ORP Grom (1936)

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ORP Grom.jpg

ORP Grom
Name: ORP Grom
Namesake: Thunderbolt
Laid down: 17 July 1935
Launched: 20 July 1936
Commissioned: 11 May 1937
Decommissioned: 4 May 1940
Fate: Sunk in the Rombaken fjord near Narvik, Norway
General characteristics
Class and type: Grom-class destroyer
  • 1,975 tons standard
  • 2,183 tons normal
  • 2,400 tons full
Length: 114 m (374 ft)
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Draft: 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: Two Parsons’ steam turbines of 54,000 shp (40,000 kW) altogether, 3 boilers and 2 shafts
Speed: 39 knots (72 km/h; 45 mph)
Range: 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 192

ORP Grom was the lead ship of her class of destroyers serving in the Polish Navy during World War II. She was named after the Polish word for Thunderbolt, while her sister ship ORP Błyskawica translates to lightning.


Grom was thought of as a large destroyer, similar to flotilla leaders. She and sister ship ORP Błyskawica were to support the outdated French-built Wicher and Burza in the role of the core of the Polish Navy in a possible conflict. As Poland had only one major seaport, the main task of the Polish naval forces was to secure supplies shipment to and from allied countries. Because of that, the Grom class was designed to fulfill both the role of shore defence and convoy escort and was supposed to be stronger than single enemy destroyers.

Two Parsons steam turbines of 54,000 shaft horsepower (40,000 kW) altogether, three boilers and two shafts allowed Grom to travel at 39 knots (72 km/h; 45 mph), faster than the contemporary designs like the US Farragut and Porter classes, the British Tribal class, or the German Type 1934s. Also, as it was not clear whether the ships would be used to secure convoys to the Polish port of Gdynia or the Romanian port of Constanţa (through the Romanian Bridgehead), the possible range was much larger than in the case of destroyers designed exclusively for the Baltic Sea. The ship had an effective range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).

Construction and career[edit]

Grom was ordered from the British J. Samuel White shipyard in Cowes and was laid down in 1935. The destroyer was commissioned in 1937.

On 30 August 1939, the Polish destroyers Błyskawica, Burza, and Grom were ordered to activate the Peking Plan, and the warships headed for Great Britain, from where they were to operate as convoy escorts. On 1 September 1939, Polish destroyers met the British destroyers Wanderer and Wallace. The British ships led the Polish flotilla to Leith, and in the night the Polish destroyers came to Rosyth. However, no convoys were ever organized to help Poland during the Polish Defensive War and the Polish ships were used in support of Allied maritime operations.

During her operations in the Norwegian Campaign, Grom was ranked by the German soldiers as probably the most hated of all the Allied ships deployed to the area.[1] This hatred was founded on the fact that Grom took an intense interest in all hostile movements on shore and was reputed to spend hours lurking the coast in order harass German forces. On 4 May 1940, Grom carried out what turned out to be the last of her many naval gunfire support missions in the Narvik area in the Rombaken fjord. She was attacked by a Heinkel He 111 bomber from Kampfgeschwader 100 (piloted by Lt. Korthals).[2] Her loaded midship torpedo launcher was struck by a bomb from a German plane and the torpedo exploded, causing the hull to break into two and the ship to sink almost immediately with a loss of life of 59 sailors.

The wreck was never raised and it was not until 6 October 1986 that it was explored by divers for the first time.

ORP «Grom» – Destroyer (according to the nomenclature of the pre-war Polish destroyer) type Grom, who is serving in the Polish Navy in 1937-1940. May 4, 1940 Sunk by German aircraft.

August 30, 1939 , the Polish destroyer ORP «Burza», «Błyskawica» and «Grom» were ordered to start the plan «Peking» and to proceed in the direction of the United Kingdom, where were escorting convoys of supplies to Polish . September 1, 1939 , the Polish destroyers met the British destroyers HMS «Wanderer» and «Wallace» . British ships led the Polish flotilla to the port of Leith , and at night Polish destroyers were received at the port of Rosyth . But I have never been any supply convoys , in order to help the Polish September Campaign and therefore supported the Polish ships mainly Allied naval operations .

During naval operations during the Norwegian campaign ORP «Grom» was recognized by the German soldiers as probably the most hated of all the Allied ships in the Narvik area . The German memories of the battles scrolling terms «a great Polish destroyer», cursed Pole», «hunter of men» or «Polish devil». «Grom» gave life a misery Germany , tracking down and shooting at perceived enemies during a patrol near Rombakken , where he ran the southern shore of the fjord important railway that supplied the ship .

May 4, 1940 , when «Grom» was preparing to cast off from rest , was sighted and attacked by a German bomber . It changed just watch when LCDR . Alexander Hulewicz received a report from EDM :

» Aircraft on us at 5400 meters .»

A moment later :

» He threw a bomb .»

Attacker Heinkel He 111 piloted see Gerd Korthals . Two of the six bombs were dropped customs . The first broke out in the area of ​​the engine , damaging the hull side to a length of 20 m, the second hit amidships . He remembers a witness to the event , Charles Wizner :

» Suddenly, an explosion , a bomb hit the adjacent room . Felt terrible blow rush of air that threw me overboard. Did not lose consciousness , I heard the wounded groan , I felt the smoke. Wanted to get up and I could not make a move . The second room crawled Drag Joseph Petty . He trimmed foot. whopped for help. felt that she plunges into the water , the water has poured into the room. stern tilted to the side . It really helped us get out of this trap , because she reproached us with your interior . Jozef Drag , even though he badly injured , pulled me to the edge of the boat. found in the water, where I fell unconscious .»

The bomb hit a loaded torpedo launcher , the outbreak has completed the work of destruction. » Grom » sank in three minutes , and with it went down 59 members of the crew (including one officer , 25 non-commissioned officers and 33 sailors ) . Survivors from the ship fired Germany watching events from their positions on the shore. He silenced their fire until the British destroyer HMS » Bedouina » involved in the rescue operation.

October 6, 1986 conducted the first study to wreck rests on the depth 105 m further study the wreck took place in August 2010 and took part in it 10 divers from the Polish and Swedish . A stronger if the ship is at a depth of 115 m , and the wreck lies upright on a rock wall and a broken in half. During the test was a documentary , and the divers were not allowed to touch or pick up anything .

Kilde : Wikepedia ,internett

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