Polish pilot Władysław (Władek) Gnyś was credited with
shooting down the first two German aircraft of World War II on September
1, 1939. On this day, as Gnyś' squadron took off near Kraków to
intercept the German invaders, German Stuka pilot Frank Neubert
attacked, killing the captain. Władek, who barely survived himself,
evaded the pursuing Stukas and went on to make the first Allied kills,
while Neubert was credited with the first aerial kill of the war.
experienced fighter pilot, Gnyś fought in the Battle of Poland with the
Polish Air Force, the Battle of France with the French Air Force and
the Battle of Britain and beyond with the Royal Air Force. During the
latter part of Operation Overlord of June 1944, Władek was shot down
over France and crash landed. Wounded, he was taken prisoner but then
escaped, his life spared by the enemy on more than one occasion.
years after the invasion of Poland, in the summer of 1989, Gnyś and
Neubert met and shook hands, making news around the world. They
reconciled their differences and remained friends until their deaths.
This event symbolized the prevailing friendly coexistence between Poland
Written by his son Stefan and drawing from his
logbooks, this highly illustrated biography of Władek Gnyś is the most
in-depth account of the Polish hero’s life. It tells Władek's story from
his childhood in rural Poland, through his time flying in three Allied
air forces during World War II, to his reconciliation with Neubert and
his commemoration as a national war hero in Poland.
Kulski, the son of the Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, is a 10-year-old Boy
Scout when the Germans invade Poland in September 1939. He soon begins
waging his own private war against the Germans with small acts of
sabotage. At age 12, Kulski is recruited into the clandestine
Underground Army by his Scoutmaster and begins training in military
tactics and weapons handling. At 13, he accompanies his commander on a
secret mission into the Warsaw Ghetto to liaise with the leaders of the
Arrested by the Gestapo at age 14, Kulski is incarcerated in the
notorious Pawiak Prison, beaten, interrogated at Gestapo headquarters,
and sentenced to Auschwitz. After being rescued, he joins the Ninth
Commando Company of the Underground Army, and at age 15 fights in the
Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Taken prisoner by the Germans,
16-year-old Kulski ends the war in a POW camp, finally risking a dash
for freedom onto an American truck instead of waiting for "liberation"
by the Soviets.
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- 238 pages
- Black and white and color photos
- Size 7.25" x 10.25"