Monday, August 31, 2009

Remember Polish Sub Orzel

70 years ago today, WWII began with a German Naval bombardment of Westerplatte, Poland. The Red Army attacked from the East and Polish military forces either fought to the death or figured out how to live to fight another day.

Submariners aboard the Polish Sub Orzel (Eagle) sought the imagined safety of Estonia but were surprised to learn that the would be interned at the request of the Germans. While the Orzel was being declawed by having her torpedo's removed, the crew had other ideas.

(For some reason, the Swedes made a movie of the Orzels deeds back in '58.)

Waiting for the right moment, the crew overpowered two Estonian guards, cut shore power and made for the open sea.

Despite the fact that the Estonians had removed all navaigational charts from the Orzel, the crew managed to make it all the way to Rosythe in Scotland.

The Orzel later would extract a small measure of revenge by torpedoing a Wehrmacht troop transport off the coast of Norway.

The Orzel was later lost at sea in 1940. Take a moment of your time today and remember the men of the Polish Eagle still on patrol and over due.

1 comment:

Vigilis said...

"For some reason, the Swedes made a movie of the Orzels deeds back in '58"

Probably because the Swedes were first to document the Orzel's heroic story.
Monday, Oct. 02, 1939 - A lighthouse keeper in Gotland (Swedish island in the Baltic) rescued two Estonian guards -- castaways in a dinghy who had a tale to tell. ... After three days of lurking in the Baltic, mostly submerged, with the Soviet Navy angrily searching for them, the Orzel's men set their prisoners adrift (the 2 Estonian guards) at night, but in calm water and in sight of land.

D-nuke YN, '58 movie was a nice find. Appears to be the sub's voyage to Tallinn. Had never seen it, and Submarine Orzel: The Underground Truth (2007) Documentary now appears to have been abandoned. Enjoyed!