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ILMARINEN

 

Nationality:

Finland

Type: Coast defense ship
Class: ILMARINEN - two in class
Builder: Chichton-Vulcan, Aabo
Commissioned: April, 1934
Displacement: 3,900 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

305' 1" x 55' 5" x 14' 9"
Armor:
PLACEMENT THICKNESS
Belt: 2"
Deck: 1"
Turrets" 4"
CT: 5"
Machinery: 2 shafts, Germania diesels with Leonard electric drive; 6,000 bhp.  Oil:  93 tons.
Speed: 16 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
4 10"/45 cal. 2x2
8 4"/50 cal. AA 8x1
4 40mm AA 4x1
2 20mm AA 2x1
Compliment: 411

 

 

Sister ship:  VÄINÄMÖINEN

 

Notes:  These ships were noted as being a "novel Finnish variant" of the coastal battleship type.  They were rather box-like in construction, and were noted as having a slow yet pronounced "roll" in heavy seas; it was noted that the firing of salvos could be coordinated with the roll.  Later, bilge keels were fitted in an attempt to reduce the roll.  Their main battery guns were manufactured by Bofors.  The main armament had an elevation of 50° and fired a 495-pound shell, firing to a range of 36km (about 39,370 yds).  Both ships were fitted with icebreaker bows.  Upon her commissioning, ILMARINEN became the flagship of the Finnish Navy.

ILMARINEN and VÄINÄMÖINEN formed the core of the Finnish fleet, and much of their value was as a "fleet in being", deterring the Soviet Navy.  As their main purpose was to defend the Finnish coast, they took part in few offensive operations.  On 25 December 1939, ILMARINEN was attacked by Russian bombers; a near miss killed one crew member and wounded seven more. On 22 July 1940, while supporting ground troops, ILMARINEN was attacked by 18 Russian PE-2 bombers; two near misses killed one crew member and wounded thirteen others.  On 13 September 1941, ILMARINEN and VÄINÄMÖINEN took part in "Operation Nordwind"; while returning to base, ILMARINEN struck two mines (in a minefield laid by the Russian escorts SNEG and TSIKLON) and sunk within seven minutes.  Only 132 of her crew survived.

 

(Note:  additional information was found on-line at Finnish Coast Defense Ships; many thanks to Jari Aromaa for this wonderful resource!)

Pictures

argonaut__75_ilmarinen_cd_1933_-_01.jpg (27022 bytes)

Argonaut 751

1933

argonaut__75_ilmarinen_cd_1933_-_02.jpg (43808 bytes)

Argonaut 751

1933

argonaut_751_ilmarinen_coast_defense_ship_1938_-_201.jpg (16430 bytes)

Argonaut 751

1938

argonaut_751_ilmarinen_coast_defense_ship_1938_-_202.jpg (15623 bytes)

Argonaut 751

1938