Russian submarine Akula (1907)

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Russian submarine Akula, armored cruiser Rurik in the background
Russian Empire
Name: Akula
Ordered: 1906
Builder: Baltic Yard, Saint Petersburg
Launched: 4 September 1907
Fate: Sunk by mine, 28 November 1915
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • 370 long tons (380 t) surfaced
  • 475 tons (471 m³) submerged
Length: 56 m (183 ft 9 in)
Beam: 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
Draft: 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
  • 3 shaft Diesel electric
  • 3 diesel engines 1,900 hp (1.4 MW)
  • 1 electric motor 300 hp (220 kW)
  • 10.6 knots (19.6 km/h; 12.2 mph) (surfaced)
  • 4.6 knots (8.5 km/h; 5.3 mph) (submerged)
  • 1,900 nmi (3,500 km; 2,200 mi) (surfaced)
  • 38 nmi (70 km; 44 mi) (submerged)
Complement: 34
Armament: 4 × 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes (bow) and 4 Drzewiecki drop collars

Akula (Russian: Акула; meaning shark) was a submarine built for the Imperial Russian Navy. Akula saw service during World War I and sank in November 1915 after hitting a naval mine.

Design and construction[edit]

The boat was designed by Ivan Bubnov and was an amalgam of the previous Minoga and the Kasatka-class submarine designs. The design was presented to the Marine technical committee in late 1905 and was ordered in 1906.

Akula was built at the Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg.[1] The vessel was launched on 4 September 1907.

Service history[edit]

Wreck near Hiiumaa.

Initially the boat was to use petrol engines but these were replaced by safer diesels. The boat's design was a single hull/ saddle tank type with a diving depth of 25 fathoms (45 meters (148 ft)).

Significant initial problems were experienced and the electric motor and propellers which needed to be replaced. Akula was the first Russian submarine able to cruise long distances. In 1912 Akula made the world's first multi-torpedo volley with five torpedoes.

She subsequently served in the Baltic Fleet during World War I making 16 patrols and unsuccessfully attacked the German coastal defense ship SMS Beowulf.

She struck a mine and sank near Hiiumaa[2] in November 1915 on her 17th patrol. Akula lies about 30 meters (98 ft) below water. All 35 members of the crew died.[3]


  1. ^ Einmann, Andres (3 December 2014). Eesti võttis uppunud Tsaari-Venemaa allveelaeva kaitse alla (in Estonian). Postimees. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Akula (Акула) (+1915)".
  3. ^ Hiiumaa lähistelt leiti sajandivanune unikaalne Vene allveelaev (in Estonian). 25 June 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2015.


  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.

External links[edit]