Polish Wings 22...

... Bristol F2B Fighter, RAF SE5a, Sopwith 1F.1 Camel, Sopwith 5f.1 Dolphin and Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard, from MMP Books

Title:  Polish Wings 22

Author: Tomasz Kopanski

Publisher:  Stratus Books/MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65281-49-4

The first I have seen in this series of Polish Wings titles from Stratus Books, a Polish based publisher.  A paperback book with 80 pages filled with the background information on the topic, along with archive photos and a good variety of good quality colour profiles.  Three of the aircraft featured, the F.2B, the SE5a and the Sopwith 1F.1 Camel are all ones I know but I hadn't been aware of them being in Polish service so lots to learn for me in this one.  It also includes the Sopwith Dolphin and the Martinsyde Buzzard, neither of which I was familiar with.

It starts with providing background on British Aircraft in Poland immediately following the end of WW1 and the establishment of an independent Polish state after over 100 years of occupation there was a need to establish a whole new air force.  With the end of WW1 Britain was left with plenty of spare airframes and the Handley Page company were apparently given the job of disposing them.  It includes a table showing all the various British types that were sold to Poland, and how many of each.  Lots of archive photos, all having useful captions and a number are seen after crashing.  This is followed by a one page section about camouflage and markings before moving onto a more detailed series of sections tackling the service history of each of the featured aircraft types.

Plenty more archive photos plus the colour profiles and starting off with the most numerous type, the Bristol F.2B.  Two were taken over by Handley Page for demonstrations, along with a couple of SE5a's.  These airframes were left behind though only 1 SE5a as the other crashed during the demos.  As a result, over 100 Bristol F2B's went to Poland and their service history is given in some detail.  Tables list the Polish Squadrons that used them during the Polish-Bolshevik war, Crashed aircraft and individual serials.  The profiles offer plenty of ideas for modellers looking for a more unusual set of colours and markings for a model F.2B.  The remaining type served in very small numbers, the Camel and the Buzzard, just one of each but they are still featured.  A few more Dolphin's were used and the SE5a just one, though two more are included, being used by a private company for Skywriting.

The book is nicely produced and the subject matter providing a rather different take on colours and markings for these aircraft which are perhaps better known for their RAF service during WW1.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin