Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour Museum Exhibits
Mikhail Fyodorovich - Wäinämöinen - Suur Töll
Suur Tõll is an Estonian steam-powered icebreaker preserved in the Estonian Maritime Museum in Tallinn. She was originally built for the Imperial Russia in 1914 by AG Vulcan in Stettin, Germany, and named Tsar' Mikhail Fyodorovich, but in 1917 she was taken over by the Bolsheviks and renamed Volynets. However, in 1918 she was captured by Finland and served as Wäinämöinen until 1922, when she was handed over to Estonia according to the Treaty of Tartu and renamed Suur Tõll. When Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, the icebreaker rejoined the Soviet fleet and was again named Volynets. She remained in service until 1985.
The Soviet Union decided to sell the decommissioned icebreaker for scrap, and she was purchased by the Estonian Maritime Museum in 1987. The ship was given back her original Estonian name and was extensively renovated; Suur Tõll, the largest preserved pre-war icebreaker in the world, is currently moored at the historical seaplane harbour in Tallinn.
Early career (1914–1918) The Imperial Russian Tsar' Mikhail Fyodorovich.
In 1912 the Imperial Russian government organized a request for tender for the construction of a large steam-powered icebreaker designed specifically for the ice conditions of the Baltic Sea. The ship was awarded to a German shipyard Stettiner Maschinenbau AG Vulcan in Stettin, nowadays Szczecin in Poland, and she was ready by the end of 1913. In February 1914 the new icebreaker, named Tsar' Mikhail Fyodorovich (Царь Михаил Фёдорович) after Michael of Russia, arrived at the port of Saint Petersburg for the first time. Two armed icebreakers of similar design, Knyaz Pojarskiy and Kozma Minin were constructed in England in 1915. She was later stationed in Tallinn, Estonia, and assisted ships sailing in the Gulf of Finland.
During the October Revolution in 1917 the ship was taken over by the Bolsheviks, who renamed her Volynets to honor a Volhynian military regiment who had turned against their Tsarist officers and joined the revolutionaries. In winter 1918 Volynets was assisting the retreating Baltic Fleet — the Ice Cruise of the Baltic Fleet — together with Yermak, another large Russian icebreaker, during the latter stages of the Finnish Civil War.
After the failed attempt to capture the small Finnish icebreaker Avance from the Russian revolutionaries in March 1918, Finnish captain Theodor Segersven and his men shifted their focus to the much larger Volynets. On 29 March 1918, 53 men dressed as workers boarded the icebreaker and Segersven presented a forged written order for the ship's political commissar claiming that he and his men were to be transported to Kuivasaari for construction work. When the icebreaker passed the lighthouse of Harmaja, the men broke into the ship's weapons storage and shortly afterwards the Russian crew of 116, half of them armed guards, had been taken into custody. In the evening Volynets, flying the Finnish flag under the command of Segersven, arrived in Tallinn, where she was welcomed by a group of high-ranking German officers, including Prince Henry of Prussia. On 28 April 1918 the captured icebreaker was renamed Wäinämöinen after the legendary Finnish hero. This caused some discontent with the crew who had held a naming contest while the icebreaker was moored in Tallinn and chosen the name Leijona after the Lion of Finland.
The Finnish icebreaker Wäinämöinen after the Civil War.
Shortly after the capture Wäinämöinen was used to transport 3,000 German soldiers — Detachment Brandenstein — to Loviisa together with Tarmo, another Finnish icebreaker. The Germans supplied her with coal and provisions and she spent most of the spring assisting German ships between Helsinki and Tallinn. On 3 June 1918 Wäinämöinen was officially handed over to the Finnish Board of Navigation and became the largest and most powerful icebreaker in the Finnish state-owned fleet. Captain Segersven was replaced by Polish-Estonian Stanislaus Juhnewicz, the ship's original captain who had joined forces with the Finns during the capture after having been promised a government post by Gustaf Wrede, the director of the Board of Navigation.
Although Wäinämöinen was an invaluable addition to the Finnish icebreaker fleet, she was not used as extensively as the smaller state-owned icebreakers due to her high fuel consumption and the shortage of coal shortly after the war. In addition to icebreaker duties she was used to transport volunteers across the Gulf of Finland to participate in the Estonian War of Independence. In September 1919 she was drydocked in Suomenlinna, but while the repair work was completed in late October, she could not leave the shipyard until 24 November due to her deep draft and the particularly low sea level. During the particularly harsh winter of 1922 she assisted 170 ships to and from the Finnish ports. Her last task under the Finnish flag was to open the South Harbour in Helsinki on 16 April 1922.
During her years under the Finnish flag Wäinämöinen demonstrated the advantages of a large icebreaker and that such vessel was definitely needed in Finland. As a result the Finnish Board of Navigation decided to order a large icebreaker based on her basic design and the experiences gained during her operation. The new icebreaker, Jääkarhu, was delivered in 1926.
Suur Tõll (1922–1940)
When Finland signed the Treaty of Tartu on 14 October 1920, it had agreed to return the Russian icebreakers seized by the Finnish White Guard during the Civil War. However, instead of the Soviet Union Wäinämöinen was handed over to Estonia on 20 November 1922 and renamed Suur Tõll after Toell the Great, a great giant from the Estonian mythology. During the era of Estonian independence in the 1920s and 1930s she assisted ships mainly outside Tallinn in the southern Gulf of Finland, but sometimes sailed as far south as the coast of Lithuania. In the late 1930s her bridge was heightened by one deck to improve visibility over the bow.
When the Soviet Union occupied Estonia in June 1940, Suur Tõll was transferred to the Soviet fleet and given back her old name, Volynets. On 27–29 August 1941 she participated in the evacuation of Tallinn, joining the convoy led by Soviet cruiser Kirov while carrying 980 passengers and hundreds of tons of military supplies. Although the convoy suffered heavy losses — over half of the 67 civilian ships were destroyed and around 6,000 lives were lost — Volynets, steaming in front of Kirov, managed to evade the bombs dropped at it and arrived in Leningrad unharmed. She remained in the city until the end of the war.
After the war Volynets was not returned to Estonia. As part of the Finnish war reparations to the Soviet Union she was refitted at Rauma-Repola shipyard in Rauma, Finland, in 1951–1952, during which time her boilers were converted for oil. Volynets remained in service until 1985, after which she was transferred to Lomonosov, where her boilers were used to supply steam for other ships. She was slated for demolition in late 1987.
Return to Estonia (1987–)
Suur Tõll under restoration in May 1996.
When the Estonian Maritime Museum found out that Volynets was going to be scrapped, it decided to purchase the ship and preserve it. After a long negotiation the Soviets agreed to trade the ship for 300 tons of scrap iron. On 13 October 1987 she was towed to Tallinn and given back her original Estonian name, Suur Tõll. In 1992 she became the first ship to be added to the newly-founded Estonian Ship Register.
The restoration of Suur Tõll has been an enormous task which has included cleaning garbage accumulated in the ship over the years and finding the missing fittings, including the helm that had been swapped to a steering wheel of a truck during the night before the departure and the large bronze bell of the icebreaker, which was found in a military museum in Leningrad. However, not everything had been stolen — for example the original German piano was still in the saloon because it was too big to be transported away. Despite the limited funding and materials Suur Tõll has been largely restored over the years. Even her boilers and steam engines are in operational condition although she can not move under her own power yet.
Suur Tõll is the largest preserved pre-war steam-powered icebreaker in the world, being bigger than the Finnish Tarmo and the Swedish Sankt Erik. Although the Russian icebreaker Krasin, built in 1917, is considerably larger than Suur Tõll, she was extensively modernized in the 1950s and retains hardly any resemblance to the other icebreakers of the time.
Technical details - Engine room
Suur Tõll is 75.4 metres (247 ft) long and has a beam of 19.2 metres (63 ft), and at a draft of 5.7 metres (19 ft) her displacement is 3,619 tons. Her hull, strengthened by a cast iron stem and a large number of longitudinal and transverse bulkheads, is surrounded by an ice belt with a width of 2 metres (6.6 ft) and thickness of one inch (25 mm). To assist icebreaking in difficult conditions she is also equipped with heeling tanks and pumps capable of transferring 570 tons of water from one side to another in ten minutes, listing the ship by 10 degrees. Furthermore, her trim could be adjusted by a forepeak tank with a capacity of 600 tons of water. All tanks were connected to an electrical control and indication system.
Powered by three 2,300 ihp triple-expansion steam engines, two driving four-bladed propellers in the stern and one powering a third propeller in the bow, Suur Tõll was one of the most powerful icebreakers in the Gulf of Finland. All moving parts had been dimensioned 35% stronger than in other ships of similar power. She had six coal-fired boilers equipped with mechanical ventilation, burning 3.5 tons of coal per hour in normal operation and four tons during ramming. Her fuel stores could hold 700 tons of coal, almost as much as the cargo capacity of a small cargo ship of the time.
When Suur Tõll was delivered in 1914, she was one of the most modern icebreakers in the world. Extensively electrified, she had electrical lighting and her anchor windlass, winches and two coal cranes were all powered by electricity to avoid having easily freezing steam pipes on the deck. Furthermore, she had an electrical salvage pump that could be transported to a grounded ship in a boat or on a sledge over ice without bringing the icebreaker too close to the shallow waters. When delivered, her radio station had a range of 400 kilometres (220 nautical miles), but it was later increased to 1,100 kilometres (590 nautical miles).
Photographs of Suur Töll
EML Lembit is one of two Kalev class mine-laying submarines built for the Republic of Estonia and served in Estonian and Soviet Navy. She was launched in 1936 at Vickers and Armstrongs Ltd. in Great Britain, and now she is a museum ship in Tallinn. Her twin sister, the Kalev was sunk in October 1941.
The Lembit is the only surviving warship of the pre-war Estonian Navy and in the Baltic countries. Estonia is a maritime nation and as with every country with a long coastline to defend, it has to safeguard its territorial waters. With regard to the experiences of World War I, submarines found their proper application in the pre–World War II Estonian Navy. The collection organised by the Submarine Fleet Foundation in May 1933, developed into one of the most successful undertakings among similar events demonstrating a nation-wide determination to defend the country.
In the course of building and testing the two submarines, the Estonian crews received training in Great Britain in 1935-1937. From 1937 to 1940 the Lembit and her sister ship, the Kalev were the most imposing vessels in the Estonian Navy. Their inactivity in the annexation of Estonia by the USSR was a political decision.
World War II
The Lembit joined the Estonian Navy in the spring of 1937 where she operated until the Soviet take-over in 1940. The submarine carried out one training torpedo attack in her 3 years of service in the Estonian Navy but was never used in the minelaying role. On 24 February 1940, The Third Reich expressed an interest in obtaining the submarine.This request was turned down. The submarine was formally taken over by the Soviet Navy on 18 September 1940 by which time only five men of the submarine's Estonian crew remained on board. They were needed to assist the Soviet crew in learning unfamiliar machinery. After the German attack on the USSR in June 1941, Lembit was commissioned into the Soviet Baltic Fleet. The original name Lembit was retained. At least 3 of her original Estonian crew helped to operate the submarine during the war. Lembit participated with the Soviet Baltic Fleet in military operations. She carried out a total of seven patrols during the German-Soviet war.
War patrol 10–21 August. She laid 20 mines near Cape Arcona. Some ships which were damaged in November 1941, due to British and German mines, they were described in Soviet literature as Lembit 'successes'.
War patrol 19–26 October.
4–5 November. In battle conditions and through a broken icefield, transferred from Kronstadt to Leningrad.
War patrol 17 August - 22 September. On 13 September, Lembit was ordered to return to base. Her commander decided to stay in position for one more day to charge batteries. On 14 September, she attacked a convoy and badly damaged the transport ship Finnland (5,281 GRT), which sank on 15 September, at 59°36'8 N/21°14'5 E (the ship was subsequently raised and re-commissioned on 1 July 1943). During a counterattack which involved the dropping of some 50 depth charges, the submarine sustained serious damage, including a fire in the 2nd group of batteries; 6 men were wounded. After some repairs Lembit returned to base. This episode earned her the nickname 'Immortal submarine'.
Awarded the Order of The Red Banner, 6 March.
War patrol 2–18 October. Laid 20 mines. Destroyed the Dutch merchant ship Hilma Lou (2,414 GRT) on 13 October.
War patrol 24 November - 15 December.
War patrol 23 March - 14 April.
After World War II
On 18 June 1946, Lembit was renamed U-1; on 9 June 1949 S-85; on 30 January 1956; STZh-24 on 27 December 1956 UTS-29. Some time between 1949 and 1956 she possibly carried the designation PZM-1 (PTsM-1?) for some time. The original name was probably restored when she was decommissioned and returned to Tallinn as a museum ship in 1979.
Lembit was presented with the Order of The Red Banner on 6 March 1945 for her victories earlier in the German-Soviet war. She was withdrawn from active duty on 17 January 1946 and become a training boat. On 12 January 1949 Lembit was included among medium submarines. She was stricken (disarmed) on 10 June 1955. She was transferred to the Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard on 3 August 1957 and subsequently towed to Gorky (now known as Nizhni Novgorod). Here Lembit was preserved as an experimental boat and an example of British submarine design. Her hatch for the pressure-tight anti-aircraft gun storage shaft was of particular interest. It was copied into designs for the missile hatches of new Soviet submarines.
On 28 August 1979 exactly 38 years after she had left Tallinn, Lembit returned – under tow. After a lengthy overhaul, the submarine was opened to the public as a war memorial, (more precisely, as a branch of the Museum of the Soviet Baltic Fleet), on 5 May 1985. She, along with other artifacts, was used to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. Lembit was one of three submarine war memorials in the USSR in 1987, along with S-56 in the Far East, and K-21 in the Far North. There had been plans for displaying all three vessels out of the water, but a floating crane which was to have been used, (which had been moved from Kronstadt), lost its boom during the tow.
After regaining independence
After the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and the subsequent dissolution of its navy, the submarine was taken over by Estonian officials on 27 April 1992 – a few Defence League men hoisted an Estonian flag on the vessel, meeting no resistance.
Lembit is one of two surviving pre-war Estonian warships, the other is a small former-gunboat on Lake Peipsi, the Uku - existing as a wreck. Lembit received the honorary nomination of 'vessel No. 1' in the new Estonian Navy on 2 August 1994. After a long and expensive restoration, the submarine was opened to the public, as a department of the Estonian Maritime Museum, with a collection of other naval weapons. Lembit is one of the few surviving pre–World War II submarines (among others are the Finnish Vesikko, built in 1933, and Soviet K-21, built in 1937). She could be the oldest submarine in the world still afloat.
Preservation and future
Unlike most other submarine museums, no new means of entry has been cut into the hull of Lembit. Visitors enter and leave the ship through one of the normal points – the torpedo loading hatch. (It was also used in this way when the submarine was in port).
In late 2002 the Lembit caught fire. The inside was filled with flammable wood and rubber. Nobody knew how or why it caught fire but through 2003 it was not viewable by the public. One person was killed in the blaze, but nothing of historic value was lost.
The original design drawings were discovered in the Cumbria archive in 2010. They were scanned and sent to Estonia.
A total of over 200 drawings were sent to Estonia. The Lembit will now be restored as much as possible.
Pulling the EML Lembit out of water
Estonian Maritime Museum developed plans to place the vessel into the museum building (Lennusadam) in 2008.
The Lembit was pulled out of water on 21 May 2011. It was pulled out, using another exhibit at the same museum - BTS-4 (an armoured recovery vehicle, based on the T-54 tank). The winching was done on a 100m ramp.
External restoration in June 2011
The submarine was missing its external torpedo tube covers. They used one original, that was stored somewhere else and the drawings (obtained from England), to construct 3 replicas. Most of the external paint was also removed, for minor derusting and the removal of some small dents. It was anticipated that the total restoration, cost over 360000 Euros.
In the Lennusadam
The submarine was "parked" next to the Lennusadam building, until the night of 6/7 July 2011, when they began to tow it into the Lennusadam. The towing was done the same way as when it was pulled out of water and it took until the 10'th of July.
The Lennusadam is getting finishing touches and will be open to visitors from the 19'th of May, 2012.
Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour 17 Kuti Street Tallinn Estonia Submarine Lembit
Photo's: Wikipedia Estonian submarine Lembit in Tallinn Seaplane Harbor 8th January 2008
Estonian Patrol boat Grif - Zhuk class
Estonian Patrullkaater Grif - Zhuk class
Sarnaseid patrullkaatreid (vahilaevu) kasutati N Liidus laialdaselt merepiiride valvamisel ning loomulikult ka Soome lahel ja Väinameres.
1992.a. rekvireeris toonane Kaitsealgatuskeskus Grif'i ja tema sõsarlaeva Leopard (lammutati 2001.a). Kuni 1994.aastani olid laevad Kaitseliidu valduses, N Liidu vägede väljaviimisel anti aga üle taasloodud Eesti Mereväele.
Patrullkaatrit Grif taotles Meremuuseum oma eksponaadiks 2000.a. mais, kuna laev oli esimene taastatud Eesti Mereväe alus ning seoses saneerimiskavaga oli aktiivsest ekspluatatsioonist välja arvatud.
Kultuuriministeeriumi haldusalasse anti laev Kaitseministeeriumi poolt üle 27.04.2001. aastal ning edasi Meremuuseumile juba 11.06.2001. aastal.
2001.a. novembritormis Pirita sadamas sai laev rängalt kannatada ning uppus poolenisti. Laev tõsteti välja ning 2002.a. suveks õnnestus laev reservfondi toel täielikult taastada.
Estonian Defence Force - Navy
The Merevägi is the navy of Republic of Estonia and is part of the unified Kaitsevägi (Estonian Defence Force).
In total, there are about four commissioned ships in the Estonian Navy, including three auxiliary ships; the displacement of the navy is under 10,000 tonnes making it one of the smallest navies in the world. The Estonian Navy has been reduced severely since the second half of the decade mainly due to insufficient maintenance, lack of funding and hereby training of personnel and timely replacement of equipments. Another possible setback could be attributed to Estonia's domestic lack of maritime defence policy strategy as the current navy neither operates a single traditional warship that could performe a defensive or an offensive operations nor a coastal defense capabilities and maritime landing operations along its long and island rich territorial waters.
In general the Estonian Navy in the terms of maritime naval terminology can be classified between the green-water and brown-water navies having at the same time both naval type capaibilities. Today green-water navies are generally defined as navies with frigates or corvettes operating in coastal and regional areas. When the green-water navies are usually capable of sending their naval ships overseas on friendly port-visits, the Estonian Navy has participated in numerous time at NATO´s naval joint-exercises. The brown-water navy usually lacks either the ability for sustained long-distance combat operations and the Estonian current naval-doctrine does not envisage deployments far away from its home bases. Although the Merevägi being a hybrid of the brown/green-water navy does not imply that the Estonian Navy lacks offensive capability, as many small littoral-combat ships today can be armed with powerful anti-ship missiles.
In 2010, the Ministry of Defence confirmed an interest to obtain a number of warships in the terms of gunboats in the purpose likely to ensure defence of territorial waters and to improve maritime surveillance. In late 2011, despite the changes in general defence policy and the armed forces reforms that are to take place in the coming years it is still not certain if, what type and number of the vessels will be pobtained for the navy.
Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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