ORP Batory

Article

July 5, 2022

Batory - a patrol boat of the Border Guard of the Second Polish Republic (SG), launched on April 23, 1932 in Modlin. Fighting sea smuggling. He was mobilized to the Navy during the defensive war of 1939 as ORP Batory. He was famous for his escape on October 1, 1939 from the capitulating Hel to Sweden, where he was interned. After the war, it was reclaimed, and until 1957 it served in the Border Protection Forces (WOP) under the names Hel, 7 Listopada, Dzerzhinsky and KP-1. After demobilization, it sailed on the Vistula and Zalew Zegrzyński as a training unit of the National Defense League (LOK). From 1975, it was a monument ship at the Hel port, and since 2009, it has been an exhibit of the Naval Museum in Gdynia. It is the oldest surviving ship of Polish construction and construction.

Design and construction

In 1930, the Border Guard decided to build modern vessels to combat smuggling: a pursuit boat and three patrol boats. The Commander of the Border Guard, Colonel Jan Jur-Gorzechowski, planned that the pursuit unit would be built in cooperation with the Italian shipyards, based on their design. It was expected that a hull would be built in the Modlińska Shipyard, and the Italians would equip it. When only the signature was missing from the decision, the Border Guard Command asked Eng. Aleksandra Potyrał for an opinion on the project. In the opinion, the author questioned two fundamental features of the Italian project: a flat-bottomed hull, not adapted to service in the Baltic Sea in short, high-wave conditions, and the choice of a propulsion consisting of only two gasoline engines, very uneconomical at a patrol speed set by the Border Guard at 12 knots. At that time, a new construction concept was created, developed by Eng. Aleksander Potyrał, which was characterized by oval shapes of the hull with an experimental construction of mixed steel and duralumin, enabling the unit to perform tasks in all weather conditions. If necessary, the duralumin elements were to be replaced with steel ones in Stocznia Modlińska at its expense, and any reduction in the cutter's speed could not be the basis for claims from the Border Guard. The propulsion was to consist of three engines: two benzol-powered carburettors for a top speed of 25 knots and one diesel engine for an economic speed of 12 knots. Ultimately, it was decided that this concept would be the basis for the design of the pursuit boat to be built at the Polish shipyard. The unit was designed by Eng. Aleksandra Potyrał and built in the river shipyard of Państwowe Zakłady Inżynierii in Modlin. Work began at the end of 1930. The construction faced numerous difficulties caused by the use of a new technology for the construction of a steel and duralumin hull as well as the complication of the propulsion system consisting of as many as three powerful engines and the need to arrange it in a small hull. On April 23, 1932, the cutter was laterally launched from the slip, and on May 7, its construction was completed. In the first attempts, it was not possible to reach a speed greater than 23 knots. This was remedied by reducing the pitch of the pursuit motors by having the supplier, Theodor Zeise, piercing their blades. According to some sources, this operation was carried out only after the overhaul in 1933, to restore the unit to its previous pursuit speed, which decreased after increasing displacement and draft. On retries, 24.85 knots were obtained, in accordance with the contract allowing a tolerance of 0.2 knots from the target value of 25 knots. The speed test was performed at a measurement mile located in the vicinity of the Hel Peninsula, because the first tests in the port of Gdynia caused such a large wave that the captain's office prohibited their continuation