Błyskawica file photo [3219]

Błyskawica

CountryPoland
Ship ClassGrom-class Destroyer
Builder NameJ. Samuel White, Cowes, Britain
Laid Down1 Sep 1935
Launched1 Oct 1936
Commissioned25 Nov 1937
Decommissioned1 May 1976
Displacement1,975 tons standard
Length374 feet
Beam37 feet
Draft11 feet
Speed39 knots
Crew192
Armament8x102mm anti-aircraft, 4x40mm anti-aircraft, 4x20mm anti-aircraft, 6 torpedo launchers

Contributor:

ww2dbaseBłyskawica was a British-built destroyer of the Polish Navy. On 29 Aug 1939, she was among the three destroyers that participated in Operation Peking, aimed at preventing the total loss of the Polish Navy in the likely case of a war with Germany. After an uneventful run-in with German light cruiser Königsberg and a destroyer, the destroyers made rendezvous with British destroyers Wanderer and Wallace, then at 1737 on 1 Sep they docked in Edinburgh. She remained in service under the Polish banner (though under command of the British Royal Navy) for the remainder of the war. On 7 Sep 1939, she made contact with a German submarine, resulting in possibly the first combat between Allied and Axis warships. In May 1940, Błyskawica and her sister ship Grom bombarded German positions and downed two German aircraft off the coast of Norway; Grom was sunk during that campaign. During the German invasion of France, she helped evacuate French and British troops from Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo. In 1941, her 120mm guns were replaced with British 102mm anti-aircraft guns.

ww2dbaseOn the nights of 4 and 5 May 1942, 160 German bombers raided the shipyards at the Isle of Wight town of Cowes; Błyskawica was coincidentally there for repairs and helped to defend the shipyard with her anti-aircraft weapons. Although the shipyards and the town suffered serious damage from the raids, Błyskawica's quick plunge into action possibly saved the town from worse fate.

ww2dbaseFor the remainder of the war, Błyskawica performed convoy and patrol duties in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. She and other British warships engaged in battle with German destroyers on 8 Jun 1944 off Ushant, France, in the English Channel.

ww2dbaseBłyskawica returned to Poland after the war. On 1 May 1976 she became a museum ship in the Baltic port city of Gdynia. She is now the oldest preserved destroyer in world.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2007

Destroyer Błyskawica Interactive Map

Błyskawica Operational Timeline

25 Nov 1937 Błyskawica was commissioned into service.
1 May 1976 Błyskawica was decommissioned from service.

Photographs

Polish destroyers Grom and Burza during Operation Peking, viewed from destroyer Błyskawica, circa 29 Aug-1 Sep 193976mm anti-aircraft gun aboard ORP Blyskawica, Britain, 13 Sep 1940Błyskawica in the North Atlantic during WW2Conrad and Błyskawica during exercise, 1946
See all 23 photographs of Destroyer Błyskawica



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Paul Mozdzanowski says:
5 Sep 2016 08:35:12 PM

My dad Joseph K Mozdzanowski server on two Polish destroyers during ww2. One was the Grom but I'm not sure of the other one. He was sunk twice, once in Norway. Since he passed we are trying to get a manifest indicating he served on those ships. All help is appreciated.

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More on Błyskawica
Event(s) Participated:
» Operation Peking
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway
» Invasion of France and the Low Countries

Destroyer Błyskawica Photo Gallery
Polish destroyers Grom and Burza during Operation Peking, viewed from destroyer Błyskawica, circa 29 Aug-1 Sep 1939
See all 23 photographs of Destroyer Błyskawica




Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944