303 (Polish) Squadron RAF were so far and away the best RAF fighter squadron in the Battle of Britain that it is no exaggeration to say that the British would have lost the Battle of Britain without these Polish pilots. Britain owes its freedom to these Polish pilots.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, AOC and chief of RAF Fighter Command, later 1st Baron Dowding of Bentley Priory GCB GCVO CMG, wrote of the Polish pilots:
"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 (of Britain) would have been the same."
Lord Dowding could not, as their commander, outright say that the Polish pilots were so much better than the other allied pilots but he clearly knew that, without the Poles, Britain would have lost the Battle of Britain.
How did Britain repay these incredibly brave and noble Polish pilots?
The British government, in order to appease Josef Stalin, forbade them participation in the victory parades, betrayed their country (for whom Britain had allegedly gone to war in the first place) to the murderous Stalin, and even planned to send the pilots back to Poland where they would doubtless have been murdered by Stalin.
That's British government gratitude for you!
Lord Dowding was outraged but there was nothing he could do about it. It was government policy from the very top.
Pictured above left is Squadron Leader Franciszek Kornicki, one of the Polish heroes of the Battle of Britain, having narrowly survived the Battle of Britain and many other engagements.
One of my great regrets in life is that I did not have a chance to meet, and shake the hand of, this very gallant Polish gentleman.
After years of suffering in silence being forgotten by an ungrateful British government, he and his fellow Polish pilots were eventually finally recognised for their heroic service in saving Britain in 1940, at a time when 22,000 of their fellow Polish officers and intellectuals were being murdered at Katyn by the monstrous murderers of the Soviet NKVD.
Franciszek Kornicki survived the war and, finally, on 16 June 2011 he was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the award was conferred upon him in person on 24 September 2012 by the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski.
|Franciszek Kornicki, aged 93, |
was re-united in September 2010 with the very same Sptifire that he flew in the Battle of Britain, Spitfire MkVB BM 597,
at RAF Northolt on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
This Spitfire is still flying in the colours of 317 Squadron.
On 11 November 2012 he was promoted to the rank of full colonel (Pułkownik) in the Polish Air Force. He turned 100 in December 2016 and lived until almost his 101st birthday.
For half the 3 months of the Battle of Britain, RAF Fighter Command forbade 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF to take part in the battle.
But then the British began to run out of pilots and they had no choice but to send in the Poles. Lord Dowding quickly realised their potential.
|Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding of Bentley Priory GCB GCVO CMG |
(24 April 1882 to 15 February 1970)
Air Officer Commanding RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain
who believed the battle might well have been lost without the Polish pilots.
The Poles of 303 (Polish) Squadron, whilst only participating in half the Battle of Britain, nevertheless then proceeded to shoot down more enemy aircraft than any other fighter squadrons together had shot down in the entire Battle of Britain and yet the Poles had only started half-way through!
Even in training, the Polish airmen were miles ahead of all the other squadrons. Whereas the next best squadron scored in the region of 350 points in training battles, 303 Squadron scored over 800 points!
Yet still RAF Fighter Command would not let them fly in battle.
It was only after Fighter Command was forced to employ the Poles that they realised what a formidable fighting force they had under command!
Indeed, 303 Squadron was far and away the best squadron in the whole Battle of Britain.
|Josef František DFM and Bar|
(7 October 1914 to 8 October 1940)
was a Czechoslovak fighter pilot and Second World War fighter ace who flew for the air forces of Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, and the United Kingdom, serving with 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF. He was the highest-scoring non-British Allied ace in the Battle of Britain, with 17 confirmed victories and one probable, all gained in a period of four weeks in September 1940, during the Battle of Britain. He was killed in action at only 26, one month later.
Britain repaid them with....
It is one of the most shameful chapters in the history of British betrayals.
And Britain has still not apologised.
Worse still, Britain still pretends that the mass murder of 22,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia at Katyn Forest in Russia was carried out by the Nazis in 1941, when, as is now proven beyond a shadow of doubt, this atrocious crime was carried out by Stalin's Soviet NKVD in 1940 - at a time when the Soviet Union was supposed to be an ally of Poland!
And Britain has still not apologised!
Let us thank the memory of these heroic Poles who saved Britain from invasion and were betrayed by our ungrateful, shameful government.
Poland ever faithful!
...and here is a wonderful version of the Polish anthem Mazurek Dąbrowskiego - the March of Dambrowski - with its famous opening words:
“Poland is not dead yet while we're still alive!
If fidelity to nation, people and the Catholic religion in the face of a unique history of persecution and suffering is a mark of God's blessing - as it surely is - then Poland must be the most blessed nation upon the face of the earth.
The Polish winged lancer-hussars, the very best cavalry in all Christendom, under King Jan Sobieski (the grandfather of Prince Charles Edward Stuart of Britain) charged down the Kahlenberg mountain and utterly routed the Turkish troops, sending them fleeing, utterly defeated, back to Turkey.
What a famous charge! What a nation! What a people! The saviours of Christendom...
God bless Poland!