Operation Peking file photo [3214]

Operation Peking

29 Aug 1939 - 1 Sep 1939


ww2dbaseAs German-Polish relations worsened in late Aug 1939, Polish leaders and those from the Western Allies alike worried that, locked in the Baltic Sea, the small Polish Navy would be no match for the German Kriegsmarine, supported by the powerful Luftwaffe. A plan was devised in which the Destroyer Division of the Polish Navy, consisted of the three modern destroyers Burza, Błyskawica, and Grom, was to make a run for Britain. Rear Admiral J√≥zef Unrug of the Polish Navy authorized the operation on 26 Aug 1939, a day after the signing of the Anglo-Polish Common Defense pact. The operation commenced on 29 Aug as Polish commander-in-chief Edward Rydz-Śmigły gave the signal "Peking". At 1415 on 29 Aug 1939 the three destroyers steamed under the command of Lieutenant Commander Roman Stankiewicz. That night, they encountered the German light cruiser K√∂nigsberg and a destroyer, but no incident broke out as Germany and Poland were not yet in a state of war. On 31 Aug, they were followed by German seaplanes, and the destroyers veered north to shake off the pursuit. The ships made rendezvous with British Royal Navy ships at 1258 on 1 Sep, three hours after they learned by radio that their home country had been invaded. At 1737 they docked in Edinburgh. The three Polish ships served in the Royal Navy for the remainder of the war while all other ships of the Polish Navy were sunk or captured within days of the invasion.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: Apr 2007


Polish destroyers Grom and Burza during Operation Peking, viewed from destroyer Błyskawica, circa 29 Aug-1 Sep 1939

Operation Peking Timeline

29 Aug 1939 A Polish destroyer squadron was evacuated to the United Kingdom as the invasion from Germany seemed imminent.

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More on Operation Peking
» Baltic Sea
» Poland
» United Kingdom

Ship Participants:
» Błyskawica
» Burza
» Grom
» K√∂nigsberg

Operation Peking Photo Gallery
Polish destroyers Grom and Burza during Operation Peking, viewed from destroyer Błyskawica, circa 29 Aug-1 Sep 1939

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