ORP Dragon – D-Day – Battle of Normandy

ORP Dragon

Index of Allied warships during Operation Neptune

History, technical sheet and photo

Image : croiseur ORP Dragon

ORP Dragon history

The ORP Dragon (initially HMS Dragon) was launched in January 1917 for the benefit of the British navy. This cruiser is about to retire when the Second World War breaks out: it is deployed in the Atlantic Ocean and protects the convoys that pass through it.

The British modernized it in 1942 before handing it over to the Polish navy. Deployed in the English Channel as part of Operation Neptune, it served in Force S in the direction of Sword Beach and bombarded the Colleville-sur-Orne battery. In the days that followed, it supported the Anglo-Canadian land forces operating in the Caen region.

It makes a round trip across the English Channel to be repaired and on the night of July 7 to 8, 1944, a Neger human torpedo hits the ammunition hall, killing 37 sailors in the explosion. The Allies decided to sink the ORP Dragon on 9 July in front of Courseulles-sur-Mer at Gooseberry 4 in order to serve as a breakwater and thus facilitate sea-based refueling operations.

ORP Dragon technical sheet

Creator: Great-Britain
User: Poland
Denomination: ORP Dragon
Class: Danae-class cruiser

Crew: 480 sailors

Armament (1944): 4x 120 mm guns, 2x 40 mm guns, 6x 20 mm Oerlikon guns, 2x 533 mm torpedo tubes

Displacement: 2,090 tons
Speed: 37 knots
Length: 111 m
Beam: 11 m
Draught : 3 m