coastal defence ship Väinämöinen

Finnish coastal defence ship Väinämöinen

Finnish coastal defence ship Väinämöinen

Battleship of coastal defense “Väinämöinen” (financialRannikkopuolustuksen panssarilaiva Väinämöinen) – battle ship in the Finnish Navy during the Second World War, in the future – as “Vyborg” in the Navy.
The lead ship in a series of two battleships. The first in the history of surface warships with a diesel-electric propulsion and turbo diesel.

Named after the hero of the Finnish-Ugric epic – the first man, who was born just after the creation.

Development History

After independence in 1918 from Spaininherited from the Russian Imperial Navy warships significant amount (more than 200 units.) – Mostly older destroyers, and various boat minonoski.
Most of them were transferred to theUSSR in 1922-1923 or sold for scrap. Thus, the Finnish Navy needs a radical upgrade by building modern warships that meet the needs of national defense.

Beginning in 1919 and was invited to five programs the Navy, and they were all canceled. When in 1927 inFinland, the parliamentary elections, the issue of shipbuilding program was raised again. 30 September of the same year, National Diet adopted a “maritime law”
provides for the construction of new warships for the national fleet. The final program was finalized December 22, 1927 in the form of a “Law on the Fundamentals of the fleet of coastal defense”, according to which the construction of several warships were planned,
including – two coastal defense battleship tonnage to 3800 tonnes and valued at 100 million marks each.

In the development of the Finnish designer was battleships into account the experience of other Nordic countries: comparison of tactical and technical data of the project shows that they have tried to combine in one of the last elements of the ship shipbuilding Danish battleship with weapons of the last Swedish.
For example, displacement, speed and dimensions of “Väinämöinen” (3900 tons, 16 knots, and 93×16, 4×4, 5 m) are similar to those characteristics of the Danish “Niels Yuelya” (3800 tons, 16 knots, and 90×16, 3×4, 7 m).
And artillery (4 – 254-mm and 8 – 105 mm) is approximately equal to the Swedish arms “Gustav V» (4 – 280-mm and 6 – 152 mm).
This combination of small displacement and heavy artillery was due reservations: thick armor belt at “Väinämöinen” was only55 mm compared to200 mm Danish and Swedish counterparts.

At the same time, the design of the Finnish battleships were taken into account the specific conditions that were created to operate the ships. So, to work in the ice Gulf Housing battleships were properly backed up, and they have given contour of icebreaker nye form.
To provide high maneuverability of ships in a very jagged coastline Skerries conventional steam power plants were replaced by diesel generator s that fueled electric paddle: it allows a wide range of change direction and speed without changing the operation of diesel engines.
“Väinämöinen” became the first in the history of surface warships with a diesel-electric propulsion and turbo diesel engines.


The Parliamentary Committee on Defense approved the “general blueprint” project May 15, 1928, and then started to develop a working design documentation.
By the end, the Ministry of Defence decided to build two ships for domestic companies.

Shipbuilding project was to be done with a wide inter-state cooperation: all power equipment put German firms, arms and armor – the Swedish, Danish and English.

Armadillos Finnish project “Väinämöinen” was designed by the German-Dutch “N. B. Inzhenerskontor Shepsbauv Thief “(IVS – Inkavos). Order for construction has been posted on the company “Creighton-volcano” inTurku(slipways number of ships 705 and 706). Contractors are required to build battleships at an average price 113 495 000 Finnish marks (which was more expensive proposals to build abroad – 109,207,000 marks).

Head “Väinämöinen” was laid on the slipway October 15, 1929 Next in the series battleship after the god-smith of the Finnish epic called “Ilmarinen”.

Construction of the ship was carried out very quickly: after 14 months, 28 December 1930, it was lowered to the water.
Installation of the main mechanisms made by 16 May 1931, the guns – to 25 February next year.
Factory performance trials ended July 30, 1932, the state – September 12, transfer the fleet held December 31, 1932.


The vessel’s hull

Flush-riveted hull is divided into eight watertight compartments, which received cross-system, and who had a little sheer, had a height amidships 7.80 mblock coefficient was 0.580, coefficient of completeness midship frame and – .877, block coefficient waterline – .675.
Almost the entire length of the body (from the aft bulkhead capstan desk to fore bulkhead tiller department) had a second floor.
The thickness of the outer skin – 8-10 mm. Main longitudinal and transverse bulkheads only goes to the main (2nd) deck.


Armored citadel, located in the region from 11 to 79 frame s (73.5% of the length on the waterline), with sides formed 55-mm main armor belt (SBP), made from nickel-hardened armor, which was attached to the side shell plating, which had a thickness of 10 mm.
SBP height overlaps from the bottom to the side of the main deck, to the upper deck lasted20 mm horizontal armor. Traverznye bulkhead had a thickness of30 mm. Have the same thickness and the main (2nd) deck flooring which is made of homogeneous armor. Upper deck consisted of a steel plate,15 mm thick and covered with wood.

Vertical longitudinal bulkheads made of stiffened steel set30 mmthick, in the midsection of the board upheld by2.7 m, and played the role of a ballistic (above the third deck) and antitorpedo (below the third deck) obstacles. Thus, the area of the location of the main power plant (GEMs) to defend the traditional box-scheme longitudinal bulkheads (with sides complemented55mmwaist armor) and main deck of the same thickness.

Turrets of the main fire protected120mmsloped frontal plate, made of hardened armor of grade-C, side and roof -75 mm, the rear wall -50 mm. Barbet s towers had a thickness of100 mm, the walls of the conning tower -120 mm, roof -75 mm.

The total weight of the armor design is still 836 tonnes, of which 220 tons were in zone,205 m- on the upper deck,185 m- on the main deck, 175 tonnes – antitorpedo, 25 tonnes – traverznye bulkhead and26 m- in the control room fire and armored hatches.


The artillery of the main fire was presented 254-mm Bofors guns as well. Gun weight – 37 tons, the weight of the -25.4 m, maximum elevation of 50 °, range – 162 cables (31 km), the rate – 3 shots per minute, reserve – 60 rounds per gun, shell weight -255 kg.

105-mm Bofors guns in four twin units had elevation 85 °, rate of fire – 15 rounds per minute.

Rate of small-caliber anti-aircraft guns were as follows: 40-mm Vickers and – 120 rounds per minute, and 20-mm Madsen and – 180 rounds per minute.

But artillery Vickers was unreliable, and in July 1941 it was replaced by four 40-mm automatic “Bofors”.
Number of guns, “Madsen” in the fall of 1944 increased by 8 points.

Originally used for aiming guns monocular system Zeiss scopes and target designation issued by two six-meter stereodalnomer the same company. The modernization of the battleship in 1938 established a system of PUS Dutch firm Haze-Meyer, which made it possible to fire at the ship on the course and the time of disappearing sea target moving at a speed of 40 knots, and also visible coastal targets. DAC is located in the hold, his aggregate – on the platform. Reticle central pickup installed on the main mast, above the turntable rangefinder, at a height of 30.1 meters above the waterline.

Major caliber ammunition cellar housed 260 shots and placed in the nose and aft of turret offices, and chargers and rocket cellars were at different levels: Chargers – on the platform, and snarjadnye – in the hold. Feeding ammunition (each barrel is served by one elevator at a feed rate 4.3 shots per minute) cellar isolated from turret fire departments covers.

To service each tower of the main fire control group had a group guidance and group loading. In the control group consisted of the commander of the tower – an artillery officer, an artillery tower specialist, jr. artillery officer and motorist – Petty Officer Electrical, pointing to the group was composed of two sections – the vertical and horizontal guidance. At first there were two gunner (range finder) – junior artillery officer, two men and two mechanical fitters sight. The second were the gunner – junior artillery officer and sailor installer pillar. The charged group included two sailors, gunners, two loaders and two sailors-assistant.

The power plant

Four diesel generators with total capacity of 6 thousand liters. with. actuated two propeller motor. Armadillo tanks housed 93 tons of fuel oil.


The crew consisted of 330 people. Flagship status Skog ship crew increased to 410 people.


  • Captain 2 rank A. Raninen
  • CDR A. Koivisto
  • Captain 2nd Rank E. Pukkila

The service:

Before the war

In pre-war biography “Väinämöinen” There is one long march – in spring 1937 ship went toEngland, where inPortsmouthe on Spithedskom raid took naval parade on the occasion of the coronation of King George VI.

The Winter War

By the beginning of military operations of the Soviet-Finnish War “Väinämöinen” (commander – Captain 2 rank A. Raninen) and “Ilmarinen” (Captain 2nd Rank R. Geransson) were fleet of battleships (the commander – Captain 2 rank R. Geransson). During the war, ships almost never left Abo Aland skerry area, regularly shuttling between theportofTurku(Åbo) – the main base of the fleet – and theÅlandIslands. Finnish command much feared Soviet naval assault landing and theAland Islands- in the event of such a situation were to prevent armadillos landing fire of their artillery.

In the future, both battleships, camouflaged under the snow, stood at theTurkuas strengthening defense of their 16-Tew 105-mm guns and small-caliber rifles. Only in February 1940, the city was bombed 61 times. Armadillos suffered no losses.

Great Patriotic War

In the summer of 1941 and provided the transfer of armadillos sea forces from the mainland to theAland Islands. 4 July, 12 August and 2 September, they fired at the main fire Soviet naval base atHankoPeninsula.

Base commander General Kabanov described the actions of Finnish battleships:

Suddenly, five hundred meters with a terrible roar and fiery flash crashed and broke a two-story house – the ground floor was stone, the second – a wooden one.
There was a house, and in its place there was a huge cloud of smoke from the sky falling rocks, sand, timber, logs.
Just a moment before I heard a whistle flew projectile. The shells continued to fall, receding deeper into the city.
Take off the second house, hit third, fourth – in a mere fifteen minutes exploded at least thirty to forty-caliber projectiles.
Total for the bombing of Hanko only “Väinämöinen” issued on the basis of 160 projectile s main battery.

Remaining after the death of 13 September 1941 and the battleship “Ilmarinen” the only Finnish armored vehicle, “Väinämöinen” in the future is not involved in the operations at sea.

In 1942-1944 years. ship was the basis of the “Connections Väinämöinen,” acting in the coastal areas ofGulf of Finland.

The Soviet Navy

Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, signed on February 10, 1947,Finlandwas deprived of the right to have as part of its fleet of battleships, submarines and torpedo boats – they were to be sold or go on the scrap heap. The Soviet government decided to buy the Finns battleship, and the Finns initially requested 1 billion 100 million Finnish marks (adjusted for inflation), but later the ship was purchased for only 265 million Finnish marks.

In late February 1947, the Kronstadt e of the personnel of the 8th Squadron of the Navy and the Kronstadt sea area formed a team to receive the ship from the Finns.

The purchase of “Väinämöinen” Soviet side was announced March 3, 1947, receiving ship Pansy started on 1 March and continued until the 24th, when the ship arrived Soviet commander – Captain 2 rank G. P. villain. April 22 Battleship enrolled in the lists of the Navy under the name “Vyborg”. Finnish naval flag on the ship after 5 June, immediately raising the Soviet. July 7 “Vyborg” moved to HMB Porkkala.

Maintaining its classification BrBO “Vyborg” was enlisted in the 104th Brigade rocky ships 8th Navy. As referred in February 1949 to a class of marine displays, “Vyborg” became part of the Kronstadt naval fortress, and on December 24, 1955 -Leningradnaval base.

“Vyborg” in the summer of 1947 took part in obscheflotskih exercises, and on November 7 he was on the Nevsky raid inLeningradwith the cruiser “Admiral Makarov” (former German cruiser Nürnberg) – the Soviet Baltic Fleet demonstrated their trophies.

In early 1952 “Vyborg” stood up for repair in KMOLZ. That fall, we developed tactical and technical requirements for the modernization of the ship, was charged with the drafting of CDB-57. Chief designer of the project appointed IG Kogan.

In March 1953, the ship was transferred toTallinn, and January 1, 1954 at the shipyard began № 7 average repair ended in August 1957 The end of this year and next “Vyborg” served very active, taking part in the exercise. After going more than two thousand miles, went to Kronstadt, where since January 1959, was put in reserve and has undergone the first stage of partial preservation. Because c disbanding the 104th Brigade rocky ships it ranked as the 190th brigade of destroyers, which is almost at the same time transformed the 166 Brigade reserve and training ships.

More than five years, “Vyborg” was part of the fleet – it was disarmed and expelled from the Soviet Navy February 25, 1966, and on 25 September the same year, the former “Vyaynemyaynen” was handed over to the Department of the stock of property for cutting the metal.

Actions of the Soviet Air Force against “Väinämöinen”

In the history of the ship a single page are numerous and unsuccessful attempts to sink it by Soviet bombers.

Before the start of the Winter War, November 3, 1939, People’s Commissar of the Navy of the USSR N. Kuznetsov has issued a directive for the Baltic Fleet number 10254ss, one item that says, “Search and destroy coastal defense battleships Finland, while preventing their departure to Sweden”.

Operational plan CBF 5/op number of November 23, 1939 Finnish armadillos been identified as the main target for the submarine forces and aircraft BF.

On the first day of the war, on November 30, the two-level bombers DB-3 of the 1st Regiment mine and torpedo bombers of the 8th air brigade took off to explore the location of battleships. Find them in the area of. ROUSSENT been a major link in IE N. Preobrazhensky. The bombing battleships were not injured.

Up until 19 December weather in the Baltic excluded any possibility of the aircraft. Starting from December 19 by the 8th bomber aviation brigade and the 10th Air Force aviation brigade CEF supported BBC LVO was conducted a series of bombing raids on Finnish battleships:

  • February 21, 1940 – attended by 24 DB-3 bomber
  • February 26, 1940 – 7 bombers attended DB-3 and 12 SB bombers
  • February 29, 1940 – under the guise of 16 fighters blow struck nine SB bombers and 5 DB-3 bombers
  • March 2, 1940 – under the guise of 19 fighters in a raid involved 28 bombers

The result of the bombing aircraft Baltic Fleet was zero – none of nearly 63 tons of bombs missed their target. All the bombs were falling, as a rule, no closer than 50 mfrom the side of battleships. Own losses during the raid were three kills and nine damaged aircraft. The only result, according to General SF Zhavoronkova, lay in the fact that the Baltic pilots’ imbued with respect to Finnish battleships. “

Invulnerable enemy ships Soviet command the exceedingly strong antiaircraft weapons and small size of these ships.

The most effective weapon of naval aviation – torpedoes – could not be used because of the strong ice formation and unsuitable terrain parks (Skerries), sheltering the enemy ships. Thus, one of the main tasks in the CBF during the Winter War, remained unfulfilled.

At the beginning of World War II battleships of the Finnish artillery acted against Soviet naval base of Hanko. During this period, the Soviet command several attempts to destroy the battleships (sent to 14 aircraft SB), also without success.

On the task of finding and destroying “Väinämöinen” were given extra force. According to the accounts served in the intelligence of the Baltic Fleet IA Bykhov, for the detection of a battleship on theterritoryofFinlandthrown reconnaissance groups, one of which even watched it. But when the ship to a parking lot to get closer, it turned out that this layout.

July 8, 1944 the Soviet aerial reconnaissance discovered a large warship in the FinnishportofKotka. While a photographer s not visible very typical battleship powerful bow and stern dvuhorudiynye tower 254-mm caliber and massive (a tube) mast, the ship was identified as “Väinämöinen”. After that, 12 July 1944 30 dive bombers Pe-2 from the 12th Guards Regiment пикировочнобомбардировочного by the Hero of theSoviet Union, Guards Colonel V. I. Rakov caused the ship hit. They covered the 24 Yak-9. Dive bombers dropped 70 bombs FAB-500 and FAB-100, but none of them had failed.

The next blow was planned for July 16. Previously for three days designated for attack pilots trained in precision bombing at a point target: near the bay found protruding from the water rocky ridge, which each of them 5-6 times bombed pig mi.

The operation identified 132 airplanes from the eight regiments. All aircraft brought in two drums and four support groups. In the first battle group consisted of 22 dive bombers Pe-2, accompanied by 16 fighters. Each bomber carried by two bombs FAB-250. The group led the regimental commander, Colonel V. Rakov. The second battle group had 4 topmachtovika A-20Gand 6 fighter escort. Each carried a topmachtovik two bombs FAB-1000. The use of torpedoes refused because of shallow water. Commanded the second group of deputy regimental commander for flight training Lieutenant IP Ponomarenko.

Providing force consisted of groups of suppressing anti-aircraft artillery (12 shurmovikov IL-2 under the regimental commander HSU Colonel N. Stepanian), demonstrative action, clearing the air and intelligence.

Bomb load of the aircraft is 38 tons. Command of all groups BF Force commander Col. Gen. Samokhin appointed or regimental commanders or their deputies.

In the course of a well-planned operation in the target hit at least two bombs FAB-250 and at least two FAB-1000: first ship lurched, then capsized and quickly sank.

Antiaircraft artillery was shot down topmachtovik, and 4 aircraft were damaged and had a loss of life and injuries among the crew.

After that, the commander of the Baltic Fleet, Admiral Tributs received the “Report on the operation of destruction of coastal defense battleship” Vyaynemyaynen “in Kotka.” Tributs signed once 6 ideas for the title of Hero of theSoviet Union.

But after a while it became clear that was not sunk the battleship “Väinämöinen”, and was relocated to Kotka to strengthen defense German cruiser defense “Niobe” – former Dutch coast defense battleship “Gelderland.”

Thus, despite the tremendous efforts expended in order to destroy it, “Vyaynemyaynen” was World War II relatively unscathed.

Ships of World War II


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