Poland, to the Battle of Britain, to Polish prisoners fighting in the Red Army, to the Desert War to Normandy and the desperate resistance movement in Poland itself.

I did not know what a large part Poland played in World War Two, as pilots in the RAF, as resistance fighters and as motivated members of the Allied armies. The story of the Warsaw rising was especially interesting, and very new to me.

It was moving to realise...more
Ellen
Super detailed work written on the subject of the Polish spirit to fight back in the face of adversary during WWII. From the first days before the German advance in 1939 through the determination of the Poles to fight back throughout the war either as a pilot in the Battle of Britain, infantrymen at Monte Cassino, or for the AK underground resistance throughout the war at home and the Warsaw Rebellion, Koskodan shows us time and again how the Polish fighters were driven to work tirelessly and ex...more
Rennie
This book helps to straighten out the skewed perspective that developed after the war about Poland's tremendous contribution. It provides many interesting details and personal stories that make it all the more difficult to believe that an entire nation's efforts could be swept under the rug so easily. And more horrifyingly, that nation was then sold out and handed over post-war as some kind of bargain offering by the countries it had fought with and for. It's pretty unbelievable. The book seems...more
Karen
This book was obviously a labor of love concerning the contribution (and cost) of Poland's people in WW2. Koskodan's research is admirable but his rhetorical overreach is less so.
DJ
This is an outstanding book about the largely ignored contributions of the Poles to the success of World War II. Young Americans of Polish descent especially should read this to get a grasp on what their people went through to survive the war and to make it to other parts of the world, like the US. The people mentioned in the book are not only peers of my own father, a couple of the men (who have since passed away) were his friends and members of his P.L.A.V. group.

We just don't know or underst...more
Steve Bernich
A really great read. So little is taught and known in the US about the Polish who continued to fight during WWII. This book, the only one that I know of that covers the topic, really shows the true efforts of the Polish armed forces who fought in the beginning of WWII defending their own country, and then under other nations' flags, fighting for "our freedom and yours". Truly inspiring, and dispells pesky myths that won't go away.
Anne
Very informative.
Joe Ervin
Very interesting account of the Polish contribution to WWII. The section on the Warsaw Uprising was especially good, and the descriptions of the Soviet attacks on the AK lead one to give more credibility to claims that the Soviets held back from assisting in the Warsaw Uprising in order to allow the Germans to take care of democratic elements in the city.
James
Finally drug my way through this - If you like more detail than you can imagine about Poland in WWII read it; if you're looking for entertaining reading look elsewhere. I usually enjoy reading WWII history but this is as dry as the Rommell's Sahara.
Kazimiera pendrey
a really good read i had no idea of how many polish servicemen served in so many theatres of war i found this book heartbreaking in parts but it is well worth a read for anyone who has an interest in the second world war
Lewis Noles
Interesting look at Poland's contribution during World War 2.
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Ken Koskodan graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Communications. The emphasis of his degree was in Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations. Of Polish descent himself, he has researched Poland's participation in World War II for many years, and in the course of his research has interviewed many surviving veterans. "No Greater Ally" is his first book.
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