Reviews of Books

Solving the Polish conundrum

Saturday 01 November 2003 Spectator Book Club, Adam Zamoyski
Rising '44

Norman Davies does not address the question of whether it was right or wrong to launch the rising. He sets out the arguments for and against, but devotes surprisingly little space to the decision, taken by the leadership of the underground in the last days of July 1944, when the Red Army was approaching Warsaw, the German front appeared to be tottering, and news of the bomb plot against Hitler gave the impression that the time had come to take action.

Nor does he chart the progress of the fighting over the 63 days of the rising or attempt to assess it from a military point of view. He describes some key actions and gives an idea of the nature of the fighting. He does justice to the resourcefulness and ingenuity as well as to the extraordinary bravery of the men, women and children who stood up to the overwhelming German onslaught. 

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