M.S. Batory and M.S. Pilsudsky were two Polish passenger ships that began operating a few years before WWII; they belonged to the Gdynia-Amerika Shipping Lines Ltd company, and now constitute an important part of XX-century Polish history.
The Pilsudsky was the first of the two ships to be launched and
completed, in 1935, at the Cantieri Riuniti del Adriatico shipyard, in
Italy, as part of a large deal between the Italians and the Polish. The
Batory followed in 1936; my great grandmother was one of its passengers
during its maiden voyage. Shortly after, both ships were mostly making
trips across the Atlantic, joining Poland with the United States.
With slight differences, both ships had a tonnage of about 14.290
tn. They could sail at a maximum speed of 18 kt, had a crew of 350 and
could carry (in 1939) 770 passengers.
When WWII started both ships were commandereed by British
authorities for military purposes; the Polish crews remained. Soon, the
amenities proper of passenger ships were taken out, modifications were
made and the ships were painted in military colors.