MACZEK, Stanislaw. Od Podwody do Czołga. Wspomnienia wojenne 1918-1945. Edinburgh, Tomar Publishers, 1961.
8vo. Original blue cloth, lettered and decorated in gilt, dust-wrapper, not price-clipped; pp. 304, illustrated with one colour portrait, plates after photographs and sketch maps; apart from light marginal tears to wrappers, near fine.
First edition, very rare, published at the impressive price of 36s. There was an even more expensive issue, luksusowej, priced 42s.
The Polish army officer Stanisław Władysław Maczek (1892–1994) was born in a small town in Galicia and 'attended secondary school in the nearby town of Drohobycz, where one of his best friends was Bruno Schultz, the Jewish writer and artist shot by the Gestapo in 1942. In 1910 he entered the Jan Kazimierz University at Lemberg (Lwów), the nearest city, to read philosophy and Polish philology. He was a member of the Riflemen's Association, the Polish paramilitary organization headed by Jozef Pilsudski. In 1914, a few months before graduation, he was conscripted at the outbreak of war into the Austro-Hungarian army. He served as an officer in the crack 2nd Kaiser Jaeger regiment, mountain infantry, on the Italian front almost until the end of the war. In the winter of 1917–18 he had three months' leave to recuperate from wounds and completed his university diploma. He wrote his thesis on the psychology of emotions in literature. A good soldier, he reached Oberleutnant and, among other decorations, received the bronze medal for valour' (ODNB). Despite Maczek's intention to lead a scholarly life after WW1, the geopolitical circumstances and leading officers of the new Polish army convinced him to soldier on, what he did on many fronts until he was demobilized, retired in Edinburgh and wrote this book.