H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen (1941), Örnen class

H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen (1941) of the Örnen class

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H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen was a torpedo cruiser in the Swedish navy and the first of the Örnen class. Built in 1896 by Lindholmens varv in Göteborg, she was made in response to other navies in Europe adopting Torpedo cruisers. Though there were 5 ships of the Örnen class, only two survived long enough to receive a modernization, that being Örnen and Jacob Bagge. Örnen received the largest upgrades in 1941 and served in that form until she was put out of service in 1947 and later sunk in 1950.

History and related info

In 1892 the Swedish navy concluded that Sweden needed a ship type that could do reconnaissance in the Swedish archipelago as well as be powerful enough to defeat enemy torpedo boats and realized that a torpedo cruiser, like that of the Italian or German navy, would be perfect. Therefore, in 1895, they ordered one torpedo cruiser of the Örnen class to be built, in 1896 two more were ordered and again in 1897, two more were ordered, five ships of the Örnen class would be ordered in total. In 1897, the first of these ships would join the navy, that being H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen.
H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen in 1907.

H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen and her sisters (H.M Torpedkryssare) Claes Horn, Clas Uggla, Psilander and Jacob Bagge went on to be delivered to the Swedish navy from 1896 to 1899 with Örnen entering service in 1897. Her service as many ships in the Swedish navy started slowly as there was a time of peace in Europe, thet would of course change rather soon as WW1 began just a few years later. During WW1 she spent her time in Riga, Lithuania to defend Swedish interests as the Russian revolution was worrying the region, luckily there were no fighting that she partook in. After the war pretty much all of the Örnen class were worn, and 3/5 were put out of service in the interwar years. Clas Uggla was first, being stranded and eventually sunk in 1917, Claes Horn was so worn after ww1 that she was scrapped in 1924 and Psilander turned into a training ship and was later struck by a torpedo in a firing test in 1939. That left Örnen and Jacob Bagge remaining during ww2. Both Örnen and Jacob Bagge were reclassified as cadet ships and had their torpedo tubes removed, despite this, both kept their names and as such were still called “His Majesty’s torpedo cruiser Örnen/Jacob Bagge”

H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen in her beautiful modernized form.

By the time ww2 rolled around, the Örnen class was over 40 years old, naval technology had rapidly evolved and they were simply made for a time gone by, as such they were not equipped for the modern era. Therefore the Swedish sent the remaining Örnen and Jacob Bagge in for modernization. Though both were modernized, H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen recieved the biggest changes to make her a viable fighter, meanwhile Jacob Bagge was converted into a seaplane depot ship and as such lost some of her fighting power. H.M Torpedkryssare Örnen recieved an updated superstructure as well as upgraded armament, she kept her main armament of 12cm cannons but they were modernized allowing them to fire farther and do more damage. The four 57mm cannons were removed and replaced with an impressive 8 x 25mm AA cannons in four twin mounts as well as two 20mm AA cannons. She lost her underwater 38cm torpedo tube but received the capability of carrying up to 12 sea mines.
In 1941 she was put back into service and was placed in the Norrköping fleet, being the only larger ship there. She served well until 1947 where she was finally put out of service after 50 years of sailing. She was used as a target for other ships and was sunk in 1950.

Armament and stats

Length: 69 meters
Width: 8.2 meters
Draft: 3.2 meters
Displacement: 800 tons
Speed: 19.5 knots (36 km/h)
Crew: 112

Main armament were two modernized 12cm cannons, each with a firing rate of 10 shots per minute.
Anti-air armament were eight 25mm cannons as well as two 20mm cannons.
She could also carry and drop 12 mines.



Örnen-klass – Wikipedia (Swedish)

Örnen (1896) – Wikipedia (Swedish)

Jane's Fighting Ships - Google Böcker (Page 293)