Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jersey Post 2015
Battle of Britain

ISSUE DATE: 10 July 2015
THEME: Battle of Britain
STAMP SIZE: 30 x 40 mm
STAMP DESIGN: Hat-Trick Design
ENGRAVER: Martin Mörck

The Battle of Britain was a Second World War air campaign between the German Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air Force, which took place from July to September 1940. 

The RAF Roll of Honour recognises 574 pilots, from countries other than the United Kingdom, as flying at least one authorized, operational sortie with an eligible unit during the period between 10 July to 31 October 1940, alongside 2 353 British pilots.

The 147 Polish pilots claimed 201 aircraft shot down. 303 Squadron claimed the highest number of kills (126) of all Allied squadrons engaged in the Battle of Britain. Witold Urbanowicz of 303 Squadron was the top Polish scorer with 15 claims. Sgt Tony Głowacki was one of two Allied pilots in the Battle to shoot down five German aircraft in one day, on 24 August (the other being New Zealander Brian Carbury). One Polish veteran, Stanislaw Skalski, became the top-scoring Polish fighter ace of the Second World War.

There continues to be a perception that "fanatical" Polish pilots, inspired by hatred caused by the German invasion of Poland, often rammed enemy aircraft. However, with their combat experience, Polish pilots would have known that the quickest and most efficient way to destroy an enemy aircraft was to fire from close range.

"After firing a brief opening burst at 150 to 200 yards, just to get on the enemy's nerves, the Poles would close almost to point-blank range. That was where they did their real work. When they go tearing into enemy bombers and fighters they get so close you would think they were going to collide," observed Athol Forbes.

The six stamps in this issue depict some of the key factors that enabled Britain to survive the Battle and which helped form a springboard for allied victory in World War Two.

images and description thanks to:
 Jersey Post Stamps