Finnish Navy

Suomen Merivoimien tunnus.svg
The Finnish Navy (Finnish: Merivoimat, Swedish: Marinen) is one of the branches of the Finnish Defence Forces. The navy employs 2,300 people and about 4,300 conscripts are trained each year. Finnish Navy vessels are given the ship prefix "FNS", short for "Finnish Navy ship" and it is not used in Finnish language contexts. The Finnish Navy also includes coastal forces and coastal artillery.

The current Commander-in-Chief of the navy is Rear Admiral Kari Takanen. The navy is organized into the Navy Command and four Brigade-level units. The navy includes, since 1998 also the Nyland Brigade, where Finnish Marines or Coastal Jaegers are trained. Nyland Brigade is also the only Swedish language unit in the country and it carries on the traditions and battle-honours of the Nyland (Uusimaa) Regiment of the Swedish Army.

Total of 31,500 personnel

During the Swedish era, the Finnish Gulf saw many battles between the Swedish and Russian fleets. Many of the Swedish naval bases were located in present-day Finland and many sailors came from Finland (see Archipelago Fleet).

During the Russian rule (1809–1917) an entirely Finnish Navy unit, named Suomen Meriekipaasi was defending the Finnish coast, alongside the Baltic Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy. The Meriekipaasi participated in the Crimean War, albeit mostly with on-shore duties. The Meriekipaasi also manned the coastal batteries at the Santahamina Island during the siege of fortress Viapori in Helsinki. The ships the Meriekipaasi operated included the steam frigates Rurik and Kalevala, named after the Finnish national epic. These ships later served in the Russian Pacific Fleet).

The first ships that the independent Finnish Navy obtained were a mix of obsolete vessels left behind by the Russians during the Finnish Civil War and vessels, who had not been able to make the winter voyage to Kronstadt as the Russian Navy retreated from German forces. Thus, the Finnish Navy of the late 1910s and early 1920s consisted of some gunboats (Klas Horn, Matti Kurki, Turunmaa, and Karjala), six S-class torpedo boats, eight C-class torpedo boats, one minelayer (Louhi), several minesweepers, and five T-class minelaying boats. In addition to the warships, the Russians also left behind numerous other types of vessels.

This page was last edited on 13 February 2018, at 18:07.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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