Anchors Away – history of the MS Batory – virgin journey voyage, war, migration

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 martialfight during WW2 (e.g. it took part in the battles of Narvik) without suffering big damage. It was destroyed after thirty six years of action.

Ship on the sea

Autor: Mark Michaelis
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was constructed in Italy).

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On its virgin trip it sailed from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This amazing ship has on its deck lots of excellent passangers such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This journey was reported by Polish Radio. The MS Batory started regular duty in May 1936 on the Gdynia – New York run. The ship equipment was novel and very impressive.

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It was powered by two sets of Burmeister and Wain diesel engines (it could reach a speed of 18 knots). The ship 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 expensive porcelain and amazing furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.

The news about war met the liner during a journey from Canada and then The Batory became a battleship and spent 652 days at wather. The most memorable trip was a evacuation almost 500 young ones from Europe to Australia. After war the liner came back to Poland in 1946 and continued civil service (in the 60-ties it even played in a few movies). On its desk lots of Poles left theirs motherland searching a better existence beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of duty, in 1971 The Batory was directed into retirement and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was superseded by a larger ship TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from pictures, memories and a few memorials had left from the MS Batory and its liner equipment. That was the end of the history of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.

New ship

guests can miracle model of MS Batory in the Emigration Museum in Poland in the town of Gdynia. Unfortunately tourists can’t look up interiors of the ship, but they can get know more about its magnificiant story, courageous team (especially about its Capitan – Eustazy Borkowski). In the other rooms of this museum they can also find out more about people who opted emigration, about their existence (before and after they left Poland), about their motivation and future decisions.