Ilmarinen (ship)

Ilmarinen was a Finnish Navy armored coastal vessel (Panssarilaiva in Finnish). It was named after the hero Ilmarinen from the Kalevala.

Career
Ordered:1927
Laid down:-
Launched:July 9 1931
Commissioned:April 17 1934
Fate:sunk on September 13 1941
General Characteristics
Displacement:3,900 tons
Length:93 meters
Beam:16.9 meters
Draft:5.0 meters
Armament:4 254mm Bofors, 8 105mm Bofors, 4 40mm Vickers, 2 20mm Madsens.

Ilmarinen and its sister ship the Väinämöinen took part in the Winter War. The ships were anchored at Turku harbour where they provided anti-aircraft support for the city.

During the Continuation War the two ships shelled the Soviet base at Hanko. The ships also took part in operation Nordwind in which German forces were to take the Estonian islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa. A group of Finnish ships were to be used to decept the Soviets. When returning from the mission, Ilmarinen was hit by two mines. Only 132 men of the crew survived and 271 were lost.

The loss of Ilmarinen was the greatest defeat of the Finnish Navy.


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