With the eminent approach of war, Poland transferred its air force before September 1, 1939, to various remote locations. In the known airbases were some unserviceable machines for the Luftwaffe to attack. With an intact air force, Poland used this power once the war proceeded. However, the capabilities of the Polish aircraft at this time were much more limited than the German aircraft.
By late 1939 and early 1940, with the collapse of the Polish resistance due to the overwhelming odds, most of the Polish air force escaped to France and England. While in France, the Poles re-grouped and flew French planes to defend France. Then later with the Germans overwhelming France, the Poles fled to England to regroup. The Poles valiantly defended England and fought the Germans, distinguishing themselves as fighters not to be taken lightly.
At the end of the war, however, Poland was handed over to communist Russia. The fighting the Polish aces accomplished throughout the war, with the aim of freeing their country from German rule, was replaced by anguish at their country now being put under Russian rule. Poland, in essence, was betrayed by its allies and handed over to the Russians.
"Polish Aces of World War 2" by Robert Gretzyngier and Wojtek Matusiak lives up to the high standards of Osprey military books. This volume provides a concise, yet detailed, account of every major aspect of Poland's air force in World War II. The book is filled with many black-and-white photographs and pages of color illustrations. Within the 96 pages, the reader becomes acquainted with the accomplishments of the Polish aces and even what happened to them more recently. Skalski returned to Poland and flew in their air force for many years, Zumbach became a smuggler and organized the Katangese Air Force in the early 1960s, and Gladych immigrated to America, obtained a degree in psychology and now works as a doctor in Seattle, Washington.