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The Polish Navy 1918-45

...New Vanguard 307 from Osprey Publishing

Title: The Polish Navy 1918-45
Author: Przemyslaw Budzbon
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4700-3

From the Polish-Soviet War to World War II, number 307 in the New Vanguard series from Osprey. A 48-page softcover book in the usual style for these books.
Some historical background to start off with, as Poland got its' independence in 1918, yet still faced some struggles for access to a sea port. The first vessels were river monitors and patrol boats, and these featured in the Polish-Bolshevik War of1919/20. Next are the main elements left to them from WW1 and how they planned to build their small navy, with a programme started in 1925. In addition to the river craft there are minesweepers, destroyers and minelaying submarines. That leaves the bulk of the book to focus on the Polish Navy in WW2 itself, from the early battles with both German and Russian forces, then when both destroyers, submarines and of course personnel, escaped to Britain to fight on. They were over time equipped with replacement/new equipment and were involved in the battles of Narvik, Malta, Arctic Convoys and the D-Day invasion. It also tells us of how few Polish military personnel chose to return to Poland after the war, once Russia and the Communist Party had taken control of their country.
The starting point of my knowledge on the subject of the Polish Navy was zero. I've read and studied the history of WW2 for very many years now, and while familiar with the story of the Polish Armoured Division and pilots in the RAF, this was a fine groundwork on the story of the Polish Navy in WW2 and I learnt a lot I didn't know beforehand. Great value and more evidence that that is always so much more to learn about a topic even if you have studied WW2 for years. Recommended.
Thanks to Osprey for the review copy.

Robin

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