Book Review
The Battle for Warsaw
The Battle for Warsaw 1939 – 1945
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This book covering ‘The Battle for Warsaw 1939 – 1945’ is part of a series of titles from Pen and Sword as part of their ‘Images at War’ series. These books cover the subject matter mostly in photographs and so offer a great visual reference for anyone interested in the subject matter regardless of the reason for that interest. For the modeller these books represent a horn of plenty when it comes to visual information.

The following portion of the introduction is as supplied by the publisher:
During the Second World War five brutal battles were fought in and around Warsaw. Each proved to be dramatic, decisive and bloody, and in this volume of the Images of War series Anthony Tucker-Jones records them all in graphic detail.

The first occurred in 1939 when the Polish army was defeated by the German invaders, and five years of occupation followed. The second was sparked by the Jewish Ghetto Uprising in 1943 which was ruthlessly suppressed by 1,200 SS troops and led to the deaths of 13,000 people. In the third the Red Army’s advance was beaten back at the gates of the city in the summer of 1944 and the fourth was fought at the same time when the Nazis crushed the rising of the Polish Home Army and sought to destroy the city in an act of revenge. The failure of the rising consigned the country to decades of communist rule.

The photographs and the detailed narrative give the reader a powerful impression of the experience of the people of Warsaw during this tragic period in their history and document the widespread devastation the fighting left in its wake.


This offering from Pen and Sword is part of the ‘Images at War’ series. This series of books are soft backed offerings having a good card cover with a very good spine to the book that keeps the contents in good order. This book covering ‘The Battle for Warsaw 1939 – 1945’ has been authored by Anthony Tucker-Jones. Anthony Tucker-Jones is a prolific author with 49 titles available from Pen and Sword alone and these books cover a broad spectrum of time and machines of war. The contents of this title are provided over 120 pages of good quality semi gloss paper.

The contents are presented in the following sections:
Chapter 1 – Warsaw 39
Chapter 2 – The Siege
Chapter 3 – Guderian’s Trains
Chapter 4 – Horror of the Ghetto
Chapter 5 – The Second Battle for Warsaw
Chapter 6 – Warsaw Rising
Chapter 7 – Tragic Last Stand
Chapter 8 – Soviet Liberation
Further Reading

The text sections of this title are well written in that they provide clear information on the section and add a great sense of the events covering this dark period of World War 2. The polish military was no match for the German war machine and Russia’s actions also hurt them, but the Polish despite being outmatched proved a stoic foe that fought for every inch of their country. The stoic nature of the Polish people was proved again and again by those that fled to Britain and proved to be some of the most ferocious of fighters both in the air and on the ground.

Those left behind in Poland faced terrible conditions in Warsaw; the Warsaw Ghetto being one the most inhumane ways of destroying people of all ages and sexes. It is perhaps the inability of words to adequately describe these awful conditions that makes this book so good as the photographs do tell a story all of their own. An image of second line German troops viewing the bodies of woman and children executed in a doorway tells the story of just how common it was to execute civilians and leave them to rot where they fell.

While the text in this offering is restricted by the size of the title I commend the author for his work on this attribute of the title as I read and became absorbed in the information. Perhaps something that gives an idea of just how bad things were in Warsaw alone is the following snippet; prior to invasion the population of Warsaw was 1.3 million after the Soviets got in there only 162,000 people remained and three quarters of Warsaw had been raised to the ground. The Polish paid a very heavy price in this war only to be swallowed up by a previous enemy at wars end.

The images in the book are the aspect that keeps drawing me to them as they are very good quality photographs with excellent captions included with each. All of the photographs are period black and white, and I am amazed that so many images remain from during the battles and of aspects that I suspect were supposed to be kept quiet. The author has chosen an exceptional mix of photographs for this title that tell the story of Warsaw in a very visual way. The captions that accompany each and every photograph provide a very good level of information. I feel Anthony Tucker-Jones deserves high praise in this regards as I found them very informative and they tell a story all on their own which the captions only improve upon.


This title as part of the Images at War series is another great title in the line up as the images do show the inhumanity to man in a way that words alone fail to do. Whenever we think of barbarity we of the Eastern Front with Russia and SS atrocities that were carried out, the brutality shown to the Poles is never really considered in the west and this book goes some way to remedy that situation.
Darren Baker takes a look at another release in the Images at War series published by pen and Sword, this time the title is ‘The Battle for Warsaw 1939 – 1945'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526741509
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Mar 09, 2020

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


Good to see more material being published on this, the darker face of the end of the Second World War. The photos should prove to be interesting.
MAR 10, 2020 - 12:17 PM

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