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The Polish Navy 1918-45 - From the Polish-Soviet War to World War II (New Vanguard)

Przemyslaw Budzbon

Packed with illustrations, this is a study of the Polish warships such as the Grom-class destroyers that were developed and built in the interwar years. Newly independent Poland's naval force was created in 1920, initially with six ex-German torpedo boats. However, after German-Soviet exercises off the Polish coast in 1924, funding for warships was hastily allocated. This detailed account not only describes the Polish Navy's contribution to the Allied war effort but also the episode of the Polish destroyer Piorun which took on the Bismarck in a lone gun duel leading to the sinking of the great German battleship.
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Packed with illustrations, this is a study of the Polish warships such as the Grom-class destroyers that were developed and built in the interwar years. Newly independent Poland's naval force was created in 1920, initially with six ex-German torpedo boats. However, after German-Soviet exercises off the Polish coast in 1924, funding for warships was hastily allocated. Two destroyers and three submarines were built in France but, disappointed with their quality, Poland ordered new ships, mostly from British and Dutch shipyards. By summer 1939, the Polish Navy comprised four destroyers, five submarines, one minelayer, six minesweepers and a handful of lesser ships. Although the Grom-class destroyers were two of the fastest and best-armed destroyers of the war, the tiny Polish fleet would stand little chance against the Kriegsmarine, and on 30 August three destroyers were dispatched to Britain, followed by two submarines that escaped internment. The remaining Polish surface fleet was sunk by 3 September. In exile, the Polish Navy operated not only their own ships, but also Royal Navy warships, including a cruiser, destroyers, submarines and motor torpedo boats which fought alongside the Allies in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Arctic Convoys, and at the Normandy landings. This detailed account not only describes the Polish Navy's contribution to the Allied war effort but also the episode of the Polish destroyer Piorun which took on the Bismarck in a lone gun duel leading to the sinking of the great German battleship.

ISBN: 9781472847003
Format: Paperback
Author(s): Przemyslaw Budzbon
First Publishment Date: 23 June 2022
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Author(s) Przemyslaw Budzbon
Customer Reviews
  1. This slimline book packs in the punches - an enjoyable read
    The Polish Navy, like the nation that created it, has throughout its relatively short existence shown tremendous resolve, tenacity and an indomitable spirit. This slimline book packs in the punches as it firstly recounts the arduous creation of the Polish State and then how since the very late 19th Century European power politics have repeatedly and unashamedly swept over the country. One of the most notable being Russia who, just as currently in Ukraine, frequently and without provocation or justification, invaded for geopolitical purposes or for the seizure of land and resources. Prezemyslaw Budzbon has, through extensive research, created a fascinating insight into the early days of the Polish Navy with an extremely keen attention to detail when describing tactics and weaponry. He charts the rise of Poland to effectively create a buffer zone between warring nations on either side. In fact, all the politicians truly created was a pawn that would be sacrificed on numerous occasions over the first forty-five years of the 20th Century. Reading this book gave this reviewer that rare thing, the discovery of something I had never seen written about in any other book. The Battle of Chernobyl. Long before the city became known for the nuclear disaster it was the scene of a naval battle on 27 April 1920 when Polish under-armed river craft slugged it out with Bolshevik forces. Later in the 1930s came the existential threat to the survival of a nation from Nazi Germany. This book details how, with a limited budget, limited access to the Baltic Sea, but supreme determination and courage, the tiny Polish Navy created a legendary service history. One that also included the destroyer Piroum take on the pride of the Kriegsmarine, the battleship Bismarck in May 1941. The book is full of black and white images and quite excellent artwork created by Paul Wright. All I can say is that I enjoyed reading the book, I was educated by the book, but I was left wanting to know more about the legendary Polish Navy.

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