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Poles in the Battle of Britain (Hardback)

A Photographic Album of the Polish 'Few'

WWII Aviation Battle of Britain Photographic Books Luftwaffe Poland in WWII

By Peter Sikora
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 200 b/w
ISBN: 9781526782410
Published: 17th August 2020

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The Polish Air Force, which was reborn in Britain in the summer of 1940 from flying and ground personnel evacuated from Poland and then from France, proved to be one of the most successful formations to fight the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Overcoming the obstacles of language and operating in a foreign country, the Polish Air Force gained independent status, flying alongside the RAF rather than being a part of the RAF – and for the first time the Polish Air Force became a separate air arm of the Polish Armed Forces.

It is stated that 145 Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain, many of them experienced and battle-hardened. These men fought not only for freedom of their own homeland but also for British people, of whom they often knew very little. The Poles were able to form four squadrons, two bomber and two fighter, that went into operations during the Battle of Britain. Many other Polish fliers were dispersed across the Fighter Command, joining various RAF squadrons. They all made a decisive impact, when they were needed the most, gaining the respect their British colleagues and the British public.

In this superb collection of photographs, the story of the Polish Few is told from their hazardous journey from Poland to the UK and in the great struggle for control of the skies above Britain during that memorable summer of 1940.

This is a hugely enjoyable and interesting book to read. It covers a topic that may be well known but it is often overlooked. The author has conducted superb research as he notes small details such as the placement of badges in slightly different positions on airframes and uniform details such as insignia worn and styles of uniform. If you are wanting to know about Polish airmen and their activities in the Battle of Britain, then you must read this book. The author’s work and this photographic collection is simply outstanding.

Dr Stuart C Blank

About Peter Sikora

Peter Sikora is an aviation researcher, historian and writer who specialises in the history of the Polish Air Force between 1918 and 1946, with a particular interest in the achievements of the Polish airmen during Second World War. Based in Berkshire, England, Peter has already had a number of books published in Poland, including Aces of the Polish Air ForceBattles of the Polish Air Force 1918-1945 and Polish Wings Over Ireland. He also writes historical articles for the leading Polish aviation magazines. In his private life, he is married to Maggie, and together they run a not-for-profit organisation that helps to reduce unemployment.

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The Polish 'Few' Polish Airmen in the Battle of Britain (Hardback)

They came to fight for freedom and their country, they came to fight Germans. Men of the Polish Air Force, who had escaped first to France and then to Britain, to fly alongside the Royal Air Force just as Fighter Command faced its greatest challenge – the Battle of Britain. Many of the Polish airmen joined existing RAF squadrons. The Poles also formed their own squadrons, but only four became operational during the Battle of Britain: Nos. 300 and 301, were bomber squadrons, with another two, Nos. 302 and 303, being fighter squadrons. Flying Hawker Hurricanes, both 302 and 303 squadrons were…

By Peter Sikora

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