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'Battle of Britain' won thanks to Polish aces !!


skysoulmate 14 | 1,297
3 Feb 2010 #61
Yeah, the army didn't want to lose the control of those "flying rangers".
Mr Grunwald 29 | 2,014
6 Feb 2010 #62
content removed

in BoB Poles helped alot with their small contribution, I don't want to think how it would been if Britain REALLY did stand alone. The morale of the people is quite important too remember!

Hitler wanted the surrender of Britain mostly not to invade it, he didn't have enough transports to do it neither the superiority in the air. Hence why BoB was important.
TheOther 5 | 3,758
6 Feb 2010 #63
Must protest about the mod cutting half the thread.

I was quite astonished, too.

If it's off topic it goes in the bin

If it's off topic it goes in the bin

I know, but this time most of it wasn't off-topic IMHO.
Bzibzioh
6 Feb 2010 #64
And why the four Polish RAF squadrons were the only non-Commonwealth/Empire units to be invited.

Good question, Harry. Why Brits heroically - against big bad uncle Joe's wishes - bother to invite those useless Polish planes washers? They should be slapped with a bill for occasionally using them instead.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
6 Feb 2010 #65
I know, but this time most of it wasn't off-topic IMHO.

True. I mean, as if the German blitz on Britain, which was where 303 saw a lot of action, is off-topic in a thread about B0B then lord knows what is on topic. maybe get rid of all the stuff about the Americans too...
Olaf D - | 3
14 Aug 2011 #66
Ay chums, all pilots and crews of all nationalities fought and died doing their bit.

One thing that gave Poles the edge, was the experience of fighting Germans in the air from day one of the war, followed by air combat over France and then in Britain that was passed along with the skills on to their less experienced new pilots and thus preserving their lives and the skill.

British command was not sure what to do with the Poles for number of reasons, but notably the issue was how to integrate them in to the system given the potential for miscommunication due to the command of English language, and of course due to their different school and style of combat deemed too dangerous for average British pilots.

Polish pilots tended to close in on their opponent at top speeds, and fire at the last moment when the opponent’s airplane couldn’t be missed then pulled high Gs and veer off probably hoping that the engine wont choke.

And this was the reason why they got so many kills probably as many as they have claimed.

If you think this was “mad and reckless” tactic as some less skilled contemporaries had sneered, remember that it proved to be most effective and efficient way to shoot down large numbers of opponent’s airplanes and stay alive. Low attrition, high kills.

They had the skill and the confidence in their skills, as well as in their airplanes and ground crews tending them to take up this fight on that level of performance.

If every Briton had chance to develop their skill and experience to the same level as Poles had and bring the fight to Germans on the same level of confidence and cold bloodiness as Polish and Czech did, Battle of Britain would turn out to be an curious episode in the history book known as great massacre in the skies where black crosses fell from the sky like a rain.

However although some had good deal of experience and probably could have quickly adopted and perform on this same level of effective close quarter aggressive combat, most British pilots after 10h or even 20h of training that survived few combat missions, still weren’t experienced enough to push the limits of their skills that far.

British commanders knew that and used different tactics to minimize exposure and maximize gains in something that strikes uncanny resemblance with 19 century set piece battle scenarios.

On average Poles were more experienced and skilled fighter pilots then British.

Had they been involved earlier in the battle, less British lives would have been lost and it may have shortened its duration, although if Goring would continue with his highly (unbeknownst to him) effective bombing campaign that briefly and nearly totally wiped out operational defense capability of RAF on the ground this battle would have been won by the Luftwaffe quite quickly too.

Poles were not fighting for Britain or France or Whomever else, they were fighting for Poland and their very lives, and it just happen that fog of war and dumb luck brought them to these shores which they helped to protect, to the benefit of all but one ally.

Polish units that fought on the western fronts alongside our only allies were the only nation that was not present on Any victory parades; Polish pilots although invited for the victory parade, refused to participate because Poland was still occupied and because no other Polish units were invited as not to upset uncle joe. After all the bullshit they have gone through liberating everyone else but themselves they had been hidden from history, told: well done, thank you and please leave now.

Those Pilots, soldiers and officers who decided to return to Poland were arrested and spent years in prisons, trapped and abandoned.

Sad end to great story.

Re: Topic – No, too late in the game, they played important part and proved that If they were engaged earlier, they would play decisive factor in shortening it and winning in the contest of attrition and in combat.

This Battle was won by a fluke of chance due to Goring lack of information on the effectiveness of bombing RAF airfields and in part due to bomber command unrelated decision to bomb Berlin pissing of Hitler.

Besides Germany had no capacity to invade UK even if they would obtain the mastery of the air for a while in the region.

Ta
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
14 Aug 2011 #67
Re: Topic - No, too late in the game, they played important part and proved that If they were engaged earlier, they would play decisive factor in shortening it and winning in the contest of attrition and in combat.

Actually the Poles joined in the thick of the fighting and it was because they joined that UK survived.
gumishu 11 | 5,603
14 Aug 2011 #68
I don't know if it weren't for the Poles the BoB would end as it did

but I believe those Polish pilots who reached Britain in 1940 were among the best trained and most committed flyers in the world back then - if many of them managed to shoot down Messerschmitts in their tiny outdated P-11's in 1939 they must have been good
grubas 12 | 1,391
14 Aug 2011 #69
They were the most undisaplined aircrew around at that time,in a complex air battle that was won by putting the right amount of aeroplanes in the right place at the right time Polish aircrew would fly off on what would now be termed "wild weasel" flights,ie tearing out of formation after stragglers and lone bombers.

Sometimes they had a very good reason to not follow orders.There is an interview with I think Skalski on YT who before creation of Polish squadrons flew in RAF squadron.He's saying there that at first RAF was using obsolete and not very smart tactic of squadron flying in a tight formation with all planes at the same altitude.

But Skalski didn't follow orders and always flew a bit further from the formation.Finally the squdron commander asked him if he is afraid of flying close to other planes.

Skalski responded "No,I am not afraid but flying so close I can't see anything."Later on RAF adopted the same tactic as Luftwaffe of formation flying in more loose fashion with planes flying at different altitudes.

Anyway guys look what I just found!
youtu.be/xzEkL5n7gXA
MyMom 6 | 137
14 Aug 2011 #70
Anyway guys look what I just found!

You can get it in one piece in better quality on torrent:
btjunkie.org/torrent/Ch4-The-Untold-Battle-of-Britain-HDTV-x264-AC3-MVGroup-2010/4358b34378267bf23ee36ce7db72d6f7fa75272efa69
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
14 Aug 2011 #71
For sure Grub', (god,when did I write that??) you have a point but,it doesnt change the facts on the ground that,even if tactics were "wrong" they have to be stuck to by all or abandoned by all ,if not,chaos follows.

If commanders are relying on a certain sqdrn to be in place as say the anvil and said sqdrn doesnt turn up but instead goes off chasing lone stragglers then the whole defence collapses.

ps, sokrates talking out of his arse again,ah well, the sun rises and sets and sokrates talks trash,such is life :)
dazg
16 Aug 2011 #72
one thing that has came across in interviews with polish flyers since they were involved in the battle of britain was there their participation was not because they had any love or loyalty to britain, dispite the fact that britain had honered a treaty that they had with poland and declared war on germany upon the invasion of poland putting britain in harms way, but clearly declare that they were on british soil flying british fighters in british airspace for the sole reason of the eventual freedom of their own country, had the battle of britain been lost, can it be said that the same would have stayed to fight on the beaches and in the streets, i think not !!!!!!!!

the battle of britain """GAVE"""" polish pilots the opportunity to meet the enemy force that had invaded their own country on equal terms in modern british fighters, they were """GIVEN""" the chance to fly incredible planes designed by incredible people and be part of an incredible display of defiance of a tyrant, something that their own nation was incapable of doing, was their contribution needed? yes!!!!! was their participation welcome? of course it was!!! would the battle have gone on longer without their efforts? probably!!!!!!! would britain have fallen without it? no way!!!!!!!!

with the massive strength that the british navy had and a depleted german air force, a planned invasion would still have been too costly and too difficult,

safe to say it is still an amazing chapter in BRITISH history of which polish flyers were privileged to be part of.
legend 3 | 664
16 Aug 2011 #73
but I believe those Polish pilots who reached Britain in 1940 were among the best trained and most committed flyers in the world back then - if many of them managed to shoot down Messerschmitts in their tiny outdated P-11's ... in 1939 they must have been good

Exactly. Poland in the air anyways did very good considering the odds against the German planes.
And that was 1939 with less advanced planes then the opponent.

When Poles flew in the air with technology that was better they were just better ;)

one thing that has came across in interviews with polish flyers since they were involved in the battle of britain was there their participation was not because they had any love or loyalty to britain, dispite the fact that britain had honered a treaty that they had with poland and declared war on germany upon

Lies.

Honoring is not by declaring war but by fucken attacking the enemy they promised.
Britain did nothing except for drop a few fliers and attack a few German ships. How much did the British kill in this time?
A tiny tiny amount. Some help they were.
And because the Great British were smashed by the Germans there they retreated.
Then the Great British retreat even more in France and Dunkirk.

*Waits for a bunch of bad teethed fools to defend their great Britain*
MyMom 6 | 137
16 Aug 2011 #74
ad the battle of britain been lost, can it be said that the same would have stayed to fight on the beaches and in the streets, i think not !!!!!!!!

They fought and died in large numbers under British command in France, Netherlands and Italy EVEN AFTER it became clear that British government sold them to THE OTHER MASS MURDERER OF POLES.
legend 3 | 664
16 Aug 2011 #75
Dont upset the Brits they are innocent lollllllll.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Aug 2011 #76
Many Brits are thankful for the Polish contribution as it was a sterling one. Poles should also be happy that they got planes from the RAF with which to destroy their enemy. A win-win situation and many thanks to the Polish pilots who were truly courageous and capable.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
16 Aug 2011 #77
*Waits for a bunch of bad teethed fools to defend their great Britain*

you'll wait a long time,we all know you are a bitter know nothing colonial
who leaches off the benifits of the old british empire yet fails to see his own hypocrasy in living in the native indians land.................
Alfred
16 Aug 2011 #78
If the brave Polish pilots hadn't of defeated the Luftwaffe, we'd all be speaking another form of Germanic language, driving German autos on autobahns using a single currency as a single European state.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
16 Aug 2011 #79
It is true that Hitler regarded Britain as a fellow Germanic Empire that he wasn't particularly interested in making war upon, but I doubt that if the Nazis had won, and all the Roma and Jews were dead, and all the Slavs were slaves, that the British would be content with life under totalitarianism.
sascha 1 | 826
17 Aug 2011 #80
probably not, but since ah was a lunatic at the end of his reign, i am pretty sure he'd like also to take that small island...just for the completion of the task and mission ;)

maybe he saw them as fellow Germanics but because of his ego he had to prove that could built a bigger empire than Britain and for that he had to destroy them. their arrogance was always sth more than irritating...until today. ;)
dofdan - | 7
17 Aug 2011 #81
The first German plane shot down by an allied pilot was by Wladyslaw Gnys. He emigrated to Canada after the war.

Dofdan
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
18 Aug 2011 #82
Ok,since the censors are playing on this site again.I have a question, how did this man shoot down the first plane 2 hours before he took off on his first flight???? The story is myth and ,to be polite, fog of war confusion,less polite,utter BS.

His later record may be sound but the initial claim is doubted widely.
dofdan - | 7
18 Aug 2011 #83
isthatu2
The accepted time of departure is 05:30 not 07:00. Is that what you're referring to about 2 hours early? Other than that he personally claimed that the story was true. If it wasn't then the German airforce needed much more training when they have bombers colliding in flight :-)
convex 20 | 3,978
18 Aug 2011 #84
Apparently they were hit with flak.

The time difference thing might be due to zulu time vs local time. Dunno if they used it back then, but might be an explanation.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
18 Aug 2011 #85
Hey,whatever,the guy strapped himself into flying petrol tanks made of aluminum and canvas to take on machines armed with 20mm cannons.................he gets a hats off from me,even if the first claim is,lets just say,a fishing trip tale :)
grubas 12 | 1,391
19 Aug 2011 #86
As far as I remember Gnys never claimed this kill.He only claimed shooting at German bomber but he never said he actually saw German aircraft crashing into the ground.After landing he was informed about German bomber crashed in the area of operation and was credited with a kill.They would have much better chance of shooting Germans if they were flying PZL P24s which were equiped with 20 mm guns but were exported to Turkey,Romania and Bulgaria since PAF wanted P50 "Jastrząb".

Anyway,they didn't know what they were doing at the beginning of the war.From interview with Skalski:

"AH: What did you do on the first day of the war?

Skalski: In the afternoon of September 1, 1939, a Henschel Hs-126 [of Army Reconnaissance Group 21] crossed the border. That was reported to my division, and I took off with another pilot. Meanwhile, however, two pilots of the 141st Eskadra, 1st Lt. Marian Pisarek and Corporal Benedykt Mielczynski, had taken off on their second mission of the day to intercept a reported Do-17 formation at 3:21 p.m., when they spotted the Hs-126 and attacked it. After a few bursts, its engine stopped, and the plane came down in a field near Torun and flipped over on its back. I then found the plane and decided to see what maps or information it might have. I landed nearby and noticed plenty of blood in the Henschel's enclosed cockpit. The pilot, Friedrich Wimmer, was slightly wounded in the leg; his navigator, whose name was von Heymann, had nine bullets in his back and shoulder. I did what I could for them and stayed with them until 11 a.m., when an ambulance came.

AH: What became of the Germans?

Skalski: The prisoners were transferred to Warsaw. After the Soviet Union invaded Poland on September 17, they became prisoners of the Russians but were released at the end of October. When they were interrogated by the highest Luftwaffe authorities, Wimmer told them of my generosity. The Germans, who later learned that I had gone to Britain to fight on, said if I should became their prisoner I would be honored very highly. The observer, von Heymann, died in 1988. Three years later, the British air attaché and Luftwaffe archives helped me to contact Colonel Wimmer. I went to Bonn to meet him in March 1990, and the German ace Adolf Galland also came over at that time. In 1993, Polish television went with me to make a film with Wimmer. Reporters asked why I did it--why I landed and helped the people we had shot down, exposing my fighter and myself to enemy air attack. I was young, stupid and lucky. That is always my answer!"

And here is the part I was refering to earlier:

"AH: What was your impression of your CO, Squadron Leader Henry A.V. Hogan?

Skalski: Harry Hogan was a very good leader. I flew a lot as his No. 2. I used to switch off the radio, since I could not understand English and it just made me sick. I just flew close to Hogan's wings. He had to keep a close formation as he'd lead us against the 109s--we'd have to shoot our way through them and get to the bombers. It was really a piece of cake to shoot the bombers.

AH: What about tactics against German fighters?

Skalski: The British had no idea of tactics at first. Their squadrons used 12-plane formations, broken up into three-plane elements in line astern and in close formation--about 100 feet distance--stepped in height. You couldn't see anything. I began flying farther away, and Hogan remarked, "Are you scared of flying close?" I replied, "I want to see what's going on." I reminded him of the case of one British squadron in which the Germans shot down six planes and the leader didn't know what was happening. Hogan agreed: "Stanley is right--don't fly so close." Later, the British copied the Germans, with formations of four aircraft at different heights. The Germans' squadron leaders flew in line astern at the same level, with 200 meters distance on each side, depending on the sun. That way, they could watch and defend each other. Their double-paired "finger four" formation was more flexible."
gumishu 11 | 5,603
19 Aug 2011 #87
I suppose I have banged on enough about how if the Spanish Republicans had got more support then Poland would never have been invaded in 1939.

quite frankly I cannot see a connection here - would Germany or the Soviet Union be beaten that way? no
antheads 13 | 368
19 Aug 2011 #88
theres a great movie about Czech fighter pilots called dark blue world, the film contains scenes that have been described in this thread including the bicycle training :)

youtube.com/watch?v=TKjR1V-Dg14
Click this icon to move up back to the quoted message. Polish letters: Ą ą Ć ć Ę ę £ ł Ń ń Ó ó Ś ś - ź Ż ż
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
19 Aug 2011 #89
(and some Brits in general) pretended Polish accent to get dates with British chicks :)

Highly unlikely, it was the Canadians and the Americans they were interested in, simply becuase they were flash and could get certain items that were rationed (nylons and chocolate! - tis a ways so a womans heart!)...Acts of bravery were secondary...
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
19 Aug 2011 #90
No,unlikely only because the uniforms were different.
Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)
And re bycycle training, the RAF Red Arrows still do this to this day for their formation flying routines :)


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