Submarine Lembit

EML Lembit is one of two Kalev-class mine-laying submarines built for the Republic of Estonia before World War II and is now a museum ship at Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn. She was launched in 1936 at Vickers and Armstrongs Ltd., Barrow-in-Furness in England, and served in the Estonian Navy and the Soviet Navy. Until she was hauled out on 21 May 2011, Lembit was the oldest submarine still afloat in the world. Her sister ship, Kalev, was sunk in October 1941. 

Lembit is the only surviving warship of the pre-war Estonian Navy and in the Baltic countries. Estonia is a maritime nation, and like every country with a long coastline to defend, it has to safeguard its territorial waters. With regard to experience gained and observed during World War I, submarines found their proper application in the pre–World War II Estonian Navy. The collection organized by the Submarine Fleet Foundation in May 1933 developed into one of the most successful undertakings among similar fundraising events nationwide.

In the course of building and testing the two submarines, the Estonian crews received training in Great Britain between 1935-1937. Throughout 1937–1940, Lembit and her sister ship Kalev were the most imposing vessels in the Estonian Navy. Their inactivity in the annexation of Estonia by the USSR was a political decision. (Wikipedia)


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