Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I'm just finishing a book about the Polish fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain. The book is called: A Question Of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron. It is a facinating book.
Oddly only the first third of the book deals with the squadron in the title and the rest is dedicated to the role of Polish soldiers and partisan's during the rest of WWII. Most people, even some historians really don't know the role the Poles played in various theatres of WWII.
The Kosciuszko Squadron was one of the top fighter Squadrons in the Battle Of Britain. Those pilots were absolutely fearless and were after revenge for what Hitler and the NAZIS did to Poland in 1939. The Polish Fighter Pilots were treated as heroes by the British people for their role in the Battle Of Britain.
As the War progressed though, British and American promises to the people and Polish Government in Exile were forgotten or ignored in the effort to appease Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin. Poland, a free Poland was doomed.
Uprising Monument in Warsaw
Even as the Soviets were on the outskirts of Warsaw, they did nothing to help the uprising going on in Warsaw and they stood idly by as the SS and German troops slaughtered and raped thousands of Poles. Only after the uprising was brutally put down by the NAZIS did the Soviet Army move in and clear out the Germans.
The American and British promises to help the Partisans in the uprising with Air Support of arms and supplies were lies told to appease the Exiled Polish Government. Franklin Roosevelt's role in this travesty has been largely overlooked but it was one of the great and tragic failures of his Presidency and it cost MILLIONS of Poles their FREEDOM for 50 years.
Polish Resistance Fighters in Warsaw
It truly is one of the sad and tragic tales of WWII. Once the Soviet Army had conquered Poland from the NAZIS they just were not going to give it back and they never had any real intention of giving it back either.
Both Roosevelt and Churchill were too afraid that Stalin would make a separate peace with Hitler (he had made a pact before the war dividing Poland between the Soviet Union and NAZI Germany) to demand he give up Poland. They certainly could have cut off all supplies to the Russians but again they didn't want to risk it. It was a joke in my opinion.
This wonderful book goes into great detail on the various Polish Military units that escaped Poland in 1939 and made their way to England to fight along side the British and Americans in Italy, France, The Netherlands and Germany. They were amazing soldiers and airmen and they have truly never been given credit for their magnificent service during the War.
So if you like a good history read, I highly recommend this book...