Anchors Away – story of the MS Batory – first voyage, war, exile

The MS (Motor Ship) Batory is one of the best-known Polish Transatlantic Liners and a symbol of Polish emigration. It was nicknamed “Lucky Ship”, because it took part in lots of martialoperation during World War II (e.g. it participated in the battles of Narvik) without suffering serious damage. It was destroyed after thirty six years of service.

Ship on the sea
Article wrote: Mark Michaelis
Source: http://www.flickr.com
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was developed in Italy). On its first cruise it set off from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This beautiful ship has on its board lots of prominent passangers such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This cruise was reported by Polish Radio. The MS Batory began frequent duty in May 1936 on the Gdynia - New York run. The ship equipment was modern and very noble. It was powered by two sets of Burmeister and Wain diesel engines (it could reach a speed of 18 knots). The liner was 160 metres long, weight over 14,000 tonnes, had seven desks, guest cabins, dining and dance halls, a reading room, a pool and a gym. It was also ornamented with large taste (including pricey porcelain and amazing furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.

The news about conflict met the ship during a journey from Canada and then The Batory was converted to a battleship and spent 652 days at sea. The most meaningful trip was a evacuation almost 500 kids from Europe to Australia. After war the liner returned to Poland in 1946 and continued civil service (in the 60-ties it even took a part in a few movies). On its desk lots of Polish people abandoned theirs homeland looking for a better existence beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of service, in 1971 The Batory was sent into retirement and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was replaced by a larger ship TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from photographs, memories and a few memorials had left from the MS Batory and its liner accessory. That was the end of the story of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.
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