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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!)