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Blackbuck
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: June 30th, 2021, 10:18 am
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Great renditions of some of my favourite submarines.

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: June 30th, 2021, 8:23 pm
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Joined: June 15th, 2011, 8:31 am
Thank You Blackbuck! :)

And here's the next part. I guess I went bit over the top with text, which most of you will find tl;dr, but I hope it will be well received anyway. ;)

Part 2 - War-time submarines

Sokół (U-class, group II)

By late 1940 Polish submarine force was down to just single boat (Wilk) - and one in very poor condition - therefore both KMW and Admiralty were interested in improving that situation, as the former had some sailors witout ships for them, while the latter had ships but felt shortage of crews. Initially the transfer of HMS Thetis/Thunderbolt (which sunk during sea trials with 99 fatalities and was later raised) was considered, then the idea of transferring 3 submarines built originally for Turkey was raised (vehemently opposed by kpt. mar. Bogusław Krawczyk, since the personnel demands for 3 boats would automatically mean decomissioning of Wilk). Eventually the decision was made to lease to Polish Navy a U-class (II group) submarine HMS Urchin (hull number N97, laid down on 9 December 1939 at Vickers-Armstrong shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness, launched on 30 September 1940 and undergoing sea trials at the time when decision of transfer was made).

Polish flag was raised over ORP Sokół (Falcon) (as the Urchin was renamed) on 19 January 1941 with kpt. mar. Borys Karnicki as captain and kpt. mar. Bolesław Romanowski as XO. Following the period of trials and training at Gare Loch and Dundee, it was transferred in late March to 5th Submarine Flotilla at Portsmouth for operational service. During next 6 months Sokół made 5 relatively uneventful patrols to Brest and Bay of Biscay (26 March to 15 April; 7 to 24 May; 5 to 23 June; 7 to 23 July and 12 to 26 August) with few enemy sightings at all. Only on the July patrol she had a chance to fire her torpedoes when shorty after midnight on 15th she encountered German-flagged passenger ship (ex-Belgian Baudouinville, 13 761 BRT, 165,1 m) escorted by two minor warships near Ile de Yeu, but unfortunately Sokół was spotted moments after firing her torpedoes, giving Germans the chance to take evasive action and launch a (ineffective) counterattack.

During the summer the KMW and Admiralty agreed that Sokół might be more successful in the Mediterranean, where it was sent in September. Both legs of the journey to Malta (7 to 15 September from Portsmouth to Gibraltar and 19 September to 1 October from Gibraltar to Lazaretto) led through enemy-controlled waters and were therefore counted as (two separate) war patrols - second of which was also a distant cover for Operation Halberd (with patrol sector near St. Vito cape in the northwestern Sicily), but no enemy sightings were made. During the next 6 months Sokół made 7 (or 8) patrols on the Central Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas with 10th Submarine Flotilla. First action from the new base was a short (4 to 7 September) search-and-rescue operation for the crew of downed RAF bomber in the Gulf of Gabes (in some publications counted as 'full' patrol, in some not), followed (9 to 12 September) by an operation against an Italian convoy from Naples to Tripoli - succesfuly destroyed by aviation before submarines had a chance to join. On the next patrol (23 October - 3 November) Sokół attacked an Italian convoy of 4 merchant ships, an auxiliary cruiser, 2 destroyers, 3 patrol vessels and 2 aircraft and claiming (incorrectly) a hit on the auxiliary cruiser Città di Palermo (5413 BRT, 125,5 m, armed with 4 120 mm cannons and some 20 mm and 13,2 mm guns), but had to evade a counterattack by escorts. Few hours later an attack was attempted Generali-class torpedo boat (635 t) and finally on 3 November, freighter Balilla (2469 BRT, 92,35 m) was sunk off the Marettimo Island (west of Sicily). Between 13 and 27 November Sokół patrolled the Ionian Sea and on 19th attempted to infiltrate bay of Navarino (as the 'newest intelligence reports' signalled significant maritime traffic and no antisubmarine nets or mines there). Unfortunately, in the process submarine found itself entangled in the antisubmarine nets connected to mines and with patrol boats circling overhead and had to spend several hours extricating itself from the desperate situation, suffering some damage in the process (including torpedo director and navigation periscope that was bent and filled with water). After waiting 2 days for any ships to appear, Karnicki fired (on 15:40, 21 November) torpedoes through the hole pierced previously in the nets towards the destroyer Strale (misidentified as one of Soldati class) seen in the harbour, but the intended target changed the position and torpedoes exploded on the shore (that, combined with 'disappearance' of Strale prompted Karnicki to claim hit), and had again to evade Italian counter-attack (55 depth charges). During the night Sokół returned to Navarino where it finally intercepted a convoy leaving harbour (it was believed that it consisted of Spica-class torpedo boat and 3 merchant ships, including tanker Berbera of 2093 BRT, but more recent research reveal that it was the "sunk" Strale and 2 freighters: Italian Bolsena of 2384 BRT and German Tinos of 2826 BRT). Salvo of torpedoes actuall missed all targets but the sound of exploding warheds (likely on the shore) and results of RAF reconnaissance that reported one ship less than it was believed there originally was there, made everyone believe that the attack was successful (though the tanker Berbera, which was believed to be the victim, actually was at that time in Brindisi and while it eventually met her fate at Navarino, it was under RAF bombs on 28 November), so the heroes welcome given to returning submarine seemed very appropriate.

Next two patrols, both as a part of the blockade line in the Gulf of Taranto (12 to 23 December and 4 to 21 January) brought no successes at all, but the luck was better on the February (from 4 to 20) patrol to Tunisian coast, where on 12th near Djerba Sokół captured and sunk 3-masted motor schooner Giuseppina (392 BRT, 39 m), where the boarding party found precious plans of minefields along the North African coasts. This was followed by near-miss of the Polluce (Spica-class) torpedo boat two days later. Unfortunately, just two days after return heavy air raids forced Sokół to move from Lazaretto to Marsamexetto, although it was not a safe place either and on 27 February close explosions of several bombs slightly wounded several crewmembers. From 4 to 17 March Sokół (temporarily under kpt. mar. Jerzy Koziołkowski, as Karnicki was briefly hospitalized) brought an unsuccessful encounter with a small, but very alert Italian convoy near Pantelleria. Just hours after the return, Malta was subjected to heavy air raid that resulted (for this submarine) with 5 very close hits, 46 battery cells broke and numerous instruments and pipes cracked. Next several weeks were spent on attempts to patch-up the boat (generally without any help from civilian shipyard employees who refused to work in such conditions), frustrated by further air raids (after one she had 250 holes in the hull and 98 battery cells broken), before it was recognized that it's impossible to repair Sokół on Malta. At that point British were considering simply scrapping the boat, as they believed it simply wouldn't survive the necessary travel to some safer shipyard, but Karnicki obtained permission to attempt sailing home - all the way on the surface - first to Gibraltar (16 to 28 April), where the yard specialists couldn't believe she's still afloat, and then (after provisional refit) to Holy Loch (21 June to 9 July) - both legs of the journey also formally counted as war patrols.

Badly needed repair works on Sokół lasted until late September, and afterwards the submarine was attached to 3rd Submarine Flotilla in Dundee, now (since late July) under kpt. mar. Jerzy Koziołkowski. During the winter she made two patrols towards Altafiord (13 December 1942 to 4 January 1943 and 22 January to 10 February), reporting on the second a distant sighting of 2 large warships escorted by 2 destroyers. In February it was decided to send Sokół (together with Dzik) again to the Mediterranean - both legs of the journey (23 March - 7 April to Gibraltar and 15 April to 21 May to Malta with stop in Algiers) were again counted as war patrols. Next three patrols (from 31 May to 12 June between Cape Spartivento and Taormina, from 1 to 26 July to Tyrrhenian Sea and from 11 to 25 August to southern Adriatic, opposite Bari) were very eventful, but not very successful. On 8 June Sokół attacked barquentine Papà Michele (186 BRT) at Gulf of Squillace but was attacked by a passing aircraft. On 6 July made a failed chase after a tanker near Stromboli and narrowly missed an Italian submarine on 10 July, only to spend next 3 days evading constant harrasment by aircraft and shubmarine chasers. Finally, on 15 August she sighted convoy of 2 large transports (troopship Città di Spezia - 2474 BRT, freighter Goggiam - 1994 BRT) and 7 minor escorts (including auxiliary escort Lubiana of 936 t and torpedo boat Generali of 635 t) approaching Bari, but was spotted when taking position to attack. That greatly helped Dzik which was operated nearby and managed to score a kill, while the escorts (thinking there's only one Allied submarine around) tried to exact their revenge on Sokół. In the next days Sokół made repeated attempts to attack enemy ships (against Generali again on 18 August, against merchant ship of 5000 BRT leaving Bari on 20/21 August and against 3-masted schooner near Valona on 22 August) but interventions by enemy air and surface patrols frustrated all of them. In September (from 6 to 16) Sokół was sent to patrol approaches to Brindisi, and after Italian armistice, on 9 September was ordered to control movements of Italian ships and to direct them to Allied ports, followed by making contact with port authorities in Brindisi itself (first by dinghy on 11/12 and then entering port as first Allied vessel on 13 September) - at Brindisi she also achieved a dubious success of colliding with and sinking harbor patrol craft Meattini (36 t). Somewhat better outcomes were achieved on the next patrol (26 September - 11 October) - on 4 October Sokół attacked freighter Gigliola (734 BRT),but although both torpedoes missed the ship, one of them hit something (probably a loose mine), causing enormous explosion that led Koziołkowski to claiming a hit. Just hours later freighter Sebenico (864 BRT) was unsuccessfully attacked and on 7 October scored a confirmed sinking of the troopship Eridania (7094 BRT, 125,3 BRT) emerging from Pola harbour. Later on the same day she fired her last torpedo against transport ship Sansego (492 BRT, missed) and shelled small transport ship Ugliano (Italian, but under German flag, 160 BRT) before German aviation and coastal artillery intervened.

By October 1943 there were no more targets for Allied submarines in the central Mediterranean, so both Sokół (between 15 and 21 October) and Dzik were transferred to 1st Submarine Flotilla in Beirut, to operate against German shipping in the Greek waters. Four patrols there (from 4 to 22 November, from 6 to 24 December, from 9 to 28 January 1944 and from 12 to 25 February) brought numerous sinkings, but all of it was a small catch (size-wise) - mostly (but not exclusively) small Greek cutters impressed to German service, often with partially local crews (hired on "or else..." basis). During the November patrol it started with ex-Italian schooner-turned-patrol boat Argentino (64 BRT, 10,1 m, built in 1883 as 2-mast coastal freighter - shelled, boarded and sunk with explosives) and cutter Taxiarchis Sy-370 (8 BRT) on 18 November before proceeding ot northeastern shores of Crete. On 19 November off Mochlos (in the Mirabello Bay) Sokół shelled 2-masted schooner Agios Antonio Kal-192 (145 BRT) which beached itself under cover from coastal batteries, and was 'finished off' with a torpedo, followed by torpedo attack on the schooner Konstantinos Sa-38 (140 BRT) - although both 'fish' missed, their explosions against the shore beached 2 minor cutters (of some 10 BRT each), which were claimed as destroyed (although it seems they suffered only minor damage at most). That forced Koziołkowski to repeat the attack, this time also against patrol vessel Möwe (110 t) that arrived on scene in the meantime, sinking them both (and forcing another minor cutter on the beach - also claimed destroyed, and also doubtful). During the December patrol Sokół attacked and claimed sunk large merchant ship (Anthippi (5609 BRT) (incorrectly, as it turned out - German aircraft appeared, forcing Sokół to crash dive - explosion of dropped bomb was apparently taken for a successful torpedo hit) on 11 December, and a day later encountered a convoy of German-commandeered cutters, sinking 4 of them (out of 5) in just 80 minutes (Agios Nikolaos Pi-790 of 35 BRT, Agios Nikolaos Sy-436 of 100 BRT, Agios Nikolaos Sy-262 of 114 BRT and Agios Eleimon Sy-274 of 130 BRT). Because of the stormy weather, only on 15 December another catch was spotted: cutter Panagia Chi-139 (80 BRT) which was intercepted, damaged with gunfire, then boarded, used to transfer Greek and German survivors (also from the encounter on 12 December) to the island of Tenedos and finally scuttled. Lastly, on 17 December an attack (claimed sinking) was made against Bulgarian transport Balkan (3838 BRT), but here also enemy aircraft appeared and situation was identical as with Anthippi. January patrol brought last success on 12 January, with sinking of schooner Agia Paraskevi Ch-53 (22 BRT) and 2 days later Sokół attempted to sink minelayer Drache (ex-Yugoslav seaplane carrier Zmaj) but was chased away by her escorts. February patrol was completely uneventful and on 18 February Sokół received orders to sail to Malta, and from there (from 6 to 12 March) sailed to Gibraltar and later (19 to 30 March) to Plymouth and Devonport (Malta-Gibraltar leg was counted as war patrol, Gibraltar-Plymouth was not).

After the return to Great Britain Sokół underwent a deep refit lasting until September and for the rest of the war it served primarily for the training duties, with only one more - uneventful due to poor weather conditions and high German ASW activity - combat patrol (from 18 November to 2 December) to Norwegian waters. From January 1945 Sokół's last captain was kpt. mar. Tadeusz Bernas, who saw the Polish flag lowered over the boat for the last time on 27 July 1946, before it was formally returned ot RN custody on 3 August. Again as HMS Urchin she remained in reserve for 3 more years until it was scrapped in September 1946.

During its service in the Polish Navy ORP Sokół took part in 31 (32) war patrols totalling 630 days at sea and made 15 torpedo and 11 artillery attacks. Originally her official tally claimed that she sunk 25 ships (22 merchant and 3 warships) totalling some 55 000 BRT, but post-war research unfortunately cut this tally to just 15 ships (14 merchant and 1 warship) of 10 829 BRT and 110 t. Although a significant difference, it does not reflect negatively on the courage and skill of her crew, and the nickname "Terrible Twins" shared by Sokół and Dzik was a well-deserved one.

Poland, Sokół, 1941
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Poland, Sokół, 1943
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Length: 58,6 meters - ( 5860 / 15,24 = 384,51 or 385 pixels)

Sources:
Bartelski Andrzej S., Dywizjon i Grupa Okrętów Podwodnych 1932-1945, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5,
Bartelski Andrzej S., "Terrible Twins" czyli polskie okręty podwodne na Morzu Śródziemnym, "Okręty Wojenne" 2001, nr 2,
Bartelski Andrzej S., Tajemnice polskich Jolly Roger, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2009, nr 4,
Bartelski Andrzej S., Kaczmarek Rafał Mariusz, Polskiej wojny podwodnej ciąg dalszy, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2008, nr 4,
Borowiak Mariusz, ORP Sokół - debiut bojowy i pierwsza kampania śródziemnomorska, "Morze" 2017, nr 6,
Borowiak Mariusz, ORP Sokół - druga kampania śródziemnomorska, "Morze" 2017, nr 8,
Borowiak Mariusz, Polskie okręty wojenne w Wielkiej Brytanii 1939-1945. Okręt podwodny ORP Sokół, Oświęcim 2017,
Borowiak Mariusz, Stalowe drapieżniki. Polskie okręty podwodne 1926-1947, Warszawa 2019,
Kaczmarek Rafał Mariusz, Polska wojna podwodna. Sukcesy i niepowodzenia bojowe polskich okrętów podwodnych podczas II wojny światowej, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2004, nr 4, 6,
Kasperski Tadeusz, Jolly Roger ORP Sokół - wyjaśnienie tajemnic pirackiej flagi, "Okręty" 2012, nr 5,
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017,
McCartney Innes, Bryan Tony, British Submarines 1939-1945, "Osprey New Vanguard", no. 283, Oxford 2006,
Pertek Jerzy, Wielkie dni małej floty, Poznań 1987,
Rudzki Czesław, Polskie okręty podwodne 1926-1969, Warszawa 1985.



Jastrząb (S-class)

Of all Polish submarines, Jastrząb's career was shortest and one of most tragic. It was allocated to the Polish Navy by the Royal Navy from the pool of the US lend-lease boats, in order to make up the loss of Orzeł and permanent inserviceability of Wilk[/i]. It was not a new submarine, though - S-class USS S-25 / SS-130 was laid down on 26 October 1918 at Fore River Shipyard, launched on 29 May 1922 and commissioned as on 9 July 1923. Polish crew, headed by kpt. mar. Bronisław Romanowski arrived for training and transfer of the in New London, Connecticut in September 1941 and after much shortened training course (3 weeks instead of 2 months), on 4 November 1941 the boat was formally transferred from US to Polish custody and christened ORP Jastrząb (Hawk) (and concurrently as British HMS P551, although only the "Polish" part of the ceremony was public, while the "British" happened only "in the books"). After necessary preparation, Jastrząb left New London on 14 November and after a long and arduous journey in extreme weather conditions arrived to Holy Loch on 2 December 1941.

Initially Jastrząb was attached to 3rd Submarine Flotilla, where it was assigned duties of a training boat, but Romanowski succesfuly lobbied superiors to allow operational use and in late April it was decided to employ the boat in relation to passage of PQ-15 convoy to Russia. Jastrząb left for its first - and only - patrol on 22 April 1942 (operationally attached to 4th Submarine Flotilla), arriving 2 days later to the forward base at Lerwick and on 25 April sailed for the Norwegian Sea, suffering all the way from very bad weather conditions that resulted in number of malfunctions, including its forward diving plane and occasional breakdowns of both diesels. Despite this, aggressive officers, wanting to prove themselves unfortunately decided to continue the patrol. Initially Jastrząb was assigned a southernmost patrol sector of all submarines taking part in the operation, but eventually was ordered to the northernmost - unfortunately weather condition prevented any attempts at celestial navigation and position had to be calculated by dead reckogning, which eventually led the boat outside her assigned zone. At the same time, due to ice danger, the convoy had to change its course to the more southerly - a fact that was not communicated to the Polish submarine. On the afternoon of the 2 May Jastrząb encountered Norwegian destroyer St. Albans and RN trawler HMT Seagull, which mistook it for an U-boot and - despite identification signals (of which crews of both surface vessels were not properly informed) - attacked her with depth charges, and (after the damage sustained forced her to surface) with gunfire, which killed 5 crewmen (including 2 British signalmen) and heavily wounded 6 more (including Romanowski, who tried to wave Polish flag from the sail). Eventually the mistake was noticed and both warships sent the lifeboats to the rescue, but by then Jastrząb was practically a wreck and had to be scuttled at 72* 14' N, 14* 34' E (some 75 Nm West of Bear Island - sometimes other positions are given, ranging from 71*30' N and 12*32' E to 73*30' N and 17*35' E). Wounded crew was then transported to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk and by 8 July they all returned to Great Britain on board ORP Garland (which participated in escort of PQ-16 convoy). Some months later majority of surviving crewmembers was transferred to a new boat - the ORP Dzik of the British U-class.

Poland, Jastrząb, 1942
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Length: 66,8 meters - ( 6680 / 15,24 = 438,32 or 438 pixels - actually is 439)

Sources:
Bartelski Andrzej S., Dywizjon i Grupa Okrętów Podwodnych 1932-1945, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5,
Borowiak Mariusz, Polskie okręty wojenne w Wielkiej Brytanii 1939-1945. Okręt podwodny ORP Jastrząb, Oświęcim 2017,
Borowiak Mariusz, Stalowe drapieżniki. Polskie okręty podwodne 1926-1947, Warszawa 2019,
Christley Jim, Bull Peter, US Submarines 1900-1935, "Osprey New Vanguard", no. 175, Oxford 2011,
Friedman Norman, U.S. Submarines Through 1945. An illustrated design history, Annapolis 1995,
Jarski Adam, ORP Jastrząb, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2018, nr 7-8, 9-10, 11-12,
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017,
Kaperski Tadeusz, Służba wojenna i tragiczny patrol ORP Jastrząb, "Morza i Okręty" 2016, nr 3 specjalny,
Pertek Jerzy, Wielkie dni małej floty, Poznań 1987,
Rudzki Czesław, Polskie okręty podwodne 1926-1969, Warszawa 1985,
http://www.navsource.org/
https://pigboats.com/



Dzik (U-class, group III)

After the loss of Jastrząb Polish submarine force was down to a single operational boat again and to remedy this situation, Royal Navy agreed to transfer of another U-class submarine (III group, HMS P52, laid down on 30 December 1941 at Vickers-Armstrong shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness) that was just being built and close to completion. Chosen boat was launched on 11 October 1942 and formally handed over to the Polish navy on 12 December 1942 and named ORP Dzik (Wild Boar), with kpt. mar. Bolesław Romanowski in command. After the trials and training period, she made a single patrol to Norwegian waters (Sognefjord, from 30 January to 16 February 1943), where horrible weather prevented any sightings. Shortly afterwards it was decided to send Dzik (together with Sokół - for her 2nd term there) to the Mediterranean - all three legs of the journey (23 March - 7 April to Gibraltar, 6 April to 21 April to Algiers and from 28 April to 5 May to Malta) were counted as war patrols - without any worthwile encounters with the enemy, although on 2 May she was mis-identified and briefly shelled by HMS Tartar.

First of Malta patrols (from 16 to 28 May) led Dzik to Crotone in southern Italy, where on 24 May she encountered tanker Carnaro (8257 BRT, 152 m) escorted by torpedo boats Groppo (Ciclone-class) and Clio (Spica-class) and 2-3 aircraft. One of torpedoes hit the tanker and while (despite Romanowski's claim of sinking) it didn't technically sunk, damage was so extensive that in was never repaired, while Dzik had to endure a long ordeal under the depth charges of Italian escorts. During the June (8 to 22) patrol to the waters north of Sicily Dzik had a particularly bad luck of encountering ships she was not allowed to attack - a hospital ship on 15 June and then two ships flying Swiss flags (Akka and Mongabarra, both of 3085 BRT) and another hospital ship on 17 June. And when - also on 17 June - she had some "legal" targets, her torpedoes missed, as was the case with minelayer Vieste (560 t, ex-German M119) - or the explosion heard turned out to be of something else - after the attack on unidentified passenger and cargo ship of some 4000 BRT, escorted by Orione-class torpedo boat. Next patrol (from 2 to 19 July) a blockade of the Gulf of Taranto in relation to Operation Husky (invasion of Sicily) that was about to start, but just a hospital ship and single minesweeper were spotted (but enemy aircraft were plentiful) and no attacks were made. Only the August patrol to the southern Adriatic (opposite Bari) brought a significant success - somewhat to the detriment of Sokół, which on August 15 sighted convoy of 2 large transports (troopship Città di Spezia - 2474 BRT, freighter Goggiam - 1994 BRT) and 7 minor escorts (including auxiliary escort Lubiana of 936 t and torpedo boat Generali of 635 t) but also brought upon herself the wrath of convoy escorts when Dzik successfully torpedoed Goggiam. Dzik's final patrol in the central Mediterranean was to Corsican waters, where on 21 September, on Bastia's roadstead she attacked German (ex-French) steamer San Pedro surrounded by 4 barges of 100 BRT, freighter Nicolaus (6486 BRT, 125,47 m) and small steamer Kraft (514 BRT), before being attacked by German submarine chasers, led by Uj1109, which dropped nearly 200 depth charges (not particularly accurately, though) and kept the submarine below water for a significant period, during which a series of large explosions convinced Romanowski that he scored a brilliant series of kills, but in fact only Nicolaus was actualy sunk. Next day Dzik encountered a group of 11 landing craft from 10. Landungs-Flotille (6 of the Marinefährprahm and 5 of Siebelfähr-40 type) in 2 columns, escorted by 3 R-boote and 4 aircraft and fired her remaining torpedoes (set for surface run) against 4 of them and sinking one (F420C, 155t, carrying a tank, 2 StuG and 1 PaK cannon) before being forced underwater by counterattack. Although results were smaller than believed (Romanowski thought he sank 3 MFP's), the attack proved that torpedoes set for surface run can be effective against shallow-draught MFP's, and all British submarines in the area were ordered to follow that tactics with very good results.

In October, like Sokół, Dzik was transferred to 1st Submarine Flotilla in Beirut for operations in Greek waters. Transit cruise took place between 11 and 26 October through Aegean and counted as another war patrol, but no enemy shipping was spotted (though air activity was heavy). First patrol from Beirut (from 6 to 24 November) was under kpt. mar. Andrzej Kłopotowski, as Romanowski just broke his arm - during the first week several small sailing vessels were sighted but captain decided not to attack, believing them to be purely civilian boats (even though standing orders from British Admiralty ordered to attack anyway) and only on 17 November an armed schooner Agios Andreas Pi-2119 (40 BRT) was finally sunk. Several hours later another sighting was made: schooner Agios Nikolaos (40 BRT), but since it was unarmed and packed with civilian passengers, including women and children, it was set free after inspection. Dzik's last sinkings were made during the patrol that lasted from 23 December 1943 to 13 January 1944, again under Romanowski. For the first two weeks only aircraft and minor fishing boats were seen, until on 7 January a passenger-cargo ship was spotted to the east of Lemnos and attacked with torpedoes. Explosions were heard (and sinking claimed), but they were only results of torpedoes hitting shore or self-destructing - very conveniently, as the ship was actually a neutral Turkish Tirhan (3085 BRT). On the other hand, during the reload of torpedoes Dzik narrowly avoided becoming a victim of her own torpedo, when engine of one of them spontaneously started and it had to be quickly fired (for some time it circled dangerously close to the boat), and one of the doors in the tube was damaged, limiting the ability to dive. Next day two more Turkish ships were seen, but also properly identified, and shortly before midinght cutter Eleni My-200 (90 BRT) was intercepted near Babakale, shelled, boarded and scuttled. Day later same fate met cutter Agia Markella Chi-436 (40 BRT), before Dzik headed home.

By that time Allies had control over most of the Mediterranean and number of targets provided by Germans for the submarines was rapidly dwindling, therefore it was decided to move most of the submarines to other theatres. That applied also to Polish "Terrible Twins". Between 7 February and 3 March 1944 Dzik made her last - rather uneventful - patrol into the Aegean while on the way to Malta and then back to Great Britain (from 11 to 17 March from Malta to Gibraltar and from 28 March to 8 April from Gibraltar to Plymouth - both counted as war patrols). Remaining months of war Dzik spent mostly as training boat, first in Plymouth, than in Londonderry and finally in Dundee, until December 1944 under Romanowski, then for a month under por. mar. adeusz Noworól and finally under kpt. mar. Andrzej Kłopotowski. Polish flag was lowered on the ORP Dzik for the last time on 25 July 1946 and on 1 August the boat returned to the Royal Navy. Soon afterwards it was leased to the Royal Danish Navy as U-1. She arrived in her new homeland in October 1946, in 1950 was renamed Springeren and served until October 1957 when it was returned to Great Britain and scrapped in April 1958.

During its service in the Polish Navy ORP Dzik took part in 15 patrols (though number 12 and 16 are also commonly mentioned, but I could count only 15) and her official tally claimed sinking of 18 ships (14 merchant and 4 warships) totalling some 45 000 BRT. Like with Sokół, post-war research unfortunately reduced it to just 6 ships (5 merchant and 1 warship) of 8650 BRT and 155 t and 1 more (Carnaro of 8257 BRT) effectively eliminated without actually sinking.

Poland, Dzik, 1942
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Poland, Dzik, 1943
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Length: 60,0 meters - ( 6000 / 15,24 = 393,70 or 394 pixels)

Sources:
van Amstel W. H. E., De schepen van de Koninklike Marine vanaf 1945, De Alk bv 1991.Bartelski Andrzej S., Dywizjon i Grupa Okrętów Podwodnych 1932-1945, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5,
Bartelski Andrzej S., "Terrible Twins" czyli polskie okręty podwodne na Morzu Śródziemnym, "Okręty Wojenne" 2001, nr 2,
Bartelski Andrzej S., Tajemnice polskich Jolly Roger, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2009, nr 4,
Bartelski Andrzej S., Kaczmarek Rafał Mariusz, Polskiej wojny podwodnej ciąg dalszy, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2008, nr 4,
Borowiak Mariusz, Polskie okręty wojenne w Wielkiej Brytanii 1939-1945. Okręt podwodny ORP Dzik, Oświęcim 2018,
Borowiak Mariusz, Stalowe drapieżniki. Polskie okręty podwodne 1926-1947, Warszawa 2019,
Fleks Adam, "Dzik" w duńskiej flocie, "Okręty Wojenne" 1995, nr 1,
Kaczmarek Rafał Mariusz, Polska wojna podwodna. Sukcesy i niepowodzenia bojowe polskich okrętów podwodnych podczas II wojny światowej, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2004, nr 4, 6,
Kasperski Tadeusz, Patrole bojowe ORP Dzik. Akcje z Malty i Bejrutu, "Morza i Okręty" 2016, nr 6 specjalny,
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017,
McCartney Innes, Bryan Tony, British Submarines 1939-1945, "Osprey New Vanguard", no. 283, Oxford 2006,
Morozov M. Ye., Kulagin K.L., 'Ursula' i drugije. Podwodnyje łodki britanskoj postrojki w sostawie Siewiernogo Fłota, "Morskaya Kollektsiya" 2014, nr 12,
Pertek Jerzy, Wielkie dni małej floty, Poznań 1987,
Rudzki Czesław, Polskie okręty podwodne 1926-1969, Warszawa 1985,
van Willigenburg Henk, Dutch warships of World War II, Lanasta 2010,


Last edited by eswube on July 7th, 2021, 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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maomatic
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: June 30th, 2021, 10:06 pm
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Outstanding work! The drawings are as first class as is the interesting history you are sharing with us.


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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: June 30th, 2021, 10:19 pm
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Yes, truly excellent, complete with fantastic writeups too AND cited sources... an example for all of us ;)

I particularly like the S-class submarine (of course). Great stuff.

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Hood
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: July 1st, 2021, 3:41 pm
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Fantastic work, both the drawings and the research.
The Jolly Rogers are a neat touch too.

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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: July 1st, 2021, 5:43 pm
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Excellent! Nicely done drawings(I enjoy a lot with the pirate flag!... and the barking dog! ;) :D ) I will follow your example, my next entry will be with the adequate references! I think that this will be a new standard for the explaining text for the drawings of the bucket! Cheers.


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eswube
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: July 1st, 2021, 10:57 pm
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Thank You all for the kind comments. :)
There will be one more entry in the series here (post-war submarines: 2 x Pr. 96, 2 x Pr. 613, 1 x Pr. 877, 1 x Pr. 641, 3 x Type 207) and one in the Never-were section. Plus some "other users" in the general submarines thread. ;)

@Reytuerto
I'm afraid that having to provide sources as a "standard" (something sort-of obligatory) would probably make RL/NW section even less frequented than it is recently. :/


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eswube
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: July 7th, 2021, 5:15 pm
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And here's the last part of the series (Real-Life, that is - there will be one more in the Never-Were section)

Part 3 - Post-war submarines

Project 96 (M-XV) class

In early 1950s Polish Navy had 'on paper' 3 submarines, but only one of them (Sęp) represented any meaningful combat-capable force and remaining two had to be relegated to training duties (Ryś and Żbik). Significance it had to the capabilities of the service were not lost on the higher authorities, and a deal was struck with the Soviet Union - only available source at that time - to lease 6 small submarines of the Project 96-class (M-XV or Malyutka).

Leased boats were:
-M-290 (M-274?) - laid down 10 November 1951, launched 27 May 1952, commissioned 30 September 1952, transferred to PMW as ORP Kaszub (M-100) 5 June 1954;
-M-236 (M-290?) - laid down 19 February 1947, launched 19 June 1948, commissioned 19 October 1948, transferred to PMW as ORP Mazur (M-101) 25 September 1954;
-M-279 - laid down 12 October 1950, launched 10 February 1951, commissioned 9 June 1951, transferred to PMW as ORP Krakowiak (M-102) 18 October 1954;
-M-270 - laid down 23 December 1949, launched 24 April 1950, commissioned 29 July 1950, transferred to PMW as ORP Ślązak (M-103) 18 October 1954;
-M-245 - laid down 30 November 1948, launched 30 June 1949, commissioned 31 October 1949, transferred to PMW as ORP Kujawiak (M-104) 27 May 1955;
-M-246 - laid down 25 January 1949, launched 24 July 1949, commissioned 16 November 1949, transferred to PMW as ORP Kurp (M-105) 27 May 1955.
All names were demonyms related to Kashubia, Mazovia, Kraków, Silesia, Kuyavia and Kurpie, and with exception of Kurp were used previously on ex-German torpedo boats in 1920s/1930s and on Hunt-class destroyer escorts used by the Polish Navy in Great Britain.
(Note: russianships.info gives different original names of the first two boats - these were mentioned in the brackets).

Although still fairly new, these submarines suffered from both poor workmanship and poor maintenance practices, therefore their actual condition (as opposed to one declared in transfer reports) was rather poor and all had to be sent one-by-one to a major refit (in fact, as it was revealed many years later, in the Soviet documents one of these boats was described with words "for safety reasons better do not submerge this vessel"!). Despite that, once repaired, these small boats constituted a significant improvement in the capabilities of the navy, which briefly (between May and September 1955) could boast as much as 9 submarines in service (that being largest number ever - 2 Wilk-class submarines due to be retired shortly, Sęp and 6 Malyutkas). They were used intensively for training, including a challenging (for their size) foray into the North Sea by Krakowiak, Kujawiak and Kurp in August 1957, and from around 1960 they were also routinely conducting joint ASW exercises with East German Navy (which never had any submarines). Unfortunately, on 28 November 1957, during serious storm (7 to 9 in Beaufort scale) Kaszub ran aground near Krynica Morska and during the attempt to come off 2 crew members lost their lives. Eventually boat was towed off by two tugboats in early December.

Initially the hull numbers of Pr.96-class submarines were in the M-10x format, changed in December 1957 to P-10x one and from 1 January 1960 to 30x. In the 1957-1958 period all boats lost their 45 mm deck guns, from 1960 were forbidden from submerging to more than 40 meters and from late 1962 even to mere 20 meters (although it was mostly a matter of caution - Soviets delivered only severely lacking maintenance/repair documentation and it was simply impossible to accurately assess the actual condition of some critical structural elements). At the same time the deliveries of the much more potent Pr. 613 have already started, so Malyutkas were gradually relegated to training duties - and in war plans their role was reduced to forming a defensive patrol line in the southern Baltic. First to be struck off the list was Kaszub in February 1963, followed by Mazur and Krakowiak in March 1965, Ślązak in October 1965 and Kujawiak and Kurp in December 1966. Most of them were immediately sent to scrapyard, except for Ślązak and Kujawiak, which were expended as targets in the Bay of Puck - former being now sunk at the depth of 30 meters south of Jastarnia, while the latter (used mostly for aerial strafing and bombardment) sits on the depth of mere 5 meters on Rybitwia Mielizna (long and shallow sandbank between Reda and Kuźnica, that cuts the bay in two parts) with its sail (or rather remains of it) still above the water (it's possible to dive inside and even to walk to the wreck in certain conditions). Although troubled by maintenance failures, squadron of Malyutkas played an important role in history of Polish submarine service, allowing to train large cadre of submariners.

As a postscript, it's fitting to mention, that in 1956 Egyptian submariners (and 'surface' sailors as well) were trained in Poland and one more Pr. 96 nominally (although only for diplomatic cover purposes) passed through Polish hands as M-107. It was to sail to Egypt with Egyptian crew but as Polish vessel, with Polish pseudo-captain and wireless operator (in case the boat had to made contact with other ships or enter ports of other countries) and accompanied by ss Bałtyk as supply ship. Shortly after both vessels left Gdynia, the Suez War erupted and the whole operation was cancelled (the boat was transferred eventually in more open manner). By the way, 2 Pr. 30-class destroyers, 4 Pr. 254K minesweepers and several Pr. 183-class MTB's also transited (successfully) from the Baltic to Egypt disguised as Polish ships 'during training cruise' - complete with crew wearing Polish uniforms!

Poland, Kujawiak (III), 1955
[ img ]

Poland, Ślązak (III), 1964
[ img ]

Length: 49,5 meters - ( 4950 / 15,24 = 324,80 or 325 pixels)

Sources:
Ciślak Jarosław, Dywizjon Okrętów Podwodnych, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5.
Górsk Tadeusz, Malutki ORP "Krakowiak", Okręty Wojenne 2011, nr 4.
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017.
Rochowicz Robert, Malutkie pod polską banderą, "Morze" 2017, nr 4.
Rochowicz Robert, Małe okręty podwodne projektu 96 (M-XV), "Nowa Technika Wojskowa" 1997, nr 7.
Soroka Marek, Polskie okręty wojenne 1945-1980, Gdańsk 1986.
Wielebski Stanisław, Pierwsze małe okręty podwodne w Marynarce Wojennej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Okręty 2014, nr 4 specjalny.
http://bastion-karpenko.ru/
http://deepstorm.ru/
http://russianships.info/
http://submarines.narod.ru/



Project 613 class

In early 1960s, the time of service for Pr. 96-class submarines was clearly coming to an end - unsurprisingly, since their design life was calculated for some 10 years - and a replacement boats were needed. For obvious reasons Soviet Union was only possible supplier, but this time the boats were larger and much more capable, namely the Project 613 medium submarines (or Whiskey in NATO code). Boats of this class was widely exported to friendly nations, therefore there were no major obstacles with finalization of contract. Initally PMW hoped to replace Malyutkas on 1-to-1 basis, but manpower and financial constraints prevented it, despite Russia's willingness to provide further boats, and eventually only 4 submarines were transferred - originally leased, but in 1965 formally purchased.

Polish Pr. 613 submarines were:
-S-265 - laid down 27 July 1954, launched 30 November 1954, commissioned 30 July 1955, transferred to PMW as ORP Orzeł (Eagle, 292) 30 December 1962;
-S-278 - laid down 9 December 1954, launched 19 April 1955, commissioned 12 November 1955, transferred to PMW as ORP Sokół (Falcon, 293) 24 October 1964;
-S-279 (S-355) - laid down 28 July 1954, launched 20 July 1955, commissioned 12 November 1955, transferred to PMW as ORP Kondor (Condor, 294) 9 June 1965;
-S-295 (S-279) - laid down 20 December 1954, launched 23 April 1955, commissioned 20 October 1955, transferred to PMW as ORP Bielik (White-tailed Eagle, 295) 4 July 1965.
(Note: russianships.info gives different original names of the last two boats - these were mentioned in the brackets).

Although not brand new, these submarines underwent major refits before the transfer and as a result, were definitely not as troublesome as their predecessors and were a major boost to the warfighting capability of Polish Navy. Between 1964 and 1970 their 'trademark' were annual cruises (generally in June, sometimes extending into July, with exception of 1967 cruise which took part in July and August) to the North Atlantic. 1964 (Orzeł, Sęp), 1965 (Orzeł, Sokół) and 1966 (Sokół, Kondor, Bielik) patrols led to between Shetlands and Orkneys to Faroe Island and Outher Hebrides; the 1967 cruise from Faroe Islands led to Murmansk for a joint exercise with Soviet Northern Fleet. In 1968 cruise of all 4 boats headed directly to Murmansk and involved a major feat of polish submariners who managed to 'evade' Soviet ASW forces that were sent to 'intercept' them and completely undetected sneaked into the Kola Bay. For some reason Northern Fleet did not repeated invitation for such exercises in the following years and 1969 (Orzeł, Sokół) and 1970 (Sokół, Bielik) cruises were again to British waters, last one involving also circumnavigation of British Isles and return through the English Channel. On the way back from the 1966 cruise (on 24 July) submarines detected a group of Bundesmarine warships on the Polish maritime border and scared them off by aggressive maneuvers, while the 1967 cruise was delayed by the state of heightened readiness ordered in relation to the Six-Day War in the Middle East. All Polish submarines were ordered to sea to observe the increased activity of Bundesmarine vessels along the Polish coasts, and shadowed the reconnaissance operations of Bundesmarine ships Trave, Atlantis II and Sauerland along the Polish coasts.

Apart from these 'standard' activities, Polish 613s acted (like the Malyutkas before them) as training aids during ASW exercises of the East German Volksmarine, and were frequent guests in foreign ports during official visits of Polish warships. So intensive use took toll on the submarines and already in 1972 Kondor depth was restricted from 170 to 120 meters - limitation shared from the next year by Orzeł, and in 1981 Kondor was to 100 meters, and by the end of its service Bielik was restricted to barely 40 meters. Eventually, after around 2 decades of service, Polish submarines of the Pr. 613 class were gradually decommissioned, Orzeł being first of them on 31 December 1983. It was followed by Kondor on 30 October 1985, then by Sokół (which already for some time was downgraded to a training status) on 12 December 1987 and finally Bielik on 29 September 1988, all being eventually scrapped. During their service, each of the boats cruised nearly 90 thousand Nm (between quarter and third of it underwater).

Poland, Orzeł (II), 1963
[ img ]

Poland, Kondor, 1980
[ img ]

Length: 75,9 meters - ( 7590 / 15,24 = 498,03 or 498 pixels)

Sources:
Ciślak Jarosław, Dywizjon Okrętów Podwodnych, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5.
Grzesikowski Tadeusz, Średnie okręty podwodne projektu 613, "Morze, Statki i Okrety" 1998, nr 2.
Grzesikowski Tadeusz, Rudzki Czesław, Z dziejów średnich okrętów podwodnych proj. 613 pod polską banderą. ORP Orzeł (292), "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 1998, nr 5.
Grzesikowski Tadeusz, Rudzki Czesław, Z dziejów średnich okrętów podwodnych proj. 613 pod polską banderą. ORP Sokół (293), "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 1999, nr 2, 3.
Grzesikowski Tadeusz, Rudzki Czesław, Z dziejów średnich okrętów podwodnych proj. 613 pod polską banderą. ORP Kondor (294), "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2000, nr 3, 4.
Grzesikowski Tadeusz, Sutowski Sławomir, ORP Kondor, "Typy Broni i Uzbrojenia", Warszawa 1993, nr 152.
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017.
Krzewiński Jacek, Rosyjskie okręty podwodne projektu 613, "Militaria XX wieku" 2009, nr 2 specjalny.
Soroka Marek, Polskie okręty wojenne 1945-1980, Gdańsk 1986.
Zablyukhin V. L., Whisky po-nikolayevski. Podvodnye lodki proekta 613, "Morskaya Kollektsiya" 2014, nr 1.
http://bastion-karpenko.ru/
http://submarines.narod.ru/
http://russianships.info/
http://submarines.narod.ru/



Project 877E class

By late 1970s Poland's 613-class submarines were very obviously reaching the end of their useful service life and a search for their replacement was initiated. Apparently for a brief period a cooperation with Yugoslavia was contemplated (either regarding the purchase of the local design or cooperation with development of the new one - sources differ on that), but for one reason or the other it was not pursued. Instead, it was decided to play things politically and technologically safe and simply buy 4 (as 1-for-1 replacement for 613s) Project 877 Paltus/Varshavyanka - this time not used, but brand new ones. Unfortunately, at the end of 1970s Poland entered a period of deep and prolonged economic crisis, and despite repeated attempts of reforms (within the socialist orthodoxy) that lasted through the whole decade of 1980s, only modest results were achieved, and also negatively impacted funding for the armed forces, which in the end managed to buy only single 877-class submarine.

Poland's only Project 877E submarines was laid down on 29 September 1984, launched on 7 June 1985, transferred to the Polish Navy (in Riga) on 29 April 1986, commissioned on 13 June and officially named ORP Orzeł (Eagle, 291) 21 June 1986 (as the third submarine to bear that name). Despite the formal designation 877E (for Export), Orzeł is almost certainly wholly identical with baseline 877s built for Soviet Navy, and unlike other Es. It's strongly suggested by the fact, that its construction number - 603 - belongs to the same series as boats made for the VMF, while those made for India, Romania, Algeria and China had construction numbers in the 400-series (although all were made in the same shipyard).

Once in service, Orzeł was perhaps most capable combat vessel of the Polish Navy, and when the political changes of 1989 took place and Poland choose the path to integrate with the West, Orzeł, representing the newest Soviet/Russian submarine technology, become a much-sought part of multinational naval exercises. In the last 30 years it participated in several dozen of these, including Baltops, Passex, Rekin, Baltic Porpoise, Strong Resolve, Danex, Keftacex, Joint Maritime Course etc. that led her as far as North Cape and Iceland. In 2013 Ministry of National Defence announced intent to retire Orzeł by 2022, by which time it would be (together with Type 207 submarines) replaced by 3 submarines purchased under the Orka (Orca) programme. In the meantime, in March 2014 she was sent for a major refit to Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej (Naval Shipyard) in Gdynia, that was meant to last exactly one year. Instead, for one reason or another,since then it's almost permanently either in refit or undergoing more or serious repairs, although Ministry of Defence and Navy are extremely discreet about these. From the sketchy information available, it seems that in 2015 Orzeł collided with a floating dock it was just leaving during the (by then already seriously delayed) refit, damaging her own hull, screw and moorings, as well as piercing the wall of the dock, and in 2017 (when it was formally undergoing the very same refit as before) the fire broke out during routine discharging of batteries, during which it turned out that supposedly recently modernized automated firefighting installation does not work automatically and needs to be activated manually - but when it was, it blew halon not only in the compartment intended, but also in several others, seriously endangering the crew. Since then Orzeł went to the sea several times (apparently even dived once or twice), but these seem to be, unfortunately, just PR attempts to convince suspicious public that situation isn't really that bad - although it's difficult to seriously believe official statements of the ministry of defence and navy press department claiming that Orzeł "capable of fulfiling tasks" when at the very same time they are opening tenders for repair of periscopes and sonar (this one even twice since 2018) or all torpedo tubes (this April)...

Poland, Orzeł (III)
[ img ]

Note: Orzełs paint scheme below the waterline changed several times throughout it's service life. The white stripe on the waterline disappeared quite quickly, while the anti-fouling red at times reached all the way up, and at other times there was none of it.

Length: 72,6 meters - ( 7260 / 15,24 = 476,38 or 476 pixels)

Sources:
Ciślak Jarosław, Dywizjon Okrętów Podwodnych, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5.
Ciślak Jarosław, Ilustrowana Encyklopedia Techniki Wojskowej. Polska Marynarka Wojenna 1995, Warszawa 1995.
Kluczyński Marian, Podwodny drapieżnik ORP Orzeł, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2016, nr 5-6.
Koszela Witold, Biało-czerwona flota, Oświęcim 2019.
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017.
Krzewiński Jacek, ORP "Orzeł" projektu 877E "Warszawianka" (kod NATO - KILO), "Okręty" 2013, nr 2.
http://bastion-karpenko.ru/
http://deepstorm.ru/
https://defence24.pl/
http://russianships.info/
http://submarines.narod.ru/



Project 641 class

As mentioned, economic reasons prevented the intended purchase of 4 Project 877 submarines, and so in order to avoid having just a single submarine in service, Polish Navy turned to the VMF with a request for a lease of 2 Pr. 641 submairines as the stop-gap measure, in hope for the better times, when one of the "next stages of reforms" (of socialist economy) will finally bring fruits (they didn't) and more 877's could be bought. Soviets were quite accommodating, as the practical elimination of Poland's submarine service was not in their interests dictated by realities of Cold War, and in 1987 a lease agreement was signed.

Transferred submarines were:
- B-98 - laid down 4 April 1963, launched 15 June 1963, commissioned 15 May 1964, transferred to PMW as ORP Wilk (Wolf, 292) 3 November 1987
- B-29 - laid down 25 March 1966, launched 20 May 1966, commissioned 28 November 1966, transferred to PMW as ORP Dzik (Wild Boar, 293) 7 December 1988
Both boats inherited names from famed World War 2-era, and - unlike majority of other vessels acquired from the USSR, they weren't delivered to Poland by the Soviet crews, but were both taken over already in Riga.

As is easy to notice, both boats were quite old - having previously spent respectively 23 and 22 year in Soviet service - but were in reasonable condition and allowed to train and maintain proficiency of numerous Polish submariners. In 1992-1993 they were legally bought by Poland (together with ORP Warszawa) at what was effectively little more of scrap price, in return for cancelling of Soviet debts towards Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej (Navy Shipyard). Parallel to Polands political turn towards the West (that culminated, military-wise, with Poland's entrance to NATO in 1999), Polish armed forces began to participate in various international military exercises, and navy was at the forefront of such activities. Starting from 1992, both 641's took part in numerous such events, including BALTOPS, Cooperative Poseidon, Baltic Porpoise and Passex. Despite careful maintenance and necessary periodic refits, by early 2000s both boats were obviously reaching end of their useful life. Wilk was decommissioned on 10 December 2003, after cruising 47 thousand Nm under Polish flag (including 15 thousand submerged), and Dzik followed suit on 7 November 2003, after cruising 43 thousand Nm (including 13,5 thousand submerged) under Polish flag. Some attempts were made to sell both boats, but due to their age, they were unsurprisingly unscuccessful, with only Vietnam showing some passing interest, and eventually both were scrapped in 2003 - only the sail of Dzik (and some minor artifacts) being preserved in the Polish Navy museum in Gdynia.

Poland, Wilk (II)
[ img ]

Sources:
Length: 91,3 meters - ( 9130 / 15,24 = 599,08 or 599 pixels)

Ciślak Jarosław, Ilustrowana Encyklopedia Techniki Wojskowej. Polska Marynarka Wojenna 1995, Warszawa 1995.
Ciślak Jarosław, Dywizjon Okrętów Podwodnych, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5.
Grzesikowski Tadeusz, Miłowski Jarosław, Wilk i Dzik. Duże okręty podwodne projektu 641, "Morza, Statki i Okręty" 1997, nr 3.
Kashcheev L., Voenno-morskoi flot w Indo-Pakistanskih konfliktah, "Morskaya Kollektsiya" 2014, nr 9.
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017.
Kronika Polskiej Marynarki Wojennej - Złomowanie OORP Wilk i Dzik, "Morza, Statki i Okręty" 2005, nr 3.
Radziemski Jan, Siły podwodne Floty Bałtyckiej ZSRR i Rosji w latach 1945-2014, "Okręty" 2014, nr 4.
http://bastion-karpenko.ru/
http://deepstorm.ru/
http://russianships.info/
http://submarines.narod.ru/



Type 207 Kobben class

By late 1990s both Pr. 641 "stop-gap" submarines were obviously nearing the end of their service live, and replacement was needed. Although Poland's economic situation improved somewhat during the decade, purchase of new submarines was still completely outside the financial possibilities of the state budget. Joining the NATO in 1999 had opened new sources for equipment, though, and it was possible to exploit the opportunity of Royal Norwegian Navy downsizing her own submarine force and offering 5 German-built Kobben (Type 207) coastal submarines for a token fee (for the boats themselves - Poland still needed to pay for training, additional equipment, preparation of the infrastructure at home etc.). Although all of the boats were built between 1963 and 1967 and so were contemporaries of the Pr.641's they were to replace, offered boats underwent a deep modernization between 1988 and 1993, practically amounting to a re-construction, which made them relevant on the modern battlefield for some years to come. Appropriate contract was signed in February 2002 and already within days first group of Polish submariners travelled to Norway for training. Of the 5 transferred submarines, 4 were to become operational boats and last one was to be used for training and as a source of spare parts.

Transferred submarines (all built by Rheinstahl Nordseewerke GmbH in Emden) were:
- S308 Stord - laid down 1 April 1966, launched 2 September 1966, commissioned 14 February 1967, transferred to PMW as ORP Sokół (Falcon, 294) 4 June 2002;
- S318 Kobben - laid down 9 December 1963, launched 25 April 1964, commissioned 17 August 1964, transferred to PMW as Jastrząb (Hawk, 296), from 2003 298) June 2002;
- S306 Skolpen - laid down 1 November 1965, launched 24 March 1966, commissioned 17 August 1966, transferred to PMW as ORP Sęp (Vulture, 295) 16 August 2002;
- S309 Svenner - laid down 8 September 1966, launched 27 January 1967, commissioned 12 June 1967, transferred to PMW as ORP Bielik (White-tailed Eagle, 296) 8 September 2003;
- S319 Kunna - laid down 3 March 1964, launched 16 June 1964, commissioned 29 October 1964, transferred to PMW as ORP Kondor (Condor, 297) 20 October 2004.
Note that Svenner / Bielik , being originally a training boat, was slightly longer than the rest of the group.
(It should be noted, that Jastrząb, being earmarked for training and cannibalisation from the beginning, was never technically commissioned into PMW, despite having name and pennant number applied to it, though in a manner of dubious formality)

From the very beginning "new" boats were used fairly intensively (within the financial constraints, that is), taking part in number of international exercises (mostly with NATO navies but also with Sweden), first of which took part already in November 2002 (Baltic Porpoise). Two of these boats also took part in the NATO anti-terrorist Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean - Bielik from January to April 2004, from October 2006 to March 2007 and from October 2010 to February 2011, and Kondor from October 2008 to March 2009 (crews of all submarines were rotated, so that actual operational experience wouldn't be limited to these two). Last but not least, Jastrząb performed faithfully its duties of training station and source of spare parts - initially in 'floating mode' and since 2011 as on-shore establishment (with doors cut into the side of the hull) and also for (occasional) promotional purposes. Inevitably, with their age, it wasn't too long before the Kobbens become more and more difficult to maintain and despite all the efforts, they couldn't be kept in line indefinitely (in 2018 navy declared tenders to repair some 200 malfunctions on Bielik but no shipyard was willing to undertake the task). First boat to be decomissioned was Kondor (on 20 December 2017), followed by Sokół (on 8 June 2018) which is now earmarked to become a museum ship in Gdynia. Two other boats - Sęp and Bielik - lasted for a bit longer, but their days are now coming to an end - while still formally commissioned, they have already made their last cruises under own power on 8 December 2020 (together with Orzeł, for a commemorative photo-op) and in March 2021 they were towed to Stocznia Remontowa in Gdańsk for removal of batteries and other potentially dangerous materials.

Although meant to be just a stop-gap solution, before funding for new submarines is available (exactly like was the case with Pr.641's they replaced), Kobbens turned out to be just another confirmation of old Polish (rather cynical) saying that 'provisional is most enduring', as the delay in purchase of these 'new submarines' is just about to enter its third decade. They served in the Polish Navy for 19 years and in that period all of them reached their 50th birthday (and even a bit more) - a very notable achievment for a submarine, although brought by necessity, rather than their inherent qualities. With them gone, the once-proud Polish submarine force is down to just single boat, and that - as mentioned above - largely on paper. As the programme Orka for the purchase of new submarines drags since 2013 and has been recently suspended, future of Polish "silent service" doesn't seem bright.

Poland, Sęp (II), 2003
[ img ]

Poland, Bielik (II), 2004
[ img ]

Poland, Jastrząb-Kobben, 2012
[ img ]

Length: 47,2 meters - ( 4720 / 15,24 = 309,71 or 310 pixels)
Length - Svenner/Bielik: 48,7 meters - ( 4870 / 15,24 = 319,55 or 320 pixels)

Sources:
Ciślak Jarosław, Dywizjon Okrętów Podwodnych, "Morze, Statki i Okręty" 2012, nr 5.
Grotnik Tomasz, Kobbeny, czyli pół wieku pod wodą, "Morze" 2017, nr 3.
Grotnik Tomasz, Nowy okręt dla Marynarki Wojennej, "Okręty Wojenne" 2002, nr 3.
Koszela Witold, Biało-czerwona flota, Oświęcim 2019.
Koszela Witold, Okręty floty polskiej, Oświęcim 2017.
Krzewiński Jacek, Okręty podwodne typu Kobben (207), "Okręty" 2013, nr 4.
Malinowski Jarosław, Okręty podwodne z Norwegii, "Okręty Wojenne" 2002, nr 2.
Zawadzki Wojciech, Okręty podwodne Typu 207, "Nowa Technika Wojskowa" 2002, nr 7.
https://defence24.pl/

The End?...


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sebu
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: July 8th, 2021, 8:30 am
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Great work overall eswube...
Hopefully not The End... perhaps you're running out of subs but there is a lot more to reveal.


Last edited by sebu on September 12th, 2021, 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hood
Post subject: Re: Ships of the Polish Navy - submarinesPosted: July 8th, 2021, 9:58 am
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Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:07 am
A fantastic end to this thread, superb quality work!

The only issue I would raise is the credits, on the two Whiskeys you have Portsmouth Bill's credit on only one of them, surely it should be on both.
I hope Portsmouth Bill still looks in here from time to time, I know he would love to see the Whiskey given such a good makeover (he must have drawn his version about ten years ago).

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