Kazimierz Porębski

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Kazimierz Porębski
Pomnik wiceadmirala Kazimierza Porebskiego 005.JPG
Born (1872-11-15)November 15, 1872
Vilna, Russian Empire
Died January 21, 1933(1933-01-21)
Warsaw, Poland
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch  Imperial Russian Navy
 Polish Navy
Years of service 1889-1933
Rank Vice-Admiral
Commands held Polish Navy
Battles/wars Russo-Japanese War
World War I

Kazimierz Porębski (November 15, 1872 - January 21, 1933) was a Polish career naval officer who rose to the position of admiral within the Imperial Russian Navy, and was subsequently the first commander-in-chief of the inter-war Polish Navy.


Porębski was born in Vilnius, in what was then Vilna Governorate of the Russian Empire to an ethnic Polish family. He entered the Sea Cadets Corps in Petrograd in 1889 and graduated as a midshipman in 1892.

Russian Navy career[edit]

Porębski attended mine warfare school on commissioning into the Imperial Russian Navy, and from 1895 to 1899 served aboard the Dmitrii Donskoi on which he voyaged to the Mediterranean and then to the Far East with a visit to Nagasaki, Japan in 1896. He was promoted to lieutenant on April 13, 1897, after his return to Russia, and continued his studies in mine warfare. He was then assigned to the Pamiat Azova from 1899-1901. On December 1, 1901, he became the executive officer on the cruiser Novik, whose construction he had been sent to oversee at the Schichau-Werke shipyards in Danzig, Germany. Assigned with Novik to the Russian Pacific Fleet, he was promoted to Captain Lieutenant on April 17, 1905. Novik played an active role in the Russo-Japanese War, especially at the Battle of the Yellow Sea and the Battle of Korsakov.

After the end of the war, Porębski was promoted to lieutenant commander on December 6, 1906 and was assigned to the Russian Baltic Fleet. He briefly commanded the new cruiser Admiral Makarov in 1909. From 1909-1913, Porębski was captain of the minelayer Yenisei. He was promoted to the rank of captain on November 26, 1912.

During the early stages of World War I, from 1913–1916, Porębski was captain of the battleship Imperatritsa Mariya with the Russian Black Sea Fleet and active in combat operations off of Bulgaria. Porębski was promoted to rear admiral on April 19, 1916 and reassigned to command the cruiser squadron of the Black Sea Fleet. He went into the reserves from November 1916, but was recalled in early 1917, and was placed in command of the fortifications guarding the Gulf of Finland. He then served as head of the Maritime Department for the Northwestern Front.

Polish Naval career[edit]

With the Russian Revolution, Porębski was released from service with the Russian Navy, and quickly moved to the newly independent Poland, arriving in Warsaw in November 1918. He founded the predecessor of the Maritime and Colonial League, an organization dedicated to the establishment of a Polish Navy and an overseas colonial presence. From 1919, he joined the Department of Maritime Affairs in the Ministry of National Defense, initiating the Polish Merchant Navy and the Polish Naval Academy in 1920, as well as the purchasing of the training sailing-ship "Lwów", and the expansion of the military harbor in Gdynia. He also participated in the symbolic Poland's Wedding to the Sea performedby Polish president General Józef Haller in early 1920. During the Polish–Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921), Porębski commanded naval units on the Vistula River. In 1921, he was granted the rank of vice admiral, and served as chairman of Maritime Affairs in the Department of the Navy. However, in 1925, he became embroiled in a political scandal involving the purchase of obsolete naval mines and was forced to resign his post. He retired from public service in 1927, and in 1928 criminal investigation against him by the Military Prosecutor's Office was discontinued.

Porębski died on January 21, 1933 in Warsaw after a long illness and was buried in the Powązki Military Cemetery.



In Polish Language

  • Julian Czerwiński, Małgorzata Czerwińska, Maria Babnis, Alfons Jankowski, Jan Sawicki. "Kadry Morskie Rzeczypospolitej. Tom II. Polska Marynarka Wojenna. Część I. Korpus oficerów 1918-1947, Wyd. Wyższa Szkoła Morska, Gdynia 1996, ISBN 83-86703-50-4
  • Kmdr ppor. mgr Piotr Andrzejewski, kmdr ppor. mgr inż. Zygmunt Białogłowski, kpt. mar. mgr inż. Tomasz Dolny, kmdr por. dr Henryk Karwan, kpt. mar. inż. Janusz Królikowski, kadm. Michał Michalski, kmdr por. dypl. Andrzej Walor. "Przegląd Morski", Wyd. kwiecień 2005, nr 4 / 2005, Redakcja Czasopism Marynarki Wojennej, Gdynia 2005, ISSN 0137-7205

In Russian Language