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The ORP Orzel (I) Her Service Career

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  • The ORP Orzel (I) Her Service Career

    The following Timeline is [most probably] it is based upon the ship's monograph, written by the late Mr. J Pertek of Poznan. The Book was first published in what was then the People's Republic of Poland in the late sixties.

    1936
    Jan. 29th: Contract closed with two Dutch Shipyards for the construction of two submarines each with standard/surface/submerged displacement of 1,110/1,473.5/1,650 tons, overall length 84.0 metres and surface/submerged speed 19/9 knots. The first one was to be built by Messrs. NV Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde of Vlissingen, the second one - by Messrs. Rotterdamsche Droogdok Mij. of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Order of the third submarine was cancelled due to lack of funds.
    May 27th: work started on sheets preparation.
    Aug. 14th: the keel of the first submarine laid on the slip of Messrs. N.V. Koninklijke Maatschapij De Schelde.
    November: the first watertight bulkhead installed.

    1937
    Mar 30th: installation of hull's frames completed.
    May 14th: installation of the hull's skin completed.
    July 15th: the hull of the ship shifted 15 metres aside to the neighbouring slip.
    July 29th: the hull then shifted 70 metres ahead.
    Oct. 29th-Nov. 2nd: electric motors of the ship installed.

    1938
    Jan 15th: launching ceremony celebrated. Prior to the launching the ship was christened ORZEL (Eagle in Polish) by Ms. Jadwiga Sosnkowska. The hull left the slip (stern-first) about an hour later than planned.
    Feb.-June: the ship had been outfitted: installed were the devices, the electric batteries and the armament. The first Commanding Officer was appointed Commander Henryk Kloczkowski PN, Lieutenant Cdr. Jozef Chodakowski, PN, was appointed Executive Officer.
    May 3rd-June 2nd: main propulsion Diesel engines installed.
    June 25th -July 18th: the ship docked for the first time.
    July 27th-28th: ordinary trials of the Diesel engines.
    Aug. 12th-15th: trials of the ship's engines continued.
    Aug. 23rd: first sea trials in the delta of Schelde, Lieutenant Cdr. van Dongen KM (RNN) became the commanding officer of the ORZEL for the period of trials (held customarily under the colours of the builders). On her way back the ORZEL rammed with her bows a jetty in the Shipyard basin, this being the only accident during her trials.
    Sep. 30th-Oct. 14th: the ship docked once more.
    Oct. 21st-Nov. 1st: the ORZEL underwent her torpedo trials at Den Helder.
    Nov. 12th: the ship left for the Horten Naval Base.
    Nov. 14th-30th: trials of the ship held in the Norwegian waters (Oslofiord); measured were inter alia the speeds on the measured mile and diving trials conducted to the depth of 80 m.
    Dec. 2: the ship came back to the yard.
    Dec. 22nd: the ship docked at Vlissingen for the third (and last) time.

    1939
    Jan. 20th: the ship left the dock.
    Jan. 26th: final acceptance trials successfully completed.
    Feb. 2nd: the ship was festively handed over to the Polish owners, on which the Polish colours were hoisted. Neither the ORZEL nor her sister ship SEP did receive the first letter of their names (O and S respectively) as their identification letters on their sails.
    Feb. 5th: the ORZEL left Vlissingen and sailed for Gdynia.
    Feb. 7th: the ship arrived in Gdynia for the first time.
    Feb. 10th: the ORZEL was festively greeted in Gdynia by the representatives of the State Authorities. Festively unveiled was the plaque carrying the message that the ship was built for the money acquired from the FOM (Maritime Defence Fund).
    March-July: shakedown and training of the crew to achieve combat readiness status.
    June 1st: Lieutenant Cdr. J. Grudzinski PN appointed deputy commanding (executive) of the ORZEL.
    July 17th: the ORZEL became flagship of the Submarines' Division Commanding Officer.
    Aug. 24th: 1st grade mobilization of the Submarines' Division ordered; vital ships' devices reviewed, fuel and food provisions taken aboard. The ORZEL had a total number of 20 torpedoes both in in her tubes (12) and spare (, 125 rounds of ammunition for her 105 mm cannon and 1,200 rounds for her 40 mm a/a guns. The C/O did as well receive an amount of $ 9,000 in gold and in Polish notes.
    Sep. 1st: due to the lack of full complement of her crew, who had received earlier the C/O's permission to go ashore, the ORZEL left her base in Gdynia only after 07.00 a. m. then proceeding to her assigned sector in the Bight of Gdansk [then called in German Danziger Bucht]. Two radio messages then received: the earlier one ordered the C/O to stay submerged and the latter - to open the so-called 'X-Envelope' and to start executing the Worek"(Sack or Bag in Polish)-Plan. The ship arrived at the sector only at 02.00 p. m. Cruising at the scope depth, she was detected and attacked by the enemy with depth-charges.
    Sep. 2nd: the ship stayed on in the sector assigned to her, at about 07.50 p. m. when recharging the batteries, she spotted Polish motor launches and fishing cutters off Jastarnia (called then Heisternest). After getting in touch with the M-9 the word came about the losses suffered by the crews of the minelayer Gryf and the minesweepers.
    Sep. 3rd: after recharging her batteries the ship submerged and stayed under water sixteen hours long. Two German Leberecht Maass-class destroyers detected via the scope. At 10.00 p. m. the surfaced ORZEL met another Polish submarine Wilk. ("Wolf" in Polish, commanded by Lt. Cdr. B Krawczyk, PN).
    Sep. 4th: at 03.50 a. m. the ship submerged and set forth patrolling the Danziger Bucht area. At about 08.00 a. m. the Commanding Officer of ORZEL decided to leave the sector without authorization and sailed north towards the Gotland island. During the passage, between 03.15 and 04.20 p. m. the ORZEL was several times attacked by German planes.
    Sep. 5th: the ORZEL attacked again by the Luftwaffe planes.
    Sep. 6th: the ship arrived in the vicinity of Gotland.
    Sep. 7th: the ORZEL made radio contact with the SEP (Cdr. Wladyslaw Salamon) informing her that she changed her sector to the north. On passage the ORZEL luckily crossed a minefield.
    Sep. 8th: the physical condition of the ORZEL her Commanding Officer deteriorated.
    Sep.10th: the ORZEL reported to the SubDiv Command that an illness disabled her CO permanently. The Headquarters of the Fleet, answering the ORZEL's message, ordered either to disembark the ill CO at a neutral port and continue the campaign under the Deputy CO, or to approach the Hel Peninsula in order to embark a new CO. After a briefing with his officers, Cdr. Kloczkowski decided to call at the port of Tallinn (Estonia).
    Sep. 14th: abt. 09.30 p. m. the ORZEL entered the roads to Tallinn off the Paljassar Peninsula.
    Sep. 15th: on the consent received from Estonian authorities the ship entered the harbour. Then her CO along with the Lieut. M. T. Mokrski PN paid a visit to the Senior Commanding Officer of the Estonian Navy, to whom they, in the presence of the Polish Military Attache, Lieut. Col. S. Szczekowski, explained the reasons that caused the ship call at Tallinn. Estonian authorities gave consent for a 24-hour-stay of the ORZEL at the base, informing then, that she would be allowed to leave 24 hours after a German merchant vessel, the Thalatta, lying then at Tallinn, has left the harbour. After the visit the CO was transported away to the hospital. On his leaving the ship. he took with him all his personal belongings, including a double shotgun and a typewriter. An Estonian Naval officer came in and instructed the Deputy CO, Lieut. Cdr. Jan Grudzinski PN, on the conditions of the ship's stay at the base. Greater part of the crew went to a bath ashore, where they were medically examined. Also Junior Petty Officer, M. Barwinski, was carried away to the hospital. A compressor of the ship was taken away for repairs. Soon after that an Estonian gunboat Laine came in, taking position close to the ORZEL. In the afternoon that day an Estonian Naval officer with a detachment of Navy petty officers and ratings came in with the message for Lieut. Cdr. Grudzinski, that the ORZEL was being interned. The latter, escorted by an Estonian officer, went to the Polish Embassy to Tallinn. There he was instructed to remain composed and to destroy classified documentation. Lieut. Cdr. Grudzinski took over as the new CO. Back aboard ship, the new Deputy CO, Lieut. A. Piasecki PN, destroyed the above-mentioned documentation. The ORZEL was taken farther into the harbour. The maps, the log and light hand weapons were taken away from the board. The radio station was sealed.
    Sep. 16th: Estonian Navy men took away from the ship part of her torpedoes, the plug to her 105 mm cannon and ammunition.
    Sep. 17th: disarming procedure went on; mainly the Estonians took away fourteen torpedoes out of twenty the ship's crew had aboard.
    Sep. 18th: at 03.00 a. m. the crew overwhelmed the two Estonians Navy guards, cut the phone & electric wires and the mooring lines. Then the ORZEL started escaping from the blackouted harbour. During this she rammed the wave breaker head and became temporarily trapped. The Estonians turned on their searchlights and opened fire from machineguns and shore cannons. Soon afterwards the ORZEL refloated herself and set forth her way towards the harbour entrance. The chase given by Estonian naval forces remained fruitless, as the ORZEL submerged and moved on towards Aaland Islands.
    The ship's CO sent a plain message to the Fleet HQ at Hela informing of her escape, lack of codes and navigational aids.
    Sep. 19th: the radio-man in the ORZEL received a message from London informing of her escape and accusation of the crew by the German propaganda of murder of the two Estonian guards. Meanwhile the ship's navigator, Sub-Lieut. M. T. Mokrski, drew two ad-hoc "navigational charts" (on the basis of an old Baltic Lighthouses' List) of the Baltic Sea and Danish/Denmark Straits.
    Sep. 21st: the ORZEL arrived in the vicinity of Gotland (Sweden), where the two Estonian Navy men (a petty officer R Kirikmaa and an ordinary seaman B Mahlstein) were disembarked.
    Sep. 30th: after 9 days' patrolling off the Gotland, the ORZEL moved to new patrolling sector off land.
    Oct. 1st-6th: the ship patrolled off the island; in the meantime she ran aground when trying to attack a German vessel. During refloating she was attacked by a German seaplane.
    Oct. 7th: the ORZEL her CO Lieut. Cdr. Grudzinski decided to pass the Danish Straits and to sail for the UK. During the night the ship reached the vicinity of Trelleborg and submerged on detecting patrolling Swedish and German naval units.
    Oct. 8th: on finding the horizon clean, the ORZEL surfaced to load her batteries. At dawn the ship submerged again to stay under water until twilight. Then having surfaced the CO set the course to the Cape of Falsterbo(v?). Then he turned to the central "arm" of the Sund, to the Drogden Channel, where he found again patrolling Swedish and German warships. At 10.20 p. m. the ORZEL approached the Isle of Saltholm and then at 10.43 found herself abeam of Copenhagen. At midnight the ship submerged off Landskrona.
    Oct. 9th: at 8.30 p. m. the ORZEL surfaced and headed for the Ven Island. Half an hour later the ship passed Helsingr and Hlsingborg.
    Oct. 10th: the ORZEL entered the Kattegat-strait and submerged.
    Oct. 11th: just after midnight the ship surfaced, then entered the Skagerrak-strait and searched for a target for her torpedoes.
    Oct. 12th: the ORZEL headed for England.
    Oct. 14th: at 06.00 a. m. the ship's international call sign was radioed by the ORZEL, along with her presumed position. Five hours later, 30 nautical miles off the Isle of May, the ORZEL was met by HMS Valorous, an old British destroyer, and then escorted by her to the harbour of Rosyth.
    Oct. 16th: the ORZEL arrived in Dundee, where another Polish submarine, the ORP Wilk, was being repaired.
    Nov. 16th: the General W Sikorski (then the Polish Prime Minister) and Rear Admiral Swirski (then Head of the Polish Navy Headquarters) paid a visit to Dundee, giving decorations to a part of ORZEL her crew.
    Dec. 1st: after completion of repairs the ship left Dundee for Rosyth to be assigned then to the 2nd Submarine Flotilla there, receiving a British pennant no. 85-A. The crew was joined by the British liaison officer (Lieutenant D A Fraser, RN) and two (or three?) petty officers (the signalman, W F Green and the radio man L W Jones; the possible presence of a second signalman called 'John' is not confirmed as yet).
    Dec. 8th: the British naval authorities announced that the two Polish submarines, the Wilk and the ORZEL, were in British naval bases to carry on service along with the units of the Royal Navy.
    Dec 9th: the ORZEL left the naval base escorting a British convoy.
    Dec. 10th: the Distinguished Service Order, a high British military decoration, was given by HM the King George VI to Lt. Cdr. Grudzinski, the new CO of the ORZEL. Then, until Dec. 20th, the ship escorted two more convoys within the British waters.
    Dec. 29th: the ORZEL took part in escorting a convoy from Lerwick (Shetland Isles) to Bergen.

    1940
    Jan. 4th: the ORZEL along with other ships escorted a convoy from Bergen to the Firth of Forth.
    Jan. 18th: after adaptation of torpedo tubes for the 21in torpedoes the ORZEL left for her first patrol from a British naval base to a sector off Skagerrak-strait.
    Jan 29th: the ORZEL her first liaison officer, Lieutenant Fraser, replaced by Lt. Cdr. K d'Ombrain Nott.
    Feb. the ORZEL left for her second patrol off Norse coasts.
    Feb 26th: HM the King George VI paid a visit to the ORZEL at Rosyth; He met and had a short talk with her CO, Lt. Cdr. Grudzinski.
    March: the submarine made two patrols off Norse and Dutch coasts.
    Apr. 3rd: the ORZEL left for her fifth patrol to the sector off Norse coasts.
    Apr. 4th-5th: the ship ran surfaced to the assigned sector.
    Apr. 6th: in the morning the ORZEL submerged and stayed under water until the evening. Then she surfaced and set forth her run to the assigned position.
    Apr. 7th: the submarine reached her assigned sector.
    Apr.8th: at abt. 11.00 a. m. off Lillesand the crew of the ORZEL detected a ship heading for the Nnorse coasts; on closing, the name of the ship was deciphered (Rio de Janeiro) and (vaguely visible) home port (Hamburg). The ship showed off no colours. After surfacing a signal was given ordering the ship to stop her engines and send the skipper with ship's papers, but the German answer was only an increase of speed. Then the ORZEL gave chase and crewmen fired her machine guns twice at the ship as a warning. The fleeing ship stopped and started sending radio calls for help. The ORZEL's CO ordered the Germans to evacuate the ship within 5 minutes and warned he would afterwards fire a torpedo. The warning was ignored by the German skipper, so the ORZEL fired her torpedo, which hit the ship's starboard side at 12.05 p. m. After that on the deck of the disabled ship appeared the uniformed soldiers who started abandoning her. A bit later small craft and planes were observed approach from the coast. The ORZEL submerged and fired another torpedo, which also hit the ship's board. Three minutes later, at 01.18 p. m. the ship went down. Lt. Cdr. Grudzinski reported the attack to the Admiralty and then the ship left the area, carrying on her patrol of the sector. At 4.00 p. m. the ORZEL came back to the area of her success. After 10.00 p. m. the submarine surfaced and started charging her batteries, and an hour later the crew listened to the British radio message on their sinking of the Rio de Janeiro.
    Apr. 9th: the ship ran into three German minesweepers in her sector.
    Apr. 10th: in the morning German minesweepers were spotted again; the CO decided to attack them with torpedoes. After firing a salvo the ORZEL was attacked by an enemy plane with depth charges and was forced to submerge. In the evening the ship came up to the scope depth and the CO found only two minesweepers afloat.
    Apr. 11th: The ORZEL detected a convoy composed of a big vessel screened by warships. Before she could attack the targets, the submarine was herself detected by a plane crew and attacked with bombs. The hunting for the ship lasted for a number of hours. In the evening the ORZEL rose to the scope depth and it was stated that the stream had carried the ship to the fiord, where also the enemy ship found shelter. During the night the ship surfaced and started charging her batteries.
    Apr. 12th: after midnight the ORZEL was detected by German warships; the Germans started hunting the submarine, throwing a number of depth charges. The escaping ORZEL submerged to the depth of 91 metres (ca 300 feet). By the evening the submarine rose to the scope depth and on finding no enemy warships in the vicinity her CO ordered the ship to surface.
    Apr. 13th: at noon the submarine was surprised by an enemy plane. There was no time to submerge and the crew of the ORZEL opened fire from her a/a guns. The plane disappeared and the ship could submerge. In the evening three German submarine chasers were spotted. During the whole day the ORZEL and her crew spent a total of 20 hours submerged.
    Apr. 14th: the submarine was again detected and attacked with depth charges. Escaping them, the ORZEL submerged to the depth of 96 metres (ca 315 feet).
    Apr. 15th: a number of attacks on the submarine from the surface and air. Between the 10th and 15th of April enemy warships and planes dropped a total number of 111 depth charges and bombs at the ORZEL.
    Apr. 16th: the submarine set the course to her base.
    Apr. 18th: the ORZEL berthed at Rosyth.
    Apr. 28th-May 11th: the ship made another patrol in the North Sea.
    May 12th-22nd: the submarine stayed at Rosyth, where the new plug for her Bofors cannon was mounted after coming from the Bofors' Factory in Sweden.
    May 23rd: before midnight the ORZEL left Rosyth for a patrol to the area "west from the Skagerrak strait entrance".
    June 1st: a message was radioed from the base to the ORZEL with order "to move to the adjacent sector". The message was not confirmed by the crew as "received".
    June 2nd: the same message was radioed again to the ORZEL. Either this time the crew did not confirm the reception of the message.
    June 5th: the order was radioed from the base to the ORZEL, according to which the submarine should "return to base on the 8th of June". The order was not confirmed by the ORZEL's crew as "received".
    June 8th: because of the ORZEL's failure to return from her patrol on the indicated time and lack of any answer to radio calls asking for current position, the Submarine was OFFICIALLY DECLARED "MISSING". With the ORZEL perished her complete Crew with the CO, Lieut. Cdr. J Grudzinski, and the Royal Navy liaison team (Lieutenant Nott and petty officers Green & Jones).
    June 11th: The Polish Navy Headquarters issued the following message:

    Because of the lack of any messages and the failure to return from her patrol on time,
    the Polish Navy's Submarine ORZEL has been herewith declared as Lost-in-Action.

    English translation by W M Wachniewski, Slupsk, Poland

    P/s - the Subs of the ORZEL Class, I am not so sure if they did lay the mines?...

    Who can give me the ORZEL Her Yard No. from Messrs. De Schelde of Vlissingen?? Looking forward to it at my e-mail address!!!
    Zeeman H C

  • #2
    info Orzel

    http://www.dutchsubmarines.com/export/export_orzel.htm

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    • #3
      Hi...

      ...by the way I got the info on what a Dutch sub became to pattern-to-follow for the constructors of the ORZEL & SEP: she was the O-19 class...
      Zeeman H C

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      • #4
        Re: Hi...

        "Old_Wreck" wrote: ...by the way I got the info on what a Dutch sub became to pattern-to-follow for the constructors of the ORZEL & SEP: she was the O-19 class...
        Remember the O 19 was a mine layer. That is probably why many books list the Orzel as a mine layer as well. Which is of course not correct.

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        • #5
          ORP Orzel

          Gents,

          For photographs of ORP Orzel & ORP Sep:

          http://www.konings.org

          Still searching for books, stories etc. regarding both vessels.

          regards,

          Paul Konings
          --
          orzel001.jpg

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          • #6
            I have one related book.

            The title is "Dzieje ORP ORZEL"

            It is unfortunately in the Polish language but has many interesting photos and drawings. So I still recommend it to people that can not read the Polish language.

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            • #7
              Re: Hi...

              [quote]"Bram" wrote:
              Old_Wreck schreef
              ...by the way I got the info on what a Dutch sub became to pattern-to-follow for the constructors of the ORZEL & SEP: she was the O-19 class...
              Remember the O 19 was a mine layer. That is probably why many books list the Orzel as a mine layer as well. Which is of course not correct.
              :twisted:
              The question to which particular submarine the O and the S were similar when in the course of designing is a not very easy one, as I know of course, the ORZEL (our famous ORZEL!) seems to be not similar to anything at all, a class for itself. I myself have never run across any source listing the ORZEL as a mine layer.
              The whole matter shall end in my taking my great sourcebook on the WW2 fleets and examining ALL the excellent Dutch boats of the time in comparison with ORZEL. I shall then let you know my findings. :evil:
              Zeeman H C

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              • #8
                For Bram and other Friends here:

                Somebody of You has mentioned the "Dzieje ORP ORZEL". This is in fact the ultimate monograph, or "biography" of the Boat and the service career placed by me above is actually an English translation of that from the book.
                Friends interested in our famous Submarine (built by Dutch shipbuilders from De Schelde at Vlissingen
                ) may find Her Polish webpage http://www.orzel.one.pl interesting.
                Zeeman H C

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                • #9
                  Something interesting on our ORZEL...

                  For PK_Submar:

                  Dear Friend - following please find excerpt from a very interesting letter, sent in to one of our Colleagues from the ORZEL Association by a seaman, as I suppose...

                  Let me then shortly describe the event: the m/v Northern Horizon
                  cruised on the North Sea its oil fields. Her tasks covered i. a. checking the pipelines freshly-laid on the sea bed from one Large Barge (I don't remember her no.): a large barge indeed full of pipes and Polish welders). The ship disposed i. a. over the Arovi" - a small submersible craft on wheels to embrace the pipe and go forwards kilometer after kilometer; if anything occurred, the video casette with the recorded path was transported to the survey ships, responsible for production. They were generally fitted with helicopters. I transported our casette to the survey and had to wait for documents. The weather was OK we went alongside and they invited us for coffee. In a room aboard ran the casette from earlier days; the crew of the ship watched the pictures one by one, running at reduced tape speed; they watched a submarine lying on the sea bed.
                  I saw the eye of the camera scan the submarine its deck from port to starboard.
                  I noticed big bull-eye windows on the sail, and one small structure before it being actually its part. There was no cannon on the fore deck as if on a U-Boat. She lay on her keel listing some 5 degrees to starboard. I do not want to speculate about the Orzel, but the shape of the sail of that wreck was gently angled and there was a rectangular opening without any manhole. As I handed over my casette to them, they switched their device off and changed the casette. I asked them where had they their casette from? Their answer was that it was recorded earlier that day". The ship preceded us checking the sea bed for obstacles. They said as well, that the wreck did not lie in the way of the pipeline. The location of that wreck is not known to me. The pipeline went from the Norse coast down to Germany along Jutland peninsula.

                  From Old_Wreck here.

                  I am not the Author of the above, but the contents deserves our highest attention. Should the position of that wreck be found in the depths of the North Sea, and it subsequently surveyed - we would have then to change completely our suspicions as to the mysterious death of our most famous Submarine. For that wreck rests on the sea bed almost undamaged, thus eliminating above all any possibility of the ORZEL being mined: a mined submarine cannot look like this way...

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                  • #10
                    This could be a real thrill!

                    And then to think my interest in Orzel started onely 2 weeks ago when I stumbled upon drawings of her when searching for a new sub to build.
                    For what I have heard/seen so far: The conning towers of Orzel and Sep are quite unique. I onely have seen this kind of bridge on a sub on American WWII subs. (but my knowledge in this matter is pretty scarce...)

                    From what u show us, there is a good chance this is Orzel. Fast calculation on the probable location... she has gone further east then...

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                    • #11
                      ORP Orzel

                      Hi Wrackie,

                      Thanks very much for the info.
                      I will follow this lead by checking which pipeline was recently laid and then perhaps the charts will reveal a possible finding place.

                      regards,

                      Paul

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                      • #12
                        ORP Orzel

                        Gents,

                        If everything is true wat has been written in the letter concerning the find of a submarine during pipelaying activities in the North Sea, then read on.

                        The pipelines that come into the picture are:
                        Norpipe, operational 1977
                        Europipe I, operational 1995
                        Europipe II, operational 1999

                        I have not found any records for new pipelines running from Norway to Germany.

                        It is strange that no other media have published about this find.
                        Just remember 1993, the find of a submarine close to the Norwegian coast during routine maintenance checks on a pipeline, the sub in question was proved to be the Dutch sub O-22.

                        As the letter describes that the conning tower is in good condition and there is no deckgun sounds rather strange to me. Ok Orzel did have a deckgun, only covered by a streamline cap made out of 3 mm steelplate.

                        Well, as I am very interested in the final resting place of ORP Orzel and I really hope that this letter is true, I still have my doubts about the letter.

                        regards,

                        Paul Konings
                        --
                        orzel035.jpg

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                        • #13
                          Mijnheren, vrienden - hier Oud Wrak opnieuw:

                          - no, I am still not as good at Your taal to write my whole message Dutch, but I am still impressed by the letter I have translated into English for You.
                          Of course this can be hoax, humbug or something from that shelf, but this may as well be TRUTH! What would then be the clou of the show, it's the possible cause of Her loss - an accident. As a possibility this must be taken into consideration. As far as I know at the moment, being a bit far from my books and sources, there were two main causes considered: hitting a mine by the boat or being bombed by a German plane [direct hit on the conning tower or hull]. In both the cases we shouldn't expect the boat to rest on the sea bed well preserved - more probable is then to expect a hull broken in two, debris field etc.
                          This here possibility gives us another stuff to chew on - perhaps one as well to RAISE the wreck, which however would not have been welcomed as a violation of the Crew's Their enernal rest. At least however we would have received a wreck as it is to look and to see and to draw our conclusions. I must tell you I have so far made a bit of roar about it, sending the letter above to anybody, including the Press Spokesman of our Navy.
                          The Gentlemen at its HQ at Gdynia they know me like a bad penny [to put it Polish way], but probably this is the only way not to let ORZEL Her story and Her mysteries be pushed aside and/or forgotten.
                          By the way - I am busy re-writing for the Orzel-Webpage [www.orzel.one.pl] the article on the FIRE ABOARD ORP SEP. SEP means Polish VULTURE; she was the ORZEL Her younger sister 'hijacked' literally from Rotterdam not to allow Germans to interfere with her construction for our PN. There was actually an EXPLOSION aboard the SEP in Dec. '64 that caused 8 casualties among the crew. The article shall be added soon to the Page and perhaps as well to its English version.

                          Met hartelijke groeten ...

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                          • #14
                            Is this the letter you guys are talking about ? I never doubted it is the real thing.


                            --
                            Orzel-report-page-1.jpg

                            Orzel-report-page-2.jpg

                            Orzel-report-page-3.jpg

                            Orzel-report-page-4.jpg

                            Orzel-report-page-5.jpg

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                            • #15
                              Re: The ORP Orzel (I) Her Service Career

                              Eergisteren, zondag 27 juli 2008 is in Polen de expeditie gestart die tot doel heeft om de gezonken ORP Orzel te lokaliseren.
                              Voor diegenen die interesse hebben, de url: http://www.orzel.balex.eu/

                              Het bedrijf Balex is de sponsor van deze expeditie.

                              groet,

                              Paul

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