Finnish gunboat Hämeenmaa

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Uusimaa or Hameenmaa.jpg
Career Naval Ensign of Finland.svg
Name: Hämeenmaa
Commissioned: 1917 (Finnish Navy)
Fate: Scrapped in 1953
General characteristics
Class & type: Uusimaa-class
Displacement: 400 tons
Length: 52 m (171 ft)
Beam: 7.5 m (25 ft)
Draft: 3.4 m (11 ft)
Propulsion: two boilers, 1,400 shp
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 73
Armament: In 1920s:
  • 2 × 102 mm Obuchov (102/60)
  • 12 mines[1]
In 1939:
  • 2 × 102 mm Obuchov (102/60)
  • 1 × 40 mm Bofors AA
  • 2 × machine gun
  • 2 × DC mortar (SPH/37)
  • 40 mines[2]
In 1941:
  • 2 × 102 mm Obuchov (102/60)
  • 2 × 40 mm Bofors AA
  • 1 × 20 mm Madsen AA
  • 2 × DC mortar (SPH/37)
  • 40 mines[2]
In 1944:
  • 2 × 105 mm (105/45)
  • 2 × 40 mm Bofors AA
  • 3 × 20 mm Madsen AA
  • 2 × DC mortar (SPH/37)
  • 40 mines[2]

Hämeenmaa was a gunboat that served in the Finnish Navy during World War II. She was built in 1917. As the ship had changed hands many times during the turbulent last years of World War I she had been renamed many times: In Russian service, she was called Pingvin, later, in German service, her name was Wulf. Finally the Germans handed her over to the Finns in 1920, who renamed her Hämeenmaa. After World War II, she served as a trawler in the Baltic Sea. She was scrapped in 1953.

Interwar period[edit]

Hämeenmaa took part in the tragic autumn training cruise of the Finnish Navy in 1925 when torpedo boat S2 foundered at heavy seas. Hämeenmaa had started leaking while enduring the storm and when it finally reached the dock at Veitsiluoto its rear deck was already at sea-level.[3]

In September 1939 Hämeenmaa joined with Finnish Coastal Fleet in vicinity of Åland to relieve Karjala and later patrolled the northern Baltic Sea and the Sea of Åland together with her sister ship Uusimaa.[4][5]

Winter War[edit]

Hämeenmaa and Uusimaa were detached from the Coastal Fleet on 6 January 1940 to provide escorts for shipping in the Gulf of Bothnia after several submarine sightings had been made north of Åland.[6] When returning to Turku in 25 January 1940 Hämeenmaa damaged its propeller in the ice had to be docked for repairs.[7][5]

Continuation War[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Kijanen (1968a), p. 111.
  2. ^ a b c Kijanen (1968b), Supplement I.
  3. ^ Kijanen (1968a), p. 122-125.
  4. ^ Kijanen (1968a), p. 224-225,236.
  5. ^ a b Auvinen (1983), p. 31-32.
  6. ^ Kijanen & 1968a (274).
  7. ^ Kijanen (1968a), p. 290.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Auvinen, Visa (1983). Leijonalippu merellä [Lion flag at sea] (in Finnish). Pori, Finland: Satakunnan Kirjapaino Oy. ISBN 951-95781-1-0. 
  • Kijanen, Kalervo (1968a). Suomen Laivasto 1918–1968, I [Finnish Navy 1918–1968, part I] (in Finnish). Helsinki, Finland: Meriupseeriyhdistys/Otavan Kirjapaino. 
  • Kijanen, Kalervo (1968b). Suomen Laivasto 1918–1968, II [Finnish Navy 1918–1968, part II] (in Finnish). Helsinki, Finland: Meriupseeriyhdistys/Otavan Kirjapaino. 
The sister ship Uusimaa