Sunday, 23 April 2017

Dutch shipyards trying to obtain naval orders from Latvia in April-May 1934

Between 8 April-20 May 1934 made Mr. A. Smit a journey to the Russia, Estonia, Latonia and Poland as ordered by three of the Dutch major shipyards including his own yard of the Kon. Mij. De Schelde). The intention was to obtain orders from the navies of these countries.

Smit had in Latonia a meeting with Graaf Kesselring (1)who was now retired and being a former submarine commanding officer in the Russian navy. Keyserling told him that in the near future Latvia would not increase her building program in contrary to Lithuania. A friend of him was the chief staff of the Lithuanian submarine and he suggested to contact him. In the past bought Latvia submarines from France.(2) Smit asked Keyserling if he was interested to become agent for the Dutch shipyards in Estonia and give his answer within some weeks.

Archive Kon. Mij. De Schelde 1875-1970 (Municipality Archive Vlissingen, Netherlands) T 214.382.

1 Archibald Keyserlingk (Augustenhof, Grobina, Courland now Latvia 6 November 1882, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 15 December 1951), between 1922-1931 with the rank of admiral the first minister of navy of Latvia. After resigning he stayed at Riga where he was responsible of naval construction yards. Served since 1909 in the Baltic Fleet after his successful study at the officers school for submarine officers at Libau.
2. This must be the Ronis-class built by A.C. Augustin-Normand and consisting of the Ronis (launched on 1 July 1926) and the Spidola (launched on 6 October 1926).