Flying alongside the Royal Air Force, with stoical determination, and far from home, Polish pilots put their lives on the line in defence of Britain during the Second World War. The legendary Polish 303 Squadron made a tremendous impact in the Battle of Britain by becoming the best scoring Squadron. Whereas members of 307 Squadron were responsible for defending major cities against incoming German night raiders during the Blitz; and later defended historic cities during the Baedeker raids. Others were given the task of protecting coastal areas or, as special operations units, gathering intelligence and assisting underground resistance forces. As the war progressed, Polish airmen were assigned to offensive raids, infiltrating enemy territory and destroying Germany’s industrial and rocket bases. They also made a vital contribution to D-Day and the subsequent liberation of Europe. This book tells the compelling and dramatic story of the Polish Air Force in Britain through detailed combat reports, logistics of battle strategies, oral history testimonies, operational records and a wide variety of previously unpublished written and visual material. Firmly set within the context of each phase of aerial combat, the book documents the heroic contribution made by the Polish Air Force, not only to one of the most famous battles in history but also to the ultimate success of long-term Allied objectives.
Author: Dr Penny Starns was awarded her Doctorate in History by the University of Bristol. Since that time, she has worked as an award -winning writer for BBC Radio4, and as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, University of London and University of Bristol. Recent books include Sisters of the Somme, Blitz Hospital and Combat Medicine: from the Korean War to Afghanistan.