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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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"Peter Sikora makes excellent use of his outstanding knowledge, expertise and passion for history of the Polish Air Force to tell an often-forgotten tale of the Polish Few who fought alongside the British during the Battle of Britain. The author manages to capture in a moving way the reality of life for Polish airmen through personal stories and unique photographs. His work is an important contribution to honouring the memory of those who fought for the freedom of Europe, Britain and their faraway motherland." - Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki

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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.

Poles in the Battle of Britain is a photographic collection of a small group of men, namely the Polish airmen from Poland, an often overlooked group of men. These polish airmen played a vital role not just in the Battle of Britain but throughout the Second World War, for Great Britain and the allies. Poles in the Battle of Britain looks at the journey to Britain from Poland of about 145 airmen and tells their story here and there experiences of flying as a separate part of the RAF. This book documents the Polish and their contribution through this book via a good many photographs, many of which picture the men on duty but also the planes they flew.

This is a thoroughly good book and not only is a brilliantly written book, but the photographs are top notch. Each photograph is accompanied by some excellent and informed information. The role of the polish airmen at least when I was growing up was often overlooked and was never really revealed in programmes or documentaries. It was only in later life I found out the truth. Which is obviously great because the work and skill of these men was enormous. This was an excellent book by an author who clearly know his subject in great detail. A book I would happily recommend to anyone else with a five star rating.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Read the full review here

UK Historian

Peter Sikora makes excellent use of his outstanding knowledge, expertise and passion for history of the Polish Air Force to tell an often-forgotten tale of the Polish Few who fought alongside the British during the Battle of Britain. The author manages to capture in a moving way the reality of life for Polish airmen through personal stories and unique photographs. His work is an important contribution to honouring the memory of those who fought for the freedom of Europe, Britain and their faraway motherland.

Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki

These young men come to life whilst looking at their photos and their stories all I can say is , that its a well written and presented book and should be on all of our book shelves . Do yourself a favour and get a copy.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

As featured on Scale Modelling Now

Scale Modelling Now

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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