ORP Błyskawica is a Grom-class destroyer which served in the Polish Navy during World War II. It is the only Polish Navy ship to have been decorated with the Virtuti Militari, Poland's highest military order for gallantry, in 2012 was given the Pro Memoria Medal. Błyskawica is preserved as a museum ship in Gdynia and is the oldest preserved destroyer in the world, she was the second of two Grom -class destroyers built for the Polish Navy by J. Samuel White, of Cowes, in 1935–37; the Grom class were two of the most armed and fastest destroyers in World War II. In 1934 the British shipbuilder J. Samuel White won a competition to design and build large destroyers for the Polish Navy, beating a proposal from fellow British shipbuilder Swan Hunter.. An order for two destroyers of the Grom class was placed on 29 March 1935. At the turn of the 1920s and 1930s, the Naval Directorate made efforts to acquire another, after the "Wicher" and "Burza", destroyers. On November 24, 1932, the head of the KMW Rear Admiral Jerzy Świrski obtained, after a personal conversation with Marshal Piłsudski, his oral consent to expand the existing fleet.
As a result, in May 1933, a tender for the supply of two destroyers was issued among the French shipyards, after its fiasco, the next in January 1934 among the Swedish shipyards failed in disagreement. During this time and technical assumptions for the planned ships crystallised, among others, the use of the artillery department of the Bofors section, 120 mm, as the main artillery. At the time of their construction, the Groms were amongst the fastest and most armed destroyers to be built. Błyskawica was 114 metres long overall and 109 metres between perpendiculars, with a beam of 11.3 metres and a draught of 3.1 metres. Displacement was 2,520 long tons full load. Three 3-drum boilers fed steam to two sets of geared steam turbines which were rated at 54,500 shaft horsepower, driving two propeller shafts to give a design speed of 39 knots. Main gun armament consisted of seven 120 mm guns in three twin and one single mounts, with an anti-aircraft armament of two twin Bofors 40 mm guns and eight 13.2 mm machine guns.
Six 550 mm torpedo tubes were carried, compatible with the French torpedoes used by the preceding Wicher-class destroyers. Anti-submarine armament consisted of two depth charge chutes with 40 depth charges, while rails were fitted to permit up to 44 mines to be carried; the ship's complement consisted of men. Błyskawica, the second of the two destroyers, was laid down on 1 October 1935 at J. Samuel White's Cowes, Isle of Wight shipyard, was launched on 1 October 1936. Sea trials were successful, with the ship exceeding the design speed of 39 knots. Błyskawica was commissioned on 1 October 1937; when Błyskawica and Grom arrived in the United Kingdom in September 1939, it was found that the ships, designed for operations in the sheltered Baltic, were top heavy for operations in the rougher North Atlantic, so the ships were modified to reduce topweight. A searchlight tower on top of the ship's bridge was removed, as was a deck house aft carrying a second searchlight, the distinctive funnel cap. In addition, the aft set of torpedo tubes was removed to allow fitting of a 76 mm anti-aircraft gun.
In December 1941, Błyskawica was rearmed, with the 120 mm guns replaced by four twin 102 mm Mk XVI dual-purpose guns. The 13.2 mm machine guns were replaced by four Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and the second set of torpedo tubes were reinstated. Two days before the war, on 30 August 1939, Błyskawica withdrew, along with the destroyers Grom and Burza, from the Baltic Sea to Britain in accordance with the Peking Plan to avoid open conflict with Germany and possible destruction; the three destroyers were sighted by German warships, including the cruiser Königsberg on 30 and 31 August, but hostilities had not yet started, the Polish destroyers passed by unhindered, reaching Leith in Scotland at 17:30 on 1 September 1939. From on they acted in tandem with the Royal Navy's Home Fleet. On 7 September 1939, Błyskawica attacked a U-boat. In early May 1940, Błyskawica took part in the Norwegian Campaign, shelling German positions and downing two Luftwaffe aircraft, her sister ship Grom was sunk during the campaign.
That month, she took part in covering Operation Dynamo, the successful British led evacuation from Dunkirk. During the rest of the war, Błyskawica took part in convoy and patrol duties, engaging both U-boats and the Luftwaffe in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. In 1941 her 120 mm guns were replaced with British 102 mm dual-purpose guns; the ship was given escort duties for troop transports, notably RMS Queen Mary, being one of the few ships that could keep up with the liner. On the night of 4–5 May 1942, Błyskawica was instrumental in defending the Isle of Wight town of Cowes from an air raid by 160 German bombers; the ship was undergoing an emergency refit at the J. Samuel White yard where she had been built and, on the night of the raid, fired repeated rounds at the German bombers from outside the harbour. Extra ammunition had to be ferried over from Portsmouth; this forced the bombers to stay high. The ship laid down a smokescreen hiding Cowes from sight; the town and the shipyard were badly damaged, but it is considered that without this defensive action, it would
Stefano Salvatori was an Italian professional footballer. A tenacious, physically strong, hard-working player, known for his energetic and tough-tackling style of play, he played as a central midfielder, but was capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, as a full-back or centre-back, he played for several clubs in his homeland, including Parma, Fiorentina and Atalanta, the Scottish club Heart of Midlothian. Salvatori represented Italy in under-21 and B international matches. After starting his youth career with local side Lodigiani, Salvatori joined the Milan youth system in 1985, he joined Fiorentina in 1988, where he made his Serie A debut, helping the club to qualify for the UEFA Cup in 1989. He returned to Milan for a second spell with the club, during which he won the 1989 European Super Cup over Barcelona under manager Arrigo Sacchi, appearing as a defender in the first leg, a 1–1 away draw. Milan reached the 1990 European Cup Final that season, subsequently won the competition following a 1–0 victory over Benfica, but Salvatori did not feature in the squad for the final.
He appeared as a substitute in the second leg of the Coppa Italia Final that year, which ended in a 1–0 home defeat to Juventus, who won the tournament on aggregate. After still struggling to find space in the Milan first team, Salvatori returned to Fiorentina midway through the 1990–91 season, remained with the club until 1992, making a total of 45 appearances in Serie A across his three seasons with the team, scoring one goal, he transferred to SPAL, joined Atalanta, helping the latter club to win promotion to Serie A in 1995, subsequently reach the Coppa Italia final in 1996. In 1996, Salvatori moved abroad to play for Hearts in Scotland, he was a member of the side that won the 1998 Scottish Cup Final in a 2–1 victory over Rangers on 16 May, the first time the Edinburgh-based side had won the title in 42 years. He scored one league goal during his spell at Hearts, in a 3–1 win at Dunfermline Athletic. After three seasons in Scotland, collecting a total of 84 appearances and 3 goals across all competitions, Salvatori returned to Italy in 1999, where he ended his career in the lower divisions with Alzano Virescit, AlbinoLeffe, Legnano, retiring in 2002.
At international level, Salvatori was capped 13 times for the Italy Under-21 side between 1989 and 1990. After retiring from professional football, Salvatori worked as a coach in Italy with Legnano and Voghera. Salvatori died on 31 October 2017, aged 49, from cancer. MilanSerie A runner-up: 1989–90. Coppa Italia runner-up: 1989–90. UEFA Super Cup winner: 1989. UEFA Champions League winner: 1989–90. HeartsScottish Cup winner: 1998. Profile at tuttocalciatori.net Profile at FIGC Profile at magliarossonera.it Personal website
1997 XF11, provisional designation 1997 XF11, is a kilometer-sized asteroid, classified as near-Earth object, Mars-crosser and hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group. Three months after its discovery on December 6, 1997, by James V. Scotti of the University of Arizona's Spacewatch Project, the asteroid was predicted to make an exceptionally close approach to Earth on 28 October 2028. Additional precovery observations of the asteroid from 1990 were found that refined the orbit and it is now known the asteroid will pass the Earth on October 26, 2028, at a distance of 0.0062 AU, about 2.4 times the Earth–Moon distance. During the close approach, the asteroid should peak at about apparent magnitude 8.2, will be visible in binoculars.1997 XF11 measures between 0.7 and 1.4 kilometers in diameter. This asteroid regularly comes near the large asteroid Pallas. On 11 March 1998, using a three-month observation arc, a faulty International Astronomical Union circular and press information sheet were put out that incorrectly concluded "that the asteroid was'virtually certain' to pass within 80% of the distance to the Moon and stood a'small...not out of the question' possibility of hitting the Earth in 2028."
But by 23 December 1997, it should have been clear that XF11 had no reasonable possibility of an Earth impact. Within hours of the announcement, independent calculations by Paul Chodas, Don Yeomans, Karri Muinonen had calculated that the probability of Earth impact was zero, vastly less than the probability of impact from as-yet-undiscovered asteroids. Chodas concurs with Marsden that there was about 1 chance in a hundred thousand that XF11 could have passed through a keyhole—that is, until the 1990 precovery observations eliminated such possibilities. During the October 2002 close approach, the asteroid was observed by the 70-meter Goldstone radar dish, further refining the orbit. 1997 XF11 at the European Asteroid Research Node Brian Marsden: 1997 XF11: the true story Spacewatch animation of 1997 XF11dead link] Asteroid 1997 XF11, JPL Near-Earth Object Program 1997 XF11 at NeoDyS-2, Near Earth Objects—Dynamic Site Ephemeris · Obs prediction · Orbital info · MOID · Proper elements · Obs info · Close · Physical info · NEOCC 1997 XF11 at the JPL Small-Body Database Close approach · Discovery · Ephemeris · Orbit diagram · Orbital elements · Physical parameters