RogerBW's Blog

Finnish Submarine Vesikko 01 September 2017

On Suomenlinna, a complex of islands in the bay of Helsinki, lies the submarine Vesikko. With photographs (all taken on the Lumix GF1): cc-by-sa on everything.

She has an interesting history; she was built at the Crichton-Vulcan works in Turku, ordered by a Dutch company Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw as a commercial submarine prototype. That company was entirely controlled by the German navy, and the contract allowed navy personnel to become familiar with modern submarine construction and operation in spite of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. In effect, CV-707 was the prototype of what would become the Typ.IIA diesel-electric U-boat (which had more powerful electric motors, and was a little shorter-ranged, but was otherwise basically identical).

She was a very advanced boat for her day, entirely welded rather than riveted, meaning about twice the crush depth of previous designs; but she had little success in war, sinking just one Soviet merchant ship during her service career. After the Second World War, Finland was required to lose all submarine forces; Vesikko was spared for training purposes, but never actually used in this role, and after a decade of restoration she was converted to a museum ship in 1973.

On approach there's clearly something odd going on: three torpedo tubes.

Torpedo room – yes, room, no watertight compartments here – mostly filled with the tubes. Opinions differ as to whether there were also two reloads available.

Torpedo partly inserted into the upper left tube.

Crew berthing in the torpedo room.

Officers' berthing just aft.

Into the control room. Two periscopes, one for navigation and one for attack. Engine telegraphs, navigation and radio stations, flooding controls, and various machinery.


Engine room. The engines required constant lubrication.

One of the generators, I assume.

Batteries and switchgear.

Aft berthing compartment.

Some more outside views.

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