Synopses & Reviews
One of the most dramatic and shameful episodes in World War II was the doomed Warsaw uprising of 1944—an uprising that failed because the Allies betrayed it. Now that story comes to its full terrible life in this gripping account by the bestselling historian Norman Davies.
In August 1944, encouraged by the advance of the Red Army, the Polish Resistance poured forty thousand fighters into the streets of Warsaw to reclaim the city from the hated Germans. But Stalin condemned the uprising as a criminal venture. For sixty-three days the Wehrmacht methodically set about crushing the rebellion and destroying the city. Following the battle’s desperate progress through the cellars and sewers of Warsaw, Rising ’44 retrieves its subject from the shadows of history, revealing its pivotal importance to the outcome of World War II and the Cold War that followed.
"Should be compulsory reading... Rips away at many of our lazy assumptions about the outcome of the Second World War." —The Guardian
[Davies’] knowledge and his passion are displayed in this notable book. His research among Polish and Soviet sources is exhaustive... —Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph (London)
andldquo;An alternative history of Europe that is . . . densely packed yet commendably accessible, magisterial and uncommonly humane.andrdquo;
andldquo;Hugely ambitious . . .andnbsp;From the mists, Mr. Davies summons the kingdoms; he records their emergence, their flowering and their demiseandmdash;whether by andlsquo;internall diseasesandrsquo; or andlsquo;forraign warreandrsquo; in Thomas Hobbesandrsquo;s words. And he examines the traces that the kingdoms have left behind, in works of art or a piece of rock or perhaps just a place name.andrdquo;
andldquo;Davies resurrects the lands and peoples that were lost in the brutal tide of history.andnbsp;. . . It takes a tremendous feat of empathy to write about countries and peoples that no longer exist. And the amount of information in Vanished Kingdoms that will be new to all but the most expert students of European history is staggering. . . . Fascinating facts and insights flutter on its many pages.andrdquo;
andldquo;Davies is well known as an iconoclast who punctures the comforting myths of countries that history has blessed. . . . Vanished Kingdoms gives full rein to his historical imagination and enthusiasms, imparting a powerful sense of places lost in time. All across Europe ghosts will bless him for telling their long-forgotten stories.andrdquo;
andldquo;Davies is certainly one of the best British historical writers of the past half century, and every gauntlet he throws down is bejeweled. His literary gifts and his capacity for what he nicely calls andlsquo;imaginative sympathyandrsquo; are stretched to their limits by this challenging project. . . . Yet Davies succeeds, and it is quite a success.andrdquo;
In August 1944, Warsaw presented the last major obstacle to the Red Army's triumphant march from Moscow to Berlin. When the Wehrmacht was pushed back to the Vistula River, the Polish Resistance poured forty thousand fighters into the streets to drive out the hated Germans. But Stalin halted the Russian offensive, allowing the Wehrmacht to regroup and destroy the city. For sixty-three days Soviet troops and other Allied forces watched from the sidelines as tens of thousands of Poles were slaughtered and Warsaw was reduced to rubble. Like Antony Beevor's bestselling The Fall of Berlin, Rising '44 is a brilliant narrative of one of the most dramatic episodes in twentieth-century history.
In a brilliant narrative of one of the most dramatic episodes in twentieth-century history, Davies spotlights sixty-three days in 1944 when the Wehrmacht crushed the Polish Resistance in Warsaw, slaughtered thousands and destroyed the city.
About the Author
Norman Davies is a supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society, and Professor Emeritus at London University. His books include Europe: A History (a New York Times Notable Book), The Isles: A History, and the definitive history of Poland, God’s Playground.
Table of Contents
Rising '44 Foreword
List of Illustrations
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Part One. Before the Rising
Chapter I: The Allied Coalition
Chapter II: The German Occupation
Chapter III: Eastern Approaches
Chapter IV: Resistance
Part Two. The Rising
Chapter V: The Warsaw Rising
Outbreak; Impasse; Attrition; Junction; Finale
Part Three. After the Rising
Chapter VI: Vae Victis: Woe to the Defeated, 1944-45
Chapter VII: Stalinist Repression, 1945-56
Chapter VIII: Echoes of the Rising, 1956-2000
Notes to Capsules
Notes to Appendices