FORGOTTEN FEW: POL A.F. WWII >

FORGOTTEN FEW: POL A.F. WWII >

by Adam Zamoyski
     
 

By the beginning of 1941, there was a fully fledged Polish Air Force operating alongside the RAF. With 14 squadrons and support services, it was larger than the air forces of the Free French, Dutch, Belgians and all the other European Allies operating from Britain combined. Some 17,000 men and women passed through the ranks of the Polish Air Force while it was…  See more details below

Overview

By the beginning of 1941, there was a fully fledged Polish Air Force operating alongside the RAF. With 14 squadrons and support services, it was larger than the air forces of the Free French, Dutch, Belgians and all the other European Allies operating from Britain combined. Some 17,000 men and women passed through the ranks of the Polish Air Force while it was stationed on British soil in World War II. They not only played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain in 1940, they also contributed significantly to the Allied war effort in the air. All in all, the Polish Air Force shot down 745 enemy aircraft, with another 175 unconfirmed, destroyed a further 25 on the ground and damaged 259. They dropped thousands of bombs, laid hundreds of mines, flew a total of 102,486 sorties, notching up 290,895 operational flying hours, and took part in virtually every type of RAF operation. They achieved this at a cost of 1,973 killed and 1,388 wounded. They won 342 British gallantry awards as well as 15 American ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fleeing to Britain after the Germans captured their homeland, the pilots of the Polish Air Force played an important role in the Battle of Britain and the air war in the European theater. Flying RAF planes, they shot down 745 enemy aircraft, with another 175 unconfirmed, and 190 flying bombs targeted at London. The British government was at first reluctant to utilize these military refugees, Zamoyski notes in his recap of familiar history, until heavy RAF losses in the defense of France and the evacuation at Dunkirk left Fighter Command no choice. Zamoyski (The Polish Way) chronicles the pilots' exploits in the skies over Europe and their warm relationship on the ground with the British people-especially the women-until the betrayal of their homeland by the Allies at the 1945 Yalta Conference. The story concludes sadly with an account of the development of anti-Polish feelings in Britain at war's end. Photos. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780781804219
Publisher:
Hippocrene Books, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.47(h) x 1.03(d)

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