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Finnish coastal guns

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Kai-Petri, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
    Likes Received:


    During Winter War these recent improvements made to 234-mm guns of Russarö coastal artillery battery gave a nasty shock for the Soviets. Second day of the war, 1st of December 1939, Soviet cruiser Kirov escorted by destroyers Stremitelnyj and Smetlivyj attacked Russarö coastal fort. The fort’s 234-mm artillery battery opened ranging fire from distance of 24 kilometers at 09:55. Kirov turned its right side towards Russarö and opened return fire from distance of 20 kilometers at 09:57, by which time 234-mm artillery battery had succeeded finding the correct fire setting values. With its shells now splashing to sea around the three ships, the artillery battery now shifted into fire for effect with all six guns. While neither Soviet nor Russian Navy have ever officially admitted this, apparently destroyer Stremitelnyj was severely damaged by hit or near hit to its left side and also cruiser Kirov damaged by one or several hit or near hits. Due to this after firing just 35 shells which did little damage beyond destroying lighthouse keeper's shack, Kirov and both destroyers turned away and left battlefield. Russarö coastal fort stopped shooting around 10:10, when the ships were getting outside range of its guns. Outcome of the battle was such that the Soviets apparently found necessary to repeatedly publicly deny the events, which at the same time suggest that that Soviet Navy was clueless about Finnish modernisation of guns how it effected their effective range. Even during later Continuation War Soviet propaganda radio broadcasts still kept making repeated claims that 234-mm guns of Russarö coastal fort could not have possibly damaged Kirov or its destroyer escort, because their range was not sufficient to return fire from distance of 20 kilometers. Cruiser Kirov and destroyers headed for repairs to Soviet naval base in Liepaja (Latvia).
    George Patton, GRW and Owen like this.

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