What I found in Lenusadam Seaplane Harbour
One of the most unexpected yet fascinating visits on my recent trip to Estonia, was my visit to Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn, where I was fortunate enough to go inside a real World War 2 submarine. To get to Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour, you can easily walk from the old town. Just go down Pikk Street and out of the medieval walls past ‘Fat Margret’. It is relatively well signposted.
The Lembit World War 2 Submarine
The Lembit submarine was launched in 1936 and completion date was 1937. The Lembit sub had a diving depth of up to 19 m. It was armed with four torpedo tubes, 20 mines, one Bofors 40 mm gun and a 17.7 mm machine gun. There was room on board for 32 crew members. The limbic submarine was launched in England in 1936 and it arrived in Estonia in 1937.
After the Soviet union occupied Estonia in 1940, the limbic sub served in the red Banner Baltic fleet of the Soviet Navy. In the second world war, it conducted three successful attacks, torpedo in one ship and striking another two after being hit by mines laid by the submarine. After the Second World War, the Lembit sub returned to Tallinn for training, before it was handed over to the Estonian Maritime Museum in 1992.
Going in the World War 2 Submarine!
Going into the World War 2 Submarine was an unexpected, yet enlightening adventure. It really felt like I was walking into something of the set of Das Boot. There weren’t even enough beds on board for everyone on board – just enough beds available for the people who would be asleep at any one time. Remembering what the crew members went through actually made this quite a scary experience – imagine one cough leading to your sub being torpedoed.
In fact, imagining navigating through the waters being at risk of a torpedo attack made me feel somewhat claustrophobic. Yet, being in the hull and seeing the periscope was actually really exciting. Very steampunk!
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