MS Piłsudski

This article is about the Polish passenger ship. For other uses, see Pilsudski (disambiguation).
MS Piłsudski in New York
Name: MS Piłsudski
Namesake: Józef Piłsudski
Owner: PTTO
Port of registry: Poland Gdynia, Poland
Builder: CRDA, Monfalcone
Yard number: 1126
Launched: December 1934
In service: September 1935
Out of service: 1939
Fate: Sunk, 26 November 1939
General characteristics
Tonnage: 14,294 GRT
Length: 162 metres (531 ft)
Beam: 21.6 metres (71 ft)
Propulsion: Two diesel engines driving two screws
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)

M/S Piłsudski (later renamed ORP Piłsudski) was a medium-size ocean liner of the Polish Merchant Marine, named for Marshal Józef Piłsudski, a national hero of Poland. She was built in Italy (by the CRDA yard at Monfalcone, yard No. 1126) for the enterprise called PTTO, later Gdynia-Ameryka Linie Zeglugowe (Gdynia-America Line), with part of the payment being shipments of coal from Poland. Launched in December 1934, her tonnage was 14,294 tons gross, with a length of 162 metres (531 ft) and a beam of 71 ft. She was propelled by two diesel engines driving two screws, giving a speed of 18 knots.

She entered the regular service as a liner on the trans-atlantic route in September 1935, setting sail for a maiden voyage from Gdynia to New York. As a liner, she was very badly damaged by her first ocean storm. In 1939, she was taken over for war service and scheduled to be converted into an armed merchant cruiser. The plans of that conversion were dropped, the ship being instead converted into a troop transport ship. During her first wartime voyage on 26 November 1939 sailing out of Newcastle, she struck a mine (most likely) or was torpedoed (lack of confirmation in German sources). Abandoned too soon by her crew, quite capable of being saved, she sunk off the Humber.

She was the older sister ship to Poland's most famous ocean liner, the MS Batory. The Pilsudski's first skipper was Master Mariner Mamert Stankiewicz.

Sitting at 53°45.75′N 0°45.67′E / 53.76250°N 0.76117°E / 53.76250; 0.76117Coordinates: 53°45.75′N 0°45.67′E / 53.76250°N 0.76117°E / 53.76250; 0.76117 in 34 metres (112 ft), she is biggest shipwreck in Yorkshire.


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