The film will be based on the 1942 book 303 Squadron by Arkady Fiedler, which recounts the exploits of the most fabled Polish airborne unit. Fiedler, a noted writer and explorer, was commissioned to write a book in 1940 by General Wladyslaw Sikorski, Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile in London. Fiedler began work as the battle raged in the summer of that year.
“The title of the film is obvious – 303 Squadron counts as one of the world's most recognized book titles,” claimed Jacek Samojlowicz, chairman of the Film Media production compant, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency. “I had the pleasure of visiting the museum dedicated to the writer at Puszczykowo. I was amazed that his books had been published in so many countries.”
As of yet, Samojlowicz does not rule out that Skolimowski himself will take up the director's baton. Having won the Golden Lions award at the Polish Film Festival last year for his thriller Essential Killing, Skolimowski told journalists that he was intending to take a long break from work. However, it appears he might have changed his mind.
Cover of "303 Squadron: The Legendary Battle of Britain Fighter Squadron" by Arkady Fiedler. Photo: Amazon
The Nazi air attack on the British Isles began in July 1940, but by October of the same year, Allied pilots had successfully repelled the Luftwaffe, with Polish participants playing a key role. Poles shot down 170 Luftwaffe aircraft, damaging another 36. This accounted for about 12 percent of German losses.
303 Squadron, which was technically a British RAF unit, was chiefly composed of Polish pilots, and it became one of the most noted forces in the fight. All in all, 16 Polish squadrons served in the RAF in World War II.
Filming on 303 Squadron is set to begin later this year. According to Samojlowicz, a number of Poland's leading actors, including Piotr Adamczyk and Michal Zebrowski, have expressed an interest in the production. (nh,bee)
Pilots from the 303 Squadron, 1940. From the left side: P/O Ferić, F/Lt Kent, F/O Grzeszczak, P/O Radomski, P/O Zumbach, P/O Łukuciewski, F/O Henneberg, Sgt. Rogowski, Sgt. Szaposznikow. Photo: Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum London.
"126 Adolfs" - German aeroplanes shot down by No. 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. Photo: Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum London.
Cover: Heinkel He 111 bombers during the Battle of Britain. Photo: Imperial War Museum