“A remarkable combat memoir by an underappreciated World War Two commander . . . powerfully written.” —Argunners
After serving with the Austrian Army in World War I, Stanislaw Sosabowski joined the newly created Polish Army in 1918. By September 1939 he was commanding 21st Infantry Regiment in the Battle of Warsaw against overwhelming German forces. Taken prisoner, he made a daring escape to join the Polish Army in France before evacuating to England together with 3,000 fellow countrymen.
In 1941 he formed the First Polish Independent Parachute Brigade which he trained and commanded for the next three years. Although created for the liberation of Poland, the Brigade, led by the author, parachuted into Arnhem in September 1944 and fought with great courage. Sosabowski provides a unique insight into this ill-fated operation. At the time his frank style and determined views resulted in confrontations with his British senior officers, “Boy” Browning in particular, and he was forced to resign. Many felt that he was made a scapegoat.
While Freely I Served records the author’s wartime experiences, it is more than a memoir. The author, ever a true patriot, intended it to be a tribute to the many brave Polish soldiers who fought to regain their country from Nazi occupation and, in this aim, he undoubtedly succeeds. Readers will find it an inspiring and revealing account.
“This superb book is a chance for the author to set the record straight . . . a thoroughly enjoyable and fast-paced book written by one of the most fascinating characters of the story of the North-West Europe campaign.” —War History Online