• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


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  • 8 November 2018

    "303 Squadron", a Polish film telling the remarkable story of the most successful RAF Fighter Command unit in the Battle of Britain, premiered in London at Science Museum’s IMAX Theatre on Thursday, 8th November.


    The film, based on the best-selling Polish novel "303 Squadron: "The Legendary Battle of Britain’s Fighter Squadron", portrays the contribution of Polish pilots of the 303 Squadron to defending the Island of Last Hope and turning the tide of the Second World War.


    The premiere attracted many distinguished guests, including lead actors Piotr Adamczyk, Kirk Barker, Andrew Woodall, John Steel, Anna Prus, Jan Wieczorkowski, Antoni Królikowski and Marcin Kwaśny, as well as film’s director Denis Delić, producer Jacek Samojłowicz, war veterans, representatives of the Polish community, and Ambassador of Poland Arkady Rzegocki.



    In his opening speech, Ambassador Rzegocki reminded everyone about the unique meaning of freedom for the Polish people. He cited Witold Urbanowicz, one of the leading Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain, who once said that Poles do not beg for freedom but they fight for it. He also emphasised the invaluable contribution of the Polish pilots in the victory of the Royal Air Force over Nazi Germany. “We celebrate this successful outcome of the alliance between the British and Polish independence fighters, and hope that the spirit of cooperation between our two nations lives on,” he said.


    The premiere coincided with the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Polish Air Force, the Royal Air Force as well as the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence.


    No. 303 (Polish) Squadron was formed in July 1940 and was one of 15 Polish squadrons which served in the Royal Air Force Fighter Command during the Second World War. During the Battle of Britain, it shot down 126 enemy planes. Overall, 145 Poles fought in the Battle of Britain in the Polish 302 and 303 Squadrons and in British RAF units, shooting down 203 enemy planes. Nearly 20,000 Polish airmen and airwomen served in the Polish Air Force squadrons in Britain during the war.



    Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, who led Fighter Command, wrote: "Had it not been for the magnificent material contributed by the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of the Battle would have been the same."


    The film is a second one about the squadron to have premiered this autumn, with "Hurricane", starring Iwan Rheon ("Game of Thrones"), being released in September.


    303 Squadron is available in UK cinemas from Friday, 9th November.



    Press Office of the Embassy of Poland in the UK

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