Allied Warships

ORP Wilk (N 63)

Submarine of the Wilk class


NavyThe Polish Navy
PennantN 63 
Built byChantier Augustin Normand (Le Havre, France) 
Laid down 1927 
Launched12 Apr 1929 
Commissioned31 Oct 1931 
End service 

Wilk means Wolf in Polish.

From 1 to 14 September she patrolled by Penninsula Hel. At midnight 14 September the ship went by Sund Strait and 20 September arrived Rosyth (Great Britain). After repairs Wilk was detached to its usual patrol duty in North Sea. In the autumn of 1940 Wilk was docked for almost year and thereafter was used as training submarine. She was put in reserve on 2 May 1942. In 1951 she was towed to Poland where she was scrapped in 1954.


Commands listed for ORP Wilk (N 63)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Kpt. mar. Boguslaw Krawczyk, ORPJul 193819 Apr 1940
2Kpt. mar. Borys Karnicki, ORP19 Apr 19401 Aug 1940
3Kpt. mar. Boguslaw Krawczyk, ORP1 Aug 194019 Jul 1941 (+)
4Kmdr ppor. Brunon Jablonski, ORP27 Jul 19413 Apr 1942

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Notable events involving Wilk include:

2 Sep 1939
At 09.00hours Wilk spotted two German minesweepers and one destroyer at distance of 14000 meters. Her commanding officer ordered to approach and attack, but one of minesweepers spotted the periscope and turned rapidly. Wilk had to dive deeper and was soon damaged by depth charges dropped by Germans. Wilk dove to 50 meters. German U-boat chasers came as reinforcements, but the enemy lost contact. Despite this, they continued searching. At night Wilk managed to escape. (1)

2 Sep 1939
Update: The spotted destroyer and minesweepers were Erich Steinbrinck with M 4 and M 7. Steinbrick reported evading a fired torpedo, but the Polish reports don't confirm firing any. (1)

3 Sep 1939
20 mines were laid by Wilk in Gulf of Gdansk. (1)

4 Sep 1939
During the day the submerged Wilk was attacked three times by German minesweepers. Depth charges caused some damage, but ship continued her patrol. (1)

5 Sep 1939
At 09.43AM Wilk was detected and attacked by minesweepers and aircraft. Her commanding officer ordered to dive to 87 meters (the safe depth was 80 meters). All of the German depth charges exploded over the submarine. (1)

10 Sep 1939
The commanding officer of Wilk requested the Naval High Command for permission to enter the Hela or Gdynia harbour for repairs. The High Command refused and ordered him to sail to England or Sweden. The Crew decided to break out from Baltic to Britain. (1)

14 Sep 1939
At night the surfaced Wilk was sailing through Strait of Sund. The lookouts spotted two ships at distance of about 50 meters(!). Luckily, the Germans failed to spot the submarine and Wilk managed to break out of the Baltic. (1)

20 Sep 1939
ORP Wilk (Lt. B. Krawczyk, ORP) arrived in Britain and entered the harbour of Rosyth under escort of the British destroyer HMS Sturdy (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Cooper, RN). (1)

25 Jan 1940
HMS H 34 (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Rosyth with HMS Vega (Cdr. C.I Horton, RN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). Upon completion of these exercises HMS H 34 proceeded to Portsmouth together with HMS Ursula (Cdr. G.C. Phillips, DSO, RN) and ORP Wilk (Lt. B. Krawczyk). They were ordered to return to Rothesay the next day due to enemy submarines operation of the east coast of the U.K. (2)

23 Jun 1940
Around 1030A/23, the light cruisers HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and the destroyer HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) departed Rosyth with despatch to make rendezvous with the damaged Polish submarine ORP Wilk (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) B. Karnicki). After Wilk reported she was able to dive the British ships were ordered to return to Rosyth which they did around 1830A/23. (3)


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/16301
  3. ADM 53/111576 + ADM 53/113212 + ADM 199/385

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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