MS Piłsudski in New York
|Port of registry||Gdynia, Poland|
|Launched||19 December 1934|
|Maiden voyage||15 September 1935|
|Out of service||1939|
|Identification||Call sign: SPED|
|Fate||Sunk, 26 November 1939|
|Length||162 metres (531 ft)|
|Beam||21.6 metres (71 ft)|
|Propulsion||Two diesel engines|
|Speed||18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
She was built in Italy by the CRDA yard at Monfalcone, yard number 1126, for Polskie Transatlantyckie Towarzystwo Okrętowe ("Polish Transatlantic Shipping Company Limited" or PTTO), which in 1934 became Gdynia – Ameryka Linie Zeglugowe (Gdynia – America Line), with part of the payment being shipments of coal from Poland. Launched in December 1934, her tonnage was 14,294 tons gross, with a length of 162 metres (531 ft) and beam of 22 metres (71 ft). She was propelled by two diesel engines driving a pair of propellers giving a speed of 18 knots (33 km/h).
She entered the regular service as a liner on the trans-atlantic route in September 1935, setting sail for a maiden voyage from Gdynia to New York. As a liner, she was very badly damaged by her first ocean storm. In 1939, she was taken over for war service and scheduled to be converted into an armed merchant cruiser. The plans of that conversion were dropped, the ship being instead converted into a troop transport ship. During her first wartime voyage on 26 November 1939 sailing out of Newcastle, she struck a mine (most likely) or was torpedoed (lack of confirmation in German sources). Abandoned too soon by her crew, quite capable of being saved, she sank off the Humber.
The liner found posthumously its place in the history of Polish literature. In the novel Eccentrics, written by Mr. W. Kowalewski and published by Marginesy-Publishers in 2015, the main character of the novel - a Polish swingman and dancer born in Lemberg, Fabian Apanowicz, takes part in the last peacetime voyage of the Pilsudski as a member of the ship's band, and after his return to Poland after the war, he tells the story of the unfinished voyage to his six years younger sister Wanda, a dentist in Ciechocinek (cf. W. Kowalewski, Excentrycy/Eccentrics, Marginesy Warsaw 2015, pp. 36–43). The wreck is located at in 34 metres (112 ft).
- History of M/S Pilsudski and M/S Batory
- Official report of the sinking Archived 12 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Diver report
- The MS Piłsudski - "The Polish Titanic" What Happened with the pride of the Polish Navy?
- Cruising Ships, W.H. Mitchell and L. A Sawyer, Doubleday, 1967
- Wielka Ksiega Statkow Polskich, vol 2, J. Micinski, M. Twardowski, B. Huras.
- "The Polish Titanic: TFN explores the sinking of the MS Piłsudski". Retrieved 19 August 2022.