We are proud to announce the first vessel of the Polish Navy, the Grom-class destroyer Błyskawica, which will soon be coming to the game as a Tier VI Premium ship. The British-designed Polish destroyer was one of the two Grom-class destroyer, one of the fastest and most heavily armed ships of their kind in World War II. Commissioned in 1937, Błyskawica fought alongside the Royal Navy in the rough waters of the North Sea and the Atlantic and she is still in service, to this date, in the Polish Navy.
Her mission today is to welcome scores of visitors, eager to walk her deck, which is being kept in a perfect state by the standing crew that still serves on the ship. It is thanks to the Naval Museum in Gdynia, where the ship is anchored, that we can bring you this fabulous vessel into the game for you to command.
Cooperation like this doesn´t spring up over the night. Our own military specialist from Wargaming Europe has flown to Gdynia, Poland, so many times he might as well get a Polish passport. “I have had the privilege to meet the museum management, great people with a great vision,” says Krešimir Gusak, military specialist for Wargaming EU. “We really wanted to come to a mutual understanding on how a games company and a naval museum could work together. How a game could not only be an entertainment medium, but also a platform for learning, education and preservation of history.”
Countless meetings and thousands of Frequent Flyer points later, the Gdynia Maritime Museum kindly provided us with material that our development team could use to make Błyskawica sail in World of Warships. That entailed dozens of historical blueprints (with various different configurations of the ship) and hundreds of authentic photographs that have never seen the outside of an archive box. Krešimir adds to that: “We understand how important Błyskawica is to the Polish people and how it also could be a significant contribution to the game. We have gone to great lengths to reconstruct her in the game and in the meantime had a lot of fun.” The museum staff even visited the Cowes shipyard in the United Kingdom, where the ship had been laid down in September 1935.
There is much more to add and more to talk about. We at Wargaming EU are very eagerly looking forward to long-term cooperation and partnership with the Maritime Museum in Gdynia, as well as towards showing you more of the ship. Stay tuned for more info on the ship herself, in-game pictures and stats included. In the meantime, we´d love to hear from you in the forums or in the comments below!
All historical images courtesy of the Maritime Museum Gdynia. In-game models used in the article are also a work-in-progress and are likely subject to change.