First Kills: The Illustrated Biography of Fighter Pilot Władysław Gnyś
While not the best written biography, I found this one highly fascinating for a variety of reasons. While most biographies/histories of World War II focus on the large picture–battles, movements, personalities, decisions made by world leaders–this one focuses on one fighter pilot in the Polish Air Force who is credited with bringing down the first two German airplanes at the beginning of the war. We get to follow his adventure as he escapes Poland, first to France and then eventually to England. In a way, it is how one man was impacted by the larger events around him; in a sense, this is a micro-history. Wladyslaw Gnys might not be remembered today outside of the community he came from, but his son has done an admirable job telling the story of his father’s life, first as a young man and then when escaping Poland with many other Polish military officers to Romania as they waited to get onto ships to France. I would have liked it a lot more if the editing was a bit better.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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