4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Highlights the role of Poland in decisive Battle of Britain,
This review is from: A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II (Vintage) (Paperback)
Excellently written, taking in the lead up to the war, Poland's role with the allies during and then to the aquiesence of the West to Soviet control of the country. In each of these periods the book throws light on activities of the time and dispels myths perpetuated, even to day. This begins with the oft told tale of Polish cavalry's charging Nazi tanks (disseminated by Germany to indicate how 'ridiculous' a place Poland was). During the Battle of Britain, the Polish squadrons were responsible for 20% of the German aircraft shot down. Such a figure in so close fought a battle, arguably suggests that without this contribution of the Poles, Britain may not have survived to fight another day. Despite all this and their contribution in other battles (Casino) when it came to the end of the war, the west again and again let Stalin have his way. In effect it was Churchill's Munich and something he was sensitive to.
The aftermath of WWII was also instructive. During the Battle of Britain the Poles were lionized by the press and society in Britain. But at the end, the large no.of Polish servicemen left in Britain were despised and efforts made to dispel them as they were now competing for work. A lesson there, as to how fickle and selfish) the memory of the public is.
Well written and illuminates the prosecution of the war as it was in reality. The title does indeed reflect this as an issue of 'honour', and the worth of such. It is interesting to reflect, that had honor had been upheld in a timely manner, in respect to a rejection of Stalin's claims on Poland rather than conveniently rolling with them, how this might have stalled his other intentions, which later became more problematic for the West (Berlin, the Wall, and so on)