Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Interesting Book

I have recently come across a book called Impossible Victory - A Personal Account of the Battle for the River Po, by Brian Harpur (London: William Kimber, 1980). Harpur served as an officer in the Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment in Italy and was awarded the MM in the River Senio battle. He was also a journalist and became a Director of Associated Newspapers.

Something he talks about which I have never come across anywhere else. During the Yalta and Teheran conferences America, Britain and Russia decided that Poland would be dominated by Russia (although Churchill was not in agreement). In early 1945, just before the start of the Battle for the River Po, the whole of the Polish Corps (over 100,000 men) feeling betrayed by the big three, decided to withdraw from future operations and asked to be treated as prisoners of war. It was only the intervention of McCreery that persuaded them on operational grounds to change their minds.

Then, to rub salt into the wounds, just as the Polish began their assault on Bologna, U.S. heavy bombers mistook their target bombing the Poles instead causing tremendous casualties.

Ummm... more research required I think.

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