Russian Imperial Navy submarine Delfin, first battle submarine

(Russian: “Dolphin”) was the first Russian battle submarine.

She was designed by Naval architect Senior Assistant I.G. Bubnov, Lieutenant M.N. Beklemishev and Lieutenant I.S. Goryunov of the Construction Commission for Submarines (later the Rubin Design Bureau), laid down by Krupp AG at St. Petersburg, launched in 1902, and entered service in 1903.

On June 29, 1904 the submarine sank in the Neva River by the wall of the Baltic shipyard during a test dive. The captain and 24 crewmen were killed, and 12 men were rescued.

was salvaged and transferred to the Siberian flotilla, arriving in Vladivostok in late 1904. She served until 1917, seeing action in the Russo-Japanese War.
Specifications, Delfin:
Single-hull design with saddle tanks. The outer plating was covered with teak to prevent damage when grounding.

Displacement (srf/sub tons):
Dimensions (L*B*D feet/meter): 64’4*11’0*9’6/19.6*3.35*2.9
Propulsion: powered on the surface by 2*150hp gasoline engines, 1*120hp electric motor for submergence driving 1 shaft
Speed (srf/sub knots):
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): unknown/28@2.5
Diving depth (feet/meter): 164/50
Complement: 22 officers and enlisted
Torpedo: 2*Dzhevetskiy external drop collar torpedoes and 1 machine gun
Mines: none
Armament: none


Ordered as a prototype submarine, designated no.113 later on changed to no.150. Only 1 unit was built by Krupp AG, completed in 1903.

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Image Country Year Description
Saint Thomas 2009 Submarine designed by I.G.Bubnov & M.N.Beklemishev, Delfin (1904) and German U-Boat type XXIII in margin (souvenir sheet)
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