R. Moorhouse’s book about Poland shortlisted for the British Army Military Book of the Year!

February 26, 2020

The British Army Military Book of the Year (#BAMBY20) competition is an annual prize given for the book adjudged to be the best book on a military subject, broadly-defined, published in the last year. The competition has been running since 2008.

This year the organisers asked the soldiers and wider social media audience for their suggestions.

On February 5th the long-list has been selected and announced. The book „First to Fight: The Polish War 1939“ (Polish title: „Polska 1939. Pierwsi przeciwko Hitlerowi“) by Roger Moorhouse has been nominated.

On February 24th the book has been shortlisted for this year’s British Army Book.

The seven books nominated for the British Army Military Book of the Year 2020 (#BAMBY20) shortlist are as follows:

Elliott Ackerman – Places and names: On War, Revolution, and Returning. (Penguin Books).

Dr. Peter Caddick-Adams – Sand and Steel: A New History of D-Day. (Random House).

Dr. Jonathan Fennell – Fighting the People’s War: The British and Commonwealth Armies in the Second World War. (CUP).

Prof. Anthony King – Command: The Twenty-First Century General. (CUP).

Yasha Levine – Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet. (Icon).

Roger Moorhouse – First to Fight: The Polish War 1939. (Random House).

Dr. Alexander Watson – The Fortress: The Great Siege of PrzemyOsl. (Penguin Books).

First to Fight is the first history of the Polish war for almost half a century. Drawing on letters, memoirs and diaries by generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides, British historian Roger Moorhouse’s dramatic account of the military events is entwined with a tragic human story of courage and suffering, and a dark tale of diplomatic betrayal.

The Polish campaign is the forgotten story of the Second World War. Poland was the first to fight the German aggressor in 1939. When the Red Army invaded from the east – as agreed in the pact Hitler had concluded with Stalin – the country’s fate was sealed. Polish forces put up a spirited defence, in the expectation that they would be assisted by their British and French allies. That assistance never came.

Roger Moorhouse’s book had its UK premiere at the Polish Embassy in London on September 5th 2019. During the evening he said to the British Poles portal: “I hope that the book will change opinions about the Polish campaign and fill a huge gap in the literature where the real agonies and bravery of the Poles were ignored.”

Book launch at the Polish Embassy in London, September 5th 2019. From left: Wojciech Kozłowski, Richard Overy, Paul Lay and Richard Moorhouse

Judging will be complete by September 2020 and the winner will be announced in October 2020.

The prize-giving is planned to take place on Tuesday, 8th December 2020 at the Prince Consort’s Library, Aldershot.

You can read more about the book here.

We keep our fingers crossed for Roger! Best of luck!

Maria Byczynski

Pictures: British Poles

You can order your own copy of the book in English here and in Polish tutaj.

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