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


Amathyst 19 | 2,702
20 Aug 2011 #91
No,unlikely only because the uniforms were different.
Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)

Never heard any of my grannies speak about them, nor any of my friends grannies...twas always the Americans and the Canadians...and yes unforms were a big thing I was going to mention that since most if not all went out in uniform in those days..so I will say again...it was unlikely that British women went for Polish men because of the reason that Zdarizs said which was because of their heroics!..Im not sure where you get the whole Polish men had a rep because Ive never ever heard any stories about them....Im off to a friend that lives in a village in Derby tomorrow will ask her...I know loads of Poles settled there..but doubt there's an RAF connection though...just local girls that met foreign men...same old same old...
vato loco - | 15
20 Aug 2011 #92
I highly recommend the book mentioned earlier by z_darius -- A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron. I came away very impressed with the skill & heroism of the Polish aviators, and saddened by the eventual betrayal of Polish nationhood by both Roosevelt & Churchill.
RetroDog
6 Sep 2011 #93
It listy be checked but I do have memory of Polish pilots saying that that were flying Hurricane airplanes in BoB ( weren't they slower then Me109?) while most or part of british divisions were using Spitfires, and if I'm not mistaken there were 2 versions of Hurricane. and Poles were flighting worse one. Again, if i remember correctly they got Spitfires when brits started flying americans Mustangs.

Wouldn't it be logical to equip best pilots with best fighters?
on the other hand brits needed them more.
I'll try to find some sources to see if my memory is correct.
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #94
Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)

Yes, that is the line which is repeated ad nauseam these days. Unfortunately, women who were actually there then and met Poles tell it somewhat differently:

The polish Squadron were more animals that human, even our male counterparts complained with disgust at their habits, especially the A.G.M General duties cleaner etc. Toilets were filthy, the huts the same, they peed out of the windows etc, but the worst was yet to come. Several WAAF had been attacked and raped, none in the MT section, but it was scary and the girls were scared to go anywhere. The girls in the MT section had to. Our section was away a long way from our billets and the shortest way was a field path mostly we went in two's etc but we knew there would be times when we'd finish late and therefore a lone walk home. I carried a short tyre iron in my wellie, and fully intended to use it if necessary. Unfortunately it became necessary as I was attacked on my way back to the billet after an extended duty. I finished that night about 9pm instead of 8pm and was really tired so I had to walk back, on the way two drunken yobbish poles came out of nowhere and had a go, one behind grabbed me and I went forward knowing that he was drunk to try and put him off balance, and a sharp elbow helped. As I went forward my right arm was still pinned so I reached over and managed to grab the tyre iron with my left hand, as the other one rushed forward I lifted it outwards and hit him on the side of the head, the other one let go and staggered backwards and I took off.

bbc/ww2peopleswar/stories/91/a4529991.shtml
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
6 Sep 2011 #95
Harry, why didn't you tell us earlier that your mom served in WAAF ?
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #96
Largely because she didn't. My grandmother did and she doesn't recall being particularly impressed or unimpressed with the Poles that she met then.

Interesting that instead of making any attempt to discuss the facts as presented, you instead try to make ad hom remarks. That is usually a very good sign that somebody knows that they have lost the argument.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
6 Sep 2011 #97
That is usually a very good sign that somebody knows that they have lost the argument.

Which argument ? You were desperately trying to find something negative about Polish soldiers in the UK and after long time spent on googling, you found some grandma claiming that when she was 18, she beat up two Polish soldiers (ah sorry, animals), killing one of them, trully fascinating. Is "Well Done Harry !" ok ?
gumishu 11 | 5,603
6 Sep 2011 #98
Yes, that is the line which is repeated ad nauseam these days. Unfortunately, women who were actually there then and met Poles tell it somewhat differently:

actually Harry if you read the article more carefully it transpires that the events described did not happen during the Battle of Britain and also no Polish fighter pilots were involved
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #99
Grzegorz
You were desperately trying to find something negative about Polish soldiers in the UK

If that was the aim, I would have clearly failed: the article is about Polish airmen.

Grzegorz
after long time spent on googling,

Please don't lie: I didn't spend any time at all googling, this article has already been posted on PF.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
6 Sep 2011 #100
this article has already been posted on PF.

By a Pole, if I remember right.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
6 Sep 2011 #101
this article has already been posted on PF.

Good job.
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #102
actually Harry if you read the article more carefully it transpires that the events described did not happen during the Battle of Britain and also no Polish fighter pilots were involved

a) Where did I say it happened during the BoB or that Polish fighter pilots were involved?
b) In that article there are no dates at all, all we know is that it was before December 1941.
c) The article refers to them as Poles and makes no comment as to whether they were fighter pilots or not (although they were allegedly 'fighting me').

The statement which I was replying to was "Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)" No mention there about the BoB or Polish fighter pilots.
gumishu 11 | 5,603
6 Sep 2011 #103
c) The article refers to them as Poles and makes no comment as to whether they were fighter pilots or not (although they were allegedly 'fighting me').

it is clear from the article that all the servicemen were training to be bomber air and ground crews including the Poles - most of these people simply had to train on bigger aircraft because they used to fly smaller bombers before (yes Polish ariforces in 1939 also comprised a good bomber wing (some 100 light bombers and some 40 medium bombers) - most logical conclusion: there were not many fighter pilots there and most probably none of those who fought in the Battle of Britain
RetroDog
6 Sep 2011 #104
so after english wiki:
counting only confirmed luftwaffes 303 had been best squadron flying hurricanes, with all 3 brits divisions with more confirmed airplanes shot flying Spitfires, and polish historians counts confirmed kills as 55-60.

still with 44 confirmed kills 303 has best kill-to-lost ratio 2,8 to 1.
witch is probably a proof that in air combats more risky tactics were more effective if used by good pilots.
and two more things:
on some flights 303 had only 4 hurricanes capable to fight, and apparently all spitfires used in BoB were bought privately, wich explains why Poles were flying hurricanes.
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #105
most logical conclusion: there were not many fighter pilots there and most probably none of those who fought in the Battle of Britain

So you are reading into the article things which the article does not say. OK.

However the article was posted in reply to the statement that "Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)" It very much casts doubt on that particular claim. And it seems from comments posted here that some Poles are very much attached to that particular claim and don't like people to address the historical accuracy of it (just as they don't like people looking at the historical accuracy of other 'facts' from the Polish version of history).
gumishu 11 | 5,603
6 Sep 2011 #106
Harry care to consider that fighter pilots (either Polish or otherwise) were a bit different lot to bomber air crews - one can easily imagine these guys were much more chivalrous -

having said that I think it is good dark things from history are also revealed

So you are reading into the article things which the article does not say. OK.

Harry there are things you can infer from other general knowlegde - like the idea that for fighter pilots an order to join the bomber force (the only logical post would a pilot of a bomber) was a plain degradation - and I don't think the Allies ever ordered their prolific fighter pilots join bomber forces - I don't say no fighter pilots were ever turned bomber pilots but I very much doubt it was a common thing

as for putting time frames to the history - the article mentions Lancaster bombers - these bombers entered service only in December 1941 - perhaps there was some training before but not long months before definitely
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
6 Sep 2011 #107
having said that I think it is good dark things from history are also revealed

If they are true (in this case It's hard to say) and If they are discussed among (professional or not) historians, in this case we all now it's just trolling coming from a disgusting creature.
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #108
apparently all spitfires used in BoB were bought privately

Got a source for that? As far as I know, many of the Spitfires used in the BoB were purchased with money which had been specifically donated by persons or organisations, but certainly not all.

do have memory of Polish pilots saying that that were flying Hurricane airplanes in BoB ( weren't they slower then Me109?) while most or part of british divisions were using Spitfires

No, most British units were also using Hurricanes. Yes the Hurricane was slower than the Me109 and the Spitfire, but it could out-turn both of them and absorb more punishment too.

Harry care to consider that fighter pilots (either Polish or otherwise) were a bit different lot to bomber air crews - one can easily imagine these guys were much more chivalrous -

One could suppose that, it seems very credible. But do we have any evidence or witness statements to support our supposition?

And, please note that the statement which is questioned by the article is "Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)", not 'Polish fighter pilots were ....'
RetroDog
6 Sep 2011 #109
@PWEI:
I'm so surprised you are not doing some crappy OT, that I don't know what to say. You are right, "many" not all , my mistake.

however I do believe (but I may be wrong) that at the moment 303 were allowed to fight, most britt divisions has had Spitfires. But even if I'm wrong 303 was the best division using hurricanes , and hurricanes were considered inferior to both me109 and Spitfires (also less safe, as fuel tanks were exposed to enemy fire). If you thing the other way you must consider RAF leaders to be stupid, as they were moving all divisions from hurricanes to Spitfires (303 got them in jan '41)

BTW: 303 had first kill on training mission, when Polish pilots refused to continue mission after spotting luftwaffe, engaged in fight and shot down a bomber I think. See , insubordination save lives.
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #110
RetroDog]however I do believe (but I may be wrong) that at the moment 303 were allowed to fight, most britt divisions has had Spitfires.

You are indeed wrong: the majority of the RAF's squadrons during the BoB were equipped with Hurricanes. Which is why the Hurricane accounted for 55% of the Luftwaffe's losses. There is a decent article about the Hurricane and the BoB here if you are interested.

independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/our-forgotten-freedom-fighter-why-the-unsung-hurricane-is-the-true-ace-of-the-battle-of-britain-2022105.html

RetroDog] But even if I'm wrong 303 was the best division using hurricanes

They were indeed the highest claiming unit.

RetroDog]See , insubordination save lives.

Sometimes it saves lives and at other times it costs them: 303's top scoring pilot (who wasn't actually Polish) died as a result of showing off to his girlfriend.
RetroDog
6 Sep 2011 #111
@PWEI:
nah, read carefully:
for claimed kills they were the best, better than divs using Spitfires
for confirmed they were 4th best, behind of 3 divs using Spitfires, and the best of divs using hurricanes.
and for confirmed still the best kill-to-lost ratio.
anyway all RAF done great job at stopping luftwaffe
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #112
Exactly: read carefully. I said "They were indeed the highest claiming unit.", not "They were indeed the highest claiming unit which was equipped with Hurricanes."

BTW, you might want to be careful saying that 303 was only the fourth best but that it claimed the most: some Poles don't like people asking questions about the sacred 'facts' of Polish history.

RetroDog]anyway all RAF done great job at stopping luftwaffe

On that we all agree.
RetroDog
6 Sep 2011 #113
first of your article about hurricanes is nice, well done, even eye watering, but also useless. as long as we don't know kill-to-lose ratio of hurricanes vs Spitfires , saying that they have 55% share of kills means nothing. It could have been that there were twice as many hurricanes ( and we should use airplane per mission stat) then Spitfires, and then anything under 66% means that they were worse. They won battle by large numbers of them. ( ok, I'm guessing but since you don't have any numbers its possible option).

and this claims weren't polish only, all RAF were claiming much more kills than they could prove. some days RAF claimed 3 times more kills than luftwaffe losses.
stupiditybuster
6 Sep 2011 #114
[quote=Polanglik Sounds to me that without these Polish aces the outcome may have been very different - I read somewhere that 1 in 3 RAF pilots were Polish.[/quote]

1 in 3 doesn't sound right but I'm sure you can easily google it out. Polish pilots help back then is undeniable, however assuming that without them, the Battle of England would be lost is crazy.
PWEI 3 | 612
6 Sep 2011 #115
RetroDog
first of your article about hurricanes is nice, well done, even eye watering, but also useless.

Fine then, here is a precise breakdown of the numbers of planes:
The RAF fighter total strength at 17 July 1940
675 Hawker Hurricanes (58%),
348 Spitfires (30%),
95 Bristol Blenheims (developed from the bomber) (8%),
39 Defiants (power operated turret two seat fighter) (3%),
9 Gladiators (single seat biplane fighter) (0.5%)
5 Westland Whirlwinds (twin engined single seat fighter) (0.5%)

d_hodgkinson.madasafish.com/hawker-Vspit.htm

A total of 1,715 Hurricanes flew with Fighter Command during the period of the Battle, far in excess of all other British fighters combined.

To quote the RAF website
raf.mod.uk/history/hawkerhurricane.cfm

The Hurricane was the principal fighter in the Battle of Britain, not the Spitfire as most people think. During the Battle of Britain there were 32 Squadrons with Hurricanes and only 19 Squadrons of Spitfires.

To quote the RAF Museum

rafmuseum.org.uk/london/learning/resources/Teachers%20Pack%201%20Spitfire%20and%20Hurricane.pdf.

On 8 August 1940, which is regarded officially as the opening date of the Battle of Britain, the RAF could call upon 32 squadrons of Hurricanes and 19 squadrons of Supermarine Spitfires.

fighter-planes.com/info/hurricane.htm

So, if your recollection is correct and Polish pilots were claiming that the majority of the British were flying Spitfires in the BoB, those Polish pilots are either were mistaken or were being at best economical with the truth.
RetroDog
6 Sep 2011 #116
@PWEI:
my english must be terrible as you can read from my posts things that weren't intended to be there. In my naivete I thought that it was me who assumed (wrongly I'll admit) that RAF were replacing hurricanes with Spitfires, during BoB, witch occurred after.

but this is minor detail, as I thought we are arguing about superiority of one of airplanes. I also have found the numbers you are showing, and they means that even beeing outnumbered by almost 1 to 2, Spitfires were able to get 42% of kills ( and fidgeting other planes, if hurricanes and sptifires were equally we should be millionth at 33%) .

and, to make matter worse in hurricanes "kills" are included "polish" kills, witch swings the story in favor of hurricanes due to superiority of pilots not planes, and still Spitfires comes on top ).

I also found this:
" For example, a British aviation
historian, Francis K . Mason, examined the claims from both the German and British for the Battle
of Britain by using the records of the Luftwaffe and the RAF . He cross referenced the claims right
down to the serial numbers of planes. He published his research in the publication, Battle Over
Britain (London , 1969) .
His research demonstrated that the Germans claimed three times the number of RAF aircraft
actually shot down. He points out that if the Germans had destroyed the three thousand plus
planes they claimed, the RAF would have been wiped out several times. The RAF never had that
many planes during the entire battle .

on historynet.com
if this is to be believed, and there is paper source given, confirmed kills of 303 was 117, with best british 501 with 87 kills. (they were flying hurricanes until April '41). Also one of Polish sources writes that number 56 for division 603 is number of claims. hmmm

BTW: shouldn't I used word squadron instead of division?

and thanks to dictionary we have fidgeting instead of forgetting and millionth in place of looking in my post.
what does "fidgeting planes" mean?
sobieski 107 | 2,128
6 Sep 2011 #117
The top ace in the Battle of Britain was a Czech. I am not sure the Poles want to eloborate on that one?
Tendency in this country is that they won WWII single-handedly anyway.
gumishu 11 | 5,603
6 Sep 2011 #118
Tendency in this country is that they won WWII single-handedly anyway.

no we have won the war with the help of this Czech guy ;) - i can't think what would've happened if not for the Czech guy ;)

The top ace in the Battle of Britain was a Czech

BTW the Czech guy flew in the Polish 303 squadron voluntarily (he was offered to fly in a Czech squadron but declined)
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
6 Sep 2011 #119
"Poles were very popular with the women of the UK and had a reputation as lotharios :)"

Yes, I said that Harry,and stand by it,coming from an RAF family and having two uncles who fought in the Battle of Britain,both in Hurricanes ,one alongside two Polish lads in his RAF sqdrn,I stand by my statement.

in this case we all now it's just trolling coming from a disgusting creature.

Gregorz,it was posted by a Pole, stick that in yer pipe and smoke slowly....

however I do believe (but I may be wrong) that at the moment 303 were allowed to fight, most britt divisions has had Spitfires.

retro dog,sorry mate, talking from your arse........

BTW,
Confirmed kills in Battle of Britain are;

Eric Lock - 21
James Lacey - 18
Archie McKellar - 17.5
Josef Frantisek - 17
Colin Gray - 15.5
Crow 146 | 9,112
6 Sep 2011 #120
this thread is so sad to me


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