Digital reprint/Dodruk cyfrowy
History of the most fameous Polish Fighter Squadron during Polish - Bolsheviks War 1919-1921. Story about American voluntiers serving in this Squadron. It contains: Superb colour illustrations of camouflage and markings, rare b+w archive photographs. Essential reading for aviation enthusiasts & scale aeromodellers.
IPMS USA 2009-03-20The book covers the period of Poland's war with the Bolsheviks (Russia) 1919-1921. It is printed on a good glossy paper, with numerous black and white photos covering the operational history of the Kosciuszko Squadron including its formation and personal histories. I was pleasantly surprised when I received this book, because it filled in a gap of Polish Military history that I did not have. It was interesting finding out about how it was formed after WW I and people like Captain Merian Cooper (an American volunteer) and his exploits against the Russians. This book proves that understanding airpower is what helps win wars. The black and white photos help portray the conditions and what the people looked like in that time. It shows that we are not that different from them .
In the back of the book there are 27 color plates covering aircraft of the Kosciuszko Squadron - nicely done.
Internet Modeler 2009-03-20This book came as somewhat a surprise to me, as while I was aware of Poland's struggle against the Bolsheviks, I was not aware of the involvement of US forces in that conflict. The post-WWI period is an interesting time in Eastern Europe, with a civil war raging in the newly formed Soviet Union, which soon boiled over into Poland, a nation that had regained its independence after 123 years. This independence was not without struggle, though, as the retreating Germans were replaced by other forces, namely the Bolsheviks and Ukrainians. This book covers some of those struggles, but from an American perspective, through the pilots who flew against both Ukrainians and Bolsheviks during these difficult years.
The book starts with some necessary background information, that being US air forces in World War One. While the exploits of German, British, and French combatants are well covered (who does not know about the Red Baron?), those actions of American forces are less well known. Following this brief overview comes an explanation of just how some of these American pilots found their way into Poland, fighting the Bolsheviks. This action by Americans could not have taken place if it were not for one man, Captain M. C. Cooper. Cooper, after the Armistice, went to Poland as an observer and advisor, and soon convinced others to form an air squadron of Americans to fight in Poland. The actions of these Americans flying for Poland in 1920 and 1921 are best left to the text of the book, but I will say that there are some very fascinating anecdotes presented here, making this both a fascinating and entertaining read.
The book is not just words on the page, though. As would be expected, this book is packed with photos, most of which have not been widely published. These provide plenty of great inspiration for the modeler wishing to build something a bit different. Adding to these great photos are the color profiles. These bring to life the aircraft portrayed in the photos. Aircraft presented include Albatros (Oef) D.IIIs, Ansaldo Ballilas, and a sole Sopwith Camel. The colorful red and white Polish national markings, coupled with the Koś ciuszko Squadron emblem, makes all of these attractive options.
This is an outstanding book of a little known piece of American, as well as Polish and Soviet, history. For those modelers who are interested in the story behind the models they build, this is an excellent book to own.
Hyperscale 2009-03-20After Poland gained her independence after World War I, she still had to endure bitter fighting to protect her borders. Both the Bolsheviks and the Ukraine were involved in these disputes, which lasted until a Peace Treaty was signed in 1921.
Poland was not alone in the struggle and there were many volunteers, which for a range of reasons, rushed to her aid. A small gathering of airman that had tasted battle on the Western Front was part of this group.
Mushroom Model Publications have chosen this much-neglected subject as their latest addition to the “Blue Series”. It is the story of the American volunteers that fought against the Bolsheviks in the newly established Polish air force.
This small sized soft cover book contains a total of 80 pages. Contained therein are over 120 black and white photographs. The choice of images and the glossy paper on which they are printed, helps maintain a high quality of reproduction with the selected pictures.
The chapters start off with a brief description of the part played by American airmen in the First World War. It continues with the subsequent joining of the volunteers with a Polish squadron which was later renamed as the 7th Combat Squadron “Tadeusz Kościuszko”.
Other chapters relate to the fighting that occurred on the “Bolshevik Front”, including a remarkable incident that happened to Capt. Crawford.
His plane was hit in the fuel tank when strafing ground troops and the engine soon stopped. Switching to the upper tank he tried to restart his engine, but was unable to do so. Having made a forced landing, he got out and tried again but still the motor was silent.
By this time the enemy was getting too close for comfort so Crawford starting running for the nearby woods, helped by Ltn Corsi who was strafing the approaching cavalry from above.
While running, Crawford heard his aircraft start up and although pilotless, started to taxi along the ground. He turned around, ran to his plane and jumped in with just enough time to take off in front of the arriving Cossacks!
A chapter is then devoted to Capt. Cooper and his story provides an even more amazing escape from execution.
Finally the reader is told the sad tale of the monument erected to these airmen and this is followed by a biography of the pilots that were awarded the Virtuti Militari and the Cross of Valour.
A definite highlight of the book is the included artwork. This takes the form of 27 colour profiles, many with additional views where necessity demands. The aircraft featured are the Albatros (Oef) D.III 253 series, Ansaldo Balilla, and Sopwith Camel. Naturally some very exotic and unusual schemes are presented and most wear the Ltn. Elliot Chess designed squadron badge. This was a peasant hat with crossed scythes superimposed on some stars and stripes. The latter two items being a reference to the pilots’ origins of course.
Although the book can be a bit “dry” in the reading at times, the authors have done an admirable job of relating the story of this little-known group of airmen.
Cybermodeler Online 2009-03-20This new book by MMP (Mushroom Model Publications) is a departure from earlier books that I have reviewed for them previously. Those books were all on WWII subjects.
This one is about between the two World Wars. The book is in MMP’s usual 9 ½” x 6 ½” soft-cover format. It is 80 pages long. It tells the little-known story of the American volunteers who fought with the air forces of the newly-established Polish state immediately after WWI.
Poland had to defend its independence from threats by both the Bolsheviks and the Ukraine. There was fierce fighting until a peace treaty was signed between Poland and the USSR in 1921.
A small group of American airmen, who had fought over the Western Front in 1918, volunteered to fight in Poland. In September of 1919, they were officially accepted as a unit within the Polish Air Force.
Flying Albatross (Oef) D- III and then Ansaldo Balilla fighters they served with the 7 th Polish-American (Kosciuszko) Squadron and distinguished themselves in action. Nine of them were awarded the Order of Virtuti Militari (one of the highest Polish awards for valor) and 3 of them were killed in Polish service.
The book tells the story of the unit and its personnel and the sad history of the memorial raised to their memory in Lvov, Poland. The contracts they signed provided for medical care, pay, allowances per their ranks, and all the rights and privileges and duties of Polish Armed Forces officers. Their contracts were signed for a period of 6 months and automatically extended for 3-month periods if neither party renounced it a month before expiration of the current period. When commencing their service in the Polish Armed Forces the American flyers would retain their current ranks.
The main reason why the Americans joined the Polish Air Force was their wish to continue to serve in the air, and the choice of Poland was, to some extent, a result of the tradition of Polish participation in the American War of Independence. The name of their squadron comes from the name of the Polish officer Tadeusz Koscuiszko, who became a general in the American War of Independence and then returned to Poland at the end of the 18 th century to lead an anti-Russian uprising.
The book is profusely illustrated with 123 black and white photos of the airmen and their aircrafts. There are also 15 full-color side profile paintings and 4 3-view profiles of their aircrafts. These should serve as an inspiration to modelers wanting rather DIFFERENT markings on their WWI aircrafts. The book also should be of great interest to all WWI and between-the-wars aviation enthusiasts. Also to students of European history to some degree.
Modeling Madness 2009-03-20Once more, Mushroom Models Publications has produced an excellent book, and one that is about a relatively little-known conflict. After WWI, Poland returned to its national status after well over 100 years of occupation. During this time, it was threatened by the Bolsheviks in Russia who were seeking to expand their territory following the chaos of the end of WWI. It was during this time that a number of American fliers sought to volunteer their services to Poland to help fight this threat.
In 1919, they joined in with the 7th Polish-American Squadron (Kosciusko), flying Albatros D.III and Ansaldo Ballila fighters. There they were successful in their fight against the Bolsheviks in combat until a peace treaty was signed in 1921.
I have to tell you that I found this book to be fascinating. Not only is it a story of a portion of the Polish-Soviet war that few have heard of, but it also covers the combat use of several interesting aircraft types. Profusely illustrated with period photographs, it not only covers the war, but tells the story of several of its pilots and their adventures. There is also a section on the American Monument at Lwow and its subsequent destruction by the Russians.
As with all of Mushroom Models books, there's an extensive number of profiles of the aircraft used as well as support bibliographies where one can learn more. A truly interesting book and one that I know you'll enjoy reading.
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