1st Edition HB 1976
Dutch language, 112 pages.
Hardback. First published in Germany in 1976 by "Stalling". Printer N/K.
Written by Janusz Piekalkiewicz.
Text is in German. A general overview of the battle.
Janusz Piekalkiewicz was a soldier, historian, writer, as well as a television
and cinema director and producer. He was a world-renowned author on many aspects
of World War II history with over 30 of his books currently in print. He also wrote
from his experiences during the war and specialized in detailing operations within
the secret services. A unique characteristic of many of his books is that chapters
contain two parts. He first describes details and contemporary quoted sources and
then, in the second part, he provides analysis and own commentates to those events.
According to critics, this results in a very objective presentation of the material.
In addition to his well-known history books, he also wrote books about treasure hunting.
His uncle was Professor Jan Piekalkiewicz, a leader of the Polish resistance, who was
murdered by the Gestapo in 1943. At age seventeen, Janusz joined the Armia Krajowa
(the Home Army) against the Nazi occupation, participated in the Warsaw Uprising,
and spent the remainder of the war in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
After he finished Matura (examinations) in 1946, he began studies at the
National Film School in Lˇdz , in the Film Production Department.
He also studied contemporary history. After three years, he was barred from continuing
study because he was a dissident and did not subscribe to the official views of
the government. Barring further studies because of this was also known as for
"political reasons". He then worked as an assistant producer and wrote screenplays
for popular science films - which also did not have a chance to be made because
of political reasons. His passion were the Tatra Mountains, therefore, he moved to
Zakopane and worked as a mountaineering guide.
Deciding to emigrate from Poland in 1956, he escaped his homeland by tracing the
route used by underground resistance couriers during World War II through the
Tatra Mountains. He arrived in Hungary in time for the Revolution of 1956 and became
actively involved. After Soviet armed forces crushed the rebellion, he fled to Austria
and was briefly detained. He survived as a labourer on road construction. Later, he
became a broadcast reporter in Vienna. He then worked in Paris, London, and
Germany as a television producer, as well as a writer and director for films.
His 26-episode television serial, "Secret Agents, Spies, and Saboteurs - Famous
Undercover Missions of World War II"
(Szpiedzy, agenci, zolnierze - tajne jednostki okresu II wojny swiatowej"),
earned first-place (Golden Nymph) at the IX International Festival de TÚlÚvision
de Monte-Carlo in 1963. This series was distinguished by its accuracy, objectiveness,
as well as its serious and thoughtful delivery. He finally received the award after
eleven years. His book of the same title is described as "one of the most interesting
and comprehensive spy books done on WWII". In June 1964, he presented
"Polnische Passion" (Polish Passion - International and English title) as a
documentary film at the 1964 Berlin International Film Festival. His life-long
dreams included writing from a fresh start about recent history, as well as to make
a documentary film about World War II.
It was only after 1990, and the collapse of the communist government in Poland
(see: History of Poland (1989-present)), that his books were translated into Polish
and finally published in his homeland. In 1997, Film Studio Wir shot a documentary
film about him for Telewizja Polska (Polish public television) TVP 1 (Program I).