Hunt-class Destroyers in Polish Navy Service Book Review

Hunt-class Destroyers in Polish Navy Service

By Mariusz Borowiak, 3D renders by Waldemar Góralski

Hardcover, 240 pages, bibliography, 3D color renders, drawings

Published by Kagero, February 2019

Language: English, Polish

ISBN-10: ‎8366148106

ISBN-13: ‎978-8366148109

Dimensions: ‎8.3 x 0.8 x 11.7 inches

After the fall of France, England stood alone against Nazi Germany.  Refugees from all across Europe fled to England, several of which formed governments in exile.  Remnants of military units were evacuated as well, and others soon fled occupied Europe and joined them.  This resulted in significant numbers of available trained military personnel, willing and eager to get back into the fight, who only lacked equipment and reorganization.

As a solution, the British absorbed and equipped several of these veterans into their own units.  Many were organized as independent commands, fighting under their own Colors and led by their own Officers.  Arguably the most enthusiastic contingents were Polish, whose military continued to serve from British bases throughout the war.  The Polish Navy had managed to evacuate several ships to England, and these were augmented by additional ships leased from the British as they became available.

Three of these were destroyers of the Hunt class.  The design was intended for escort work, featuring a heavy gun armament for their displacement but no torpedo tubes.  Three of these were leased to the Poles, ORP Krakowiak (L115), ORP Ślązak (L26), and ORP Kujawiak (L72).

This book details the service history of each of these vessels, which were quite active.  Kujawiak was sunk by a mine off Malta, one of the chapters is devoted to efforts to locate and survey her wreck.  Almost one third of the book is devoted to 3D full-color renders of the three ships for which Kagero is known.  Included with these are renders of HMS Badsworth (L03), a British Hunt-class which was mined at the same time as Kujawiak.  As a bonus, separate line drawings of each ship in 1:350 and 1:200 scale are inserted loose.  On the negative side, the English translations are a little rough in spots, with several typos and spelling errors, and some of the photographs could be sharper.  Overall these problems did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book, and this is a valuable reference for anyone interested in the Polish Navy in WWII or the Hunt class destroyers in general.  Recommended.