On Thursday, November 8th, the IMAX 3D theatre at The London Science Museum hosted the UK premiere of the movie “303 Squadron”. The premiere was attended by the cast and crew who participated in a Q&A following the screening.
The movie is based on Arkady Fiedler’s best-selling novel “The Legendary Battle of Britain Fighter Squadron”. Published in 1942 and selling over 1.5 million copies. The book was sold worldwide in multiple languages. The movie brings together some of the UK’s finest acting talents, together with the strongest ensemble of Polish cast ever seen in this amazing tale of gallantry, patriotism and glory. It was directed by Denis Delicand and produced by Jacek Samojlowicz from Film Media SA.
The “303 Squadron” was a huge success in Poland, seen by over 1.5 million people since its September release. The “303 Squadron” is the authentic and historically accurate portrayal of how the Polish pilots of 303 Squadron turned the tide in the most seminal conflict of World War II, the Battle of Britain and paved the way to victory. The release of “303 Squadron” coincides with the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF), Polish Air Force, Polish Civil Aviation and the regaining Independence by Poland.
The 303 Squadron was a unit made up solely of Polish airmen. After failing to stop the Nazis attacking their country, the Polish pilots made their way across the Channel to continue combat in Britain. Initially, they were underestimated and ridiculed, few of them spoke English and the British were concerned about their morale. However, the shortage of experienced British airmen became critical and so the Polish airmen were soon corralled into frontline duty and supplied with Hurricanes. At that time two Polish fighter units, 302 and 303 Squadrons, were formed. Having come through the Polish and French Campaigns, they had more combat experience than most of their British comrades proving they were great pilots. They quickly proved their worth in the Battle of Britain. The Poles flew and fought superbly, shooting down 203 enemy aircraft and losing 29 of their pilots. No. 303 Squadron became the most successful Fighter Command unit in the Battle, shooting down 126 German machines in only 42 days.