Angus: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier through WW II The history of WW II, straight from the horse's mouth.
Only $0.99, instant electronic delivery to your mobile device.
Angus: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier through WW II The history of WW II, straight from the horse's mouth.
by Andrzej Anonimus
First Polish Edition, Poznań 1999
Poznań, Los Angeles, Sidney and Sydney 1982 - 1998.
Copyright by Andrzej Anonimus 1999
Internet edition corrected and revised. Translated by the author.
Best thanks to Hon. Zbigniew Brzezinski, for his kind and valuable
advice in emergency.
The present world
born in result of WW II, at crossroads at that point. It survived,
but could as well have perished. The Freedom, the Democracy, a
globe fit to live saved the heroic and desperate struggle of solitary
Poland in 39, next England in second half 40 and first of 41yr.
Astonishingly, most of the facts are forgotten, next generations know
nothing of it.
There are many books
about WW II, excellent publications, manuals, citing first-class
sources, adding more exact details, or cutting the less important. So
why are they so different? Almost every country presents one, some
several versions. Of course the picture changes depending on the
viewpoint, but at least the facts themselves shouldn’t.
A rare, virgin, open
to research source is the public opinion, presented in the press of
these days. Surely biased, very much so. Presumably there has never
been an unbiased, objective newspaper in the world for centuries.
What of it? Do not the biased witnesses add much to the truth in most
trials? Many other sources, memoirs, even documents, are often biased
too. There is a need to notice the bias, treat it critically, use
one’s sound reason and compare with other materials, mostly
biased too, but different.
even now the history, the facts, the pattern – what really
happened – two items are indispensable: the contemporary
knowledge and recall of public opinion. By this time there remain
few people who have still the common knowledge, the memory. That
is why the scholars now inaccurately interpret the pattern of facts.
And that is why the author has introduced into the story the
"Capsule", which presents the contemporary background,
the spirit of the time. A small part from his own experience, the
majority from contemporary newspapers, which he read.
However, this is
only the beginning, every reader may find satisfaction,
pleasure and fun, exploring the old papers on his or her own. The
libraries with old press are accessible everywhere, if not, there is
always the possibility of access to electronic copies. The big
collections are already computerized, or going to be, soon. Why not
discover on your own the traces of history, check it and form your
own, independent picture, opinion and beliefs? Know better than the
scholars, who in large tomes lose some important matters and behind
trees lose sight of the forest? Not on purpose, but by repetition of
the munched and jumbled text. Like in the parlor game “dumb
telephone,” more and more details get lost, or bent. It is
worth spending a few time, read the old papers. In a comfortable,
easy way discover the lost truth again.
The pen of
this story, an only child, over-cared-for and isolated by his mother,
lonely, even before school learned to read and found there a
substitute interest. First children’s books, then adventure,
already from 1936 on he read everything he could get his hands on,
including newspapers, at least ten hours a day. The news, about the
Mukden incident, Shanghai,
in China and the Italian-Abyssinia war, all
sympathy for the victims, agreed with the pattern of freedom-fighting
as in books, dear to his heart.
He wrote letters, to the “King of Kings” and to
Chiang-Kai-shek, volunteering. But the Spanish Civil War was a
problem, the first time he met conflicting comments. Neither bright
nor brainy, he could not make head nor tail of it. If not a sharp
mind, he had a photographic
not only for contents, also for locating the text and the appearance
of the page. He may not understand, but anyway memorized exactly what
For example, did
remember news about the German debts, the name of Hjalmar Schacht,
never connecting this with Hitler or the “Wehrmacht”.
He traced press news
about the fall of the first and strongest, Mechanized Army in the
world, furnished and next destroyed by Stalin. The sensational
details of the death of Gamarnik, Tuchaczewski and seven top
commanders, next eleven proxy of the People’s Commissar of
Defense. The supernatural dematerialized, Red Army Commander in the
far east, Bluecher with staff, two rail wagons full, on his way
to Moskow. These details he found in IKC, a sensation-hunting
tabloid. It was probably a side, small coin bargain with some Hearst
yellow press reporter, who rushed with heavy purse to get there
first, considering the paper in a distant, marginal country no
competition. Anyway, not only Angus, nobody noticed the following
collapse of Red Army.
He read about the
changes in the German organizations in Poland, when the Nazis created
the JDP, at first revealing dear friendship to Poland and the Poles,
with open hostility to the old German organizations, including the
biggest "DV." It was social engineering, taking
control and discipline by applying terror on the German minority in
Poland, done on the assumption, the Germans would never turn for
Polish help in their inner affairs, never break the national
solidarity. The news mentioned the disturbances between Germans, with
strong-hand methods. Nobody knew exactly the pattern and the Polish
Police never received any complaints for official action. Next, no
wonder, on Nazi direction the disciplined German people joined the
But first, Hitler
tried to turn the Poles to his side. The press announced many
visits of top politicians, Hitler’s close associates and
proxies, offering friendship and of German alliance, providing
access to German-Italy Axis, next with Japan the Tripartite Pact.
After the response, that Poland had already an alliance treaty with
France and a no-aggression pact with the Soviets good till 1940 yr.
(as with Germany) and could consider the proposed honor only after
this term expired, Hitler applied pressure and terror.
only partner determined to fight right on.
However, without more demands and dealing, an honorable action seemed
to the Western Allies pure stupidity (honest John rarely meets
reciprocal honesty). The point is, that it is due
to the merit of Poland alone, the Western Democracies survived 1939
Everybody now remembers, the UK, by themselves, opposing Hitler for a
longtime, at a cost of blood, tears and sweat. Yet nobody mentions,
1939 yr. Poland saved the skins of both allies,
the UK and France, at the cost of her own skin. Now, the moon, Mars,
cosmos are surely better known, than Earth then.
With France it was
not for long, the French lost willingly anyway. About England, it
was worth every toll. But if France had had to capitulate already in
1939 yr. England would not have been able to survive. The best
Churchill could have done, would be to continue the war from the
Dominions. Recollect, that after the calamity of France in 1940
yr. Roosevelt invited the British Fleet to take refuge in US ports,
and suggested the UK government might move to Canada. Sure,
considering a common defense of the Western Hemisphere.
Hitler insisted so strongly on the western offensive already in 39
yr. However, die Wehrmacht
spent their potential in the Polish campaign,
only about 25% of tanks remained in-service, there was a lack of
ammo, even "Die Luftwaffe" had bombs left only for days.
The Poles waned not
exactly save the free world, committing suicide. The combined
force of Poland, France and England was the stronger, chances looked
not bad at all. If the Allies had acted fair, Hitler never would
have won the first campaign, not to mention being set aside by
“Wehrmacht” on the orders of Gen. Ludwig Beck at first
But the story
is not so simple. After the I WW on Lenin inicjative the two big
losers, Soviets and Germany started a military cooperation, club of
came to powed as an archenemy of communist, street of germans
towns flow with blood. Neither
the Poles, the Allies not even Germans, nobody guessed, that
was backing secretly Hitler all the way from the beginning.
Surely not for love, but both
monsters had a mutual purpose: first start the war
and only afterwards decide, who shall take the whole lot and remain
alive. There is no way to tell, what could happen.
In spring of 1939,
the predicament in Europe developed as follows: Hitler declared he
had spent on the German Army 90 billion marks (almost 40
billion dollars) and this repeated all the German newspapers. Almost
the sum of all German debts, without interest. He stated he
had the strongest Army in the universe, time to use it has come.
Well, it was an exaggeration, done on purpose, to impress the
opponents and it worked. France, before even Czechoslovakia was not
worse armed. (So after taking over Czechoslovakia’s arsenals
Hitler’s power almost doubled, after conquering France
increased fourfold; only after besting Poland, it temporarily
dropped.) But the Commander in Chief of the French panicked.
Only at one point
did Hitler's attempts fail: He could not move Poland to turn to
his side, to drop the alliance with the Western Democracies. The
K³ajpeda (Memel) crisis, when Hitler taking the city and port with
military hand, offered to Poland a takeover of all the rest of
Lithuania (as appetizer, with more territories to come, thanks to
Hitler's kind backing), was the last try. As the friendly way had
led nowhere, now came the time for brutal stronghand. If Poland
backed out, Hitler still could start his offensive on the west
according to the plans, finish with France in 39 yr. and make a deal,
or take England unprepared for invasion.
When the Earth was
so great and distances big, many civilizations developed and fell,
others developed and took over. Technical progress hanged all this.
Two primitive, obviously mad terrorists became dictators. The one
with paranoia, murder all around first before they get him, the other
seeking compensation for youth inferiority complex by number of
sculls, they brought all humanity in peril. Cooperating secretly,
they started WW II with the biggest armies ready; luckily one,
damaged his tools. Anyway, if they had stayed a little time longer
together, before trying to kill one the other, their power might have
been enough to take over the globe. Humanity was near the point of no
return, the two monsters could first destroy civilization and make
the whole world a place unfit to live, only next biting each others’
throats. Even after, people lived many years in a threat, as
Stalin remained. Cosmic catastrophe is not the only danger, we may
commit suicide by our own folly, the possibility increasing.
The boy, at the
war’s beginning aged eleven years and two months, continued to
read all the accessible papers, the German and Polish reptile press.
Next also the Polish underground, for a time he became a voluntary
helper to an underground press archivist, with steady access to
regularly appearing, around 30 permanent main central and local
papers, and over 200 arriving occasionally, time to time. (Well,
including short-lasting and rare papers, which got there exceptional,
some valuable specimens, such as "Griffin Pomorski" and
"S³owo” (a Word) from Wilno.) Of course he could not read
everything, but even from what he was able, could get a dizzy head.
Not mentioning study of the old editions. This unique opportunity
lasted only half a year, but what a rich source of information!
There was never such abundance of opinions, comments, free speech,
as in the 44 yr. undergroundpress. Why do historians so
rarely benefit from the press? Old newspaper is simply a treasure
wasted, laying fallow.
He did his best to
be killed. Being a natural loser, failed even in this, with little to
spare. Don Quichote passion and spirit drove him to see places and
meet people right to the bottom of hell. Now, the old horse (or
ass?), has written it down. Neither reportage nor a full story.
rather a series of loose snapshots from the past.
He never had the
qualifications for the hero. To wish and dream is not enough, he had
not the right stuff inside for this. Death, met three times close,
recognized a failure and repeatedly spat him out. He did about a
month in a concentration camp and two months and a few days more
fought in the guerrilla, barely enough to be not ashamed of himself,
looking in the mirror. But in his mania to find his way to the first
line of the battling men, he met many characters and witnessed many
events. He never expected to live so long. Now, he sometimes suspects
that he may not succeed to die, before telling everything he heard or
saw. The only excuse for long life, wasting a place in the world.
The book is a
true story based on facts. But also, a sensational thriller and
adventure, a suspense novel and horror so bad, that after reading, an
easy reader may just smile at the worst of writers, who specialize in
imagined atrocities (real life is always matchless). The action
begins under rapid-fire and next the tension only grows. A
daily life on the brink of a tomb, in a country more than twice
where the occupants tried selectively to murder the best (more than 22% of the population).
This explains why the splendid former society diminished, it caused
a negative evolution.
A reader can look in
an unknown, nearly exotic word, a country isolated and sealed off
by occupants, where they committed by preference most of crimes,
planning no witness left alive. A country, where never stopped
resistance, according with a long tradition, the fight for freedom of
us and all the people.
Comment by Prof. Antony Polonsky, the Brandeis and the Oxford Universities.
I read your book in Polish and found it very interesting. Memoirs of this sort are extremely valuable. With the greatest of pleasure. Good luck with the book…..”