• Swedish power metal band singing praises of Polish soldiers
  • Audio2.61 MB
  • 22.08.2008

A song  recorded by a power metal band from Sweden tells the story of a heroic stand by Polish soldiers in World War II.

Presented by Elzbieta Krajewska
"Baptised in fire, 40 to 1 Spirit of Spartans Death and glory; Soldiers of Poland Second to none" goes the song by the Swedish power metal band Sabaton. They tell the story of the Battle of Wizna, when over four days of September 1939,  720 Polish soldiers under the command of Władysław Raginis held off an attack by more than 42 thousand Nazis. The death statistics were 40 to 1 – the title of the song. I spoke to bass player of Sabaton Pär Sundström about the genesis of the song:
‘This is what we do, we write songs about historical war themes. Basically we did nothing different, besides that we asked our fans worldwide to send in ideas for songs for a new album. Since we had a lot of Polish fans that were very enthusiastic they sent in ideas for several historical things from Poland. One of them was the history of Wizna. We thought when we made our research that it was very interesting event in your history and something worth writing a song about.’
Since the song's premiere at the turn of June on the disc The Art of War, more than half a million fans have seen a video set to the music, with Polish subtitles, on youtube. But Sabaton itself has no Polish connections at all... Pär Sundström:
‘No more than we have a lot of Polish friends and this is the connection we have in Poland. Also whenever we go on tour we love to be in Poland because people are very friendly and hard rock fans are very very good!’ 
Sabaton will be on tour with their album – which also has a song about the battle of Monte Cassino, in which Polish soldiers too played no small part – for two concerts in Poland this autumn.  This fan will be going to see them...

‘They're great, my boyfriend thinks they're really great. But it's a bit strange, or perhaps it's good that a Swedish band is so interested in Polish history.’