Saturday, 17 March 2018

The trawlers in the Polish navy according to a CIA report dated 23 January 1953

An item reported that the Polish navy possessed 9 trawlers divided over 2 divisions. The dimensions of the trawlers were 38 x 6 x 1 metres. The 2-400hp diesel engines made a speed of 9 knots possible. Originally were the trawlers fitted out with 3 engines but before the Soviet Union handed the vessels over, was one removed. Fitted out with 110V electric power. The vessels were also lightly armoured varying from 0,4cm overall and 1cm for the navigation room and the engine rooms. The armament consisted of-2,4cm guns, 2-12m7cm/0.50” Colt machineguns, 1 light Soviet Degtyariev machinegun, 14 mines, 10 short infantry rifles, 4 TT pistols, a Schultz sweeping gear and 1 paravane gear. The Colt machineguns protected by armour with a thickness of 0,5-1cm had an effective range of 4,5 kilometres. For communication and navigation were 1 UHF shortwave radio set, 2 magnetic compasses, 1 liquid filled compass, 3 hand plummets, 1 Soviet made echo plummet and 1 Lefki demagnetizing set available.

The crew numbered standard 29-32 men consisting of 1 lieutenant (commanding officer), 1 lieutenant (second in command), 4 boatswains respectively engineer, second engineer, gunner and mine officer, 5 boatswain’s mates respectively as electrical engineers (2), navigator, helmsman and cook and 18 sailors respectively as radio operator (1), signalmen (2), gunners (5), assistants to the mine officer (3), machinegun gunners (4) and motormen (3). Mostly were the vessels commanded by non-commissioned officers especially young 1st and 2nd lieutenants and of the major part belonging to the merchant marine officers and forced to serve in the navy as naval reserve officers.

For the often executed simulated laying of sweeping mines were objects like buoys used for suggesting a mine position. The seaworthiness and value of the trawlers can be discussed while they did not depth to open sea with a wind strength of 4 Beaufort (13-18 miles/hour).

The report was published on, document number CIA-RDP82-00457R016000290007-0