Strongly and sharply

History 1912-1946

On June 12, 1912, a Russian State Duma decision that allowed establishing the Russo-Baltic Shipyard in Tallinn (Reval) on Kopli peninsula came into force. A Russo-Baltic Shipbuilding and mechanical stock-company became its owner. The company was established by a French military-industrial enterprise Schneider-Creusot and the Russo-Asian bank.

Taking into account the latest achievements in global shipbuilding, Alexander Ivanovich Dmitrijev, an architect and engineer from St. Petersburg, launched a project the same year, and the construction of tens of buildings, such as workshops, factory administrations with engineering and technical bureaux started on the abandoned peninsula. There were even quays, stocks, a mole, a railway and a 40-thousand floating dock there. All the constructions were equipped with the latest industrial technologies.

By June, 1913, around 5,000 people were working in the yard, 3,000 of whom were engaged in the construction works.

By 1916, the number of employees, mainly coming from the central areas of Russia, reached 7,500. The majority of them lived in caserns built in the vicinity. At employees’ command a canteen, a shop, a church and a tram-line leading to the town were constructed and kept, all by means of factory funds.

In order to serve both industrial and dwelling rooms, the factory built an electric power station, whose capacity was eight times bigger than the one of a city station. The factory built sewer system and established water supply by building two artesian wells.

In December 1912, the factory received its first order for building six torpedo-boat destroyers. In February, 1913 the factory signed a contract for construction of two cruisers. The laying of the first ship, a squadron cruiser “Gavriil”, took place on November 18, 1913. It was put to sea on September 22, 1916.

In addition to that, in the beginning of the First World War, the enterprise had to begin the production of turbines and boilers for the ships being built, as well as production of ammunition and construction of submarines.

By the end of the war, the list of available products and services of the factory was prolonged with the repair of ships, railway and steam engines, carriages and cranes, as well as the production of rails, conveyers and agricultural stock. The sections of Narva Bridge were constructed there.

After numerous financial troubles, which included the private property becoming public one, the factory was declared a bankrupt in 1927. In 1936, its belongings were rented by the “Orto” chemical enterprise, a machine-building factory “ETKVL”, a brickyard and a storehouse. Factory management was given over to Tallinn Vocational Institute.

In 1944, while leaving Tallinn, German armed forces blew up almost all constructions of the factory.

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