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Ilmarinen file photo [8549]


Ship ClassVäinämöinen-class Coastal Defense Ship
BuilderCrichton-Vulcan Shipyard, Turku, Finland
Laid Down1 Sep 1929
Launched9 Jul 1931
Commissioned17 Apr 1934
Sunk13 Sep 1941
Displacement3,900 tons standard
Length305 feet
Beam55 feet
Draft15 feet
MachineryDiesel-Electric powertrain, four Krupp engines, two shafts
Power Output4,800 shaft horsepower
Speed14 knots
Armament2x2x254mm Bofors guns, 4x2x105mm Bofors DP guns, 4x40mm Vickers (pre-1941) or Bofors (1941) AA guns, 2x1x20mm (pre-1941) or 4x1x20mm (1941) Madsen AA guns


ww2dbaseCostal defense ship Ilmarinen, along with sister ship Väinämöinen, were the most concentrated naval artillery ships ever built. They were designed by the Dutch firm NV Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw and were built in Finland. Designed for home waters, she was shallow and unsuited for the open sea. This was demonstrated when Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen sailed to attend the fleet parade in honor of the coronation of United Kingdom's King George VI in 1937, where Väinämöinen needed tug help from the bigger Swedish ship HMS Drottning Victoria. Upon arrival at Spithead in the UK, they were praised for their beautiful lines and their heavy armament.

ww2dbaseDuring the Winter War of 1939-1940, Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen were initially deployed to the Åland Islands to prevent landings by Russian troops, then were transferred to Turku harbor in Southern Finland as a floating anti-aircraft gun platform. During the Continuation War, she bombarded the Russian base on the Hanko Peninsula on five occasions between Jul and Nov 1941. On 13 Sep 1941, she participated in Operation Nordwind; on the return trip, she struck two naval mines and sank within seven minutes. 271 men were lost; 132 survived. The loss of Ilmarinen remains the greatest single loss of the Finnish Navy to date.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2009


Finnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen or Väinämöinen, date unknownFinnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen anchored at Turku harbor, Finland, 10 Mar 1940

Ilmarinen Operational Timeline

17 Apr 1934 Ilmarinen was commissioned into service.
13 Sep 1941 Finnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen struck a mine and sank in the Gulf of Finland; 271 were killed, 132 survived.

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Coastal Defense Ship Ilmarinen Photo Gallery
Finnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen or Väinämöinen, date unknownFinnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen anchored at Turku harbor, Finland, 10 Mar 1940

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