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

Posted on 06/03/2020 7:19am

The MS (Motor Ship) Batory is one of the most popular Polish Transatlantic ships and a symbol of Polish exile. It was called “Lucky Ship”, because it took part in large number of militaryaction during WWII (e.g. it participated in the battles of Narvik) without taking large damage. It was destroyed after thirty six years of duty.
Ship on the sea
Author: Mark Michaelis
The MS Batory was launched on 3 July 1935 (it was built in Italy). On its virgin cruise it set off from Monfalcone to Gdynia on April 1936. This wonderful liner has on its deck lots of splendid people such as: Wojciech Kossak, Monika Żeromska or Melchior Wańkowicz. This trip was commented by Polish Radio. The MS Batory began frequent duty in May 1936 on the Gdynia - New York run. The ship equipment was new and very impressive. 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 decorated with great taste (including pricey porcelain and beautiful furniture). MS Batory was callednamed a floating art showroom.

The information about war met the liner during a trip from Canada and then The Batory was converted to a warship and spent 652 days at sea. The most remarkable journey was a evacuation almost 500 kids from Europe to Australia. After war the liner came back to Poland in 1946 and continued civil service (in the 60-ties it even took a part in a few films). On its board many Poles left theirs motherland looking for a better existence beyond the Atlantic Ocean in the USA. Then, after many years of service, in 1971 The Batory was directed into pension and go to demolition yard in Honkong. In 1969 it was superseded by a bigger vessel TSS Stefan Batory. Nothing, apart from photographs, recollections and a few memorials had left from the MS Batory and its ship accessory. That was the end of the story of the Polish Transatlantic Liner known as a “Lucky Ship”.

New ship
Tourists can look up design 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 find out more about its fabulous story, daredevil staff (especially about its chef – Eustazy Borkowski). In the other rooms of this museum they can also learn more about people who chose emigration, about their existence (before and after they left homeland), about their motivation and future decisions.

Tags: liner, vessel, ship, Transatlantic Liner