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Estonian Naval Vessels

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by The_Human_Oddity, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. The_Human_Oddity

    The_Human_Oddity New Member

    Mar 14, 2018
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    Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America
    Could anyone help me in identifying the class of the Estonian fleets prior to World War II? So far I have identified the names of the vessels[1] from a Google book (though I haven't had the luck of getting the Estonian book about this topic). I had managed to, quite a while ago, find a website that did talk about these vessels and other minor nations in detail but it has eluded me for now. If the book is accurate, the following should be the vessels and their organization prior to World War II.

    - Baltic Fleet
    - Sea Division​
    1. 1 Motor Patrol Boat (DKM A-32 A-class Torpedo Boat, E.M.L. Sulev)
    2. 2 Submarine Minelayers (Kalev-class Minelaying Submarine, E.M.L. Kalev, E.M.L. Lembit)
    3. 2 Gunboats (E.M.L. Laine, E.M.L. Mardus)
    4. 2 Minelayers (E.M.L. Ristna, E.M.L. Suurop)
    5. 3 Minesweepers (E.M.L. Tahkona, E.M.L. Keri, E.M.L. Vaindle)
    6. 1 Converted Yacht to a Patrol Boat (E.M.L. Pikker)
    - Auxiliary Division​
    1. 5 Icebreakers (E.M.L. Jaan Peska, E.M.L. Juri Vilms, E.M.L. Merikaru, E.M.L. Tasuja, HIRMS 'Tsar' Mikhail Fyodorovich', E.M.L. Suur Toll[4])
    2. 4 Survey Ships (E.M.L. Kompas, E.M.L. Lood, E.M.L. Merepoeg, E.M.L. Sekstant)
    3. 1 Tug (E.M.L. Tallinn)
    4. 7 Tenders (E.M.L. MP-2, E.M.L. MP-5, E.M.L MP-8, E.M.L. MP-10, E.M.L. MP-14, E.M.L. MP-23, E.M.L. Sakala)
    - Lake Peipus Fleet
    - Operational Division​
    1. 1 Motor Patrol Boat (E.M.L. No.23)
    2. 1 Gunboat (E.M.L. Tartu)
    - Reserve Division​
    1. 3 Gunboats (E.M.L. Ahti, E.M.L. Kmatar, E.M.L. President ex-Vanemuine)

    The Kalev-class is the only one I have identified from the Wikipedia page and the many, many sources that confirm it[2]. The E.M.L. Sulev I have found had sources indicate it being a German A-class Torpedo Boat taken from World War I, a British Torpedo boat given during the (Estonian) War of Independence, or a scavenged/captured Soviet torpedo boat from the (Estonian) War of Independence. An inconsistency from earlier sources, mainly between the book and the website that I can't remember, is the E.M.L. Kompas and the E.M.L. Lood. In the website it listed the E.M.L. Kompas as a "cable layer" and the E.M.L. Lood as a "research ship" (which I guess 'survey ship' still fits). To be more precise on the E.M.L. Pikker, it was a yacht that had then been converted to be a patrol boat/gunboat as the flagship of the navy (again only from what I can remember of the website).

    The E.M.L. Sulev I have identified as an A-class Torpedo Boat, A-32, that was sunk in 1917 during 'Operation Albion' before being raised and repaired in 1923 by the Estonian navy as 'Sulev'.[5]

    From the Wikipedia page of the E.M.L. Lembit there is also the reference to another boat that isn't listed on here. The author claims that it is the small, pre-war Estonian gunboat 'E.M.L. Uku', the only other surviving pre-war Estonian ship with the E.M.L. Lembit. However, I can find nothing on its supposed location at Lake Peipus which is suppose to be a wreck. Due to no reference for it being provided on the Wikipedia page I cannot find the source for this claim either.[3]

    A museum website has also claimed that the 'Uku' exists.[4]

    [1]: THE ORGANIZATION AND ORDER OF BATTLE OF MILITARIES IN WORLD WAR II - Estonian military, including the Estonian navy, before World War II.
    [2] Kalev-class submarine - Wikipedia - The E.M.L. Kalev and E.M.L. Lembit.
    [3] EML Lembit - Wikipedia - "Lembit is one of two surviving pre-war Estonian warships; the other is the small gunboat Uku on Lake Peipus, which is a wreck."
    [4] Asisbiz article and photo's of Tallinn, Estonia - Claims the 'Uku' exists and reveals the origins of the E.M.L. Suur Toll.
    [5] A-class torpedo boat - Wikipedia - The reference to the Estonian site is broken as the site had been closed, the reference to the Russian site still works.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Jul 24, 2007
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    They might be in one of the pre or early war Jane's books. Those are fairly widely available if not the most accurate.
    George Patton likes this.
  3. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

    Oct 30, 2017
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    "Naval War in the Baltic" by a former Danish naval officer, Paul Grooss (US naval Institute Press) has a breakdown on the Baltic navies immediately prior to WW 2. I don't recall if it goes into as much detail as you may be seeking, though.

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