HNoMS ÆGER - Gunboat 2nd class


CLASS: 2nd class gunboats
TYPE: Guboat
BUILDING SITE: Karljohansværns Værft, Horten
NAVY SHIP LIST NUMBER: Serial number 70
CONSTRUCTION COST: 422 200,- Norwegian Kroner included weapons
LAUNCHED: 1 July 1893
HOIST COMMAND: 26 May 1894


  • 1x 210mm Krupp breech loading cannon
    -Caliber 20,93cm L/35
    -Mechanism: Falling block breech
    -Weight: 14.200 Kilograms
    -Placement: As bow gun in front in shield of 40 Millimeter special steel
    -Mounting: center pivot shoot
    -Armored shield: 40 Millimeter special steel
    -Manufacturer: Krupp

  • 1x 70mm Krupp Rapid firing cannon
    -Caliber: 70mm L/37 NO1
    -Manufacturer: Krupp
    -Placement: As stern gun aft in a shield of 12 Millimeter special steel
    -Mounting: Center skirting with cylindrical base
    -Armored shield: 12 Millimeter special steel

  • 2x 50mm Krupp Rapid firing cannons
    -Caliber: 50mm L/37
    -Placement: As side protection in the superstructure whose walls are in 50 Millimeter ordinary steel
    -Serial numbers: 1, 2
    -Manufacturer: Krupp

Deplacement: 420 Metric tons fully loaded/armed
Length: 33.2 Meter
Width: 9.0 Meter
Depth: 2.8 Meter

2x Inclined compound machines 371 indicated horsepowers
2x Cylindrical tube boilers working pressure 7.0 kg per kilovolts per centimeter
Propellers: 2x
Speed: 9.8 Knots (18.14 Km/h)
Bunker: 24 Metric tons of coal

Estimated crew: 43 men
The size of the crew varied between: 19 and 43 men during the various voyages

Hull material: Steel with cellulose seals in the belt
Armored deck: 38 Millimeter
Cannon shield:. 40 Millimeter Special steel
Side protection in the superstructure: 50 Millimeter ordinary steel

1932: decommissioned and scrapped

the monitors were something new and unforeseen that all seafaring nations simply had to have. our construction of these thus meant a breach of the fleet plan of 1859 and in 1872 a new construction program for naval vessels was therefore drawn up. we were in the initial phase of the struggle for parliamentarism and the initiative for the new program was taken by the civilian navy minister Broch. he distinguished himself both by accepting his position in relation to the Storting and by investing in younger and innovative officers in leading positions. it was his chosen successor, Admiral Jakob Lerche Johansen, who in 1877 had this program adopted as a plan for the Norwegian navy’s development over the next 15 years. Rather than continuing to invest in the large ocean-going vessels, or the more stationary monitors, one would now invest in the construction of steam gunboats of 3 different classes, as far as possible with armour-piercing protection. This shift towards a strengthened archipelago defence, which to some extent was to be distributed along the coast, was perceived from a political point of view as a more national defence. the plan was therefore well received and to a greater extent followed up with grants than many previous plans, although this time we also did not come close to the number the plan had adopted. When rebuilding old rock cannons, we also got 16 cannon boats of 3rd class.

second-class gunboats were to be relatively short and wide so that they could withstand the weight of a 27cm Armstrong cannon of 20 tonnes in the bow. with such a large cannon it was believed that they would be able to threaten even larger battleships. they were supposed to have double propellers to ensure good manoeuvrability, but self-protection was given a lower priority. it was bet that they would hide behind the archipelago’s islets and reefs, and partly that they constituted a small target in themselves. speed could not be prioritized either, which a top speed of 8 knots should emphasize.

in the first instance, the gunboats “vale 1874” and “uller 1876” were built. later followed “nor 1878”, “brage 1878” and “vidar 1880” which were also iron boats, while “gor 1884” and “tyr 1887” were steel boats, which, unlike their sister ships, got a 26cm breech-loading cannon. with the development of the torpedo, Nor, Gor and Tyr also got a built-in torpedo launch tube in the bow. in 1894, after the 1877 plan had been replaced by the concerned defense friends’ needs analysis of 1891, but still before the seriousness had dawned on the anti-Union left-sided, with Ææger we secured yet another vessel in this class. It was somewhat larger than its sister ships and distinguished itself, among other things, by having armored decks and a special waterline protection (cellulose belt), and also a 21cm breech-loading cannon in a 40mm shield as bow gun

investment in defense was, as mentioned, not a high priority and until 1895 the training budgets were very tight. Several years could therefore pass between each piece of equipment. once equipped, they practiced in smaller groups together with the monitors, but they maintained the assumption of a certain spread of activity along the coast

They undoubtedly received the most attention in the spring of 1893, when the tension between the king and the Storting over the appointment of a new government was at its peak. then the supposedly king-friendly commanding admiral Koren was accused of having equipped some of the gunboats in great haste and on his own initiative, with the aim that they could be sent to Oslo and used to support King Oscar II. This revelation led to ever-long investigations and open hearings in the Storting, and it meant that the choir had to resign. at one point in the process he gave a slightly disappointed expression that people did not understand how little a gunboat like Tyr could do in relation to a possible rebellion against the king

After an ever-increasing number of exercises, as is well known, the union battle culminated in a mobilization in 1905. There, the second-class gunboats were distributed respectively Hvaler (Æger, Tyr and Gor), Karljohansvern -Nor, Trønsberg Brage and Vidar and the mountains Uller and Vale, but the dispute was resolved as is known, without fighting taking place

When peace had subsided again and the concept of invasion defense had taken a long step in the direction of minesweepers as the good solution for poor nations, the need and usefulness of converting the solid gunboats into minesweepers was seen. during this rebuilding between 1911 and 1914, they switched from large and or slow-firing guns to smaller and faster guns. thus, there was room for around 50 mines, and little by little the torpedo equipment was also removed.

All 2 class gunboats served in the Neutrality Guard and most of the First World War. Vale and Uller did their service in the west, while the others stayed around melomsvik/tønsberg or Hvaler. their task was partly to lay and remove mines. it was a relatively undramatic service, but with so much sailing they were naturally exposed to some accidents, while on a number of occasions they provided assistance to other vessels with problems. Uller also participated in putting out a city fire in Bergen in January 1916. Towards the end and a little after the war, the task became to a greater extent to neutralize mines that had drifted into Norwegian waters, and this was not a risk-free task. the last and somewhat larger Æger had not been rebuilt and it was used as a flagship for the Hvaler department, until it was decommissioned in 1932.

In the inter-war period, the equipment became rarer and when these vessels were re-equipped, except the barge, for neutrality guard in 1939, following the pattern from the previous war, barges Vale, Uller, Tyr had been in stock since the First World War. They didn’t make a big effort during the battles in Norway either, and they were all taken over by the Germans. Some had gotten mines on board without having to lay them, while others didn’t get that far. throughout, the captains believed that the vessels were so old and vulnerable that their voluntary surrender to the Germans was no great problem. an exception was Tyr, which had mines laid in both Lerøyosen and in Vatlestraumen, which later sank several German ships. but Tyr was also eventually taken over by the Germans. after the war, the Germans returned the vessels in a different condition, but they were soon scrapped and disposed of. Tyr was the longest-lived vessel. First as a well-known car ferry in western Norway, before it has had other services in the farming industry until quite recently

Well, this is of course an old and very slow vessel, but i hope that the armament can compensate for this. it has a big 210mm cannon in-front, wich was intended to force a treath to even bigger vessels, wich it did and does. It was a simlar era cannon, just in 280mm that shot at the german Blucher the day of the invasion of Norway. it has quite a bit of reload time, but then the smaller 70mm and 50mm cannons can compensate and fight off oither vessels, and eventual smaller patrol/torpedoboats trying to sink you while you reload

It is a quite strong and well built vessel, so it will be able to take a few hits. i have personally been on one of these vessels that has been decommisoned and turned into a ferry. they are beautiful and well built

This is one of the only pictures of HNoMS Æger

Here is a sketch of HNoMS Æger



HNoMS Æger — ImgBB




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Due to acess to new detailed information from the National libary of Norway, i have updated the vessel’s technical data, specifications, armor and armament