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Saturday, September 2, 2017

No. 303 (Polish) Squadron

Pilots of No. 303 ("Kościuszko") Polish Fighter Squadron, from left to right: P/O Ferić, F/Lt Kent, F/O Grzeszczak, P/O Radomski, P/O Zumbach, P/O Łukuciewski, F/O Henneberg, Sgt. Rogowski, Sgt. Szaposznikow (in 1940).
(Source)
Reader RHT447 sent along a link to a video the other day, I watched it, enjoyed it, learned a few things. So I highly recommend it and it's basically today's post.

You might say I'm honoring the Poles for their ordeal in World War II and beyond.

And you'd be right.

(FWIW, I need to track down the rest of this series. Looks interesting.)



Don't mind the Polish subtitles, I thought them most appropriate. Enjoy!



22 comments:

  1. Sarge,

    Glad you enjoyed the 303 Squadron video. Thanks for putting it on your 'front page'. Here is some more fascinating history.
    I'm sure some here have first hand knowledge of some of it. Enjoy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTC_RxWN_xo

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    1. I shall check that out when I have some time. Looks interesting.

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  2. The 303 Squadron tactics were far different than the standard British tactics, and far more effective.

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    1. Many of the pilots had more experience as well.

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    2. they were veterans of 2 campaigns against Luftwaffe already, with survivall of the fittest fully in effect
      pre-war Polish AF also boasted very good training

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    3. They would not go down without a fight. Proud men, fine warriors.

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  3. Most of the British RAF pilots who wrote accounts of their wartime exploits served with and had lots of good stuff to say about the Polish airmen. Crazy, fearless, ferocious, blood lust, tenacious, etc. IIRC, most Brits believed that most Poles put killing Germans ahead of all else, including following orders. Which obviously caused a bit of trouble from time to time, but the Brits were eventually able to shelve much of their pre-war "this is the British way" doctrine and become quite good.

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  4. My wife is still asleep, so I shall watch/listen to the videos later. Thanks for the post.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  5. Just watched the video, very moving it is. The Polish people are among the finest of the human species.

    Paul

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    1. Fine people wherever they are, and victims of one of the worst smear campaigns in modern history.

      Poles have saved western civilization for a long time. And done it smiling, not screaming for recognition (like the French,) not capitulating at the drop of a hat (like the French,) nor screaming for Mommy to come rescue them (like the Frnech.) A prideful people. And I am darned glad they make up part of the great American nation.

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    2. Andrew - Indeed. I'm guessing you're not a big fan of France in 1940?

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    3. Not a big fan of France since 1792. Really not a big fan since the great Kraut smackdown in the 1870's.

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    4. Heh, well they are pushy aren't they?

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  6. i once bought a 1/72 Spitfire kit, that I was going to convert to a Seafire. When I opened the box, and checked the decal sheet, it was for a Polish squadron. That was one plane whose markings I would not change.

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  7. Damn it.

    Now I must go buy a copy of each of these, and it won't be very cheap.

    http://hobbymastercollector.com/HA8601.html
    http://hobbymastercollector.com/HA8605.html

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  8. "Dark Blue World." An obscure (in the U.S.) movie about the Czech's in the RAF. Worth the time, IMHO. regards, Alemaster:

    Centres on Czech WW2 pilots – the older Frantisek, the boyish impulsive Karel and in the background the quiet piano-playing Honza. As the film opens, it is 1950, the war is over and Frantisek and Honza are imprisoned in a former monastery. In their now Soviet-controlled native country they are 'enemy of the people'. Honza is severely maltreated by his Communist countrymen and dies.

    In 1939 many pilots manage to escape German-occupied Europe and make their way to England where they join the RAF. Notwithstanding their high motivation and experience they face RAF reluctance and British stiff upper lip. Finally they fight gallantly in the Battle of Britain. However, Frantisek and Karel find their friendship severely tested when they both fall for the same woman.

    In terms of romantic sub-plot, this is very similar to the Hollywood production Pearl Harbour. However, given the context of the film and Frantisek's eventual fate, it is also possible to read the English woman's treatment of the two men as symbolic of British treatment of the Czech and Polish RAF pilots: conveniently forgetting them once the war is over.

    In addition, the film is a lot less cliché than Pearl Harbour and the characters are more fully realised. Dark Blue World also scores in terms of its stunning aerial dogfights, which were seamlessly created using a mixture of models, actual live-action aerial filming and out-takes from the 1969 epic The Battle of Britain.

    In short, Dark Blue World is a well-made, moving, thought-provoking and exciting drama that puts the likes of Pearl Harbour to shame. Highly recommended.

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    1. Sounds like my kind of film. Thanks for the tip!

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