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Nice to see some Polish Navy Shirogane.


Thank you :)


I recall reading somewhere that the German army used three times as many bullets invading Poland, as compared to France. I think that it's fair to say that that fact alone tells a lot about Poland that certain people would like to forget.


It is true. German stocks of bombs and ammunition ended in the first week of fighting in Poland. In addition, the German soldier had shot more ammunition than in France.

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I do not agree with you. As to the evaluation points is the same as France. France committed a error like these:


1. The French and the British ignored the conclusions of the September campaign on the Polish front, attributing the defeat only poor organization and command of the Polish Army.


2. French and British army and air force ignored the opinions of Polish soldiers and airmen who in their reports for the top generals reported that the tactics used by the armies and air France and Britain may end up destroying forces. Polish officers from September 1939 in their reports explained what was Blitzkrieg.


3. The period between 17 September 1939 and 9 April 1940, has not been well spent on the reinforcement by the French army and air force.


4. French army and air force ignored the power of the Luftwaffe. A particularly dive bombers Junkers Ju-87.


5. The mass escape and panic of civilians from the bombed cities by the Luftwaffe and blocking roads army. This is what happened in Poland 1939. happened in France in 1940 and Soviet Russia in 1941.

While this was a significant contributing factor I believe there was more to it than that or else the Maginot would have fallen first. The Panzers broke through broke through the Ardennes, a heavily forested area that most viewed as impassable. Once the Panzer core broke through here they raced to the English channel cutting off the British Expeditionary Forces, Belgian Army, and the well equipped French divisions from Paris forcing them to hold at Dunkirk until they could be evacuated. Paris was wide open after that. Like I said I'm not detracting from the Poles but Germany pulled a master stroke of strategy which is why they didn't expend as much ammunition as they had to in Poland.

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  • 4 weeks later...

About how little was missing to Polish Navy sailed Japanese cruisers.


Polish Navy since its inception in 1918, struggled to gain even one cruiser for the Navy. Unfortunately, every time the efforts of such ships were unsuccessful. 20 of July 1930 Polish Embassy in Japan, visited the Japanese engineer from the company Okura & Co. in Tokyo. They wanted to make a deal Polish Navy. The Japanese offered to us in July 1930 buying cruisers for sale were ten ships! - Ohi, Kitakami, Tama, Kuma, Tatsuta, Tenryu, Yahagi, Hirato, Chikuma and Tone! After a very bargain price, all ten cruisers. The Japanese explained the necessity of sales resulting from the provisions of The London Naval Treaty, according to which all these ships were hit until 1936 for scrapping. Therefore, they wanted to liquidate ships. Apart from that the Japanese wanted to sell to be able to quietly build new cruisers Mogami and other ships. They declared even carry them to the Baltic Sea, crew training, ammunition, spare parts and etc. From 1919 to 1945 Poland was an silent ally of Japan. A relationship between the two countries were decidedly better than the Nazi German. Because the main enemy was ... Soviet Russia. In 30 years, due to changes in the international situation, bilateral relations have been strengthened. Developed military cooperation, especially in the field of cryptology and intelligence directed at the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.


Polish Navy accepted an offer from the Japanese company. But to finalize the offer never came and and the case is not fully explained by historians marine Poland and Japan. One can assume many reasons for which a contract has not been finalized:


1. Polish government could not afford to purchase, up to ten cruisers for Polish Navy and the still prevailing in the world of The Great Depression.


2. In the French shipyards they were built Wicher-class destroyer and Wilk-class submarines for the Polish Navy. Much of the naval budget was passed for the construction of ships.


3. Manchurian Incident 1931. War with China forced the need to keep cruisers from the contract in line.



If the ships entered the Polish Navy would be the most exotic ships in the Baltic Sea. Surely the name of the ships would be called mythological creatures or Polish large cities for example Lwów Lviv, Wilno Vilnius, e.t.c.

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Very interesting! I'd love a reference on this. I don't doubt its true, but it's the first I have heard of it.


In general, about the Japanese cruisers for the Polish Navy is very interesting, but no one yet not well studied this thread in the archives of the CAW - Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe (Central Military Archive) on military academy Rembertów Poland. All documents on this subject are mixed with other documents. For example, documents on the Polish Navy are mixed with documents on the armored troops!


It is much better in Japanese archives, and is known from the Polish historians, that the documents have been preserved and they are not mixed, but none they did not examine. Even the Japanese fleet experts from Japan do not know that there was such a topic! It is not known what may appear in the documents from Japan.

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About how Poles sailors kidnapped ... Polish submarine Dutch!



The second half of the 30s of the twentieth century for the Polish Navy was marked by rapid modernization. This trend scheduled between the order for two oceanic submarines. They were to join other older submarines OORP Ryś (Lynx), Wilk (Wolf) and Żbik (Wildcat). Long thought was given to whom to entrust the construction of key units of the Polish fleet. Considered among French, American or British shipyards. Finally, the choice fell on the Dutch. Their offer was the most competitive: both financially and because of modern technical solutions. After fruitful negotiations, in January 1936. It signed a very favorable contract.


Under the terms of the contract the construction of the ship named ORP Sęp (Vulture) was taken by the Rotterdam shipyard Droogdok Maatschappij. According to the projected schedule for both submarines ORP Sęp and twin unit ORP Orzeł (Eagle) - should be ready at the turn of 1938 and 1939. For a long time everything was going according to plan. It seemed that the deadlines will be met. In August of 1938. Rotterdam went even Lieutenant Commander Wladyslaw Salamon, who appointed commander of the unit. Optimism had a strong foundation, had already on October 17 was officially launching Sęp. Now, it was still only required to carry out sea trials, arm the ship and ready.

All probably would have gone like clockwork if the whole thing is not mingled with German agents. Relations between Warsaw and Berlin have become from month to month more and more strained. Poles for anything they would not accept the "generous" offer of Hitler on the putting of the city of Gdansk and the extraterritorial highway poland shut-off from the Baltic Sea. In this situation, the Third Reich could not let the state of the Polish Navy increased by another modern submarine. It would, after a potential threat to the Kriegsmarine in the coming armed conflict. In February 1939 Droogdok Maatschappij shipyard in Rotterdam, where he built the ship, fell unexpectedly pace of work. The reasons come to light in talks Polish-Dutch. Germany actually sought to interrupt or delay work on the ship and to a large extent they have succeeded. Reports about the worrying situation in Rotterdam came to Admiral Świrskiego. In this case, the decision could only be one: Pull the ship from the shipyard in the state in which it is, and it come to Poland.


The opportunity came only in April 1939, when she passed the depth trials. The problem was that almost all the crew were the Dutch and a couple of Polish seamen, who with great reluctantly agreed to it to Polish Commander Salamon took over command of them. In order not to arouse suspicion Poles do not take any extra-curricular activities to the end of the trial. However, as soon as it is ascertained that everything works as expected he took the initiative responsible for receiving ship, Lieutenant Commander Edward Szystowski. He received a clear order, Sęp of bringing into the country. The Dutch, of course, nor thought to agree to this, but the commander was adamant Szystowski. Even threatened to use weapons. In the end, after a heated exchange of words he got his way. Dutch sailors left the ship, which at 10.10 on April 16, 1939. Polish flag hung.


Wait a minute, or about something that we do not forget? And where the crew? Two officers and several Polish sailors is "a little" too little to cope with such a large unit. Of course, in advance of the idea. Nearby he was waiting Polish destroyer ORP Burza (Storm). At a prearranged signal submarine he swam to the side of the destroyer. Immediately began reloading on Sęp armament and supplemented crew. It lasted almost 12 hours, 22.00 ships moved in the direction of Gdynia. In contrast, the destroyer ORP Burza took the Dutch sailors and sailed to Rotterdam and the return them to the yard. Unfortunately, at the height of the island of Bornholm ORP Sęp ran out of fuel, so the destroyer ORP Burza had to take it in tow. Therefore, for the purpose ships reached after 40 hour cruise. On Tuesday Vulture entered the naval base in Gdynia with a bang. The blame was a mistake instead turn left on the motor running back, given forward. Sęp hit two minesweepers. Fortunately, there were no more damage. Has suffered mostly ego sailors. Nevertheless, the finishing works to prolong, because you had to wait for parts that have to supply the Dutch. Finally submarine ORP Sęp until early July 1939 was fully ready to serve in the Polish navy.

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Interesting read, Shiro! I'll be honest, I didn't realize the poles even had submarines of their own, so this is all cool stuff to me.

It's nice that someone interested in the fate of Polish submarines. Not many people know in the West, the Polish navy had submarines and refer to them too much success. Although they are not as great as other crew Allied submarines of the USA, England, the Soviet Union and the Netherlands. But they have had a major impact on the action during World War II. For example, Polish submarine ORP Dzik and ORP Sokol have had numerous successes in the mediterranean sea drowning the many units of Italian and German. The crews of Polish ships they did a boarding ships. The sailors and the Admiralty of Britain called ships "Terrible twins".

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But they have had a major impact on the action during World War II. For example, Polish submarine ORP Dzik and ORP Sokol have had numerous successes in the mediterranean sea drowning the many units of Italian and German. The crews of Polish ships they did a boarding ships. The sailors and the Admiralty of Britain called ships "Terrible twins".


I did not know this, thank you for sharing it.

Although... I don't wish to sound disrespectful, but considering the overall successes of Allied (not just British, but even Polish and also Greek and Dutch) submarines, a total of 100'000 t sunk or damaged doesn't exactly strike me as a "major impact", even though it's still a very decent tally.

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The successes of Polish submarines in World War II



Here is a list of confirmed sunken ships by the Polish submarines in chronological order:



1 X 1939. At. 14.30 - on a mine wagered by ORP "Żbik" sinking of the German minesweeper M-85 (640 tons) of 23-24 victims to the position 54 degrees 46'N, 18 ° 45'E on the Baltic Sea.


7 XII 1939. - Baltic explosion fished network of mines sinking German fishing boat "Heimat" (13 GRT), which eventually sank in the hall at 54 degrees 37'50N, 019 degrees 47'E. Mina put the ORP "Wilk".


22 I 1940. - on a mine wagered by ORP "Żbik" sinking of the German trawler "Muehlhausen PG-314" (327 BRT), sunk around midnight at 54 degrees 54'N, 018 ° 40'E (or 54 degrees 53'N, 018 ° 42'E. The entire crew of 14 people were killed.


8 IV 1940. - ORP "Orzeł" sinks 3 torpedoes stopped near Lillesand Norway at the German freighter "Rio de Janeiro" (5261 BRT) with transport troops, guns and vehicles after hours. 13.15 in position 58 ° 08'N, 08 ° 29'E. 164 German soldiers were killed and 19 members of the crew of the freighter.


2 XI 1941. - Mediterranean Sea ORP "Sokół" sinks fire from a cannon Italian freighter "Balilla" (2469 BRT) at approx. 3.10 in position 38 ° 30'N, 12 ° 25'E.


12 II 1942. - Mediterranean Sea ORP "Sokół" sinks Italian schooner "Giuseppina" (392 BRT) at approx. 21.30 15 miles south of buoy No. 7 at the school of Kerkennah. Using explosives after searching and capture maps of Italian minefields.


24 V 1943. - 16 miles east of Cape Spartivento ORP "Dzik" hits 2 torpedoes Italian tanker "Carnaro" (8257 BRT), sailing, escorted by two destroyers and 3 aircraft. The tanker was practically destroyed (destroyed by fire, and the drive was beyond repair). The wreck was towed to Messina and then Naples ''Carnaro".The Germans have their own sink, before the entrance to the port of Allied forces in the beginning of October 1943.


15 VIII 1943. - ORP "Dzik" attacked the convoy under Bari 2 ships escorted by 7 military units. Torpedoes fired at. 20.32 hit Italian freighter "Goggiam" (1994 BRT), which was completely destroyed, despite attempts to rescue and sunk at the wharf port.


21 IX 1943. - ORP "Dzik" attacked at the exit port of Bastia in Corsica and sinks the German freighter "Nicolaus" (6486 BRT).


22 IX 1943. - Attack ORP "Dzik" on a team of 11 armed ferry landing, flowing Reg. Bastia under the cover of the aircraft. Torpedo shooting on the course of over the surface sink ferries German "F-420 C" (155 tons) and 2 other (about 130 tons) - probably the "SF-172" and "SF-176".


7 X 1943. - Near the port of Pola ORP "Sokół" sinking of the biggest hit Polish podwodniaków - German freighter passenger "Eridania" (7094 BRT) in position 44 degrees 48'N, 013 ° 52'E. On the same day and almost at the same spot the fire work damaged the small Italian freighter "Ugliano" (160 BRT), but he escaped with the guns of battery port of Pola and aircraft.


11 XI 1943. - ORP "Sokół" fire from a cannon and boarding destroys German schooner "Argentina" (64 BRT) near the island of Amorgos on the Aegean Sea.


17 IX 1943. - ORP "Dzik" on the Aegean Sea sinks to the Germans used the Greek boat "Agios Andreas Pi-2119" - the capacity of approx. 40 BRT about eight miles from the city of Monemvasia in position 36 ° 42'N, 23 degrees 15'E.


18 XI 1943. - ORP "Sokół" destroys on the Aegean Sea a Germans Greek boat "Taxiarchis Sy-370" - (8 BRT) in position 36 ° 34'N, 25 ° 23'E.


19 XI 1943. - ORP "Sokół" in a bay near the town of Mochlos sinking torpedoes at. 9.55 schooner "Agios Antonios, Kal-192" (145 BRT) in the position of 35 degrees 11'N, 25 degrees 59 'E and in the neighboring bay (to the west. Of the previous), despite the dense battery fire torpedoes sinking schooner "Konstantinos-Sa- 38 "(140 BRT) and the patrol boat "Moewe "(110 tons) after hours. 15.08.


12 XII 1943. - ORP "Sokół" on the Aegean Sea to the north. From the island of Lesbos sinks 4 schooners (the hours. 21.12 to 22.30); "Agios Nicolaos Sy-262" (114 BRT), "Agios Eleimon Sy-274" (130 BRT), "Agios Nicolaos Sy-436" (100 BRT) and "Agios Nicolaos Pi-790" (35 GRT).


15 XII 1943. - ORP "Sokół" sinking boat "Panagia Chi-139" (80 GRT) in position 39 ° 43'N, 025 ° 28'E.


9 I 1944. - ORP "Dzik" on the Aegean Sea sinking schooner "Eleni My-200" (90 GRT), which was carrying 11 German soldiers (at the sight Polish sailors they fled on a boat). The schooner was blown up after searching in position 39 ° 37'N, 025 ° 43'E in the chair. 01.00. On the same day, "Dzik" sank the fishing boat "Agia Markella Chi-436" (40 BRT) in the chair. 18.43 in position 38 ° 25'N, 025 ° 21'E.


12 I 1944. - ORP "Sokół" sank the Greek cutter "Agia Paskarevi Cha-53" (22 BRT) in position 36 ° 30'N, 024 ° 44'E.


The success of combat should not be counted ramming unit underwater in the North Sea by ORP "Wilk" June 20, 1940. (Could be Dutch submarine "O-13" - sunk by mistake or U-boat "U-122"), or sunk in a collision with ORP "Sokół" Italian 36-ton patrol boat "Meattini" September 12, 1943. at the port of Brindisi (just after the capitulation of Italy).




Summing up the results Polish submarines:

ORP "Dzik" sank 8 units (approx. 9145 BRT) and 1 destroyed (8257 BRT)

ORP "Sokół" sank 14 units (approx. 10,903 tons) 1 ship damaged (160 BRT) and 3 boats damaged (approx. 30 tons)

ORP "Orzel" - 1 freighter (5261BRT)

ORP "Żbik" - 2 units (967 tons)

ORP "Wilk" - 1 cutter (13 BRT)


In total, Polish submarines sank certainly 26 enemy units (26209 tonnes), 1 destroyed (8257 BRT), damaged 1 (160 BRT) and possibly 3 (30 BRT)



With commanders tonnage "reigns" Cpt. Bolesław Romanowski - sank 7 units (9020 tons) and destroyed 1 – (8257 BRT)

Capt. Jerzy Koziołkowski - sank 12 units (8042 tons)

Capt. Jan Grudziński - sank 1 unit (5261 BRT)

Capt. Borys Karnicki - 2 units (2861 BRT)

LCDR. Michał Żebrowski - 2 units (967 tons)

Por. Andrzej Kłopotowski - 1 (approx. 40 tons)

Capt. Bogusław Krawczyk - 1 (13 BRT)



On the based on Polish magazine's maritime "Morza, Statki i Okręty" "Sea, Boats and Ships"



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The Peking Plan or Operation Peking - withdrawal operation part of the Polish Navy three destroyers from the Baltic Sea to Britain before the outbreak of World War II.



This operation had no official codename, but it is commonly called by historians the plan "Pekin", from the sound signal for its implementation. Codename this plan, derived from the name of the capital of China, in the postwar publications usually given in a modern sound "Pekin" (transcription Chinese-Mandarin), but in the original order it occurs in the pre-war spell: "Peking" (transcribed Japanese-Manchurian Beijing names).


The plan included the withdrawal Destroyers Squadron composed of three Polish destroyers ORP "Błyskawica" ("Lightning"), "Grom" ("Thunder") and "Burza" ("Storm"). This solution was dictated by a high probability of destruction these ships, if in case the expected war with Germany remained at the Baltic Sea. These ships were relatively large and there was a great risk that in the first days of the war will be destroyed by enemy air force as an easy target. It was decided to leave the country's fourth destroyer ORP "Wicher" ("Gale") because it was supposed to insure minelayer ORP "Gryf" ("Griffin") and needed to general overhaul mechanisms, and also was previously expected to intervene in Gdansk, in the case of the attempt to annexation of the city by the Germans. In case the Germans occupied Gdansk ORP "Wicher" was supposed to strafe German authorities: German buildings and mail and provide support to offensive Polish infantry from Westerplatte.


In view of the Polish-British alliance, destroyers had to go to the British ports and from there together with the British cause of action against the Third Reich. On the other hand, after the outbreak of the war tear the surface ships of the Baltic Sea through the Danish Straits would be impossible to German blockade. Approved evacuation destroyers expressed in the May 1939 General Inspector of the Armed Forces march. Edward Rydz-Rydz and the British Admiralty. Within August 1939 for authorization on the implementation of the plan addressed repeatedly chief of the Directorate of the Polish Navy cadmium. Jerzy Świrski.

The plan to withdraw three destroyers eventually took the form of a special command Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Unruga No. 1000 on August 26, 1939. This order was received and the commander of the destroyer squadron leader in secured envelopes with the inscription: "Nankin-Nanjing” or “Peking-Beijing" which were to be open to the three-time radio signal "Peking" or "Nankin"by the Polish Radio Warsaw. Plan "Peking" provided immediately leave the port and team leader left the decision on the choice of route and speed, and the plan "Nanjing" predicted leaving the base of the calculation to between Bornholm and Christiansø be after sunset, and near Malmo - midnight.


Task: Dyon composed of O.O.R.P. "Błyskawica", "Grom" and "Burza" has a special command to go to England.

6. From the minute you leave the base - the total combat readiness.
7. Before the declaration of war to act only if clearly aggressive opponent (the use of weapons, an insult to the flag)
8. After the termination of the war - in the event of meeting the enemy from fighting not avoid. If the meeting overwhelming force - to try to break away from the enemy. After exhausting all means of combat or if the situation becomes difficult, you should aim to take refuge in a neutral port, mainly Swedish, as a last resort - all other, unless the return to the base will be feasible. If the shelter is in a foreign port is not feasible - to destroy the ship. (...)



August 30, 1939. Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły decided to refer three destroyers to England. That day at 12.55 transferred code flagship of the signal tower at Oksywie to Destroyer Squadron command reads: Dyon KT. Peking. At 14.15 destroyers under the command of the commander of the squadron commander Lt. Roman Stankiewicz set off on the road to the UK. ORP "Błyskawica" under the command of Lieutenant Commander Wlodzimierza Kodrębskiego, ORP "Burza" the commander of Lieutenant Commander Stanislaw Nahorskim and "Grom" commanded by Lieutenant Commander Wlodzimierza Hulewicz passed fairly quietly through the Baltic Sea, but were discovered by the German submarine "U-31" approx. 55 km north of Rozewie and patrol boat "Vorpostenboot 7".


At the height of Bornholm Polish team was followed by unnoticed German destroyers "Friedrich Ihn", "Erich Steinbrinck", "Friedrich Eckoldt" and "Bruno Heinemann". Polish team then went to the Øresund Sound, encountering there just after midnight, three miles south of lightship "Falsterborev", the German light cruiser "Königsberg" and a destroyer and two old torpedo “T 107” and “T 111”, which came out about 20.55 in the sea from Sassnitz. Announced the alarm of fire on Polish ships, but, there were no clashes, as the Kriegsmarine sailors have not yet had orders to begin warfare.

Polish ships then passed the Kattegat and Skagerrak. August 31 the band was detected by the submarine “U-5” and “U-19” and accompanied by a certain time two German seaplanes, so to confuse them, the Polish team headed for the shores of Norway. At that time, the German radio Breslau reported in the Polish service information output from the Polish squadron. During the night of August 31 to September 1 they changed course to Great Britain, and then squadron passed through the North Sea. About 9.25 crew learned on the radio about the war. At 12.58 Polish ships met with British destroyers HMS "Wanderer" and "Wallace", Captain S. H. Denisa - liaison officer - and a signaller and radio operator. He led the ships into port. After entering the Firth of Forth Polish squadron in the chair. 17.37 anchored within the port of Edinburgh. September 3, 1939 Great Britain and France declared war on the Third Reich.


The departure of Polish destroyers to the West has been badly received by part of the armed forces and Polish society. It allowed, however, to attend Polish ships in hostilities alongside the Royal Navy from the very beginning of the war and was protected them from the undoubted rapid destruction, as demonstrated by the fate of the fourth destroyer ORP "Wicher" and the minelayer ORP "Gryf", which remained on the Polish coast were sunk in the region Hel by the German air force already on September 3, 1939. in the face of the withdrawal of Polish destroyers, Germany on August 30 appealed from the Baltic to the North Sea forces team consisting of 3 light cruisers wiceadm. Hermann Denscha ("Nuremberg", "Cologne" and "Leipzig") and the submarine "U-31", "U-32", "U-35". ORP "Błyskawica" and "Burza" survived World War II.




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Not to detract from the Poles (they receive way less credit than they deserve), the French were prepping for a drag-out fight at the Maginot and were very surprised when the German's just went around. Panzers were so deep in to France that massive retreat was the only option if there was any hope to defend Paris (there wasn't). It was a testament to German strategic thinking and bold risk taking, the French were completely turned around, That's also where the unfair French "Retreat" stereotype.


I think it's only due to us arrogant Americans that we poke fun of the French. I mean...the nation was tired and they did bet a lot on the Maginot line. However, they threw their cards in the wrong pot...and had to retreat at Dunkirk :P.

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Keep in mind, the french didn't even want a war, and were unprepared for it in general. Save for the germans, they lost the highest percentage of their population in the First World War. Over a third of their military age men died on those battlefields, and didn't have children. So many people weren't born that the generation after WWI was known as the hollow generation. France was absolutely against a second war, and as thus, weren't prepared for one.

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Keep in mind, the french didn't even want a war, and were unprepared for it in general. Save for the germans, they lost the highest percentage of their population in the First World War. Over a third of their military age men died on those battlefields, and didn't have children. So many people weren't born that the generation after WWI was known as the hollow generation. France was absolutely against a second war, and as thus, weren't prepared for one.


I definitely agree. It's like the whole nation got PTSD from the Great War O_o.

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Keep in mind, the french didn't even want a war, and were unprepared for it in general. Save for the germans, they lost the highest percentage of their population in the First World War. Over a third of their military age men died on those battlefields, and didn't have children. So many people weren't born that the generation after WWI was known as the hollow generation. France was absolutely against a second war, and as thus, weren't prepared for one.


It is not true that the French do not want to fight at the beginning of World War II. A year before the outbreak of war in France created (besides existing today) IFOP - Institut Français d'Opinion Publique, which the French Institute of Public Opinion. Until September 1939 he had to carry out several important surveys. They shed some light on what they thought about the situation in Europe, ordinary Frenchmen, not the political elite. Let's start with the Munich conference (29-30 September 1938). We are accustomed to the vision according to which the French feted filled with relief returning from Germany President Daladier, who gave Czechoslovakia into the hands of the Nazis, as long as buy some peace of Western Europe. Indeed, the crowds cheered in Paris, but against the agreement. At the same time 70% of respondents said that if Hitler make further request that France and the United Kingdom should answer them by force. Note that not all reviews were embedded in a vacuum. Ordinary French authentically expecting a war. As noted by Daniel Hucker in the book "Public Opinion and the End of Appeasement in Britain and France," in April 1939 45% of respondents predicted that the European armed conflict break out in a few months. Another survey, in June 1939 brought even more surprising results. While the atmosphere on the continent thickened, and the war literally hung in the balance, IFOP decided to check whether the French are willing to die for Gdansk and is holding its declaration of a few months because Hitler was put forward new demands!

The fundamental question was: "Is France should use military force to maintain the current status of Gdansk?". Shocking results given in book "Poisoned peace" Gregor Dallas. 76% of respondents answered "yes." Only 17% were against, and 7% had no opinion. In France, however, in contrast for example to the United States, the authorities have not had attached no meaningless to public opinion polls.

It is worth noting that in the UK also carried out before the war polls, which - despite the alleged distancing Brits! - have brought identical results. On the pages of "Public Opinion and the End of Appeasement ..." we read that 76% of respondents in the UK, interviewed by Gallup, agreed that their country should fight for Gdańsk.


Politics and military doctrines of England and of France led to such a beginning of the war.


September 12, 1939 was held in Abbeville secret Anglo-French conference, enhancing the issue of aid Poland. It was considered not about helping Poland and cessation of fighting the French troops in Germany. About this learned after World War II. What's funny after five years - in September 1944 - the town was liberated by Poles from First Polish armored division.

In Polish French Pact French troops had to attack the Germans over the front after two weeks of the entire army. They frightened, another player of Soviet Russia and Germany and their pact not to aggression and mutual assistance. When the Polish army fought with the German army and the expected support from the east of Poland, the Soviets invaded unexpectedly 17.09.1939 helping Hitler destroying the Polish army.


World War I made great havoc across the continent, not only in France. No country except the Soviet Russia was not ready for the next great war.

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You bring up some very intriguing information. I do believe that being ready for a war and wanting one are two different things, though. The French wanted to stop Hitler, but they did not want to go to war if it could be avoided. Your information, while good, merely states that they would use force if they saw it to be necessary, that they were willing to fight, not that they wanted to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll talk about a little-known events in the West that could cause that World War II could not come to her in 1939.


Thanks to Jozef Pilsudski could prevent World War II. We were able to save 50 million people. Europe to get rid of the Führer before created a military power. It has just Pilsudski as the only European leaders saw a threat to the entire continent in conquering power in Germany Hitler. For several years, he provoked the Germans to bring about a preventive war, which the Poles would surely have won.


January 30, 1933, with the support of the majority of the generals, leading representatives of industry and finance, Adolf Hitler was appointed by Paul von Hindenburg as chancellor of Germany. 27 February of the same year, burned down the Reichstag (parliament) in Berlin. Hitler, of course, used the event for their own purposes. With a neutral attitude Hindenburg dissolved the parliament. March 23 introduced a law on powers of attorney, which in practice transferred all power to Hitler.


Pilsudski well knowing the murderous plans of Hitler, saw in it a threat peace prevailing at that time in Europe. Marshal well aware that the outbreak of another war is only a matter of time. He was not indifferent to this because he knew that the scene of the fighting could again become Poland. The aide Lepecki Pilsudski once asked whether Hitler is going to the invasion of Poland. Pilsudski replied: "Even if we attacked him, it would also be defending." Therefore Marshal begin preparations for preventive war, still at the same time provoke the Germans. In March 1931, the Senate of the Free City of Danzig unilaterally pronounced the agreement for use by Polish ships from the Port of Gdansk as a port d'attache. Council of the League of Nations September 19, 1931, he turned over the matter to the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague on December 11 stated that the existing agreements do not constitute a basis for the stationing of Polish navy warships in Gdansk. Protest of the Polish authorities to the Council of the League of Nations was rejected, also recommended that the authorities of the Republic and the Free City of regulated this matter directly with each other. May 1, 1932, the Senate of the Free City, using the ruling, has introduced a new port regulations, according to which the Polish ships were to be treated the same as the ships of other countries, ie. The entrance to the port of Gdansk would be possible only after obtaining the consent of the Senate. The case stood on a knife-edge in 1932, against scheduled for June this year, the visit of the Royal Navy destroyers in Gdansk. Wherein was an incident on June 15, 1932., When his personal order, without the consent of the German authorities of the Free City of Danzig, the port received a Polish destroyer "Wicher" to do the honors to the visiting city squadron of ships of the British Royal Navy composed of HMSS "Campbell", "Westminster", "Walpole," and "Vidette" under the command of Cdr. H.D. Pridhama-Wippel.

For this crew, "Wicher" received the order to fire to the nearest government building if the authorities had opposed the ship. After taking the position of Hitler chancellor in January 30, 1933, Pilsudski took into account the possibility of a short and a local conflict with Germany in the spring of 1933. He wanted to irritate Hitler that he first attacked. March 6, 1933 r. Polish freighter "Wilia" landed in the Polish guards at Westerplatte additional, unforeseen in the contract company of infantry.


Half a year later in Krakow Błoniach organized the largest parade in the history of Polish cavalry. Pulled on her best units as if they set off to war. October 6, 1933 year in Poland gen. Gustaw Orlicz-Dreszer decrees alarm. Then just held exercises near the border with Germany, which was attended by about 80% of large units of the Polish Army. That day, collected between Katowice and Krakow 110 thousand soldiers in full readiness. As a result of reports Abwery, Germany treated seriously the possibility of attack from Polish. Frightened Minister of War gen. Von Blomberg, has issued October 25, 1933 r. Directive for the German armed forces in the event of conflict with the Poland.


2 May 1933 year, the Pilsudski made a formal ultimatum to Hitler; Germany or they renounce request revision of the Polish border, or war! Hitler passed it on behalf of the Marshal, at a meeting in the building of the Reich Chancellery Alfred Wysocki, Polish ambassador in Berlin. Hitler was shocked he had not yet had a powerful army. Therefore, there was nothing to but to accept the ultimatum and continue to adhere to the existing treaties. A week before the Berlin meeting was held; Hitler and the Reichswehr members discussed the possibility of attack from Polish. The generals have convinced Hitler to resign Poland argued that the Germany that can effectively defend against the Poles only a 30-mile front and do not have the resources to run the war.


Polish Army in 1933, had a good chance to win the war with Germany. Third Reich then stuck in an economic crisis. Hitler wanted to quickly militarize the army, but it was not so easy. Germany did not have an army, only a weak 100 thousand. Reichswere. Pilsudski while his disposal 400 thousand. well-trained soldiers, a small amount of motorized equipment, but the Germans by the limitations of the Versailles Treaty had even less. Polish artillery, mobile and well-armed with cannons, machine guns and mortars cavalry brigade gave us a big advantage. When performing general mobilization could gain further 250- 300 thousand. soldiers. We also had ammunition, when Germany did not have them at all. East Prussia, the Free City of Gdańsk and the western part of Silesia were practically defenseless, you could take them almost without a fight.


Pilsudski was well aware that he could not himself overthrow Hitler. Therefore repeatedly appealed to the leaders of other countries. He tried to draw attention to the growing threat from Nazi Germany. The most he wanted the support of France and Britain. He led them to numerous requests, or in the event of an attack will be able to help Poland. The answers did not sound encouraging. France and England did not see the danger of Hitler. On the Seine he was considered rather fanatic. Anyway, when in 1939, the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia and the Sudeten, France and England are still unaware of the seriousness of the situation. The problem noticed only in 1940, when Hitler invaded Western Europe, including France. The British feared that the war with Germany will bring 30 thousand. victims and did not want to take a chance. Wonder if ignored by Pilsudski if they knew that World War II would bring sky-high number of over 50 million victims.


25 July 1932 Poland concluded a non-aggression pact with Soviet Russia, that in case of war with Hitler not get hit in the back of Stalin. Pilsudski good intentions it shows his conversation with Lt.-Col. Kazimierz Glabiszem, an officer of the Order of the Marshal:


"The dream of Germany is a result of cooperation with Russia, as in the days of Bismarck. Access to such cooperation would be our undoing. Do not let this happen you can not. Despite huge differences in the systems and culture of Russia and Germany, you have to constantly keep an eye on this matter. The world has already established strange alliances. What to do? Depending on the situation: intimidation or weaker, or subsequent relieving relations. The game will be difficult paralysis of will and short-sightedness of the West”


Despite the misunderstanding in the governments of France and England, Pilsudski did not give up a preventive war. He spoke about the diplomatic support also to the United States. He was friends with President Hoover, who, like Pilsudski understood the Nazi threat. At the command of Hoover were taken secret military and diplomatic consultations with the Poles. In September 1932 came to Warsaw gen. Douglas MacArthur, chief of staff of US forces. Received from the Poles the most secret Soviet codes "Viola" (used by the Russians until 1954.) And "Revolution" and the elements of the German encrypting machine – Enigma. Gen. Douglas MacArthur authorization can be the first Allied commander, who saw a broken Enigme and knew about her a lot of Poles. (in December 1932, the Polish engineers have broken its code as the first). Soviet codes were to be thanking you for giving support to the diplomatic pressure on Germany.


Nevertheless, thanks to demonstrations of military strength, Germany twice have accepted the Polish ultimatum which allowed to obtain some concessions and the conclusion of a nonaggression pact. After Pilsudski's death, he began the policy of balancing between the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. The new Marshal, Gen. Edward Rydz-Śmigły on the state of the Polish armed forces as a "near disaster". Although Germany rebuilt economic power, the German generals still afraid of the Polish Army, believed that Germany will be ready for war until 1942 and strongly opposed the attack on Poland in September 1939, which caused a fury of Hitler.

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Kicia (eng. Kitty) - cat mascot of the ORP "Burza". Black cat with a sixth sense



On board the Polish destroyer ORP "Burza" service she was a kitten with a fairly common name "Kicia". Interestingly, there was a member in a conventional manner after its entry into service ship. She was on the board in a rather haphazard way, slipping wheel guard traps when the unit was stationed briefly at the base of the Hel Peninsula, just before the start of World War II. The commander of the destroyer LCDR. Stanislaw Nahorski found the appearance of cats as a good sign, and in consultation with other officers decided to enter it in the crew ... and wages. Thus, the "Kitty" received its own private salary for serving on one of the destroyers prewar PMW (Polskiej Marynarki Wojennej). Although it received a degree only younger sailor, it was located in the cab non-commissioned officers from the bow of the ship.


Admittedly, the commander of the destroyer well judged that the appearance of cats on board crew will bring happiness. Thanks to the efficient work of the Polish intelligence large part of the Polish armed forces expected the imminent war with Nazi Germany. Therefore, the biggest ships PMW received encrypted secret order to leave the base and go to the UK (the plan "Peking"). In the band units provided in this mission was and "Burza" (except it also destroyers ORP "Błyskawica" and "Grom"). board after leaving the base in Gdynia, 30 August 1939 year without obstacles arrived at UK, where the outbreak of the war, came under the command of the Royal Navy.

ORP "Burza" successfully implemented all combat missions during World War II. Once cat "Kicia" was born in his cabin six kittens. Thus, the cat crew rapidly increased, but the crew apparently did not mind. Some time later, during one of the powerful Atlantic storms "Kicia" moved her kittens on the stern, the ship's laundry (Stack them on a dry towel) right next to the cabin lieutenant Tumaniszwili. At first thought, and he had just enough potting part of its cabin by the sea waves during high sea state. Soon, however, this theory was challenged (...)


Just a few days after the "Kicia" moved her kittens on the stern, ORP "Burza" took part in combat operations near Calais. Dated May 27, 1940 at Sangatte ship with the British destroyers HMS "Vimiera" and HMS "Wessex" fired motorized column Wehrmacht. The course of fire for land, ships were attacked by a number of dive bombers Ju-87 belonging to the Luftwaffe. Exploding bombs caused damage near some equipment, torpedo tubes and fittings of the boiler No. 1 and as a result she began leveling off speed. Therefore, the commander ordered to throw overboard depth charges and torpedoes. In the meantime, the crew of the destroyer boasted some shooting down two enemy aircraft. Moments later, "Burza" received a direct hit two bombs weighing 250 kg.

As the destroyers units are relatively small, and this unarmoured, the damage was immense. The first bomb hit the foredeck, broke it, and not exploding fell into the water, the second exploded right behind kluz anchor causing the breaking part of the bottom of the ship. The destroyer took a strong of trim of up the bow, but transverse bulkheads durable water pressure and she kept the combat readiness. In contrast, the complete devastation were all communal areas on pecks, including cabin cat "Kicia", which is like through the "sixth sense" in the time left this place with kittens.

After makeshift repairs and commissioning of the boiler, accompanied by the destroyer HMS "Vimiera" moved to Dover, the last part of the way she made in tow tug. From Dover "Burza" was towed to Portsmouth to repair. None of the crew laughed then separate "Kicia" with kittens. All cats therefore remain on board the destroyer. By the end of the war, however, the cat crew thinned because during numerous stops ship in the ports and bases, longer growing kittens simply went his way (some hit the other units, and some are on land, in a port rat-catchers). When the war ended, on board the destroyer remained only "Kicia", which was soon fired from service due to old age. One of the rumors is that the cat has been with one of the sailors in the UK, who do not want to return to the communist Poland. To the country aboard "Burza" in September 1951, there were no longer returned no cat ...


Have survived three pictures of "Kitty" and her young.

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As for the cat ORP Wicher it is known that you can see it in the film "Rhapsody of the Baltic Sea" in 0.30 minutes.



Unfortunately preserved, for it no relations sailors about him. Neither his name. There are various rumors. About mascots on large ships pre-war Polish Navy war is poorly explored by experts of the Polish fleet.

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About how Bielsko as Michel wreaked havoc in the oceans as a German auxiliary cruiser.



This is a unique story of the ship, which had to swim under the white-red flag, but went to foreign fleets. He was to be the most modern seagoing ship built in Gdańsk shipyards, but won the infamous history as a merchant raider sunk during World War 17 Allied ships ...


After Poland regained independence in 1918. I immediately realized the enormous potential of the maritime trade. The rapid pace began to emerge shipping company, which in addition to the transport of goods offered also attractive tourist cruises. Ships which then sailed under the Polish flag, created in foreign shipyards, only time decided to invest and develop the domestic shipbuilding industry.



MS “Bielsko”- Unfinished Polish merchant navy ship



Built by Danziger Werft in Danzig 1938/39 as the freighter “Bielsko” for the Polish Gdynia-America-Line (GAL), she was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine 01.09.1939.



"Bonn" - hospital ship



Germany took over and finished the construction of the ship, initially giving it the name "Bonn" and setting him in the role of hospital ship . It is in this role the ship took part in the aggression against Norway in 1940.


In 1941 the decision was made, however, attempted to "Bielsko" rebuild on the auxiliary cruiser. The ship was sent to the yard, where it has been necessary reconstruction and mounted the weapons used by the German auxiliary cruiser Widder”. Six guns caliber 150 mm and one 105 mm caliber gun, four anti-aircraft cannon caliber 37mm and 20 mm, 6 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes, two reconnaissance aircraft Arado Ar 196 A-2, and even a small torpedo boat LS 4 ”Esau” ! The work was completed 07.09.1941 and was given the name.



“Michel” (HSK-9) - auxiliary cruiser of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine merchant raider. Known as Schiff 28, her Royal Navy designation was Raider H.



In his first mission he sailed 9 March 1942 of the year and worked mainly in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. During her 346 days at sea, Michel had encountered and sunk 14 allied merchant ships, for a total of 99,000 tons (GRT).


In the second mission he came May 21, 1943 from Yokohama. The mission lasted for five months, during which the "Michel" circling the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Australia and South America, sinking 3 ships with a total tonnage of approx. 27000 BRT. October 20, 1943 was torpedoed by an American submarine USS "Tarpon" just 50 miles off the coast of Japan. "Michel" sank with 290 crew members, including the commander. Only 116 survivors reached safety in Japan after a three-day journey in open boats. The loss of the Michel marked the end of the cruises of German auxiliary commerce raiders. She was the last operative German raider of World War II.


Sunken ships:


First cruise:

  • 1942-04-19 Patella 7,468 GRT - British
  • 1942-04-22 Connecticut 8,684 GRT - American
  • 1942-05-20 Kattegat 4,245 GRT - Norwegian
  • 1942-06-07 George Clymer 7,176 GRT - American
  • 1942-06-11 Lylepark 5,186 GRT - British
  • 1942-07-15 Gloucester Castle 8,006 GRT - British
  • 1942-07-16 William F Humphrey 7,893 GRT - American
  • 1942-07-17 Aramis 7,984 GRT - Norwegian
  • 1942-08-14 Arabistan 5,874 GRT - British
  • 1942-09-10 MS American Leader 6,778 GRT - American
  • 1942-09-11 Empire Dawn 7,241 GRT - British
  • 1942-11-29 Sawokla 5,882 GRT - American
  • 1942-12-08 Eugenie Livanos 4,816 GRT - Greek
  • 1943-01-02 Empire March 7,040 GRT - British

Second cruise:

  • 1943-06-15 Høegh Silverdawn 7,715 GRT - Norwegian
  • 1943-06-17 Ferncastle 9,940 GRT - Norwegian
  • 1943-09-11 India 9,977 GRT - Norwegian
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