ORP Grom (1936)

Sailors man the rails on Grom, probably before the outbreak of World War II. Polish photo, now in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1935
Launched
1936
Commissioned
1937
AD/BC
AD
History

ORP Grom (Polish for Thunderbolt) was the lead ship of a two destroyer class. Laid down in 1935, Grom was built in England. She was intended for two main roles: defending Gdynia (Poland's only port), and escorting convoys, and the design called for her to be superior to any other destroyer one-on-one. Grom commissioned 11 May, 1937, and took up her station. However, she never saw action around Poland. On 30 August, 1939, Grom was one of three destroyers ordered to enact the Peking Plan, and head for the UK. Grom arrived the next day, avoiding the German preemptive air attacks that destroyed other Polish warships in port. Grom supported Allied operations until the Norwegian campaign, conducting gunfire support missions against the Germans. On 4 May, 1940, Grom was providing gunfire off Narvik, when a He-111 managed to score a lucky bomb hit on a loaded torpedo tube, detonating the warheads. The blast broke Grom in two, and she quickly sank with the loss of fifty-nine crew. Her wreck is still in place, and was first explored by divers in the mid-1980s.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Grom's gunfire was so good, that she was ranked as the most hated Allied warship by the German troops in Norway.