by Nigel Denchfield
March is a market town situated in the Cambridgeshire fens, so finding a plaque on the wall of its excellent museum from the Polish navy commemorating a link to ORP Dzik was a revelation. March is rather better known as a railway town, and had an enormous hump marshalling yard on its north side which was the second largest in Europe. It became the largest after a visit to Hamburg by Bomber Command.
The U class Submarine P52 was built in late 1942, transferred to the Polish navy in January 1943 and named Dzik [Boar]. Crewed by a mostly Polish crew, she served in the Mediterranean alongside her sister U class, Sokol where they were known as the terrible twins.
Whilst P52 was being built, March set out to raise money and adopt it. In March 1942, a full on March warship week was held to begin the fund raising. It was a big demand for a small market town of around 10,000 people.
The programme survives in the museum archive. The snippets give a good idea of the programme of activities and the targets set for the town and surrounding villages.
To mark this achievement, the museum is staging a special exhibition this year, part
of which is a model illustrating Dzik. Mirage Hobby makes a number of U-
The kit is fairly basic, with a sheet of brass fittings around the conning tower. No crew are provided, so 4 were made from plastic rod scraped and bent to look reasonable at range of 2 feet. The date represented is September 1943, heading back her Beirut base, and her Jolly Roger is accurate for that period. As I left the hull complete, the sea base had to be raised, and a submarine shaped hole cut into it. Of course, I was not accurate enough, and ended up with a bit of a gap around the hull. I hid this by ripping small pieces of kitchen roll up and securing in place with PVA. This seemed to work well, and gave a nice foamy look around the hull.