Gold Ribbon Banner
Friday, July 19, 2019

Continuing on from the article in last month’s edition of Sea Breezes, this Polish museum is dedicated to the history of the Polish Navy.

Situated close by the shoreline in the city and port of Gdynia on Poland’s Baltic shoreline, this museum houses an impressive collection of over 20,000 items including a broad selection of weaponry as used by the Polish Navy, such as swords, pistols and naval artillery, also many larger items situated outdoors, including a one-man submersible the conning tower of a soviet designed submarine, missiles, torpedoes and naval aircraft.

The most impressive item of the collection being the destroyer that was referred to above, the ORP Błyskawica, which reads as ‘Lightning’ in English, that served throughout the Second World War as part of the Allied naval forces based in the United Kingdom.

ORP Błyskawica
In view of its impressive war-time history, a lot of care has gone into maintaining and restoring this destroyer which was built and completed in Britain in 1937. The Błyskawica was ordered as one of two destroyers of what was known as the Grom class for the Polish Navy from the fi rm of J. Samuel White of Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The ORP Grom (Thunder) was the first destroyer to be completed, although her career was short: she was sunk by aircraft off the coast of Narvik in 1940. Construction of Błyskawica commenced in 1935 and the Polish Navy’s specifi cation called for speed and an impressive fighting performance and defensive capability that stood this destroyer in good stead through a number of engagements during the Second World War.

A set of four drum boilers supplied steam power to two sets of geared steam turbines that could achieve 54,500hp / 40,600Kw, to power two propeller shafts that could provide a top speed of 39 knots.

Original armaments comprised seven 4.7” / 120mm guns and an array of Swedish Bofors guns, M34 and M36 .50 calibre guns and twin 40mm anti-aircraft guns, and eight 13.2mm machine guns. Six 550mm torpedo tubes were fi tted and provision was made for two depth charge chutes and storage for 40 depth charges to be discharged, and 44 mines were also carried on board. The ship’s complement of 180 offi cers and men gained an opportunity to strike back at Nazi Germany after Poland was invaded on 1 September 1939 by alluding capture and sailing the Błyskawica to the United Kingdom on 30 August, two days before the German invasion nearby at Westerplatte, which began the Second World War.

After arriving at the Royal Navy docks in Leith, Scotland on 1 September 1939 to join the British Home Fleet, the captain of the Błyskawica wasted no time in putting to sea once more, and on 7 September, an attack was made on a German U-boat although the outcome does not seem to have caused its destruction. Certain modifications were required as this destroyer had been designed for the calmer operating conditions of the Baltic, and she was considered to be too top heavy for operations in the stormier North Atlantic. Adaptations included removing a deck house as well as a searchlight tower; a 4” gun replaced the aft torpedo tubes; the 120mm guns were replaced by 4” anti-aircraft guns, and the 13.2mm machine guns were removed to be replaced by four 20mm Oerlikon cannons; and a decision was taken to the reinstall the aft set of torpedo tubes.

Displayed within the museum grounds, the Batory fast naval patrol boat was designed by Aleksander Potyrala and she was built in the Modlin riverside shipyard in 1932, the Batory originally served in the dual role of a coast guard, customs and maritime police vessel by patrolling the waters of the Baltic off the Gdynia coast until immediately before the Second World War, when she was requisitioned by the Polish Navy on 31 August 1931 on the day before the war started.

Speed was an asset that the Navy felt it could make good use of, and the Batory had already gained a well respected reputation for speed, with engines so powerful, her wake unsettled many other vessels when she left port in a hurry in order to outrun any motor boats that smugglers were operating out in the Bay of Gdańsk. Following the German attack on the Polish Army at the mouth of the Gdańsk port where they were based, and also in the free city itself, the Batory was sent across the Bay of Gdańsk to defend the village and its garrison in the area of Hel against aerial attack. Hel is a village situated at the end of a long peninsula directly opposite the city on the far side of the Bay Of Gdańsk.

On 1 October 1939, under the command of Captain Jerzy Milisiewicz and a crew of 15, Batory slipped away from the shore under the cover of a bank of fog and successfully eluded the German Navy blockade to escape across the Baltic to Klintehamm on Gotland in Sweden, where she was interned together with the sailing ship Dar Pomoroza and three Polish submarines at Vaxholm, where all of these vessels remained until 25 October 1945, when they made a return voyage to Poland.

Read the rest of this article with additional pictures in Sea Breezes Magazine - October 2015 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!


Most Popular

  • Oil Leak Survey of WWII British Tanker Wreck +

  • Tragedy of the “Stellar Daisy” +

  • Six LNG Carriers Join BP Fleet +

  • Saint Brandan - "Vital Spark of the South Atlantic" +

  • Museum Says ‘it’ is the End of the Line for ‘Her’ +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Crowds Tribute to the Last Tyne +

    Annie Blaker The last of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s famous Tyne class lifeboats was launched for the last time at her Read More
  • Clyde’s Vital Role in Onshore Windfarm +

    Clydeport Clydeport has played a vital role in the building of the UK’s largest onshore windfarm on Eaglesham Moor, just 20 Read More
  • Museum Says ‘it’ is the End of the Line for ‘Her’ +

    Scottish Maritime Museum The Scottish Maritime Museum, at Irvine, has abandon hundreds of years of maritime history and tradition and decided to stop Read More
  • Six LNG Carriers Join BP Fleet +

    BP Partnership Class Six new 173,400 cu m capacity LNG carriers have joined the fleet of BP Shipping, of London. Read More
  • Warehouse Boosts Import of Forest Products +

    Freight A new £17mn warehouse is to be built at Liverpool by the national logistics provider Jenkins which specialises in paper, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Changes in Tolls for Using Panama Canal +

    MSC Pohlin The Panama Canal plans to modify its tolls structure for all types of ships “to better serve the global maritime Read More
  • Largest LNG Carrier Sails From West to East +

    Al Safliya The largest LNG tanker to use the Panama Canal since it was expanded less that three years ago passed through Read More
  • Oil Leak Survey of WWII British Tanker Wreck +

    Coimbra Wreck The US Coast Guard were evaluating a plan to remove oil from a tanker that was sunk in the Second Read More
  • Line Sells Long Beach Container Terminal +

    Long Beach Container Terminal The Hong Kong shipping group Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (OOIL) is selling its Long Beach Container Terminal, California, to a Read More
  • Terminal to be Extended After Record Year +

    Viau Montreal The Viau container terminal at Montreal, Canada, is to be expanded so that it can handle 600,000 teu a year. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • “Prelude” Makes its Debut With First LNG Cargo +

    Prelude The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has left Shell’s floating LNG facility Prelude some 475kms north-east of Broome Read More
  • Special Navigating System to be Fitted to VLCCs +

    AR Nav Following two-ship trials, augmented reality (AR) navigation systems are to be installed on 21 very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs) Read More
  • Work Starts on Hybrid Series +

    Grimaldi Hybrid In China, construction has started at the Jinling Shipyard on the first of the Grimaldi Group’s new hybrid roll-on, roll-off Read More
  • Tragedy of the “Stellar Daisy” +

    Stellar Daisy The very large ore carrier Stellar Daisy, 266,141dwt, was owned by Polaris Shipping, of Seoul, South Korea, and had been Read More
  • Line’s Special Offer to Help Clean Up the Seas +

    The Ocean Cleanup The Singapore shipping company APL is providing free shipping for the non-profit Ocean Cleanup organisation that is working to develop Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Fourth Dreadnought Named HMS “King George VI” +

    Dreadnought Class UK News The fourth member of the new Dreadnought class of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines will bear the name Read More
  • US Navy Orders Flight II Landing Platform Dock +

    LDP30 American News The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio Read More
  • US Navy Seeks Faster Ship Delivery +

    FFGX Rendering American News The future frigate program for the US Navy is getting fully underway and some idea of the urgency Read More
  • HMS “Dragon” in £75 Million Narcotics Seizure +

    HMS Dragon British News Whilst on patrol in the Gulf, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized and destroyed ten tonnes of Read More
  • New Generation of Enterprise Confirmed +

    USS Enterprise American News On 31 January, the US Department of Defense announced the awarding of a block buy contract with Huntington Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • CalMac Heritage +

    Columba I include a fine poster and artist’s image of the famed Macbrayne paddler Columba. Read More
  • Russian Adventure +

    Ocean Adventurer To the North East Coast and arriving at Aberdeen for the first time for many months, I witnessed a passenger Read More
  • Further Delay for LNG Powered Glen Sannox +

    Glen Sannox The drama surrounding the much delayed new ferries for Caledonian MacBrayne continues to rumble on with the latest, not unsurprising, Read More
  • Pentland Ferries Loses Appeal +

    Hamnavoe Scotland’s Pentland Ferries has lost its appeal against Scottish government state aid for ferry services between the mainland and the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • The Green Band of Marstal +

    Bessie Ellen The Danish Maritime Museum had the schooner Bonavista built on the island of Aero at Marstal and this year they Read More
  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • Port of Aberdeen Fifty Years On +

    Aberdeen Harbour Extension Project When I first arrived in Aberdeen in 1968, I couldn’t believe my luck. Read More
  • Thames Tributary Barges +

    Lady of the Lea Most of the rivers flowing into the Thames had their own barge type. Read More
  • Dry Rot and Dry Dock +

    HMS Victory For some time Victory, the 110gun ship of the line, has had trouble with dry rot and is in danger Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Lifeline Cash for “Waverley” Agreed +

    Waverley The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) has announced that it will provide immediate funding to support efforts to “Save The Read More
  • Viking Glory Celebrates Keel Laying +

    Front Altair The construction of Viking Glory is proceeding on schedule. Read More
  • The Majestic River Rhine +

    MS Charles Dickens In September of this year, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful Riviera Travel river cruise on the majestic River Read More
  • What Next in the US-Iran Saga? +

    Front Altair Over the last year, the escalating trade war between the US and China has created many headlines, not least in Read More
  • Modus Expands Fleet of Hybrid Autonomous Vehicles +

    Saab Seaeye Modus has placed an order with Saab Seaeye for the next vehicle in its Hybrid Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAU V) Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Every Ash Cloud Has A Silver Lining +

    The ash cloud crisis continues to cause uncertainty as we see sporadic closures of airspace and cancelled flights, and this Read More
  • Damen Group Superyachts +

    Amels With 25 projects underway, business is booming for Amels, the Dutch luxury yacht builder. Read More
  • Singer Andrea Bocelli Trades Up in Size +

    Stella del Nord Andrea Bocelli, the blind Italian tenor and song writer whose work spans both popular music and classical opera is a Read More
  • Plans for Greenock Terminal Approved +

    Greenock Ocean Terminal Plans have been approved for an iconic building on the banks of the Clyde at Greenock to welcome cruise ship Read More
  • Leixoes Cruise Terminal, Gateway to Porto +

    Leixoes Cruise Terminal With the growth of the cruise industry, many ports worldwide have been active in developing or improving their port facilities. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
Mv Saint Brandan

Saint Brandan - "Vital Spark of the South Atlantic"

In 1876, James Gardner commissioned a small vessel to transport quarried stone from Ballachulish to Glasgow. He also opened an Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features


Tribute to the "Mercury"

In the summer of 1968, the training ship Mercury in the Hamble River closed down after many years of training Read More
SS Eastern (2)

MT Arthur Foss

“The last vessel to escape Wake Island before Japanese forces captured the island” Read More
  • 1
  • 2