Why did poland want a war navy?

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cipiao
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Why did poland want a war navy?

Post by cipiao » 29 Dec 2004 00:16

The coast line of pre-WW II Poland was so small, and sorounded by germanic territories, with only a main port ( two if we considerer Datzing part of Poland-in fact had the status of free city inside the polish state, and 90% of its population were germans), that I dont see what role could a polish navy had. It had no importante coast line to defend; it had no dimension to face the german navy. So, what for a navy? To defend what? To face what? How could such small navy keep the polish coast free and the ports activity open( thinking that the army could keep the polish corridor open)? What was its plans and its douctrine?

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Post by Obserwator » 29 Dec 2004 01:36

It had no importante coast line to defend; it had no dimension to face the german navy. So, what for a navy? To defend what? To face what? How could such small navy keep the polish coast free and the ports activity open( thinking that the army could keep the polish corridor open)? What was its plans and its douctrine?

Well to keep its port free and open, you have forgotten that after the WWI German Navy was reduced by international obligations.
http://www.polish-navy.org/
To introduce the story of the Polish Navy I must describe the German policy of the time. Germany never agreed to Versailles Treaty, and furthermore the representatives of Western powers made decisions, which did not take, into account history and aspirations of the Poles.

Poland was granted a narrow strip of the coast, only 142 km long witch included Hel peninsula, an almost empty region with two small fishing harbours: Hel and Puck, without great port of Gdansk, who became artificial formation with title of Free City of Gdansk.

After this events Germany laid claims to the Polish regions of Pomerania, Silesia and Gdansk. These demands were accompanied by revisionist propaganda, increasing from year to year. At first they undermine and sabotage and then to violate, the provisions of the Treaty and international agreements.

As a results there was an increase of Germany military power which also included the growth of the German Navy /Kriegsmarine/, after Hitler's accession to power.

The Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany possession of submarines, naval air force and restricted her surface fleet to 6 battleships, 6 cruisers, 12 destroyers and 12 torpedo boats. Such a navy could not constitute a treat to Great Britain or France, but it was a treat for the Baltic countries


Poland has had naval traditions since 1558 when the Polish King SIGMUND AUGUST created the first Polish fleet under command Admiral Thomas SIERPINEK. In 1624 the first Polish dockyard was founded at the Puck. In November 28th, 1627 the Polish fleet under Admiral DICKMAN fought with Swedish fleet near Oliwa - Gdansk.

The first years of independence were very difficult. Germany attempted with the assistance of paramilitary German organisations to regain Silesia a highly industrialized and rich in coal region. Of course such actions forced Polish citizens to resist and fight in three bloody uprisings. Then in 1920 Soviet Union invaded Poland and quickly reached the suburbs of Warsaw our capital.The Communists tried to conquer Poland and then the rest of Europe for ideological reasons. Unfortunately for them, they lost the fight and the war against Poland and we have some 20 years of peace, after it had established non - aggression pacts with Germany and Soviet Russia.

BETWEEN THE WARS

After the World War I - Poland had many of experienced naval officers and petty officers who came from ex-Russian /72%/, Austrian /22%/ and German / 6%/ navies, /about 260 officers some of admiral ranks/ and they were trying to get warships from ex-foreign navies as war reparation. At first Great Britain promised 1 cruiser, 4 destroyers, 2 floating-bases and several motor torpedo boats. Later on, Admiralty cancelled this under the pressure of British prime minister DAVID LLOYD GEORGE, who was always unfriendly towards Poles.

In the year 1919, the so called River Flotilla was formed on the rivers of WISLA and PRYPEC on the border with Soviet Russia.During the 1920 war with Soviet Russia, the River Flotilla had 18 ships and 20 well armed motorboats operating on Prypet and Dnieper rivers with crews of 46 officers, 500 POs and seamen.

In the year 1920, a base in Puck was formed for the Polish Naval Air Force with ex-German aircrafts.

At last, in 1921 international body of ministers at Geneva agreed to hand over: 6 ex-German torpedo- boats, 360 tons each one, 27 knots, 3x 75 mm or 2x 75 mm guns and 1 x 2 torpedoes. They were named after regions of Poland: MAZUR, KASZUB, KUJAWIAK, SLAZAK, KRAKOWIAK and PODHALANIN. Moreover, other ships were bought: gunboats GENERAL HALLER, KOMENDANT PILSUDSKI - 342 tons each, guns 2x 75 mm /Finland/. Four small minesweepers came from Denmark: CZAJKA, JASKOLKA, MEWA, RYBITWA, and four river gunboats and a hydrographic ship at Gdansk.

Of course all of them served as training ships until 1931, except MAZUR, GENERAL HALLER, KOMENDANT PILSUDSKI, which stayed afloat until September 1939 after rebuilding.

Between 1920 and 1927 several plans were laid down concerning our future navy but none was approved by the Ministry of Defence due to the lack of money. It was very difficult to get money for new ships, but the Chief of the Polish Navy - Rear-Admiral J. SWIRSKI finally started to build in the Polish shipyards 4 new minesweepers and 1930 in French shipyards 2 destroyers: WICHER, BURZA, 3 submarines WILK, ZBIK, RYS . Again in 1935 other ships, 1 minelayer GRYF in French shipyard and 2 destroyers: GROM, BLYSKAWICA in England and in 1936 : 2 submarines ORZEL and SEP in Holland. In 1937 Poland started building of 2 minesweepers: ZURAW, CZAPLA.

After new port of Gdynia was built,the Polish navy had a base at Oksywie and another at Hel Peninsula with a new gun battery 4 x 152,4 mm /Bofors/.

When Germany violated the treaties it signed and begun rearming for its future conquests plans were made to react to situation:
River Flotilla /C.O. Captain W.ZAJACZKOWSKI/ in 1939 had 44 armoured ships and motorboats of about 1100 tons and auxiliary crafts of 3670 tons.

The disproportion of German and Polish Navies was so great that the Polish Navy has no chances in fighting at the high seas and for defensive fighting off shore it could be done on a limited scale only.

On land, preliminary mobilization steps were being taken and the Navy authorities under Rear-Admiral J.SWIRSKI began making efforts to obtain assistance from France and Great Britain.Polish-British Agreement was signed on August 25th 1939 then the Polish-British Naval Agreement on Nov.1939

BEGINNING OF THE WAR

A representative of the British Admiralty, Captain RAWLINGS suggested that Polish ships might be sent to one of British bases. This proposal was accepted and the plan received the code name: OPERATION PEKING. Two days before the attack of Germany,the Commander in Chief of the Polish Fleet,Rear-Admiral J. UNRUG received an order from the Warsaw Polish Naval Headquarters : "PROCEED WITH PEKING". Same day, August 30th, 1939 at 2:15 p.m., destroyers: BLYSKAWICA, GROM, and BURZA left the roadstead of Gdynia-Oksywie naval base for the roadstead of the Hel naval base and after dusk went round Hel peninsula to the West at high speed. During the night August 30/31-st they reached the British naval base at Leith in Scotlan


They were also plans to mine to sea routes that the Germans used.
Another site that you might be interested in:
http://www.bartelski.pl/crolick/pmw/

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henryk
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Post by henryk » 30 Dec 2004 22:09

Poland was a major interwar maritime power in freight and passengers. Large passenger ships travelled the Atlantic routes including New York-Gdynia and Montreal-Gdynia.
http://members.lycos.co.uk/mspilsudski/ship.html
On 29th November 1933 the Gdynia-America Line’’s Managing Director, Aleksander Leszczynski, signed a contract with Italian shipyards for ““two identical steel twin screw Motorships for passengers and cargo”” designed to comply with the Rules of Lloyd’’s Register of Shipping ““for the highest class of that institution”” complete with ““ice strengthening””.
The two new ships were to be twin stackers built at the Italian Triest-Monfalcone Cantieri Riuniti del’’ Adriatico Shipyard. With a 14,294 gross tonnage, a length of 498.8 ft and a beam width of 70.8 ft, twin screws, single acting eighteen cylinder oil engines, 2,516 horsepower and a speed of 17 knots they were designed to carry 796 passengers. The crew of approximately 303 reassuringly included one priest and five bartenders!
M/S Pilsudski was launched on December 19th 1934 and the M/S Batory followed shortly thereafter. The single stackers ‘‘Sobieski’’ and ‘‘Chrobry’’ were then launched shortly before the outbreak of World War II.

From The Polish Way - Adan Zamoyski:
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Steve
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Post by Steve » 04 Jan 2005 23:51

Polish strategic thinking untill the death of Pilsudski was concerned mainly with the Soviet Union. The war plan in case of war with the Soviets was Plan W and presumably assumptions were made in the plan that Polish shipping in the Baltic would need protection. Once the Germans started to rearm then clearly in the event of war with Germany the Polish navy with only one base near to German territory was more of a liability than a help. If the Poles had had no allies for the Navy to go to then it would have been interned somewhere however the small navy escaped and turned out to be very helpfull to the British so all was not lost.

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tigre
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Re: Why did poland want a war navy?

Post by tigre » 26 Oct 2018 04:47

Hello to all :D; a complement...........................................

ORP Wicher.

The first modern ship of the Navy of the Second Republic of Poland, built in the French shipyard Chantiers Naval Francais in Blainville, the destroyer ORP "Wicher", arrives for the first time in Gdynia. Previously in France (July 8, 1930), the white and red flag was hoisted for the first time on the ship.

On Tuesday, July 15, 1930, she arrived at Gdynia, the first of the warships built in France that were ordered by the Polish government, an extremely important event in the life of our navy. The most modern combat unit, which together with the destroyer "Burza" and the submarines "Wilk", "Ryś" and "Żbik" is the beginning of the Polish war fleet itself, is a start, in terms of our needs, very modest, but hopefully after all, there will be funds for the necessary expansion of the war fleet, which is necessary in our conditions. The "Wicher", a destroyer of the Wicher class, was received by the warships stationed in Gdynia, near the Polish coasts. "

Source: http://www.muzeummw.pl/?437,15-lipca-19 ... do-gdyni,1

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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wm
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Re: Why did poland want a war navy?

Post by wm » 28 Oct 2018 17:41

The main reason was to help to secure the lines of sea communication between France and Poland according to the Secret Military Convention concluded between France and Poland, on February 21, 1921.

And for prestige, the sea was a Polish final frontier. It generated similar excitement, interest, energy, and enthusiasm as the 1960s space exploration.

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Re: Why did poland want a war navy?

Post by Tomislav » 18 Dec 2018 14:08

Main enemy of polish navy was Soviet Union and created forces were sufficient to try to keep soviet baltic fleet inside the Gulf on Finland in case of war.

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tigre
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Re: Why did poland want a war navy?

Post by tigre » 02 Feb 2019 15:55

Hello to all :D; more...........................................

ORP Wicher.

Source: https://gazetagazeta.com/2018/07/90-lat ... rp-wicher/
https://picclick.de/Top-Foto-1935-Polni ... id=1&pid=1

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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tigre
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Re: Why did poland want a war navy?

Post by tigre » 30 Mar 2019 12:16

Hello to all :D; more...........................................

ORP Wicher.

Source: http://www.muzeummw.pl/?437,15-lipca-19 ... do-gdyni,1

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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