SS Baikal (1889)

Baikal underway on her namesake Lake during the Summer, before c.1904. Original photo in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1896
Launched
1899
AD/BC
AD
History

Designed as a ferry for service on Lake Baikal in Siberia, the SS Baikal was built in England, and shipped, disassembled, to the village of Listvenichnoye. Launched in June, 1889, Baikal doubled as an ice breaker, so she could operate year-round. Her operational use was curtailed after a railway opened around the lake in 1905. Baikal was seized by the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, and was armed with cannons and machine guns. On 16 August, 1918, Baikal and another ship engaged two steamers that had been captured and armed by the Czechoslovak Legion. The Battle of Lake Baikal resulted in Baikal being sunk, and Allied support for an independent Czechoslovakia. Baikal was raised in 1920, but was not put back into service. She appears to have been scrapped sometime after 1926. Some of her parts, including the lower hull, may still be on the bottom of the Lake.

Bonus Photos

Postcard of Baikal on 28 June, 1899. She was launched the next day. Original photo believed to be in the public domain.