Forgotten Few 60th Anniversary Edition (1940-2000)
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Dodał/a książkę:Wojciech Polak
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 combined. Some 17,000 men and women passed through the ranks of the Polish Air Force while it was stationed on British soil in World War II. They not only played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain in 1940, they also contributed significantly to the Allied war effort in the air. All in all, the Polish Air Force shot down 745 enemy aircraft, with another 175 unconfirmed, destroyed a further 25 on the ground and damaged 259. They dropped thousands of bombs, laid hundreds of mines, flew a total of 102,486 sorties, notching up 290,895 operational flying hours, and took part in virtually every type of RAF operation. They achieved this at a cost of 1,973 killed and 1,388 wounded. They won 342 British gallantry awards as well as 15 American ones.