- Polish Navy
Marynarka Wojenna Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej
Polish Navy's Eagle
Active 1918 - present Country Poland Branch Navy Size 14,300 personnel (6500 military)
~80 vessels 
Part of Polish Armed Forces Headquarters Gdynia Engagements Standing NRF Maritime Group 1
2003 Invasion of Iraq
Commanders Commander adm. fl. Tomasz Mathea Chief of Staff wadm. Jerzy Patz Insignia Polish Navy Ensign
The Marynarka Wojenna Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej - MW RP (Republic of Poland Navy) Polish Navy, (or unofficially Polska Marynarka Wojenna - PMW) is the branch of Republic of Poland Armed Forces responsible for naval operations. It has 80 ships (including 5 submarines, 2 frigates, 3 corvettes, 3 missile boats - as of 2008) and about 14,300 commissioned and enlisted personnel. The traditional ship prefix in the Polish Navy is ORP (Okręt Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej - "Ship of the Republic of Poland").
The Polish Navy is one of the bigger navies on the Baltic Sea. It is mostly responsible for Baltic Sea operations. Other duties include search and rescue operations covering parts of the Baltic, as well as hydrographic measurements and research.
- 1 Organization and mission
- 2 Ships and naval aircraft
- 3 Origins
- 4 Twentieth century
- 5 21st century
- 6 Naval colors
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Organization and mission
The Republic of Poland Navy is organized into 2 separate flotillas, and a Naval Air Brigade. In addition to this the Polish Navy supplies nearly 40 ships as part of the NATO Rapid Reaction Force, designed to be a force projection and conflict response force around the world.
- 3rd Ship Flotilla (based at Gdynia)
- 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla (based Świnoujście)
- 1st Naval Brigade Aviation (based at Gdynia)
The main mission of the Polish Navy is the defense of Polish territorial waters, the Polish coastline, and Polish interests abroad. Secondary roles include the support of NATO allied operations, such as in the Middle East, and search and rescue operations throughout the Baltic Sea.
- 1 Kaszub class
- 2 Tarantul class
- Fast Attack Craft:
- Mine Counter-Measure Vessels
- 12 Gardno class
- 4 Mamry class
- 3 206FM class
- 1 Kilo class
- 4 Kobben class
- Landing craft:
- 5 Lublin class
- Salvage Ships:
- 2 Piast class
- 5 Zbyszko class
- Auxiliary ship:
- 1 Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki class
- 40 other vessels (including survey ships and tankers).
- Fixed-wing aircraft:
- 12 PZL M28B Bryza Patrol and Utility
The Polish Navy has its roots in naval vessels that were largely used on Poland's main rivers in defense of trade and commerce. During the Thirteen Years' War (1454–1466), this small force of inland ships for the first time saw real open sea combat. At the battle of the Vistula Lagoon, a Polish privateer fleet defeated the Teutonic Knights Navy and secured permanent access to the Baltic Sea. The Second Peace of Thorn (1466) acquired for Poland the strategic naval city of Danzig (Gdańsk), and with it the means of maintaining a large fleet on the Baltic. In 1561, following a victory over Russian Naval forces in the Baltic, the Polish Navy acquired a second key port at Riga, in modern-day Latvia.
The most celebrated victory of the Commonwealth Navy was the Battle of Oliwa in 1627 against Sweden, during the Polish-Swedish War. The victory over Sweden secured for Poland permanent access to the Atlantic, and laid the foundations for expeditions beyond Europe. Around this time the need for a permanent naval force was recognized by King Sigismund August, and the Commission of Royal Ships (Komisja Okrętów Królewskich) was created in 1625. This commission, along with the ultimate allocation of funds by the Sejm in 1637, created a permanent Commonwealth Navy. However, the support for this navy was weak and it largely withered away by the 1650s.
The Duchy of Courland, by the time a fief of Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth had a strong navy: it established colonies on Tobago island in the West Indies (named New Courland) and on the estuary of Gambia River.
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, although the dominant force in Central and Eastern Europe during the 16th-18th Centuries, never developed its navy to full potential. The small Polish coastline and the limited access to the Atlantic never allowed for a massive buildup of naval forces, especially not to the level of colonial powers such as England and France. The Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century brought an end to the independent Polish Navy.
Branches Land Forces
Personnel Senior officers
Equipment Land Forces
Following World War I, the Second Polish Republic on 28 November 1918, by the order of Józef Piłsudski, commander of the Armed Forces of Poland, founded the modern Polish Navy. The token naval force was placed under the command of Captain Bogumił Nowotny as its first chief. The first ships were acquired from a division of the Imperial German Navy (because of Great Britain's politics, it was very small part, limited to six torpedo boats).
In the 1920s and 1930s the Polish Navy underwent a modernisation program under the leadership of Vice-Admiral Jerzy Świrski (Chief of Naval Staff) and Rear-Admiral Józef Unrug (CO of the Fleet). A number of modern ships were built in France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Despite ambitious plans (including 2 cruisers and 12 destroyers), the budgetary limitations placed on the government by the Great Depression never allowed the navy to expand beyond a small Baltic force. A building of one of submarines - the Orzeł, was even partly funded by a public collection. One of main goals of the Polish Navy was to protect the Polish coast against the Soviet Baltic Fleet, therefore it put emphasis on fast submarines, strong destroyers and mine warfare. By September 1939 the Polish Navy consisted of 5 submarines, 4 destroyers, big minelayer and various smaller support vessels and mine-warfare ships. This force was no match for the larger Kriegsmarine, and so a strategy of harassment and indirect engagement was implemented.
World War II
The outbreak of World War II caught the Polish Navy off guard and in a state of expansion. Lacking numerical superiority, Polish Naval commanders decided to withdraw main surface ships to Great Britain to join the Allied war effort and prevent them from being destroyed in a closed Baltic (Operation Peking). On August 30, 1939, 3 destroyers (ORP Błyskawica, Grom, and Burza) sailed to the British naval base at Leith in Scotland. They then operated in combination with Royal Navy vessels against Germany. Also two submarines managed to flee from Baltic through the Danish straits to Great Britain during the Polish September Campaign (one of them, ORP Orzeł, made a daring escape from internment in Tallinn, Estonia, and traveled without maps). Three submarines were interned in Sweden, while remaining surface vessels were sunk by German aircraft.
During the war the Polish Navy in exile was supplemented with leased British ships, including 2 cruisers, 7 destroyers, 3 submarines, and a number of smaller fast-attack vessels. The Polish Navy fought alongside the Allied navies in Norway, the North Sea, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and aided in the escort of Atlantic and Arctic convoys. Polish naval vessels played a part in the sinking of the Bismarck, and in the landings in Normandy during D-Day. During the course of the war, 1 cruiser, 4 destroyers, 1 mine layer, 1 torpedo boat, 2 submarines and some smaller vessels (gunboats, mine hunters etc.) were sunk; in total, 26 ships were lost, mostly in September 1939. In addition to participating in the Bismarck sinking, the Polish Navy sank an enemy destroyer and 6 other surface ships, 2 submarines and a number of merchant vessels.
The following selection illustrates the breadth of Polish Naval activity.
- Pekin: evacuation from Poland (September, 1939)
- Worek: submarine defensive blockade of the Polish coast (September, 1939)
- Narvik: battling General Dietl's forces during the Norwegian Campaign (April–June, 1940)
- Dynamo: evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk conducted (May/ June, 1940)
- Halberd: Malta convoy (1941)
- Bismarck: sinking of the Bismarck (May 26–27, 1941)
- Anklet: British Commando raid on the Lofoten Islands, Norway (November, 1941)
- Harpoon: Malta convoy (mid-June 1942)
- Jubilee: attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe, France (August 19, 1942)
- Torch: Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa (November, 1942)
- Husky: Allied invasion of Sicily (July 1943)
- Baytown: landings in Calabria, Italy (September 1943)
- Avalanche: landings near Salerno, Italy (September 1943)
- Azores (1943)
- Shingle: Allied landing in the Anzio area, Italy (January, 1944)
- Tungsten: Fleet Air Arm attack on Tirpitz (April 1944)
- Operation Overlord (June 1944)
- Dragoon: Allied invasion of southern France(August 1944)
- Deadlight: scuttling of surrendered U-boats after World War II (late 1945/ early 1946)
After World War II, on July 7, 1945, the new Soviet-imposed Communist government revived the Polish Navy with headquarters in Gdynia. During Communist times, Poland's Navy experienced a great buildup, including the development of a separate amphibious force of Polish Marines. The Navy also acquired a number of Soviet-made ships, including 2 destroyers, 2 missile destroyers, 13 submarines and 17 missile boats. Among them was a Kilo-class submarine, Orzeł and a modified Kashin-class missile destroyer, (Warszawa). Polish shipyards produced mostly landing craft, minesweepers and auxiliary vessels. The primary role of the Warsaw Pact Polish Navy was to be Baltic Sea control, as well as amphibious operations along the entire Baltic coastline against NATO forces in Denmark and Germany. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the fall of Communism ended this stance.
Poland's entrance into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has greatly changed the structure and role of the Polish Navy. Whereas before, most of Naval High Command was concerned with coastal defense and Baltic Sea Operations, the current mindset is for integration with international naval operations. The focus is on expansion of subsurface naval capabilities, and in the creation of a large submarine force. To facilitate these changes the Republic of Poland has undertaken a number of modernization programs aimed at creating a force capable of power projection around the world. This includes a number of foreign acquisitions, including the acquisition of four Kobben-class submarines from Norway, and two Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates from the United States. Polish Navy has also one submarine of the Kilo class (Orzeł). The Naval air arm has also acquired a number of SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters. Highly appreciated is a special diver commando service Formoza.
The Polish Navy has taken part in numerous joint force operations. In 1999 the naval base at Gdynia became the home base of all NATO submarine forces in the Baltic, codenamed "Cooperative Poseidon". That same year joint US-Polish submarine training manoeuvres codenamed "Baltic Porpoise" for the first time utilized the port in a multinational military nature.
The Polish Navy is undergoing a full modernisation, although with a limited spending budget of 5 billion złoty (to spend between 2010–2018). It has caused project cancellations, limitations as well as severe time delays to several projects as initially a 9 billion złoty spending budget was planned. However, the Polish Navy has acquired already Swedish RBS15 Mk3. and Norwegian Naval Strike Missiles for vessels and coastal defence units. It is planned to reinforce the Navy's helicopter fleet by around seven ASW and SAR units by latest 2013. The original order of seven Gawron-class corvettes has been reduced to two as it is planned to construct three Kormoran 2-class minehunters instead. Meanwhile, in a cost cutting operation, serving vessels will undergo upgrade and overhaul in order to maintain operational status. Concerns have been risen about the Polish Navy, as more vessels are being withdrawn from service without being replaced in the near future.
The flag of the Polish Navy is a red flag with the emblem of the Polish Armed Forces - Navy on the foreground. The Naval Emblem has an anchor to distinguish it from other Armed Forces branches. It is traditionally flown on naval bases on land, and at the headquarters of naval command in Gdynia.
The naval jack of the Polish navy is based on a traditional 17th Century fighting jack design of a scimitar ready to strike at the enemy. It was first used during the battle of Oliwa in 1627 against Sweden, during the Polish-Swedish War. It is traditionally flown from the bow of the ship, and the ensign at the rear when in port. The jack used before 1955 and in 1960-1993 was similar, but the armed hand was in flesh colour, with blue sleeve. In 1955-1959 there was a different jack used.
Naval ensign (up to 1945 and from 1993 on) Naval jack featuring the Grunwald Swords (1946-1955) Auxiliary ships' ensign Naval jack (from 1993 on)
- Polish Armed Forces rank insignia
- Andrzej Karweta, former commander-in-chief of the Polish Navy who died in the April 10, 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash
- Roman Krzyżelewski, previous commander-in-chief of the Polish Navy
- List of ships of the Polish Navy
- Polish Navy contribution to World War II
- Polish Merchant Navy
- List of Polish admirals
- Polska Marynarka Wojenna in 1939
- ^ http://www.bip.mon.gov.pl/pliki/file/wersja%20polska.ppt
- ^ http://www.mon.gov.pl/pl/strona/206/LG_54_181
- ^ http://www.mw.mil.pl/index.php?akcja=lotnictwo
- ^ http://www.mw.mil.pl/index.php?akcja=lotnictwo
- ^ http://gdziewojsko.wordpress.com/listy/w-3-sokol/
- ^ http://www.bl.mw.mil.pl/index.php?akcja=wyposazenie
- ^ http://www.bl.mw.mil.pl/index.php?akcja=wyposazenie
- ^ http://www.altair.com.pl/start-4706
- ^ http://www.saabgroup.com/en/Air/Weapon_Systems/Air_to_Surface_Weapon_Systems/RBS15_Mk3_Surface_to_Surface_Missile_SSM/In_use/
- ^ http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/710/?SID=3afd9cfbc831e62c04b5efc34532f4e6
- ^ http://www.altair.com.pl/start-3614
- ^ http://www.altair.com.pl/start-4706
- ^ http://www.altair.com.pl/start-3427
- ^ http://www.altair.com.pl/start-2557
- ^ Source: Official website of the Polish Navy, 14 November 2007.
- Michael Alfred Peszke, Poland's Navy: 1918–1945, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1999, ISBN 0-7818-0672-0.
Polish Armed Forces Current navies in Europe Sovereign
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
States with limited
- Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
- Northern Cyprus
- South Ossetia
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Polish Navy order of battle in 1939 — This article details the Order of Battle of the Polish Navy prior to the outbreak of World War II and the Polish Defensive War of 1939. Following World War I, Poland s shoreline was relatively short and included no major seaports. In the 1920s… … Wikipedia
Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy — The Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy ( pl. Flotylla Rzeczna Marynarki Wojennej), better known as the Pinsk Flotilla , was the inland branch of the Polish naval forces operating on Vistula river and the Pinsk Marshes area between the Polish… … Wikipedia
Order of Battle of the Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy — The following is the Order of Battle of the Riverine Flotilla of the Polish Navy, an integral part of the Polish Navy in the period between the world wars. Contents 1 Staff and the Headquarters 2 Riverine Flotilla 2.1 Staff vessels … Wikipedia
List of ships of the Polish Navy — Currently in service Frigates*Oliver Hazard Perry class **ORP Gen. K. Pułaski (272) **ORP Gen. T. Kościuszko (273) *To be built are 6 Gawron class frigates of the MEKO design entering service between 2008 2011Corvettes*Kaszub class **ORP Kaszub… … Wikipedia
Polish Armed Forces in the West — refers to the Polish military formations formed to fight along the Western Allies and against Nazi Germany and its allies. The formations, loyal to the Polish government in exile, were first formed in France and its Middle East territories… … Wikipedia
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Navy — was the navy of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Contents 1 Early history 2 Battle of Oliva 3 1630s: Wladyslaw IV plans for Navy expansion … Wikipedia
Polish Merchant Navy — ( pl. Polska Marynarka Handlowa, PMH ) is the term referring to merchant navy of Poland.HistoryPolish Merchant Navy was created in the interwar period when the Second Polish Republic regained independence. During World War II many ships of the… … Wikipedia
Polish army order of battle in 1939 — Polish OOB during the Invasion of Poland. In the late thirties Polish headquarters prepared Plan Zachód ( Plan West ), a plan of mobilization of Polish Army in case of war with Germany. Earlier, the Poles did not regard the Germans as their main… … Wikipedia
Polish contribution to World War II — Campaign name=Main engagements of Polish forces during World War II battles=Westerplatte – Mokra – Bzura – Enigma – Narvik – France Battle of Britain – Tobruk Crusader – Gazala – Dieppe – Tunisia Lenino – Monte Cassino Caen Osuchy – Ostra Brama – … Wikipedia
Polish Armed Forces rank insignia — Polish Armed Forces Branches … Wikipedia