The humiliator of the Alsterufer
This book is published by the Military Support Foundation, a Slovak military charity organisation. The publication is compiled and written by military journalist Pavol Vitko, and also contains a specialist supplement on the history of the RAF Czechoslovak fighter and bomber squadrons, in the UK, by military historian Peter Šumichrast.
Major General (Rtd) Ivan Otto Schwarz was born in Bratislava and grew up in Bytča. Shortly before the outbreak of WW2, his father sent him to the UK in anticipation of the Holocaust. However, once there, he left the safety of Wales and donned military uniform. As a 16-year-old boy he enlisted into the British Army. At his own request and with his interest in military aviation, he was transferred in the rank of Private to the Czechoslovak Defence Force with effect from 20 January 1941. On 27 December 1943, as an air gunner he participated in the greatest triumph of 311 Squadron – the sinking of the armed German blockade runner Alsterufer along with her strategic cargo, thanks to which the crew of P/O Oldřich Doležal received high British and Czechoslovak military decorations.
Following a short stay in post-war Czechoslovakia, he returned to the UK due to rising political pressure against the members of the Western Resistance [i.e. the Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers who had fought alongside the Allies on the battlefields of Western Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East in WW2]. In the UK he set up and ran his own business. In the years 2006-2009, he was the Chairman of the Free Czechoslovak Air Force Association in the UK. Based on the Order of the President of the Slovak Republic, he was promoted to Major General with effect from 1 May 1995. In 2005, the President of the Slovak Republic awarded him with the Order of the White Double Cross, 3rd Class. Major General (Rtd) Ivan Otto Schwarz kept returning to Slovakia and visited the SVK MOD and General Staff on several occasions.
100% of the proceeds from the book go to the Military Support Foundation charity
|Vojenská podporná nadácia
Military Support Foundation
| Hardback, 522 pages, 400 photos
Viazaná, 522 strán, 400 fotografií