Paul's Reviews > The Polish 'few': Polish Airmen in the Battle of Britain

The Polish 'few' by Peter Sikora
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it was amazing
bookshelves: history

The Polish ‘Few’ – For the Many

When my Grandfather was alive, as a Polish soldier who had fought in the defence of his country from the 1st September. As someone who by 1940 had fought, escaped and got to re-join the Polish ranks in France and then in Britain. He was proud to have served alongside the Polish Airforce and then with those Airmen who made it to Britain.

Ignorance often rears its ugly head when people say what did the Poles ever do for us? They do not realise that the Poles were the largest contingent of foreign airmen to serve in the RAF during the Battle of Britain. This excellently researched book sets the record straight and highlight the role of the 145 Polish Airmen who took part in the Battle of Britain.

This book explains how for over a thousand years Poland had always had problems with her neighbours, and often had to defend herself from powerful neighbours. In 1792 Poland had been conquered and divided by Russia, Austria and Prussia/Germany. It was not until 1918 that Poland once again came blinking out into daylight, and once again a country in her own right.

Once free Poland always knew she may have to defend her borders and while they had an army of sorts, they would need an air force. She built an air force on the backs of pioneers, veterans of the First World War, who had been forced to fight each other under different empires.

By the time the Poles arrived in England in late 1939 early 1940 they were already battle hardened and had fought the Luftwaffe over the Skies of Poland. It was this experience that came to fruition during the Battle of Britain, as the Poles pushed themselves hard and hard to kill the enemy. Both Churchill and Air Chief Marshall Dowding acknowledged the work of the Poles in defending Britain.

This excellently researched and written book is an in depth look at those 145 Polish airmen and their service in the Royal Air Force. Even giving accounts of each individual pilot this really is a magnificent book. Highly recommended book for those interested in the Battle of Britain and Polish Armed Forces.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 5, 2019 – Shelved
February 5, 2019 – Shelved as: history
February 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

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