28 July 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
They finally found it! Remember the recent big story about the search for an unknown but presumably Russian submarine in Swedish territorial waters? Well, they found it! Seriously. A submarine. And in their territorial waters. It is being widely discussed by the media, and the Ukrainian media is reporting the news in the “yes, you were never there, and you didn’t shoot down the Boeing either” vein.
There is only one problem. Yes, it’s Russian, a hull inspection confirms it. Except it’s a Som-class submarine which sank there in 1916…
The Russo-Japanese War prompted the Naval Technical Committee to strengthen the navy in general, and the submarine fleet in particular, as quickly as possible. This included procuring ships abroad in addition to domestic construction. On 27 February 1904 the Neva Shipyard received an order to build Holland-type boats. The submarine Fulton of the Holland-VIIR type built in 1901 was bought from the Holland firm and became the prototype for a series of submarines built in Russia. Fulton received the name Som on 31 May 1904.
The submarines were built from Russian materials, but their internal machinery were bought in the US. The first submarine began trials on 15 June 1905, and all five submarines were in service by 25 May 1906.
The lead ship perished in 1916 The others were captured by Germany in 1918 and sunk by the Entente in 1919.
Seek and you shall find! Now the Swedish Navy can honestly report there was a submarine there. Whether it was that submarine or another is a different matter. It’s actually a good thing it sank 99 years ago. It answers many inconvenient questions. About why there was a Russian sub in Swedish waters and why it sank there. The media now has a bone which it will chew on for a long time. We will also forget why they made such a show out of these sub searches. In a word, everyone’s happy.
J.Hawk’s Comment: The Som was apparently sunk in a collision with a Swedish cargo ship. It was operating in Swedish waters because, well, “neutral” Sweden was busy selling strategically important iron ore to Germany, sending it there on its own ships. It would do so again during World War 2. Some things just don’t change…
Another Russian blogger, bmpd, reporting on the same story writes that actually the Som wreck was found by Swedish divers in…2011. So, indeed, why is this a story right now?