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The Mistake
The Mistake

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marek sarba



Senior Member

Registered: November 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 237
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New painting which waited long time in line of projects “To Do”.
The title is “THE MISTAKE”
size 30inches x 20inches ,oil on canvas.


In 1941, the United States offered the Royal Navy some old S-Class submarines and decision was made that Poles would receive one of these boats. Thus, on November 4, 1941, the old S-25 was named ORP “Jastrzab”(“Hawk”), and Polish ensign was hoisted in New London. Commanding officer was Captain navy B.Romanowski. After departure Jastrzab bearing I.D. number P-551, arrived in St.John’s N.F. and next on Dec.1, 1941 after very difficult crossing the Atlantic ORP “Jastrzab” reached Holy Loch (England) where British upgrade the ship which took some weeks. After short rather and adventures first small rather jobs submarine was ready on heavy war duties. On April 22, 1942. “Jastrzab left on a mission to protect Murmansk-Bound convoy, PQ-15. and the mission assigned was to act as a screen from German warship based in occupied Norway. On reaching its sector Jastrzab commander had considerable problems with navigation since dead reckoning at best after days at sea, but problems were compounded by bad weather, squalls, and cloud cover which precluded astral bearing or fix and thus a correction of position. To recharge the batteries required coming to the surface, and this was tantamount with terrible punishment from the heavy swells. On May 2, 1942 at 19:40 the watch officer reported Asdic (sonar) contact, and a periscope observation showed an old American four-stack destroyer and smaller trawler. It appeared they were in search mode, bearing directly toward submerged ORP “Jastrzab” in full speed. It was inevitable that a depth-charge attack from friendly ships would ensue and ships commander ordered to released recognition yellow smoke signal but depth-charge attack it started. Noise like train rolling, explosions, popping of rivets, breaking of pipes and jets of water pouring through the hull. After second attack the submarine surfaced before the first ship turned around to continue the attack. When ORP “Jastrzab” surfaced, immediately Thomas Beard the Leading signalman with his Aldis lamp was to be first on the conning tower deck. When he just opened the hatch fell dead from friendly gun fire. Commanding officer Capt. Romanowski as the next to exit on the deck of conning tower stepping over signalman laying body and saw the submarine surrounded on two sides . At the Portside was Norwegian-manned ex USA Navy for-stack destroyer “St. Albans” and on the Starboard side in parallel distance was the trawler mine sweeper HMS “Seagull“. Both ships were massively firing at submarine from anti aircraft machine guns. In the moment commander realized that destroyer has tendency to ram the submarine and gave an order for all his crew to abandon the ship. The crew began to appear on deck using all available hatches . British Leading Telegraphist on the deck of submarine Martin Dowd start attempts made to communicate by Aldis lamp toward a HMS “Seagull”. Mine sweeper instantly held his fire. In the meantime the destroyer “St. Albans” couldn’t using heavy guns because HMS “Seagull” was directly in line of fire so commander of destroyer put both engines full ahead and cross submarine path approaching submarine from another side, the same side as HMS “Seagull”and from distance about 50 meters only started using 0.5 and 12 pdr. guns in addition to continuously firing light machine guns aiming at submarine and showing on the deck crew. Capt. Romanowski was wounded in moment of his arrival on the top of conning tower where support himself on side bench . Lieutenant Guzowski as first opened hatch at bow of submarine with ships polish flag and handed it to the wounded submarine commander who raised the flag very clearly above the top of the tower and using both hands began to wind the flag toward Allied ships. Despite three additional wounds he waved blood stained flag still . Than the firing ceased and a silence ensued except for the groans of the wounded sailors. The destroyer crept closer to the ORP”Jastrzab” and voice hailed the Poles.
“Are you German?”
“I am a Polish submarine, you bloody fool, can’t you see P-551?” ….“I am a Polish submarine, you bloody fool, can’t you see P-551?” ....replied submarine wounded commander B.Romanowski
What can we do to help?”
“Send a doctor and engineers.” But it was to late the boat could not be saved. The crew abandoned the submarine and were taken aboard the trawler HMS “Seagull” and the Norwegian-manned destroyer “St.Albans”. Five submarine crew was killed , 4 officers including submarine Commander and 12 sailors seriously wounded. With help artillery from HMS “Seagull” slow sinking ORP “Jastrzab” was sent to the bottom of the sea. This was just “The Mistake”.
· Date: Mon, 2 March 20 · Views: 342
· Filesize: 25.1kb, 463.8kb · Dimensions: 1008 x 668 ·
Additional Info
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Stephen J. Card

Senior Member

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 10,241
Mon, 2 March 20 17:16

Disgusting balls-up!

Marek,

Fantastic painting! Apart for the story of 'The Mistake' the painting is beautiful. Fine sky. lovely sea. Perfect colours!

Stephen
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marek sarba

Senior Member

Registered: November 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 237
Mon, 2 March 20 18:00

Thank You Stephen was a difficult job to find the story, a lot of discrepancies but I glue to the the story of commander of the submarine. No point to lie. Base that submarine was located 100 miles of the meeting point (investigation) both commanders of those two navy ships went free. Commander Romanowski get new submarine (wilk/wolf).Many stories like this and history is very silent in most cases. The submarine was alterd some in England so a lot to search what actually changed from original appearance.
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makko

Senior Member

Registered: July 2006
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 5,929
Mon, 2 March 20 18:10

Apart from the fine painting, what a tragic story of "Blue on Blue".
Congratulations for persevering and preserving this event for posterity.
Rgds.
Dave
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Spanish Binnacle

Senior Member

Registered: February 2013
Location: North Spain
Posts: 1,591
Wed, 4 March 20 05:09

Marek

Another outstanding work. I have always thought, that our art work should be a great tool to explain better maritime history. For this reason I value very much when the scenes are explained and documented.

About your painting. Great colours specially the sea. Full action plenty of details.

Roberto

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www.elilustradordebarcos.wordpress.com
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marek sarba

Senior Member

Registered: November 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 237
Wed, 4 March 20 08:42

Thank You very much. If painting creation based on history is an illustration of our times and description a must . The painting is just a moment like snapshot and many would like to know the story behind. In addition to that on pages where a number of artists are placing the work it is nice to tell about creative problems from studio/artist point of view. Process is very important and very interesting. Maritime art in eyes of todays public view is about 90% sail subject.Some country are rich in maritime tradition some they have a lot of waters but the maritime subject is not known widely and limited to the cruise industry and type of night bars on those ships, just sad. Art in general is the last possibilities to make a living from it. The most important is that real artist must paint this is addiction and beautiful one, much better than popularity of new model of I-phone. Hold yourself to the brush gentleman and show what you’ve got.
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Stephen J. Card

Senior Member

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 10,241
Thu, 5 March 20 00:59

Cunard Line has a new ship in the building yard. We are guessing the name will be another 'Queen Something', definitely not going to be a MAURETANIA, CARONIA, FRANCONIA etc. I did some 30 paintings for the QUEEN MARY 2. Gordon Bauwens did several. QUEEN VICTORIA and QUEEN ELIZABETH have a nice collection of marine paintings done Bauwens, Robert Lloyd, Harley Crossley, ED Walker as well as myself. Marine paintings for the new ship? ZERO! Very sad situation for a company like Cunard to turn their backs again their maritime heritage.
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marek sarba

Senior Member

Registered: November 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 237
Thu, 5 March 20 08:44

Art and ships especially not the modern cruse but, classic liners they were THE art museums on water a class and very high. Unfortunately not any more very sad. Millions and millions are invested to build new passenger ships but no drop in the bucket for art just Mickey Mouse actual still. No more real art for front cover in the books publishing, Photoshop makes the magic. Anybody know modern book with special made to it illustrations? I am getting to depressive and is morning. I am with You Stephen.
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blausioux

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Registered: August 2015
Location: Zürich / Switzerland
Posts: 584
Sun, 22 March 20 15:50

Fantastic!

Emil

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Emil Gut
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