This book is a wonderfully well-written book by authors Lynne Olson and Stanely Cloud. For cursory readers of WW2 history, the narrative of the German conquest of Poland immediately after the ‘phony war’ was one where the mighty German war machine steamrolled over Poland. Polish cavalry making brave but ultimately useless charges against tanks. The polish airforce wiped from the sky by the Luftwaffe in a matter of days.
The reality as always was not so nice and clean. Especially so were the role those Polish pilots who escaped to England to fight on in the RAF. Traveling to England via complicated routes through the Mediterranean and Africa were stories in themselves. The books trace the individual stories of multiple pilots, their exploits while flying for the RAF, and their contribution to the war effort – downing more German aircraft than any other squadron.
The last third of the book delves into what the title ‘A Question of Honor’ suggests – how Poland was not given a seat at the table for post-war Europe. Eventually, given up to the Soviet’s sphere of control and how most of these pilots contributions were not recognized. Polish pilots were not even allowed to participate in the Victory parade in the London. Eventually, many Poles living in England was to face deportation to a communist Poland.