The Orzeł Balexmetal Expedition and the search for a legendary submarine.


In 2008, Balex Metal committed itself to the quest to solve one of the biggest mysteries of World War Two. This venture went under the name of the ORZEŁ BALEXMETAL Expedition. The mission? To find a legendary submarine, the ORP “Orzeł” ('Eagle') of the Polish Navy, the final resting place of its valiant crew of 63.

ORP “Orzeł” was a state of the art naval vessel of the Polish Navy before World War Two, and built solely from social contributions. After Poland's defeat during the German blitzkrieg of September 1939, ORP “Orzeł” made a heroic escape attempt from the German Kriegsmarine, heading to Britain to continue to fight another day – and made the news around the globe. Then, on 11 June 1940, ORP “Orzeł” was reported as missing in action. Its wreck is the undersea tomb of 63 sailors of the Polish Navy. The circumstances and the mystery behind the submarine's disappearance remain unsolved, with many speculations concerning the final position and causes of the submarine's tragedy having been put forward by historians.

The ORZEŁ BALEXMETAL Expedition left the harbour in Gdynia on 27 July 2008 aboard R/V “IMOR”, the base of the Polish Sea Search & Recovery Agency, which also managed the expedition. The mission made several undersea finds, including the wreck of a steam merchant vessel from World War Two and that of a metal-hulled sailing ship.

During the ten days of the mission, the members of the Polish Sea Search & Recovery Agency and the Maritime Institute combed 866 km2of sea bottom with sonar, a probe, and a ROV. 
To help imagine the sheer size of the search, Warsaw occupies 517 km2, while Berlin, Germany's largest city, occupies 890 km2. After two weeks of searching, dozens of hours in a heavy storm on the North Sea, and sailing a total of 2500 nautical miles, the crew of the ORZEŁ BALEX Expedition returned safe and sound to the harbour in Gdynia, on 12 August 2008.


The expedition's sponsors included the Mayor of Gdynia City, TVP INFO, Polskie Radio EURO, Dziennik,, the periodical “Focus Historia”, and the magazines “Nurkowanie” and “Nasze Morze”. Institutional support was provided by the Maritime Institute and the Polish Navy Museum. 

The expedition was financed in whole with a contribution from Balex Metal.

“Each year, we support various community, charitable and cultural initiatives. This time, not only were we united by the destination of the expedition, but also by a communion of values.

We supported the search for ORP “Orzeł”, to recall its history of heroes, sacrifice and patriotism; one of the most solemn stories we know”, says Lech Baranowski, founder of Balex Metal. - ”Although we failed to find “Orzeł”, we helped to save its story from oblivion. This expedition has brought back to life the incredible tale of this valiant submarine of the Polish Navy and its crew for the collective memory of the Polish people. Once again, it has touched many, and drawn much attention from the media. This is undoubtedly the greatest success of the ORZEŁ BALEXMETAL Expedition”.

Balex Metal is a leading manufacturer of sandwich panels, PIR thermal insulation and metal sheet construction materials. Learn more about the values of Balex Metal here.