Warsaw: Main Military Library, 1939. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto (11 x 8 5/8"). Unpaginated. Original pebbled olive quarter cloth over illustrated paper covered boards, with black and tan lettering to front cover. Top edge blue. Endpapers featuring the white eagle, state emblem of the Piast Dynasty. Frontispiece rendering of the state emblem in watercolor, with captions in French, English, Italian and German.
Published shortly before the outbreak of World War II, this work contains no less than 106 (ie 107) rotogravures, inluding photomontages, depicting an impressive Polish army and Navy ready to face the gathering storm. Graphic design by M. M. A. Girs and B. Barcz. Typography "Militari" set by Girs and Barcz at the St. Jezynski Type Foundry in Warsaw.
The introductory text in French and Italian is a brief history of Poland's armed forces, embelished with a floral design in gray, printed to gutter of two double pages. Each photograph is numbered and captioned in four languages in or next to the plates (French, English, Italian and German).
Extraordinary documentation of the Polish Army and Navy, including cavalry and training photographs; the depitction of Polish detoxication units is spectacular. An attribution of the photographs is printed to the last page: J. Malarsky, PAT, Photoplat, W. Pikiel, Stephot, R. Walter, N. Witczak-Witlaczynski and others.
In spite of its mighty appearance in the book, Poland's valiant army will be no match for Adolf Hitler's formidable war machine. During the first 18 days of September 1939, it will be utterly defeated and Poland conquered by Nazi Germany.
Catptions in French, English, Italian and German. Binding with light wear along edges, very light chipping, slightly sunned along edges and lightly rubbed. Starting at introductory text and lightly at top at plate 59. Block slightly age-toned. Protected in modeern mylar. Very good condition. Item #50656