Dutch Admiralen-class destroyer (1st Batch), HNLMS Piet Hein

Would you like to see the HNLMS Piet Hein ingame?
  • Yes.
  • No.

0 voters

In what techtree would you like to see this ship added?
  • In a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree.
  • In the British techtree as a premium.
  • Other (Please explain).
  • I said ‘No’ in the first question.

0 voters

Hello everyone, today I’d like to suggest a Dutch interwar period class destroyer!

This is the Admiralen-class destroyer, Piet Hein!

HNLMS Piet Hein

History about the Admiralen-class


The Admiralen-class (In English, Admiral-class) destroyers were made out of the need to replace the ageing Roofdier-class destroyers. The Roofdier-class consisted of eight ships, therefor this new Admiralen-class would also consist of eight ships.

These ships being:

  • HNLMS Evertsen (EV)
  • HNLMS Kortenaer (KN)
  • HNLMS Piet Hein (PH)
  • HNLMS De Ruyter (DR) (Later renamed Van Ghent (GT))
  • HNLMS Van Galen (VG)
  • HNLMS Witte de With (WW)
  • HNLMS Banckert (BK)
  • HNLMS Van Nes (VN)

The (EV), (PH) or (BK) in the names of the ships is a shortening of the ship’s name, and interestingly also painted on the side of each ship is very large letters. Thus you can very quickly reconize the different ships by reading the letters.

The ships were laid down in three batches, of which the first batch differed from the second and third. First ‘Evertsen’, ‘Kortenaer’, ‘Piet Hein’ and ‘De Ruyter’ were laid down during August of 1925. Then ‘Van Galen’ and ‘Witte de With’ followed in May of 1927. And at last ‘Banckert’ and ‘Van Nes’ were laid down in August of 1928.

Just like many ship classes, the first batch of four ships served as a good testing ground to futher improve the class. To point out some differences, this first batch originally had much shorter smoke stacks, which quickly proved to be very annoying, so they were lengthened shortly after, and for the second and third batch this lengthened smoke stacks came standard.

HNLMS De Ruyter (Later renamed to Van Ghent), of the 1st Batch, with the original shorter smoke stacks

Also something the first batch differs in is secondairy armaments. The 40mm pom-pom was not quite in use yet for the Dutch so this first batch had to do without, whereas the second and third batch did have pom-pom’s. But to make up for this lack of autocannons, the First batch did recieve an extra secondairy 75mm gun, giving it two compared to the single on found on the second and third batch.

When the ships were laid down, it turned out that the ships were very well designed, and overall a succes. One ship of the class (HNLMS Piet Hein) reached a top speed of 36 knots during a test once. That was 4 knots faster then what was originally intended for the design.

The only downside to the class design was that they were fairly lightly armed compared to other destroyer designs of the time. But they made up for it with the excellent Dutch fire control systems.

At first the ships were used in the Dutch Caribbean during their early career. They mostly patrolled the waters there, and did not engage in any battles.

After 1933 the ships started to move towards the Dutch East Indies, where they carried out more patrol duties, and simple duties like going to a location just to show the Dutch dominance there.

During the 1940’s the ships carried out guarding and escort duties.

HNLMS Van Galen, HNLMS Banckert and HNLMS Arend in Curaçao during 1931

Ship design (1st Batch Admiralen-class)


Blueprint of the 1st Batch destroyers ‘Evertsen’, ‘Kortenaer’ and ‘Piet Hein’

The design of the ship was based on the British Ambuscade and Amazone destroyers. These two British destroyers served as the prototypes for the Admiralen-class.

The primary armament of the Admiralen-class consisted of four single 120mm guns. On the 1st Batch these were the No. 4 type. While four primary guns is not very impressive, the fire control system on the ships was excellent. Thus making the guns much more accurate then what can be seen on ships of other countries.

The 12cm No. 4 guns on HNLMS Kortenaer

The secondairy armaments for the 1st Batch consisted of two 75mm No. 6 guns. These were located amidship on a raised platform. These guns were dual purpose, so they could also engage aircraft.

The 7,5cm No. 6 gun on board HNLMS Kortenaer

Futher weaponry include four 12.7mm Browning machine guns, with two being located on near the bridge, and the other two near the 75mm gun platforms. Six 533mm torpedo tubes in two tripple tube launchers were also carried. These carried Whitehead Type II torpedoes with a range of 4.000 meters.

4 depthcharge throwers, with a total of 12 depth charges, and 2 minelaying rails with a total of 24 mines completed the armaments of the 1st Batch Admiralen-class.

One last thing that the Admiralen-class also had was a aircraft catapult. This was located on top of the aft Torpedo tube launcher. This catapult could carry a Van Berkel W-A floatplane. But in reality this plane was never really carried a lot. And during the course of the 1930’s, this catapult was discarded.

A Van Berkel W-A floatplane

A hull blueprint of the 1st Batch destroyers ‘Evertsen’, ‘Kortenaer’ and ‘Piet Hein’

History of Piet Hein


HNLMS Piet Hein being launched

During WW2 HNLMS Piet Hein was part of the Allied Striking Force. On the 18th of Febuari 1942, a small Japanese invasion fleet was spotted. This fleet was attacked by allied aircraft, but still the fleet managed to carry on.

After two Dutch light cruisers had shortly attacked this fleet, HNLMS Piet Hein, together with the destroyers USS John D. Ford and USS Pope, carried on attacking this Japanese fleet.

Piet Hein was in the lead, and under heavy enemy fire. It managed to drop three torpedoes in the direction of a Japanese transport ship, and then fired it’s primary weapons to score some indirect hits on the Japanese ships. Piet Hein also fired two more torpedoes towards another Japanese ship, but these sadly missed.

Piet Hein carried on firing with her 12cm guns, before turning around and dropping a smoke screen.

At 23:10, Piet Hein was hit by two Japanese 127mm shots. This started a fire near the rear mast, and in the boiler room. This made the Piet Hein sit dead in the water.

The Japanese destroyer Asashio closed the range between her and Piet Hein, and then started firing her 25mm guns at Piet Hein.

The US destroyers managed to distract the Asashio for a little bit, but Piet Hein’s fate was sealed. The heavily damaged Dutch ship was hit by a long lance torpedo, and shortly after the ship started sinking.

Only 33 of the 149 crew members managed to survive.

HNLMS Piet Hein at Soerabaja

Specifications, Kortenaer


Length: 98,15 m
Width: 9,45 m
Depth: 3 m
Displacement: 1.316 Tons empty, 1.680 tons fully loaded.
Engine: 2 x Parson turbines, 3 x 3-drum Yarrow waterpipeboilers
Engine power: 31.000 hp
Number of screws: 2
Max speed: (Planned) 32 knots / (Achieved during a test by HNLMS Piet Hein) 36 knots
Crew: 149


  • 4 x 1 120 mm No. 4 cannon
  • 2 x 1 75 mm No. 6 cannon
  • 4 x 1 12.7 mm Browning machine gun

  • 2 x 3 533mm Torpedo tubes, with Whitehead Type II torpedoes (Max range of 4.000 meters)
  • 4 x 1 Depth charge throwers, with 12 depth charges total
  • 2 x 1 mine lauching rails, with 24 Vickers mines total

  • 1 x 1 Aircraft catapult, with the Van Berkel W-A floatplane carried. (Max speed 135 km/h, 1 x 7.92 mm Lewis machine gun in a gunner position)

The floatplane catapult was discarded early on in the 1930’s



Ingame I would like to see these ships added in a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree. The ships are not extremely powerfull so putting them in, for example, a British techtree will just make people skip past them. But in a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree they would actually form the backbone of the destroyer line, so there they would serve a much better purpose.

If a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree is out of the question, then having it in the British techtree as a premium makes the most sense.

The fast speed and accurate guns will make the Admiralen-class a pretty fun class to play. The only problem with HNLMS Piet Hein is that she lacks large anti-aircraft autocannons. But still with the ability to lay mines, launch aircraft, and drop pretty good torpedoes, the HNLMS Piet Hein will prove to be a very capable ship!

Make sure to check out the other ships of the Admiralen-class!

1st Batch

2nd Batch

3rd Batch

HNLMS Piet Hein going at full speed

And there we go, that was the Admiralen-class destroyer HNLMS Piet Hein!

Make sure to vote in the poll above, and put a comment down below! See you next time!

Extra Photos




Primary source:

  • Nederlandse marineschepen 1939-1945, Deel 1 , book by Peter Kimenai.

Secondairy sources:

Van Berkel W-A floatplane:

Historical photos:


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