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Trained by the Americans in the 1920s, the Polish fighter pilots fought through the defeat of their own country in 1939 and then alongside the French in the fall of France the following year. Defying the orders of the French government to surrender to the Germans, they made their varied ways to Britain, where, far more experienced than their British counterparts, they became the RAF's most successful aces. In the Battle of Britain, flying as 303 Squadron, they downed 126 German planes, more than three times as many as any other squadron in the world. Described by an American bomber pilot as the best damn fighter squadron in the world , they became heroes to the British and idols to young women. According to Sir Archibald Sinclair, Britain's wartime air force minister, without them our shortage of trained pilots would have made it impossible to defeat the German air force and so win the Battle . Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud tell the story of the Polish pilots, focusing on a small group of five of them, from Poland to France to Britain, from defeat to victory in the Battle of Britain, to their betrayal, by Britain and the Allies as the war came to an end.