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Polish Spitfire Aces

Polish Spitfire Aces PDF Author: Wojtek Matusiak
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 9781472808370
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 96

Book Description
Of all Allied airmen, Polish pilots had had the most experience of fighting the Luftwaffe by the time the war came to Britain. As the Battle of Britain raged, they quickly proved themselves as highly aggressive and skilful interceptors, especially when flying the famous Spitfire. The Polish Air Force eventually became the largest non-Commonwealth Spitfire operator, using some 1,500 Mks I, II, V, IX and XVI to devastating effect. Top scoring USAAF ace of the ETO, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski and a whole host of other Allied and Commonwealth aces flew with Polish squadrons, adding even more to their fighting quality. Conversely, several Polish pilots were attached to other Allied squadrons throughout the war, demonstrating their prowess alongside airmen from a whole host of nations. From an expert on Polish fighter aviation, this is a peerless account of the fiery, talented Polish "Spit" pilots, whose country had been overrun and whose aggression and determination to shoot down Axis aircraft was unmatched.

Polish Spitfire Aces

Polish Spitfire Aces PDF Author: Wojtek Matusiak
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 9781472808370
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 96

Book Description
Of all Allied airmen, Polish pilots had had the most experience of fighting the Luftwaffe by the time the war came to Britain. As the Battle of Britain raged, they quickly proved themselves as highly aggressive and skilful interceptors, especially when flying the famous Spitfire. The Polish Air Force eventually became the largest non-Commonwealth Spitfire operator, using some 1,500 Mks I, II, V, IX and XVI to devastating effect. Top scoring USAAF ace of the ETO, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski and a whole host of other Allied and Commonwealth aces flew with Polish squadrons, adding even more to their fighting quality. Conversely, several Polish pilots were attached to other Allied squadrons throughout the war, demonstrating their prowess alongside airmen from a whole host of nations. From an expert on Polish fighter aviation, this is a peerless account of the fiery, talented Polish "Spit" pilots, whose country had been overrun and whose aggression and determination to shoot down Axis aircraft was unmatched.

Polish Spitfire Aces

Polish Spitfire Aces PDF Author: Wojtek Matusiak
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 147280838X
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 96

Book Description
Of all Allied airmen, Polish pilots had had the most experience of fighting the Luftwaffe by the time the war came to Britain. As the Battle of Britain raged, they quickly proved themselves as highly aggressive and skilful interceptors, especially when flying the famous Spitfire. The Polish Air Force eventually became the largest non-Commonwealth Spitfire operator, using some 1,500 Mks I, II, V, IX and XVI to devastating effect. Top scoring USAAF ace of the ETO, Francis "Gabby" Gabreski and a whole host of other Allied and Commonwealth aces flew with Polish squadrons, adding even more to their fighting quality. Conversely, several Polish pilots were attached to other Allied squadrons throughout the war, demonstrating their prowess alongside airmen from a whole host of nations. From an expert on Polish fighter aviation, this is a peerless account of the fiery, talented Polish "Spit" pilots, whose country had been overrun and whose aggression and determination to shoot down Axis aircraft was unmatched.

Polish Aces of World War 2

Polish Aces of World War 2 PDF Author: Robert Gretzyngier
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472800583
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 100

Book Description
Pilots of the Polish Air Force saw action from the first day of World War 2 until the final victory in Europe. Flying hopelessly outmoded P.11 fighters in defence of their country in September 1939, a handful of aviators inflicted serious losses on the Luftwaffe before being overwhelmed. The survivors escaped to then neutral Hungary and Romania, before being ordered to France by the new C-in-C of exiled Polish Armed Forces, General Sikorski. With the invasion of Western Europe in May 1940, the surviving pilots were once more thrust into desperate action in newly-formed Polish units

With Great Sacrifice and Bravery

With Great Sacrifice and Bravery PDF Author: Glenn Knoblock
Publisher: Merriam Press
ISBN: 157638330X
Category :
Languages : en
Pages : 78

Book Description
This work is presented to the reader with several ideas in mind. First, it is the author''s hope that, in some small way, it will help preserve the memory of a little known pilot who fought, not only for his own country, but also for France and England during the early, dark days of World War II. While Waclaw Lapkowski was an experienced pilot who became one of Poland''s aces during the war, his early demise, like that of so many others, has relegated his achievements to the back pages of history, making them nearly forgotten. However, in referring to pilots such as Lapkowski, the great British ace Robert Stanford-Tuck cites the many men "who were credited with six, seven, or eight victories", pilots that "formed the bulk and guts of our fighter force." The second reason for producing this work is the unique use of official combat and operations reports from the Royal Air Force (RAF). Many of those who are interested in World War II aviation and fighter aces have read the biographies, and first-hand accounts of air combat contained within, of such men as Douglas Bader, Witold Urbanowicz, Adolph Galland, and Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, to name just a few. But what of those "aces" that did not survive to tell their story? How are they to be remembered? In the case of those who served with the RAF, the answer is, in part, through the use of official combat reports and related documents. While these official RAF and Polish Air Force (PAF) records do not sound particularly exciting, a glance at the surviving records quickly proves otherwise. Indeed, the title of this book consists of a borrowed phrase from one such report, and is a small example of the many dramatic events recorded within, often in the pilot''s own words. While these reports have been an important source for many works on the RAF and PAF and its achievements during the war, never before, to the author''s knowledge, have official combat reports been presented to the reading public in their original form. Though not originally intended for public view, they nonetheless make for exciting and informative reading and will be of interest not only to those with a passing interest in World War II aviation, but to the serious student as well. While the author was unable to obtain combat reports for all of Lapkowski''s flights, those that were procured for September 1940 and June 1941 are of particular interest as they highlight all of the "kills" that he made while serving in the RAF. The final reason for choosing to write about Waclaw Lapkowski is due to the availability of wartime artifacts connected with his service in the RAF. About a year ago the author came in contact with a man who owned a portion of Lapkowski''s Hurricane fighter, which was legally excavated in 1979. The author subsequently obtained a small piece of the wreckage for his personal collection, while the collector retained the remains of its Merlin engine, the prop boss, its Browning machine guns, and other items formerly on display at an aviation museum. Once this artifact was in the author''s possession, he became interested in finding out about Lapkowski, his career, and his subsequent fate. While this work gives much information about 303 Squadron, it is not, however, a squadron history. While a book entitled Squadron 303 was published in London in 1942, written by Arkady Fiedler, it was not intended as an exacting history of the unit. Instead, it was a nice work of wartime public relations to help explain the Polish contribution in general terms during the Battle of Britain. Despite its shortcomings, Fiedler''s book deserves its own place in the annals of aviation history. Copies by the thousands were smuggled into Nazi-held Poland and served not only to show that those who had left Poland were still fighting for their country, but served as an inspiration to those left behind to continue their resistance. No definitive squadron history has yet been translated into English. What the author found out, from the official combat reports, and various published sources, uniquely combined with available archaeological artifacts, was fascinating. What emerged from the records is a story worth telling. Waclaw Lapkowski, though not famous like such other Polish aces as Stanislaw Skalski, Jan Zumbach, or Urbanowicz, had an interesting and distinguished career. He was in the thick of battle at the outset of the war, when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and saw subsequent service during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain in 1940. He achieved air victories in two out of three of these campaigns, and is one of only a handful of men, less than 150 in number, who served in all three campaigns. To borrow a phrase from the British, Waclaw Lapkowski truly was one of "The Few", men whose skill and bravery helped stem the tide of German aggression and made Allied victory possible, at the cost of their own lives.

Spitfire Aces of the Channel Front 1941-43

Spitfire Aces of the Channel Front 1941-43 PDF Author: Andrew Thomas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472812603
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 96

Book Description
80 years after the Spitfire was first developed it remains an icon of military aviation. Though many associate its victory during the Battle of Britain as the high point in the history of the Spitfire, the years following were of equal importance. Having weathered the initial storm, at the start of 1941 Fighter Command took the fight to the Germans with offensive missions over the Channel. This book reveals how first using the Spitfire I and II, and then following the introduction of the Bf 109 the cannon-armed Spitfire V, RAF squadrons embarked on a range of missions which included one of the most important air battles of the war, over Dieppe on 19 August 1942. Alongside British pilots were squadrons manned by exiled Europeans and pilots from the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF. In just three years over 100 of these pilots were to rack up ace status in the Spitfire.

The Polish 'Few'

The Polish 'Few' PDF Author: Peter Sikora
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
ISBN: 1526714876
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 595

Book Description
They came to fight for freedom and their country, they came to fight Germans. Men of the Polish Air Force, who had escaped first to France and then to Britain, to fly alongside the Royal Air Force just as Fighter Command faced its greatest challenge the Battle of Britain.Many of the Polish airmen joined existing RAF squadrons. The Poles also formed their own squadrons, but only four became operational during the Battle of Britain: Nos. 300 and 301, were bomber squadrons, with another two, Nos. 302 and 303, being fighter squadrons. Flying Hawker Hurricanes, both 302 and 303 squadrons were active by the middle of August 1940, just when they were most needed, at the height of the Battle of Britain, with Fighter Command stretched to its limit.The Polish squadrons, battle-hardened from their encounters with the Luftwaffe during the invasion of Poland and Battle of France, soon made their mark. In particular, 303 Squadron become the highest-scoring unit of Fighter Command.In total, 145 Polish pilots, the largest non-British contingent in Fighter Command at the time, fought in the Battle of Britain. While Winston Churchill praised the contribution of the Few, the pilots of many nationalities who had defended Britain, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding was more specific: Had it not been for the magnificent material contributed by the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of the Battle would have been the same.

Poles in the Battle of Britain

Poles in the Battle of Britain PDF Author: Peter Sikora
Publisher: Air World
ISBN: 1526782421
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 224

Book Description
A pictorial history of the valiant Polish aviators who aided the RAF in the fight against the Luftwaffe. The Polish Air Force, which was created in Britain in the summer of 1940 from flying and ground personnel evacuated from Poland and then from France, proved to be one of the most successful formations to fight the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Overcoming the obstacles of language and operating in a foreign country, the Polish Air Force gained independent status, flying alongside the RAF rather than being a part of the RAF—and for the first time, the Polish Air Force became a separate air arm of the Polish Armed Forces. It’s said that 145 Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain, many of them experienced and battle-hardened. These men fought not only for the freedom of their own homeland but also for British people, of whom they often knew very little. The Poles were able to form four squadrons, two bomber and two fighter, that went into operations during the Battle of Britain. Many other Polish fliers were dispersed across the Fighter Command, joining various RAF squadrons. They all made a decisive impact, when they were needed the most, gaining the respect of their British colleagues and the British public. In this superb collection of photographs, the story of the Polish Few is told—from their hazardous journey from Poland to the UK to the great struggle for control of the skies above Britain during that memorable summer of 1940.

The Polish Navy 1918–45

The Polish Navy 1918–45 PDF Author: Przemyslaw Budzbon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472847016
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 48

Book Description
Packed with illustrations, this is a study of the Polish warships such as the Grom-class destroyers that were developed and built in the interwar years. Newly independent Poland's naval force was created in 1920, initially with six ex-German torpedo boats. However, after German-Soviet exercises off the Polish coast in 1924, funding for warships was hastily allocated. Two destroyers and three submarines were built in France but, disappointed with their quality, Poland ordered new ships, mostly from British and Dutch shipyards. By summer 1939, the Polish Navy comprised four destroyers, five submarines, one minelayer, six minesweepers and a handful of lesser ships. Although the Grom-class destroyers were two of the fastest and best-armed destroyers of the war, the tiny Polish fleet would stand little chance against the Kriegsmarine, and on 30 August three destroyers were dispatched to Britain, followed by two submarines that escaped internment. The remaining Polish surface fleet was sunk by 3 September. In exile, the Polish Navy operated not only their own ships, but also Royal Navy warships, including a cruiser, destroyers, submarines and motor torpedo boats which fought alongside the Allies in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Arctic Convoys, and at the Normandy landings. This detailed account not only describes the Polish Navy's contribution to the Allied war effort but also the episode of the Polish destroyer Piorun which took on the Bismarck in a lone gun duel leading to the sinking of the great German battleship.

Spitfire Aces of North Africa and Italy

Spitfire Aces of North Africa and Italy PDF Author: Andrew Thomas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1849083444
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 96

Book Description
Although most famous for their role in the Battle of Britain, many Spitfire squadrons also served in the Mediterranean theatre, aiding the Allied victories in North Africa and later in the invasion of Italy. Numerous pilots, both Royal Air Force and South African Spitfire squadrons, made ace during these engagements. This book tells their story.

Spitfire

Spitfire PDF Author: John Dibbs
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472815505
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 224

Book Description
The Spitfire turns 80 on 5 March 2016, and the passion for the RAF's best-loved fighter is running at an all-time high. There are more than 50 Spitfires flying in the world today, and John Dibbs has shot virtually all of them 'on the wing' in his breathtaking style. This eye-catching book combines a unique collection of stunning photos with poignant first-hand accounts of flying the aeroplane in combat, from some of the most famous aces to ever pilot the Spitfire, and from some of the pilots forgotten by history. Chronicling the history of the most iconic of British aircraft this is a 'must have' purchase for aviation enthusiasts.