Väinämöinen (1932)

Väinämöinen in 1938. Photo in the collections of The Finnish War Museum.

Ship Type
Laid Down

Väinämöinen was a Finnish coastal defense ship, laid down in 1929. Commissioned 28 December, 1932, she was designed to act as a mobile fortress. Armed with two twin 254mm (10") guns, four twin 105mm (4.1") guns, four 40mm and two 20mm guns, she was no match for any battleships of the time, but would have made any cruisers think twice about engaging. Väinämöinen was dispatched to the Åland Islands at the start of the 1939 Winter War with the Soviets, but returned to Turku when the ice became dangerous. During the Continuation War, Väinämöinen bombarded the Red Army as it withdrew from the Hanko Peninsula, then patrolled the Gulf of Finland for the rest of the War. She was handed over to the Soviets as war reparations in 1947, and renamed Vyborg. Vyborg was stationed in Finland until 1953, and was modernized some time in the 50s. Vyborg was mainly used as an accommodation ship, and there were discussions of returning the ship to Finland, but nothing came of it. Vyborg was scrapped in 1966.

Bonus Photos

Väinämöinen camouflaged against the shore in July, 1944. Finnish public domain photo, hosted at SA-kuva.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: While in Soviet service, the sailors of the Baltic Fleet called Vyborg "Vanya", a nickname for Ivan.

Bonus Fact: Vyborg was the name of a Soviet freighter sunk during World War II by the Finns.