Info History Operational History Technical Data

She was launched as HMS Urchin. Sokol was one of the U class submarines. After lost of Orzel and moving Wilk into reserve Polish Navy was deprived of operational submarines.
Sheep - Sokol's Ensign
Because of that KMW applied to British Admiralty with the request of loaning a new submarine. In reply British proposed to Poles two ex Turkish subs [P 614 and P 615]. Due the problems with the cadre KMW had to refuse this proposition. Instead PMW received new U class submarine. Sokol was loaned from British Navy on 20.IV.1941 [receiving name Sokol and tactical number N 97] and returned 27.VII.1946. The commander of the ship was appointed lt. cmdr. Borys Karnicki. After three weeks of training she was directed to Portsmouth from which Sokol was patrolling area near Brest waiting for German battleships Gneisenau and Sharnhorst. On one of the patrols she attacked troop ship but without any results [7-23.VII.1941]. Then she was moved to Mediterranean. On her second patrol on 28.X.1941 Sokol attacked Italian convoy consisting of 5 troops and 2 destroyers. She fired four torpedoes to the biggest troop ship, which appeared auxiliary cruiser Citta di Palermo [5 241 GRT]. None of the torpedoes hit the target. When she was returning from the patrol Sokol meet solitary Italian merchantman ship, which was destroyed by artillery. Sunken ship was named Balilla [2 469 GRT]. On the next patrol, which fall out near Navarino [Greece], Sokol have got very interesting history. When she was underwater entering harbour, she entangled in the net against the submarines.
Sokol's Jolly Roger
After a few minutes of struggle, she was free. That night Sokol missed Italian destroyer Strale class. Two days later on 21.XI.1941 she fired three torpedoes, at unidentified tanker, from which none were accurate. When Sokol returned to Malta she was visited by General Sikorski, and she received "Jolly Roger" [white belt - sunk enemy ship, red belt - sunk enemy warship, gun - artillery duel, swords - abordage, net - forcing the anti - submarine net, above swastika ship destroyed before capitulation of Italy]. New year Sokol inaugurated by sinking enemy schooner Giuseppina [392 GRT]. This situation takes place on 12.II.1942. After returning to the base there were heavy air raids on Malta. On 19.III.1942 Sokol was heavily damaged. After six days when ship was ready to operate, but was again heavy damaged by German bombers. During these air raids, Sokol was lying on the bottom of the basin, and during the night she was recharging his batteries. On 30.II.1942 Sokol was again ready to sail, but again she was damaged by bombs. In the end on 17.IV.1942 Sokol finally left Malta and sailed into Gibraltar. After monthly renovation Sokol was leaded to England. This was the end of Sokol's first Mediterranean Campaign.

Until the September 1942 ship was staying in the dockyard in the general renovation. At this time there was change of the commander. The new captain of the ship becomes lt. cmdr. Jerzy Koziolkowski. After two patrols near Norway Sokol was sent to Mediterranean. Her second campaign started in May in 12.V.1943. When she was sailing to Malta on 6.V.1943 Sokol was attacked by German U 371 sub, but three torpedoes fired by the enemy vessel missed.
Sokol in Malta harbour
On her first patrol, on 8.VI.1943, Sokol attacked barquentine but without any success. When she was returning to the base Sokol was again attacked by Italian submarine, but she dived and after a quarter Sokol emerged and she tried to attack sailing boat which did this submarine escort. But because of attack of Italian MGB's she had to retreat. On 15.VII.1943 attacked Italian convoy near Bari but she was drove near by Italian escort. During Italian surrender on 8.IX.1943 Sokol sailed into Brindisi and four days later she took 6 troops and formed a convoy, which was sailing to the Malta. During this voyage, after short fight, Italian submarines Vittorio Pisani and Ottario joined to the convoy. It is possible that on 12.IX.1943 Sokol sunk [in collision] ex Yugoslav motor boat Meattini [36 T]. On the second patrol on 4.X.1943 she unsuccesfully attacked Italian steamer Gigliola [734 T] and on the same day Sokol attacked and missed another enemy vessel. Three days later on 7.X.1943 she sunk ex Italian troop, under German flag Eridania [7 095 GRT]. After this Sokol was moved to Aegean Sea. The task for Sokol was easy. She had to destroy German navigation between islands. Already on her first patrol, on 11.XI.1943, Sokol destroy, by artillery, little German cutter Argentina [64 GRT]. On that same patrol, seven days later [18.XI.1943], she sunk another hostile cutter, this time ex Greek one, sailing under German flag. Next day in the Sitia Bay [Crete], Sokol meet two German schooners, which were sunk by torpedoes. In the same time Sokol's torpedoes destroyed three more cutters. Also, probably, German anti-submarine patrol vessel Möwe was sunk in this action.
Sokol's crew with Jolly Roger and German flag
On this plentiful patrol During this patrol Sokol sunk 1 anti-submarine patrol vessel, 2 schooners and 5 cutters. On the next patrol, near Lemnos, during the storm Sokol attacked ex Greek transport ship Anthipi [5 609 GRT] and probably missed her. On the next day she sunk by artillery three enemy schooners. Fourth one [ex Greek] was sunk three days later near promontory of Bata [Turkey]. Two days later, on 17.XII.1943 Sokol unsuccessfully attacked ex Bulgarian Balkan [3 838 GRT] which was later on 23.XII.1943 sunk by British sub Sportsman. In the beginning of the 1944 year she sunk on 12.I.1944 Greek schooner. Three days later Sokol was heavily damaged by depth charges. Shortly she was directed to Malta and from there to Gibraltar, which Sokol left on 20.III.1944 ending his second Mediterranean Campaign. Until the September of 1944 Sokol was in the renovation. In that time the commander of the ship was lt. cmdr. Tadeusz Bernas. After ending of the renovation Sokol was allotted to International Flotilla of Submarines in Dundee. From there she made some patrols near Norway, but mainly Sokol was taking action in the drills. In May of 1945 Sokol and Dzik were moved to West Hartlepool, where was staying, moved to the reserve, destroyer Burza. In 27.VII.1945 Sokol was returned to British. She restored her previous name Urchin and in 1949 she was scrapped.