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Naval Theater is dedicated to the ships upon and under the waves, and the people who crewed them. A new piece of maritime history is posted every day at 11:00 AM EST.

EML Kalev (1936)

Kalev during her time in Estonian service. Finnish military photograph.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1935
Launched
1936
Commissioned
1937
AD/BC
AD
History

EML Kalev and her sister Lembit were ordered from Britain by Estonia in 1934, and were built by Vickers-Armstrong. Kalev entered service on 12 March, 1937, as a mine-laying submarine. Slow on the surface (only 13.5 knots), Kalev had a respectable submerged speed of 8.5 knots. She could carry twenty-four mines, in addition to her eight 533mm (21") torpedoes for the four tubes, and had a crew of thirty-two. Kalev operated with the Estonian Navy until the Soviet takeover in 1940, despite a German offer to purchase the boat that February. The Soviets took over operation of the vessel, and then managed to lose Kalev on her second war patrol. She was posted overdue on 29 October, 1941, lost to unknown causes.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: In June, 2010, a submarine wreck was found that the research team was highly certain was the Kalev. It then turned out not to be a submarine after all.