The Vesikko was a German coastal submarine that served in the Finnish Navy during the Second World War. She was designed in the Netherlands and built between 1931 and 1933 in Turku, Finland, being the design a direct derivative from the German Type UB F. The German Kriegsmarine carried extensive tests in this submarine during 1933 and 1934; these were the times in which Germany was growing its formidable submarine fleet and the tests with this humble submarine would provide priceless knowledge for the design of the future oceanic submarines. The Vesikko was given the denomination CV 707 when built and considered the prototype for the Type IIA (six units built) that served in the Kriegsmarine.

In 1935 Finland raised enough funds to acquire the Vesikko, which since then would navigate with a Finnish crew. During the war she operated in the Baltic Sea against the Soviet Fleet, achieving inconspicuous results, being the most notable deed the sinking of a Russian merchant ship of 4000 tonnes. After the war, the Vesikko was decommissioned and disarmed. Falling upon Finland the prohibition of owning any submarine, every submarine of the Fleet was sold for scrap, but for some reason the Vesikko remained stranded in her homeland long enough to avoid the fate of her brethren.

But she had not been forgotten. In 1959, former crew members raised enough funds to buy her. After being restored, the Vesikko was exposed as a museum ship belonging to the Finnish Military Museum; with that purpose she remains emplaced in Susisaari since 1973. And so she remains preserved as the only submarine of the Type II existing today.

Vesikko submarine blueprints
Displacement: 250 tonnes while surfaced, 300 tonnes while submerged.

Length: 40.9 meters.

Beam: 4.1 meters.

Draft: 4.2 meters.

Propulsion plant: two Diesel engines MWM of 350 horsepower each and two electric motors Siemens of 180 horsepower each.

Speed: 13 knots while surfaced, 8 knots while submerged.

Range: 2500 kilometers at 8 knots while surfaced, 70 kilometers at 4 knots while submerged.

Test depth: 150 meters.

Complement: 17-20 including officers.

Sensors: 2 x 6 Atlas Werke hydrophones.

Armament: three 533-millimeter torpedo tubes (placed at prow) with five torpedoes carried, one Madsen 20-millimeter 60-caliber cannon, one 12.7-millimeter machine-gun and 20 mines.

Inside the Vesikko

Life onboard a submarine was marked by the privation of any kind of comfort. But despite the lack of space, the rarefied air that they had to breathe, the hygienic conditions reduced to the minimal expression and the isolation for months from their homes or any port, the crew members were rugged combatants bound by an uncommon camaradery.

Crew and torpedo room
The crew room with twelve bunk beds and the three torpedo tubes located at prow. Note the hatch above through which torpedoes were loaded into the submarine.

Command room
The command room with the periscope lowered and diverse navigation controls (the hydroplane controls are clearly visible).

Engine room
The engine room and the two six-cylinder Diesel engines MWM. The door at the end of the corridor is the officers room.

Officers room
The officers room with four bunk beds is placed astern just after the engine room... Sweet dreams!

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