The independent London newspaper

Hurricane: high time we paid tribute to Polish pilots

05 September, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Milo Gibson in Hurricane

Directed by David Blair
Certificate 12a

THE extraordinary contribution made by Polish fighter pilots to the Allied cause during the Second World War is the focus of this story, based on a book by Kentish Town-based author Robert Ryan.

After the defeat of Poland, some members of the country’s air force managed to escape and get to England – and then tried to persuade a snobbish and wary RAF that they had plenty of combat experience and skills that should be put to good use for the common cause.

Jan Zambuch (a well-cast Iwan Rheon) is the main driver for the plot, a fighter ace determined to get back into the skies as soon as he can.

His character is a vehicle to show the viewer what travails these brave men had to go through to be able to earn the chance to take the fight to the German Luftwaffe – and play a crucial role in winning the Battle of Britain and onwards to the liberation of Europe.

The Polish contingent were to make up 20 per cent of the Royal Air Force’s fighter pilots and, despite their incredible contribution, after the war many were forcibly repatriated – sent back to a Poland now behind the Iron Curtain, where they faced uncertain futures.

It’s about time their sacrifices were honoured.


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