Russian submarine Delfin

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"Our first submarine -- N. Apostoli postcard #112."
Career (Russian Empire)
Name: Delfin
Builder: Baltic plant, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Launched: 1902
Commissioned: 1903
Decommissioned: 1917
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
Displacement: 113 tons surfaced
126 tons submerged
Length: 19.6 m
Beam: 3.3 m
Draught: 2.9 m
Propulsion: 1 shaft petrol / electric
300 hp/120 hp
Speed: 9 knots surfaced
4.5 knots submerged
Complement: 22 officers and men
Armament: 2 external 15" torpedoes in drop collars

Delfin (Дельфин, Russian: "Dolphin") was the first Russian battle submarine.

She was designed by Naval architect Senior Assistant Ivan Grigoryevich Bubnov, Lieutenant M.N. Beklemishev and Lieutenant I.S. Goryunov of the Construction Commission for Submarines (later the Rubin Design Bureau), laid down by Baltic plant at St. Petersburg, launched in 1902, and entered service in 1903, training officers and sailors.

On 29 June 1904 the submarine sank in the Neva River by the wall of the Baltic shipyard during a test dive. The captain and 24 crewmen were killed, and 12 men were rescued.

Delfin was salvaged and transferred to the Siberian flotilla, arriving in Vladivostok in late 1904. She served until 1917, seeing action in the Russo-Japanese War.

During World War I Delfin was transferred to Murmansk and served in Northern flotillia. In 1917 she was stricken and scrapped in 1920.

The centenary of Delfin’s sinking - the first Russian submarine accident - was marked by the St. Petersburg Submariners Club with wreath-laying, a mourning service, and by guards of honor and an orchestra marching at the Smolenskoye Orthodox cemetery.


  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1922

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