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The Forgotten Few: The Polish Air Force in World War II

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By the beginning of 1941 there was a fully fledged Polish Air Force operating alongside the RAF. With 14 Squadrons it was larger than any other of the Air Force from Nazi-occupied Europe that had joined the Allies. Over 17,000 men and women passed through the ranks of the Polish Air Force while it was stationed in the UK. They shot down 745 enemy aircraft, with a further 175 unconfirmed. They dropped thousands of bombs and laid hundreds of mines, flying 102,486 sorties notching up a total of 290,895 operation flying hours. They achieved this at a cost of 1,973 killed and 1,388 wounded. They won 342 British gallantry awards.
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The crucial role played by Polish airmen during the Second World War and the colourful stories of their adventures have become part of British folklore. 

But very few people have any idea of the extent of their involvement, or how they came to be in Britain. 

In this brilliant history, Adam Zamoyski explores the unwavering courage of Polish fighters and how they helped to defeat the Nazis. 

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 put together. 

Some 17,000 men and women passed through its ranks while it was stationed on British soil. They not only played a crucial part in the Battle of Britain, they also contributed significantly to the Allied war effort in the air and took part in virtually every type of RAF operation, including the bombing of Germany, the Battle of the Atlantic and Special Operations. 

This book is not intended as a full history of the Polish Air Force. Nor does it pretend to assess the exact contribution of these men and women to the Allied cause. The intention is to give a picture of who they were, where they came from, how they got here and what they did. It also looks at their, at times, strained but ultimately successful collaboration with the RAF and their sometimes difficult, often notorious, but ultimately happy relationship with the British people. 

Count Adam Stefan Zamoyski is a historian and a member of the ancient Zamoyski family of Polish nobility. His books include ‘The Last King of Poland’, ‘Holy Madness: Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries’, and ‘Paderewski’. 

Additional Info

Author Adam Zamoyski
Publisher Pen and Sword
Place London
Year 2010
ISBN 9781848841963
Binding Paperback
Condition Good
Comments Inscription on half title page.

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