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

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By Przemyslaw Budzbon, Paul Wright (Illustrator)
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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.

About the Author

Przemyslaw Budzbon is a naval architect who worked on warship construction for the Soviet Navy in the 1980s. He has written widely on the history of the Polish and Soviet navies of WW2 for Warship quarterly and other European naval magazines. He contributed to Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships series and his book Soviet Navy at War 1941–45 was published in 1989. Since 2019 he has resumed his writing for Warship and has recently published two books on Polish shipyards from the post-1990 era.

Paul Wright has painted ships of all kinds for most of his career, specializing in steel and steam warships from the late 19th century to the present day. Paul's art has illustrated the works of Patrick O'Brian, Dudley Pope and C.S. Forester amongst others, and hangs in many corporate and private collections all over the world. A Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, Paul lives and works in Surrey.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472847003
ISBN-10: 1472847008
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Pages: 48
Language: English
Series: New Vanguard