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Poles in Defence of Britain [Hardcover]

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Item description for Poles in Defence of Britain by Robert Gretzyngier...

To the Polish volunteers who were to fly and fight so brilliantly and tenaciously throughout the Battle of Britain, the United Kingdom was known as 'Last Hope Island'. Many lost their lives, such as Antoni Ostowicz, many achieved glory and became aces - such as Glowacki, Skalski and Witorzenc. The RAF came to depend on these men, with over 100 Polish pilots supporting almost 30 fighter squadrons, most especially 302, 303 and 307 (night fighter).

The result of years of research, Robert Gretzyngier's book includes detailed combat descriptions, personal accounts from combat reports, memoirs, and diaries from the Polish, British and German perspective. There is in-depth biographical data of all Polish pilots, giving full RAF and PAF careers and much tabular material in appendix form.

This book is a tremendous account of Polish contribution in those hectic days before the RAF began to take the offensive across the Channel, and is augmented by many hitherto unpublished photographs from private collections.

Robert Gretzyngier has for years studied Polish involvement in the air defence of the British Isles in WWII. He lives and works in Warsaw.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.52" Width: 6.44" Height: 1.14"
Weight:   1.62 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Grub Street
ISBN  1902304543  
ISBN13  9781902304540  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Poland
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > Aviation
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > Personal Narratives

Reviews - What do customers think about Poles in Defence of Britain?

Firsthand Accounts of the RAF's Deadliest Pilots!   Dec 23, 2005
The exploits of the Polish Air Force pilots who flew fighter ops over England from July 1940 to June 1941 are well covered in this Grub Street volume.

Having flown combat over their doomed country in 1939, the 100-odd Polish Air Force pilots who managed to escape to England were some of the most combat-experienced and motivated pilots to join the ranks of the RAF. Initially held back because of language problems, the Poles soon proved their worth in the Battle of Britain, the Polish 302 Squadron becoming the highest scoring unit in that battle. Poles served in a number of day- and night-fighter units during this timeframe turning in exemplary performances.

Author Robert Gretzyngier has done a marvelous job recounting the battles fought by Polish pilots such as Henneberg, Skalski, Urbanowicz and Zumbach. His book brims with action, just about every page featuring combat reports or other first-person accounts of dogfights. A center section of photos depicts many of the pilots and aircraft described in the text.

All in all, a very readable account of the Poles who contributed mightily to Britain's survival in 1940. Recommended!
A Diary of Polish RAF Units in England - July 1940 to June 1941  Nov 2, 2005
For reasons I don't know, the Polish people have been the brunt of jokes in this country. But September 1, 1939 was no joke in Poland when the Nazi's invaded. The Polish air force, without modern equipment (as had been promised by the English and French) was destroyed quickly. A group of Polish pilots made their way across virually all of Europe to join with the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain.

The British needed pilots and set up several Polish squadrons. This is their story. The story is told on a day to day basis in a diary like format. Virtually every combat flight, and every enemy aircraft claimed, every Polish pilot lost is recorded.

Because of the diary like nature of the book, two important facts are not mentioned. One is that after the war a number of the pilots returned to Poland even though it was in Stalin's hands. Many of them were imprisoned, tortured or shot. The second is that the Polish mathematicians who were instrumental in breaking the German Enigma code also made it to England. They were not allowed to work on Enigma.

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