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Sister ship: ILMARINEN
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.
VÄINÄMÖINEN and ILMARINEN 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 13 September 1941, they took part in "Operation Nordwind"; while returning to base, ILMARINEN struck two mines and sunk within seven minutes. Only 132 of her crew survived. Following this, VÄINÄMÖINEN was used sparingly. Following World War II, VÄINÄMÖINEN was sold to the Soviet Navy on 3 March 1947. The Soviets renamed her VYBORG and assigned her to the Baltic Red Fleet. She was actively used through 1949, but thereafter saw less and less service. VYBORG was taken in for refit in March, 1953; this refit took over four years to complete. As a result of the refit, VYBORG's displacement rose to over 4,100 tons and her top speed was reduced to around 12 knots. In the early 1960's, the Soviet Navy planned to sell VYBORG back to Finland, but that was never carried out. VYBORG was scrapped in 1966.
(Note: additional information was found on-line at Finnish Coast Defense Ships; many thanks to Jari Aromaa this wonderful resource!)