Polish Wings No. 17 PZL.23 Karaś & Others

PZL.23 Karaś, PZL.42, PZL.43, PZL.46 SUM

Polish Wings • 2013
Autor(zy)Tomasz J. Kopański
IlustratorKarolina Hołda
Data wydania2013-08-14
SeriaPolish Wings
Nr katalogowyPW017
KategoriaAvailable KategoriaDostępne
FormatA4, 88 stron (88 w kolorze)
Cena65.00 PLN Cena17.00 GBP

Książka dostępna jako dodruk.

Kolejna książka z popularnej Serii Polish Wings opisuje rodzinę polskich bombowców, PZL.23 Karaś oraz jego następców, w tym PZL.46 Sum. PZL.23 Karaś był podstawowym bombowcem we Wrześniu 1939 r.

Samolot ten oraz jego wersje były używane także w innych krajach.

Książka zawiera ponad 200 zdjęć, wiele publikowanych po raz pierwszy.

Specjalnie przygotowane kolorowe profile uwzględniają najnowszy stan wiedzy.

Zawartość książki do pooglądania na Youtube

The next book in the popular Polish Wings series is on the most famous Polish bomber family, the PZL.23 and its derivatives including the PZL.46. The PZL.23 Karaś was the main bomber in service in September 1939 and versions of it were sold to other countries with the great success. More than 200 photos, mostly unpublished, and many colour profiles.

Book is available as a reprint.

Watch the book preview

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  • Hyperscale.com • 2014-06-08

    Review Type:

    First Look


    Interesting subject matter; well printed and produced; high quality images throughout.

    Disadvantages: None noted


    This volume doubles as a history and walkaround of the PZL.23 family of aircraft. If you’re interested in modelling the Karas, then you will find much of the information, and inspiration, that you need here. Also recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about the PZL.23 series’ role in the defence of Poland and later in the war against the Soviet Union. There is an irony in the fact that these aircraft, outclassed in the opening engagement of World War 2, then soldiered on through and beyond this conflict; Kopanski’s book tells this story well.

    Reviewed by Brad Fallen


    The PZL.23 Karas is best known for its use by Polish forces after the German invasion of September 1939. The Karas crews fought doggedly but their obsolescent aircraft were highly vulnerable to German fighters and anti-aircraft fire. The Polish Air Force lost more than 80 per cent of its PZL.23s during the fighting, with just over 20 evacuated to Romania when defeat was imminent.

    Volume 17 of Stratus/MMP’s ‘Polish Wings’ series revisits these events within the context of the PZL.23’s broader development and use. The book’s focus is on illustrations, with 46 colour profiles and six overhead views by artist Karolina Holda and more than 200 period photographs. Author Tomasz J. Kopanski has divided his subject into five chapters:

    PZL.23 Karas. Taking up 65 of the book’s 88 pages, this chapter begins with a detailed description of the PZL.23’s design, deployment and use, including during the 1939 war. A series of photographs and profiles then track the type’s fortunes during this period. Images are included of the three prototypes, trainers used by the Polish Air Force and Air Force Reserve Colleges, and operational machines before and during the war. Many of the photographs are of Karas that were damaged in action, taken by and featuring German troops.

    12 pages of the PZL.23 chapter are devoted to the aircraft evacuated to Romania. These were taken over by the Romanians and used in a variety of roles before, during and after World War 2. Kopanski’s text suggests that – operated under conditions of air superiority – the Karas was an effective light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. (For example, Romanian PZL.23s conducted a number of successful attacks during the battle of Stalingrad.) Between six and ten machines survived the war, with the last struck of charge in 1948. The profiles and photographs show these Romanian PZL.23s were finished a variety of colourful and subtly different schemes.

    PZL.42. This very short chapter describes the single PZL.42, which was converted from the first production PZL.23 and used for dive-bombing trials. During these trials it was fitted with twin vertical tails, which led to improved flight characteristics in some areas. The aircraft was destroyed during a German bombing raid on 2 September 1939.

    PZL.43 Chayka. 16 pages cover the PZL.43, an export version of the PZL.23 fitted with a Gnome-Rhone rather than Bristol Pegasus engine. The new powerplant necessitated a number of airframe changes, and these were significant enough to warrant a new name for the aircraft. 50 PZL.43s were acquired by Bulgaria, where the type remained in service until 1946. Bulgarian PZL.43s carried perhaps the widest range of markings of any of the PZL.23 family, with a number of tempting modelling subjects illustrated. PZL.46 Sum. The final airframe chapter deals with the aircraft designed to replace the Karas. Two PZL.46 prototypes were developed in late 1938 and 1939, taking into account lessons learned during the development of the PZL.23. The result was a more streamlined machine – slightly reminiscent of a TBF Avenger in profile – albeit one still fitted with fixed undercarriage. You’d think an aircraft produced in such limited numbers could make no meaningful contribution to war effort, but this isn’t the case. Kopanski tells the fascinating story of how, after the Soviet invasion on 17 September, the sole airworthy prototype was flown from Poland to Romania, then back to besieged Warsaw carrying important passengers and information, and finally to neutral Lithuania. It remained there and was captured by invading Soviets and then Germans, but unfortunately did not survive the war.

    Colours and Markings. The book concludes with a one-page chapter on colours and markings, which describes the colours applied to PZL.23 and related aircraft by the Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians. Accompanying the useful text is a table of colour swatches identified by both their original description/name and US Federal Standard code, all of which will be useful to anyone modeling these aircraft.

    The material in all of these chapters is clearly presented. The text is easy to understand and the photo and profile captions are informative in terms of the date and location of their subjects.

    The book is also well produced. It is printed on high quality, slightly glossy paper and appears to be securely bound. Photo quality and reproduction is generally good; some are clearer than others, but all are relevant to the story being told. Karolina Holda’s profiles successfully convey the ungainly but (to my eye at least) appealing character of the subject aircraft.


    This volume doubles as a history and walkaround of the PZL.23 family of aircraft. If you’re interested in modelling the Karas, then you will find much of the information, and inspiration, that you need here.

    I can also recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn more about the PZL.23 series’ role in the defence of Poland and later in the war against the Soviet Union.

    There is an irony in the fact that these aircraft, outclassed in the opening engagement of World War 2, then soldiered on through and beyond this conflict; Kopanski’s book tells this story well.

    Highly Recommended.

  • Aeroscale.com • 2014-06-08

    by: Michal Sindera [ MECENAS ]


    PZL.23 Karaś was one of the most popular military aircraft of the Polish Air Force in the last years before World War 2 and during deadly struggle in September 1939. Being delivered to operational units since the end of 1936. At the outbreak of war Poles had 224 Karaś, while combat units were assigned with 114 machines. Other machines were still in training units or undergoing overhauls. Karaś crews carried many types of sorties, like reconnaissance, level bombardment, dive bombardments, assaults armour vehicles and strafing columns from low and medium attitude. To many of those assignments Karaś were simply unsuitable due to the lack of armour or insufficient armament. It resulted in the highest combat losses ratio of any aircraft type used by Polish Air Force which amounted to 86%. Karaś type was undergoing constant improvement and development which resulted in the types of PZL.42, PZL.43 Chayka (build for Bulgaria and according to their requirements) or PZL.46 Sum, which was build only in two airworthy prototypes. PZL.23 Karaś was exported to Romania before the war. Some of the machines captured in Poland by Germans were later also sold to this user.

    The operational story of the whole line started by PZL.23 Karaś, its construction changes and improvements in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria could be easily written in a pretty thick monograph. The Stratus publication which now I have in front of me focuses on colours and details of some particular machines of all the types according to the known photographs.

    inside the book

    The book has following chapters:

    PZL.23 Karaś


    PZL.43 Chayka

    PZL.46 Sum

    Colours and markings

    Seventeenth volume of the Polish Wings series is published in the same standard of the whole series. After a very essential introduction author focuses of particular machines which are presented on archive photographs and colour profiles. Artworks depict the current and most actual level of knowledge about each plane. On 88 pages author has managed to allocate about 200 photographs which were made in all possible circumstances by Poles, Germans, Romanians, Bulgarians and present planes which were used by them or were captured as abandoned or crashed. According to the publisher many of these photographs are being published for the first time.

    What is not difficult to guess the biggest share of the book is devoted to PZL.23 Karaś which was used by Polish and Romanian Air Forces. This type is depicted on 63 pages – 53 of about Polish and 11 Romanian Karaś. What surprised me a lot was a variety of camouflages and markings options of Romanian Karaś. PZL.23 is followed by PZL.42 which was build just in one example for trial with the twin vertical tails and later allocated to training unit and later sent to Dęblin where it was destroyed in a bombed hangar. Another chapter presents PZL.43 Chayka (Czajka) in Polish, German and Bulgarian hands. Although similar to PZL.23 this was very different plane, having more powerful engine, better armament, reworked and extended fuselage, different engine cooling system and reworked cockpit glazing. This type was build for Bulgaria, but in September 1939 few machines were used in combat against German Forces. Few machines were captured by Germans and used for trials wearing German crosses and later handed over to Bulgarians. Although Bulgaria was the major user of the PZL.43 although these two machines used by Poles and Germans are depicted on colour profiles. Bulgarian planes are shown on five profiles.

    The last machine presented in the book is PZL.46 Sum which is the last construction of the whole family. Prototype was first flown in October 1938 and displayed during XVI International Air Show in Paris. Second prototype was build in March 1939. This type is presented on just few archive photographs and one colour profile, however text describes almost its complete history and combat service. On the last page publisher provides a handy colour reference chart with examples of colours seen on depicted machines in different periods of time and in hands of different users. We get the name of colour, sample of colour with its Federal Standard number and type of plane on which it was used. The table is accompanied by a written description of finishing colour, time periods, different camouflages and their modifications introduced by Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians. summary

    Polish Wings series one more time provides us very useful and historically accurate reference. We can find here not only a lot of new photographs revealing details of many depicted machines but as a modeller, a lot of inspiration of scale miniatures – from stand-alone models to bases, vignettes and dioramas. All my books of this series were good shots which I never regretted and this one is the same good shot. Beside name of the author is a guarantee of the highest quality. If you are interested in the history of Polish aviation and Polish Air Force, you can easily buy his books blindfolded and you won't be disappointed.

  • Aerostories.org • 2014-06-08

    Dans la "famille PZL", on connaît essentiellement en France le fameux P.11c avec son aile si caractéristique, mais bien moins le Karaś, bombardier léger et avion d’attaque au sol qui connut pourtant une carrière intéressante, en Pologne au début des hostilités, mais également en Bulgarie et en Roumanie par la suite.

    Même s’il a disparu chez Heller, le Karaś est disponible dans plusieurs catalogue de maquettes, et ce volume sera d’un grand secours au maquettiste désireux de s’en construire un de façon fidèle à un original. Cette collection privilégiant l’image, les textes sont réduits à la portion congrue, mais donnent l’essentiel de ce qu’il faut savoir sur les différents types de Karaś et leur utilisation. Plus de 40 profils en grand format, quelques vues de dessus, commentés par des légendes détaillées, sont l’un des principaux intérêt de cet album. Plus de 200 photos les accompagnent, qui ne manqueront d’intéresser l’amateur d’histoire.

    Si les profils représentent majoritairement des Karaś aux couleurs polonaises, on trouve également dans ce Polish Wings 17 des appareils bulgares et roumains, avec des cocardes variées (suivant le régime politique), et même un avion portant la Balkenkreuz de la Luftwaffe. Une palette graphique, donnant les couleurs pour des Karaś des trois pays concernés est disponible à la fin de l’ouvrage.

    Philippe Ballarini

  • IPMSUSA.org • 2014-06-08

    This book takes a look at the most famous of the Polish bomber type in WWII and its developments. The PZL 23 was known as the Karas (or Carp, according to Google translation) to the Polish Air Force and, along with its offshoot variants PZL 42, 43 and 46, did the lion’s share of bombardment work for Poland.

    The majority of the book (65 pages) gives us a brief history of the main variant, the PZL 23, and its service with both Poland and Romania. There are many previously unpublished black and white photos used to illustrate this aircraft, along with gorgeous color profiles. The Poles had some of the best group insignias I have ever seen. Who could resist doing a model of a Karas with a flying fire breathing dragon with a bomb clutched in his talons?!

    The next 22 pages contain a brief discussion of the one-off PZL 42 (2 pages). The export version PZL 43 Chayka (Seagull) was Gnome-Rhone-engined stretched fuselage version of the Karas. This variant was used primarily by Bulgaria. These versions provide some of the most colorfully marked variants, especially those from 1939. Lastly, the successor to the PZL 23, the PZL 46 Sum (Catfish), is discussed, including its escape to Lithuania where it was grounded when that country was occupied by the Soviet Union, and to its final listing as an aircraft captured in Russia by the Germans.

    The book concludes with what very well may be the best part for the modeler— matching the Polish, Romanian, and Bulgarian colors to FS numbers. These colors, especially the Polish ones, have always be the subject of a lot of speculation. The authors have used surviving aircraft relics to match the colors and have even been able to show that the elusive Polish Khaki was in reality three different shades. This section will prove very helpful, and its presence alone can make the book worth the asking price to modelers of WWII aircraft.

    This was a very interesting book! The photos and gorgeous color profiles are most enjoyable. They will help modelers in any scale. I only wish I had had this book when I built my 1/48 Mirage PZL 23! The only drawback to this book is the absence of any interior photos, and their inclusion is the only thing that could have made this book even better. I can still recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII Polish aviation, WWII aviation in general, and the WWII aircraft modeler. It gives a good look at one of the lesser known combat aircraft of World War II.

    It’s available in the USA from Casemate Publishing at http://www.casematepublishing.com.

  • AIR Modeller 50 • 2014-06-08
  • SAMI 11/2013 • 2014-06-08
  • MAI 11/2013 • 2014-06-08
  • http://samolotypolskie.blogspot.com • 2013-10-02

    Recenzja: Polish Wings 17: PZL.23 Karaś...

    Niedawno w sprzedaży ukazała się siedemnasta część popularnej serii „Polskie Skrzydła”. Długo wyczekiwana książka poświęcona jest aż czterem przedwojennym konstrukcjom Państwowych Zakładów Lotniczych: PZL.23 Karaś, PZL.42, PZL.43 i PZL.46 Sum.

    Autorem „Polish Wings 17” jest Tomasz J. Kopański - uznany autorytet w dziedzinie historii polskiego lotnictwa. Każdy kto spotkał się z poprzednimi częściami serii Wydawnictwa Stratus nie będzie zaskoczony najnowszym formą najnowszej książki. Nie jest to monografia, więc opis poszczególnych konstrukcji jest dość ogólny. Największą wartość „Polskich Skrzydeł” stanowią liczne fotografie, często publikowane po raz pierwszy, a także opracowane na ich podstawie barwne profile samolotów. „Polskie Skrzydła 17” wydane zostały w języku angielskim, a w środku książki znajduje się wkładka z opisami w języku polskim.

    Czytanie i przeglądanie najnowszej książki zaczęliśmy nietypowo, bo od końca. Wszystko z powodu jednego z czterech bohaterów publikacji czyli samolotu PZL.46 Sum, który budzi w nas szczególne zainteresowanie. Niestety Sumowi poświęcone zostały tylko trzy strony, choć nie zabrakło na nich nieznanych dotąd zdjęć i jednego profilu bocznego. Po cichu liczyliśmy na to, że autorowi uda się dotrzeć do materiałów prezentujących samolot w czasie wojny obronnej 1939 r., po internowaniu na Litwie, lub po przejęciu przez sowietów albo wojska niemieckie lotniska w Kownie.

    Kolejną konstrukcją, której poświęcono również niewiele miejsca jest prototypowy PZL.42. Należy podkreślić, że ilość zebranych materiałów na temat obu samolotów nie wynika oczywiście z zaniedbań autora książki, a z racji bardzo ograniczonej liczby dostępnych zdjęć i dokumentów.

    Główną część publikacji stanowi prezentacja samolotu PZL.23 Karaś. Znajdziemy w niej mnóstwo bardzo interesujących fotografii z czasu pokoju, września 1939 r., a także w barwach lotnictwa rumuńskiego. Godne uwagi są barwne sylwetki powstałe w oparciu o oryginalne zdjęcia, zwłaszcza te, na których możemy zobaczyć nietypowe malowanie (egzemplarz z 12 Eskadry Liniowej podczas manewrów na Wołyniu z 1938 r.) czy Karasie przyozdobione godłami polskich eskadr.

    Ostatnią maszyną, którą znajdziemy w „Polish Wings 17” jest PZL.43 Czajka, produkowana na zamówienie Bułgarii. Jak nie trudno się domyślić większość zdjęć przedstawia samolot w barwach lotnictwa tego kraju, choć nie zabrakło również fotografii Czajki z niemieckimi krzyżami i dwóch egzemplarzy użytych bojowo przez lotnictwo polskie w wojnie obronnej 1939 r.

    Ostatnim elementem książki jest tablica z wzorami i symbolami kolorów używanych do malowania samolotów w poszczególnych krajach. Dobór barw uwzględnia aktualny stan wiedzy dotyczący zagadnienia kolorystyki polskich konstrukcji. Między innymi z tego powodu „Polish Wings 17” można polecić przede wszystkim modelarzom, ale każdy miłośnik polskiego lotnictwa znajdzie tam coś dla siebie. Cieszy również fakt, że książka ze względu na wydanie w języku angielskim ma szansę trafić do szerszego grona czytelników zagranicznych, przybliżając tym samym historię polskich skrzydeł, jak również dorobku naszego przemysłu lotniczego.

  • Skrzydlata Polska • 2013-10-02
    Skrzydlata Polska 09/2013 "Uważam, że książka ta powinna być dostępna w oficjalnych polskich placówkach zagranicznych..." Wojciech Łuczak

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