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“Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland”

On 1 December 2018, visit the headquarters of the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk – the Granaries on Olowianka Island – to enjoy a unique temporary exhibition: “Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland”. The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence, and depicts the origins of the Polish Navy. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage assumed honorary patronage of the event.

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“Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland” (1/1)
“Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland”
“Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland”
National Maritime Museum in Gdansk

The exhibition was designed by Patryk Klein, Jadwiga Klim, Radoslaw Paternoga and Wojciech Ronowski from the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk.

The exhibition “Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland” is diverse in form: traditional narrative pieces such as texts, illustrations and museum exhibits are accompanied by video materials, applications and animations. “The animations enable us to depict the area in which the riverine flotillas operated during the Polish-Soviet War and in the war of 1939”, says Jadwiga Klim. “The exhibition is also complemented by an educational programme: we are working on special events to commemorate important moments from the history of the Polish riverine flotillas”, she adds.

Chief of State, Jozef Pilsudski, ordered the establishment of the Polish Navy on 28 November 1918. However, Poland had no sea access at the time, and so the Polish Navy initially had to operate on rivers. On 30 November, the port in Modlin, located at the confluence of the Narew and Vistula rivers, became its base of operations, and the Vistula Flotilla was established there on 23 December 1918. Modlin was also where the first naval shipyard and maritime school was built, as well as where the Sea Battalion was established – a cadre unit for future naval forces. The Vistula Flotilla served in the Polish-Soviet War of 1920, and the Pinsk Flotilla established in 1919 participated in the Kiev Offensive. After the war, the Pinsk Flotilla (renamed to Riverine Flotilla in 1931) began to gradually take over the duties related to protecting the state’s borders. In addition to its military function, it was also the largest employer in the remote Polesie region, in addition to serving as an important beacon of Polish identity. To the soldiers that served in it, it was a school of patriotism, and for the residents of Pinsk and Polesie, a symbol of the Polish state’s presence in the area. “The exhibition showcases this state-building role of the riverine flotillas. The dramatic events of the Defensive War of September 1939 – the Mokrany Massacre and the sinking of the KU 30 armed vessel – complete the story of the origins of the Polish Navy”, says Wojciech Ronowski, one of the exhibition’s authors. “The prologue goes all the way back to the maritime activities of Jagiellonian Poland: the founding of the Royal Fleet in 1517, and the Maritime Commission in 1568, which was responsible for the establishment of the military fleet and maritime judiciary, as well as safeguarding Polish maritime interests. In a way, the reborn state acted analogously to the last rulers from the Jagiellonian dynasty: it required a strong military fleet, a robust naval administration and the economic support necessary to develop its maritime trading capabilities”, he adds.

“The exhibition concerning the Vistula and Pinsk Flotillas proved to be a greater challenge than we had originally thought”, says Jadwiga Klim. “Due to the scuttling which took place in 1939, and the tragic fates of the crews, who acted in a hurry, relatively few artefacts survived to this day. Those which did are mostly scattered across museums, collectors and the families of the fresh water sailors. Many of them were left behind beyond our eastern border. Acquiring certain exhibits was only possible courtesy of numerous institutions and individuals, and we have them to thank, among others, that this exhibition is taking place.


“Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland” – temporary exhibition in the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk

1.12.2018 – 1.12.2019

EXHIBITION CONCEPT AND SCENARIO:

Patryk Klein, Jadwiga Klim, Radoslaw Paternoga, Wojciech Ronowski

EXHIBITION DESIGN:

Piotr Mikolajczak and

On 1 December 2018, visit the headquarters of the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk – the Granaries on Olowianka Island – to enjoy a unique temporary exhibition: “Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland”. The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence, and depicts the origins of the Polish Navy. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage assumed honorary patronage of the event.

The exhibition was designed by Patryk Klein, Jadwiga Klim, Radoslaw Paternoga and Wojciech Ronowski from the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk.

The exhibition “Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland” is diverse in form: traditional narrative pieces such as texts, illustrations and museum exhibits are accompanied by video materials, applications and animations. “The animations enable us to depict the area in which the riverine flotillas operated during the Polish-Soviet War and in the war of 1939”, says Jadwiga Klim. “The exhibition is also complemented by an educational programme: we are working on special events to commemorate important moments from the history of the Polish riverine flotillas”, she adds.

Chief of State, Jozef Pilsudski, ordered the establishment of the Polish Navy on 28 November 1918. However, Poland had no sea access at the time, and so the Polish Navy initially had to operate on rivers. On 30 November, the port in Modlin, located at the confluence of the Narew and Vistula rivers, became its base of operations, and the Vistula Flotilla was established there on 23 December 1918. Modlin was also where the first naval shipyard and maritime school was built, as well as where the Sea Battalion was established – a cadre unit for future naval forces. The Vistula Flotilla served in the Polish-Soviet War of 1920, and the Pinsk Flotilla established in 1919 participated in the Kiev Offensive. After the war, the Pinsk Flotilla (renamed to Riverine Flotilla in 1931) began to gradually take over the duties related to protecting the state’s borders. In addition to its military function, it was also the largest employer in the remote Polesie region, in addition to serving as an important beacon of Polish identity. To the soldiers that served in it, it was a school of patriotism, and for the residents of Pinsk and Polesie, a symbol of the Polish state’s presence in the area. “The exhibition showcases this state-building role of the riverine flotillas. The dramatic events of the Defensive War of September 1939 – the Mokrany Massacre and the sinking of the KU 30 armed vessel – complete the story of the origins of the Polish Navy”, says Wojciech Ronowski, one of the exhibition’s authors. “The prologue goes all the way back to the maritime activities of Jagiellonian Poland: the founding of the Royal Fleet in 1517, and the Maritime Commission in 1568, which was responsible for the establishment of the military fleet and maritime judiciary, as well as safeguarding Polish maritime interests. In a way, the reborn state acted analogously to the last rulers from the Jagiellonian dynasty: it required a strong military fleet, a robust naval administration and the economic support necessary to develop its maritime trading capabilities”, he adds.

“The exhibition concerning the Vistula and Pinsk Flotillas proved to be a greater challenge than we had originally thought”, says Jadwiga Klim. “Due to the scuttling which took place in 1939, and the tragic fates of the crews, who acted in a hurry, relatively few artefacts survived to this day. Those which did are mostly scattered across museums, collectors and the families of the fresh water sailors. Many of them were left behind beyond our eastern border. Acquiring certain exhibits was only possible courtesy of numerous institutions and individuals, and we have them to thank, among others, that this exhibition is taking place.

“Armed Rivers. Flotillas of an Independent Poland” – temporary exhibition in the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk

1.12.2018 – 1.12.2019

EXHIBITION CONCEPT AND SCENARIO:

Patryk Klein, Jadwiga Klim, Radoslaw Paternoga, Wojciech Ronowski

EXHIBITION DESIGN:

Piotr Mikolajczak and Adrian Leszczuk Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk

EXHIBITION PRODUCER: Marko Advert

APPLICATIONS AND ANIMATIONS: T-Media Marcin Karol

WARTIME OPERATIONS MAP OF THE VISTULA FLOTILLA

AND THE PINSK/RIVERINE FLOTILLA: Dr Wojciech Mazurek

DESIGN AND CREATION OF THE MIDDLEBODY OF THE “KRAKOW” MONITOR Wojciech Kotas, “Mecyje” Mechanical Workshop

VIDEO PRESENTATIONS: ADS Mind

EDUCATIONAL GAME AUTHOR: TRIAS AVI spolka z o.o.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Magdalena Lutek


The exhibition was partially financed by the

Association of the Friends of the National Maritime Museum.

Media patronage: TVP Gdansk, Radio Gdansk, Dziennik Baltycki


Adrian Leszczuk Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk

EXHIBITION PRODUCER: Marko Advert

APPLICATIONS AND ANIMATIONS: T-Media Marcin Karol

WARTIME OPERATIONS MAP OF THE VISTULA FLOTILLA

AND THE PINSK/RIVERINE FLOTILLA: Dr Wojciech Mazurek

DESIGN AND CREATION OF THE MIDDLEBODY OF THE “KRAKOW” MONITOR Wojciech Kotas, “Mecyje” Mechanical Workshop

VIDEO PRESENTATIONS: ADS Mind

EDUCATIONAL GAME AUTHOR: TRIAS AVI spolka z o.o.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Magdalena Lutek


The exhibition was partially financed by the

Association of the Friends of the National Maritime Museum.

Media patronage: TVP Gdansk, Radio Gdansk, Dziennik Baltycki