The Polish Air War on Behalf of England.


  • Poles in Defence of Britain: A Day-By-Day Chronology of Polish Day and Night Fighter Pilot Operations: July 1940 – June 1941 by Robert Gretzyngier  –  Published August 23rd 2002 by Grub Street (first published January 1st 2001). Edition Language:  English.

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The Polish Air War on Behalf of England. A Photographically-Illustrated Diary-Format of Polish Air Force in Combat (1940-1941)

If you like old photos, this book alone is worth it. It contains more photos than most other books that I had read on the Battle of Britain.

This work includes the opinions of non-Poles. For instance, Sir Hugh Downing is quoted on how he abandoned his original misgivings about the Poles once he saw them in combat. (p. 31). There is also a long, moving poem about the Polish pilots, written by Stephen Gwynn. (p. 87).

The book begins with Poles in the Battle of Britain itself, and does not mention earlier PAF (Polish Air Force) combat in the 1939 (Polish) and 1940 (French) campaigns. It features a day-by-day account of combat and other events. Although the Battle of Britain was effectively over by Fall 1940, the day-by-day accounts of combat continue through mid-1941. It was at this time that Nazi Germany attacked its erstwhile Soviet ally, and shifted the bulk of the Luftwaffe to the new Eastern Front.

There are several appendices in this book. One lists all the Hurricane squadrons. Another lists all the PAF (Polish Air Force) personnel, in alphabetical order, who flew in service of Britain in 1940-1941. Still another lists all the combat claims by Polish pilots. There is also a listing of Polish Air Force ranks, as well as a listing of Poles who died in combat. Finally, the book contains a bibliography for further reading.

 

Jan Peczkis

Published with the author’s permission.

 

– More reviews by Jan Peczkis on PCO  ….. .

 

  • Title image: „Poles in Defence of Britain: A Day-By-Day Chronology of Polish Day and Night Fighter Pilot Operations: July 1940 – June 1941”
    by Robert Gretzyngier, part of the cover / selected by wg.pco

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