God's Playground, A History of Poland (The origins to 1795)
I'm a history nerd (or just a nerd), and my wife is Polish. I wouldn't recommend this as light reading, but it is interesting. As Americans we think of a lot of European countries about as far back as WWII, if at all. So its interesting to go back and see all the things that went on.
The poles had some badass battles. At one point the turks laid siege to vienna with between 150k and 200k men. The troops in Vienna were about starved/exhausted when reinforcements from austria/germany and poland showed up. Total, about 70k. The king of poland was given command and they went out to meet the Turks. The infantry fought for a while and then 20,000 cavalry charged led by the king. Yes, 20,000 horses. Holy shit!
Can you imagine Obama charging with 20k horses into 150k enemies? We don't have leaders like that anymore. Anywhere. :cheers
The Turks were routed and that was the beginning of the end of their expansion into europe.