HNoMS Ellida - Stream Corvette - "Ellida with the wide back"

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HNoMS Ellida - Stream Corvette - “Ellida with the wide back”

BUILDING SITE: Carljohansværns Værft, Horten
LAUNCHED: 25 August 1880
HOIST COMMAND: 1 July 1882

1880: As Gunboat


5x 150mm L/25 Rifled Krupp breech-loading cannons

  • Weight: 8000 pds
  • Mounting: In a long sled aftage with center pivot and hydraulic valve brake with gate change as stern cannon

1x 120mm L/25 Rifled Krupp breech-loading cannon

  • Weight: 2800 pds
  • Mounting: In a long sled aftage with forepivot, hydraulic valve brake with port exchange as a bow cannon

1x 380mm underwater torpedotube Whitehead

  • Lenght: 5m (4.916 - 5.082m)
  • Shooting range: 750m with 22 knots

1885: As corvette


5x 150mm L/25 Rifled Krupp breech-loading cannons

  • Weight: 8000 pds
  • Mounting: In a long sled aftage with center pivot and hydraulic valve brake with gate change as stern cannon

1x 120mm L/25 Rifled Krupp breech-loading cannon

  • Weight: 2800 pds
  • Mounting: In a long sled aftage with forepivot, hydraulic valve brake with port exchange as a bow cannon

1x 75mm L/16 Bofors breech loading cannon for boat and landing craft

2x 37mm Hotchkiss Revolvercannons

  • 1x In shield of 6mm special steel on the bridge

1898: As corvette


2x 76mm L/40 Armstrong Rapid-firing cannons as flankers
1x 75mm L/16 Bofors breech loading cannon for boat
2x 65mm L/43 Hotchkiss M/I quick-firing guns as flankers
2x 37mm Hotchkiss Revolvercannons In shield of 6mm special steel on the bridge

1905: As Submarine Tender


1x 75mm L/16 Bofors breech loading cannon for boat
2x 37mm Hotchkiss Revolvercannons

Displacement: 1.045 Ton
Hull: Wooden, Oak
Length: 58.0m
Lenght waterline: 51.22m
Width: 9.9m
Depth Aft: 3.9m
Depth Forward: 3.77m
Crew as Gunboat: 130 men
Crew as Steam corvette: 121 men
Steering stiffness: 0.62
Sail guidance: Back rigged

1x vertical triple expansion with 2x water tube boilers
Propellers: 1x 4-bladed propeller
Bunker: 96 tons Coal
Power: 650 IHK
Speed: 10.5 Knots

1882: Equipped as a 1st class gunboat
1883: Mediterranean cruise 1883, -85 and -91
1885: Coastal cruise
1886: Winter trip 1886, -88, -99, 1900, -02 and -03
1887: American tour 1887, -89, -94 and -96
1896: Training ship for the Naval Corps
1896: Equipped as a steam corvette
1898: Cadet trip 1898, -99, 1900, -01, -02 and -03
1914: Equipped as a workshop and depot ship for submarines until 1918
1918: Command canceled on 19 Sep.
1925: Sold for scrapping in Stavanger

This is a slightly special ship, as it is built of wood with sails and is equipped with breech-loading cannons. my personal opinion is that this will fit well in Rank 1 Coastal in the game, decent speed and decent armament.

A little Of Ellida’s background
In 1872, the Navy’s Regulatory Commission assessed the future need for our navy. The time for the big sailing ships was definitely over. The commission realized that the heavily armored monitors we had received four of were not very useful for our future defense either. They were willing to prioritize, and before investing in new ocean-going vessels, they believed we had to build up a strong archipelago reserve. This self-defence mindset also had a political connection, at a time when many viewed with skepticism anything that smacked of a common union defence. A lot had happened in the development of artillery, while the development of the torpedo was still in an early phase. The core of the new archipelago defense was therefore to be a number of steam gunboats in three categories. The smallest, 3rd class gunboats, were to consist of converted gun sloops, of which we eventually received 16 pieces. 2nd class gunboats were also to be relatively small (about 250 tonnes) with a large main gun (26-27 cm), of which we eventually got eight pieces. 1st class gunboats were to be so large that they could operate along our entire exposed coast. The first, Sleipner, launched in 1877 was 720 tonnes, while the last two Viking (1891) and Æger (1895) were respectively 1200 and 1480 tonnes. Our Ellida, which was launched in 1880, was also defined as a 1st class gunboat. It clearly stood out from the others in that it was built of wood, like the first ship since 1863. The choice may be related to the fact that the naval yard in Horten was left with a large stock of German and Italian oak from the sudden stop in the wooden shipbuilding in the 1860s. It probably has more to do with the fact that Ellida was initially built as an ordinary, bare-rigged sailing ship, with a large sail area. This is again linked to the fact that it was envisaged that Ellida would primarily operate in northern Norway, where there was little access to coal and little access to repair of iron ships. However, Ellida was also equipped with a condensing steam engine which could be used when absolutely necessary. In order for it to be able to operate over time away from base, a large space was made for provisions and coal storage (96 tonnes). With a length/width of 58 x 10 metres, one would think it was a rather slender vessel, but it was still nicknamed Ellida with the wide back". It is probably connected with the fact that older naval people remembered our previous Ellida, the sailing corvette that was a cadet ship from 1849 to 1864, and which was known for its tall, elegant rig and its slender lines.

As a 1st class gunboat, Ellida obviously had to be equipped with some solid guns. The period around 1880 was a turning point for artillery development. Ellida fell out on the wrong side of development.

They thus did not get new breech-loading cannons, but rifled breech-loading cannons of Krupp’s model, which were also quite newly developed. They had five such guns of caliber 15 cm, L25, in a sled mount with swiveling sled and recoil brake, four as side guns and one as a stern gun. When closing the wedge, a copper ring at the bottom of the projectile was pressed against the grooves of the barrel so that it had an even rotation and good utilization of the gunpowder gas. In addition, Ellida had a corresponding 12 cm cannon as a bow cannon and an 8 cm boat cannon. Ellida was also fitted with a launch tube for a 38 cm Whitehead torpedo in the bow, probably below the waterline. It does not appear in the pictures we have of the vessel, but on one occasion in the 1880s we know that a practice torpedo was fired, which was later not found.

Service as a 1st class gunboat
After the launch in 1880 and further preparation, Ellida took command for the first time on 1 July 1882. It immediately went on a detachment cruise in home waters with some smaller gunboats. But already the following year, from 15 August, it was ready for the first of many later trips abroad with the stated purpose; “for exercise of officers and crew”. The fact that it normally went under sail undoubtedly contributed to practice in seamanship and cooperation, as people have again realized in modern times. In addition, the many tours abroad, then as now, contributed not a little to the officers’ education and insight into foreign affairs. The long voyages also meant that Ellida operated a lot alone and it was hardly as favorable for tactical exercises in the gunboat role. On the first trip abroad in 1883, i.a. the later Admiral Sparre with as second lieutenant, while the later well-known naval historian N.A Larsen was second in command.

On arrival in Barcelona on 25 September, they were asked if one or more of the light boats could take part in an international rowing race the following day. They naturally accepted the challenge, tested both sloops, and chose the port sloop to participate (but with the starboard sloop’s oars because they were made of ash and not spruce). The sloop had eight rowers and a coxswain, and we know the story from Otto Enger, who at the time was a constable on board and one of the rowers.

At the turn, the Norwegians only had a lead of a couple of boat lengths on their Spanish competitors, but in the last part they pulled back even further. They therefore planned to underline their superiority by jumping in immediately after the finish line and setting the sloop dry on land. They did this to great cheers and “bravo Noruega” from around 30,000 spectators. As thanks for their efforts, the crew first received “half a bottle of cold, excellent Rignesøl for each person”, while the eight rowers later shared the cash prize of 80 pesetas and the coxswain received a silver medal. Under later land laws, they also received a lot of attention from “the city’s civilian population”.

In the coming 10-12 years, Ellida was almost constantly traveling abroad from late autumn until just after New Year, and sometimes until the following spring. It was a period when most naval vessels were in winter storage. So in this sense, these voyages were particularly important. Before the cruise in the autumn of 1885, which went to the Mediterranean, Ellida had her equipment increased with two 37 mm Hotchkiss revolver guns on the bridge and a 7.5 cm Boforskanon. In the autumn of 1887, the trip went all the way to South America. Here they visited Montevideo, which traditionally had good connections with Europe. At this time, there was a somewhat tense transition period from a military to a civilian government. Ellida ran into a bit of trouble when their landing craft (the barge) was sunk by a Spanish schooner, which they had to board to prevent it from escaping. Two years later they were again on a long trip, this time to the Caribbean Sea. Of the crew of 122 men, there were only 11 discharged privates, so it was probably well stocked with non-commissioned officers and constables. The tour went via Freetown and Monrovia on the African west coast, before moving on to Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique and Cuba. There was also time for a trip to Charleston on the American southeast coast, before the trip went home via Portugal and France. Unfortunately, we have no personal accounts from this trip, despite the fact that the later naval historian Eidem was on the trip as a young second lieutenant.

After two seasons in circulation, Ellida had her last voyage as a gunboat in the winter of 1894-95, this time as far south as Rio de Janeiro, before this time also via the Caribbean on her way home. The equator was passed southbound on 30 November and this was marked by an extra ration of wine. A little story from the arrival at the port in Rio de Janeiro on 15 December shows that the Norwegians did not take the formalities lightly at all, and especially not when national honor was at stake. The Ellida had saluted a Brazilian admiral’s vessel with the customary salute of 13 shots, but this had answered the salute with only 12 shots, which, in addition, was fired under our gull flag, which was then identical with the herring salad. This was complained about by Ellida’s boss and two hours later the Brazilian raised the Norwegian flag and fired the correct 13 shots.

In service as steam corvette and cadet ship
We have not been able to uncover the direct reason why, after the voyage in 1895, they wanted to reclassify Ellida from gunboat 1st class to steam corvette. Normally, such a reclassification would involve a rebuild, which for Ellida was not carried out until two years later. It may, however, have something to do with the political will after June 1895 to equip our Navy as a reaction to Swedish power politics in the union issue. The following year it was therefore perhaps not so surprising that there was only a summer tour along the coast all the way to Vadsø, this time with frequent shooting exercises. Once at home, on 9 September they met the polar ship Fram, which had returned from its journey across the Arctic Ocean. Together with Nordstjernen, Ellida escorted Fram to the capital, where King Oscar II boarded. He was of course supposed to be saluted from Ellida, but the 5th shot went off during loading, and it instantly killed constable Harald Halvorsen and injured another. That did not stop the salute, which was given immediately afterwards with the revolver cannon. The following year, however, Ellida was again on a long winter cruise, this time to the West Indies and the Danish colony of St. Thomas.

The voyage in 1897 was canceled because Ellida’s boilers were unusable. At this point it was also decided that Ellida would take over the task as cadet ship after the aging Nordstjerne. This involved a fairly extensive rebuilding at Akers Mek. Workshop. The steam engine was replaced with a new triple expansion engine and new water tube boilers. The interior was also adapted so that 20-50 cadets would now be included and that the overall staffing thereby increased from approx. 130 to approx. 150 men. At the same time, the old Krupp guns were replaced with four more modern and fast-firing guns. In 1905, some of the old 15 cm cannons were set up for firing at Sundåsen, to protect Melsomvik.

From the winter of 1899, a few hectic years followed as a cadet ship. In addition to summer exercises in home waters, the tradition of the long winter cruises to distant skies was maintained. They were important for the cadets’ training in leadership, navigation, seamanship and, not least, education. Although the cadets were probably in a training situation, they were in many ways regarded and treated as officers. Not least we have gained a good insight into this from the later shipowner Sven Foyn Bruun’s diary from his time as a cadet on Ellida’s winter tour 1903-04. Here we are partly given an insight into life on board, but primarily the diary gives us insight into the social and cultural part of stays in many exotic ports. The cadets are met with great respect and they act with a corresponding dignity. During their stay in Barcelona from 18-29 December, they are invited out every day as guests at various events. One evening, the eight cadets have dinner with vice-consul Møller at the prestigious hotel “Tibidabo”, followed by a trip to the opera to see Faust. Off day. book it seems clear that Foyn Bruun is well acquainted with the play, because he notes that “the most scenic episodes were taken out”. To further emphasize his cultural level, he compares scenes with the poem “Måneskinsmøyane” in Are Garborg’s poem cycle Haugtussa. Even more significant are his descriptions of his stay in Constantinople from 19-29. January 1904. Here they receive a royal reception. The Sultan places 8-10 of his own carriages at the ship’s disposal. They are treated to grand receptions in all three of his castles, and they even get to peek into his special treasure chest. During the farewell gathering, the Sultan presents officers and cadets with a special medal, the Liakat Medal, instituted in 1328, with the text (in Turkish) “it is given to the faithful and the brave”. Foyn Bruun gradually learns that the reason for the magnificent reception is that the Sultan has great respect for King Oscar II, who himself visited the city 20 years ago and whom the Sultan believes is a great man of the world.

Another good insight into life on board and on land is in Doctor Norland’s memoirs from Ellida’s voyage in 1902. The best-known from this is the story of the visit to the town of St. Pierre on the island of Martinique, which was completely destroyed by an eruption from the volcano Mont Pele half a year earlier. From the ashes, Doctor Nordland digs out two skulls from the nearly 30,000 who perished. He takes these on board, where he prepares them and takes them home, where they eventually end up at the Marine Museum. One story, the truth of which cannot be guaranteed, is that he wanted to show the crew that colored skulls are no different from white skulls.

The service as a submarine tender
The time as a cadet vessel was of relatively short duration. Foyn Bruun’s trip in 1904 was actually the last, but it was also Ellida’s 25th outfit. In a way, it had done right. During the tense situation around 1905, Ellida was also moved to Melsomvik where it probably acted as a depot vessel. Back at Indre Havn in Horten, it shared its fate as a storage vessel with several of the old sailing ships. Although we are not sure, we think it still had a role as a kind of depot ship.

The Norwegian Naval Museum’s old head TK Olafsen probably had a special relationship with Ellida. He himself was on board as a cadet during the mentioned voyage to Constantinople in 1903. As a member of the Kobben Flyvekomite in 1912, it was TK Olafsen who ensured that a sail from Ellida was used as a roof on the makeshift hangar for “Start”, for Norway’s first flight from Gannestad on 1 June 1912. It is not known whether as a submarine officer he had anything to do with the idea of using Ellida as a support vessel for the submarines already around 1910, but through this he still came to have close contact with the vessel. The background was that Kobben’s old support vessel Tyr was no longer sufficient, as we would soon get three more submarines. After a new conversion, Ellida was adapted from 1914 to cover both the role of accommodation/storage ship and salvage vessel when diving, but the latter role was soon transferred to another vessel. During the First World War, Ellida and the submarines were subject to the “Tønsberg Department”, but they were not included in the neutrality guard because they were supposed to form the first line of our war preparedness. Extra ammunition and torpedoes were made readily available on Ellida, but spare parts remained at the workshops on land, where they still had to go for repairs. In the first year of the war, they were located in Melsomvik and the crews from the submarines lived on board in Ellida. It was quite miserable, but when cabins were built on the upper deck, conditions improved. The first submarines depended on external help to charge the batteries, and they were able to do this with Ellida’s charging machinery. The submarine force had long wanted its own land station. With the purchase of Teie farm in 1916, you got the starting point you wanted, but it took time to build docks and workshops and a new charging station. On 12 September 1918, the new submarine station was inaugurated and at the same time the command was transferred to Ellida for the last time. It was then left at Indre Havn in Horten, probably as an accommodation ship, until 1925 when it was cut up

Model Pictures, Important


Ellida modell — ImgBB



Ellida — ImgBB



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