For those interested in the Polish Navy I recently bought the book recommended to me on the forum:
"Navies in Exile" by A S Divine, published in 1944 by John Murray Publishers, London.
Whilst there is only one chapter devoted to the Polish Navy it is incredibly in-depth and provides some wonderful first-hand accounts. The author was a sailor/officer with the British Navy and many of the accounts are his own testimony.
My father servced on ORP Garland so I follow her with interest. This is a bit off-topic but I am including a passage about an incident when Garland was on convoy to Murmansk in May 1942. It's a great example of the Polish fighting spirit.
Incidentally, from October 1942 approximately 800 new recruits to the Polish Navy came via Russia / Persia:
"Toward the end of May 1942 (Garland took part in the escorting of a convoy to Murmansk. In the words of the British Admiralty communique,
'The passage of this convoy was made in the face of U-boat attacks and heavy and determined air attacks by bombers, dive-bombers and torpedo-carrying aircraft, which were delivered almost continuously for five days and nights. Nevertheless the convoy reached its destination with comparitively small losses'.
Garland's anti-aircraft fire throughout this time, on the statements of British officers who were present at the action, was magnificent. Incessant attacks by torpedo-carrying aircraft were held off by her barrage fire, and the aircraft were compelled to drop their torpedoes at non-effective range.
On the fourth day Garland seemed to be singled out for terrific attacks, but, for most of the day, neither bombs nor machine-gun fire hit her. Towards the close of that day, however, a Junkers 88, diving through a curtain of fire, dropped a stick of four bombs close alongside. Garland disappeared in a wall of water and of smoke.
The commanding officers of one of the British escort vessels said 'When I saw this happen, I said to my officers, "That's finished the Poles; what a tragedy; they fought so magnificently". But I didn't have time to finish what I was saying, as out from behind a wall of smoke and water emerged Garland, still firing'.
Garland was not out of action, but she was badly damaged. Her hull and superstructure were riddled with metal from high-fragmentation anti-personnel bombs. Whole gun crews had been wiped out. Her decks were covered with dead and dying. Yet she never ceased firing. Her Gunnery Officer, himself wounded, organised crews of artificers and cooks to keep the guns in action. The Paymaster, mortally wounded, handed over his keys to a colleague before he died. One of her wounded, lying where he had been dragged to precarious safety, wrote on the white paint-work above him "Poland - how sweet it is to die for thee!".
For eleven hours after that frantic moment Garland fought on. Towards morning she was detached to try to get her wounded into Murmansk. On the way she sighted a German submarine on the surface and attempted to engage it, but she could make only 20 knots on her damaged engines, and the submarine escaped on the surface. ... For 32 hours her doctor, operating on the wardroom table, patched up the wounded. With half her crew banaged and out of action, the fighting Garland came into Murmanks.
She lived to fight again. "