HNoMS Heimdal - Royal ship/Surveillance ship

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HNoMS Heimdal - Royal ship/Surveillance ship

This might look like a innocent old sailboat, but under it’s shell it holds a secret

BUILDING SITE: Akers Mekaniske Verksted, Kristiania

4x 65mm Hotchkiss Fast firing cannons
2x 37mm Hotchkiss Revolvercannons

4x 76mm Armstrong Fast firing cannons
2x 37mm Kongsberg/hotchkiss Fast firing semi auto cannons

Displacement: 670 Ton
Hull: Steel
Length: 55.0m
Width: 8.2m
Depth: 4.5m
Crew: 65 men

Triple Expansion Steameigne
Power: 625 IHK
Speed: 12 Knots

1893: Ishavstokt 1893. -94, -95, -96, -97, -98, -99, -1900, -01 and 02
1893: Coastal Defense Department cruise 1893 and 94
1893: Rescue expedition 1893, -94, -95, 98 -1907 and -11
1895: Mobilization exercises 1895 and 1900
1903: Finnmark trip
1905: Squadron trip
1905: Picked up the royal norwegian family in the Oslofjord on 7 June
1906: Royal ship at the coronation of King Haakon VII in Trondheim 22 June
1907: Surveillance service on the coast of Finnmark 1907, -08, -10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -19, -20, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25, 26, -27, - 28, -29, -30 and 31
1926: At the disposal of Roald Amundsen’s Nobile expedition
1940: Sailed for Great Britain, arriving Lewick 14 June
1940: Used as commander and depot ship in Great Britain
1946: Sold for conversion to freighter DS Rovena
1947: Sank 18 August by Langenes on a voyage from Iceland to Norway

the weapons are really well “hidden” so take a look at those pictures of a model for the placements
Heimdal patrulje — ImgBB (those are very important)

The years before 1905
Heimdal was built at Aker Mekaniske Verksted in 1892. The 55 meter long hull was built of steel, which gave a displacement of 670 tonnes. It had a triple expansion engine of 625 HP, which gave a speed of 12 knots. The characteristic, slightly backward-sloping masts could also carry sails. The crew was approx. 55 men, but it had capacity for 65 men. This time, time has not allowed us to “research” what assessments were used when it was decided to build the vessel. Politically, we were in a period when the anti-Union left in Norwegian politics was not particularly willing to invest in naval vessels. Part of the explanation for Heimdal’s construction may therefore be that it was not a pure war vessel, but that it was also suitable for solving various societal tasks.

At the time, Norway carried out considerable fishing in the Arctic Ocean and a state presence was called for, both to show the flag, but just as much to assist vessels and crews that had problems far from home. Heimdal was believed to be able to fill such a role. With 4 rapid-firing 65 mm guns and 2 smaller guns, it was relatively heavily armed. The naval leadership naturally wanted to also use it for more military purposes. It was therefore allowed to keep its base at Karljohansvern, and it therefore also became one of our most used vessels for many years.

The first ordinary operating year was typical in this respect. First, Heimdal went on a month-long Arctic Ocean cruise in May. Then back to Horten for participation in a coastal defense exercise, before it went north again in October and stayed in the Arctic Ocean until early January. With the exception of the school cruises, it was not common at the time for the Navy to have its vessels on cruise during the winter months. This continued for a few years with regular trips to the Arctic Ocean. After the Swedish “sabre rattling” in 1895, the skeptics also realized that we needed a strong defense to strengthen our position in the union battle. During the first major mobilization exercise in 1895, Heimdal participated for the first time in her new role as a command vessel.

The following year, in the summer of 1896, Heimdal was used as a royal ship for the first time, when King Oscar II paid a visit to Western Norway. It was still on short, annual Arctic sea voyages until 1902, and during the mobilization exercise in the winter of 1900 it was again used as a command vessel. In 1903 it was proposed to protect the whale and to stop whaling. This caused so much unrest in Finnmark that Heimdal was again sent north to help the local authorities quell the unrest. This was a new role, which Heimdal would later get several times. In connection with the coronation of King Oscar II in 1873, the King had carried out a signing tour to Northern Norway. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the coronation, in 1903 a new trip north was made, where Heimdal served as the royal ship. Although politically we had a strained relationship with Sweden on this trip, this trip showed that King Oscar II was a very popular king, both with people in the north and among the Navy’s personnel. Admiral Børresen, who accompanied the King on the trip, described a number of events in a small book that was published the same year. On the actual 30th anniversary, 18 July, there was a dinner at Heimdal. After a tribute speech to the King, he gave the following reply: “Contemporary judgments have differed on what I have accomplished these years, but one day history will be the judge, and I await that judgment with calmness and confidence in my case. Because I know that it will then appear that everything I have done has been characterized by the desire to do everything for the good of old Norway.”

Although the King as a person could be popular, it was heading towards a break in the union with Sweden. When we declared independence on 7 June, the entire Navy was already called out for “extraordinary exercise”. Commanding Admiral Sparre had raised his command at Heimdal, while Admiral Jakob Børresen was commander of the armored ship squadron. At the Navy’s flag-changing ceremony at Indre Havn on 9 June, it was thus from Heimdal that the order to change the flag was given. As is well known, the two admirals disagreed on most things. Børresen believed that the Heimdal, without armor and substantial protection, would immediately have to withdraw from a possible battle, and that it was thus completely unsuitable as a command vessel. Børresen was also furious that he had to send 20 men from his own vessels to “Sparres lystyacht”. He pointed out to both Sparre and Defense Minister Olsson that such a command arrangement in a real case of mobilization could lead to a “well-deserved disaster”, and that in that case he would have to seek his resignation. Now there was actual mobilization in September of the same year, and Sparre again used the Heimdal as a command vessel, to ensure that the “warrior” Børresen did not make any rash offensive actions.

It all calmed down, as you know, and after the referendum on the monarchy, the Danish Prince Carl was elected King of Norway. When he and his family came up the Oslofjord on 25 November, there was great symbolism associated with the King and his family being transferred from the Danish royal ship Dannebrog to the Norwegian royal ship Heimdal, where the Royal Flag went to the top. Even greater was the moment when the King disembarked from Heimdal at Honnørbryggen in Oslo and was received by Prime Minister Michelsen. Thus Heimdal had secured her place in history as a royal ship. This service continued during the coronation in 1906, and also on some later occasions, such as the great sailing week in Horten in 1914.

The supervision/surveilance ship Heimdal
After the coronation in the summer of 1906, what awaited Heimdal was mainly service in northern Norway. In 1906, we declared, in line with many other countries, that the area out to 4 nautical miles from the outermost reefs at low tide was to be considered Norwegian territory. With such a declaration comes not only a right, but also a duty to supervise. In 1907, British trawlers, on their way to and from Lake Kvitsjøen, had suddenly started fishing within our 4-mile limit. We followed up with a ban on such fishing, but there was absolutely a need for the presence of a military vessel. In 1908, Heimdal was therefore sent out on what is considered the start of our surveillance service, which is the forerunner of today’s Coast Guard. Of the calculated expenditure of NOK 32,000, only a small part of NOK 7,000 was to be covered by the navy budget. With KK Geelmuyden as commander, Heimdal took station in Vardø, from where it regularly followed the British trawlers to and from Kvitsjoen. This had a good preventive effect, but as soon as Heimdal went south, the British trawlers approached. In this first period, Heimdal lacked both searchlights and radio, and in addition it was relatively expensive to operate. The Ministry of Defense therefore considered whether to acquire a separate, slightly smaller vessel for this supervision service, but it would take 20 years before such a project was realised. Heimdal therefore had to continue his supervisory duties, but still only for parts of the year, and still with other assignments in the meantime. Among other things, it was an auxiliary vessel during mackerel fishing in the North Sea for a few seasons, when it both carried mail and performed medical services. During the First World War, Heimdal was not included in the ordinary protection of neutrality, but it mainly continued its supervisory service.

Although Heimdal was on annual supervisory duty in Finnmark every single year from 1919 1924, in this period it also received a slightly different form of “supervisory duty”. It was put in place to control, suppress or put down unrest on land, both related to fishing and other political matters. The bad times led to general discontent, especially in northern Norway, and the Government was seriously concerned about the communist wave that was sweeping the country. The fishermen demanded better prices, which they believed they could get in Russia, and a “secession of Finnmark” was threatened. It was so serious that the gunboat Viking was sent north in 1919, while in 1920 the armored ship Harald Hårfagre was sent. This year, Heimdal received an “extra grant” to be able to buy 12 pairs of handcuffs! It was discussed whether one should also wear police badges. The commanding admiral stopped this, because there could be no doubt that the crew reported directly to the ship’s commander. In May 1921 there was a nationwide strike, and in Hammerfest it went so far that the Samorganisaisonen took over power in the city for a few weeks. (Hammerfest municipality)… There was a clash between the strikers and skating crews who wanted to fish. The transport vessel Farm was hurriedly sent north from Bergen and arrived on 20 May. But the crew at Farm refused to intervene in the clashes and openly sympathized with the strikers. Only when Heimdal arrived from Vardø on 25 May, and the crew with rifles marched through the town, did things become somewhat calmer. When soldiers from Alta also arrived a few days later, it all subsided

Not long after, Heimdal was again in the service of the "coastal people. The Russians had extended their territorial limit to 12 nautical miles, and Norwegian fishermen were denied their traditional seal catch at the entrance to Kvitsjøen. The sealers reacted to this, while the Russians, for their part, ran an offensive sive raising of Norwegian fishermen. Heimdal, which in 1921 had had its old gun replaced with new and faster-firing guns, was again sent north. With Heimdal, and eventually also the inspection ship Michael Sars, in place, the Russians proceeded more cautiously. They still demanded that Norwegian fishermen had to buy a license to be able to continue their fishing in the area. In the same period, the dispute over Svalbard was going on, and there was a political solution to the dispute, when the Soviet Union also accepted the Svalbard Treaty in 1924. The treaty gave Norway supremacy over the islands from 1925. When the Minister of Justice was to visit the archipelago on that occasion, it was Heimdal that received the honorable transport assignment. Svalbard afterwards became the starting point for or several polar expeditions, and in 1926 Heimdal was at the disposal of Roald Amundsen when he made his trip with the airship Norge. At the end of the 1920s, Heimdal received a few more inspections before the pressure on this as each old vessel decreased. We had finally, in Fridtjof Nansen, received a specially adapted surveillance ship. who thus largely took over for Heimdal. The period we entered was not a great time for our navy either.

Last bit
In the winter of 1939, Heimdal was again equipped and sent north to Tromsø. In connection with the evacuation north, after the cessation of fighting in southern Norway, Heimdal once again had the honor of transporting the King. He was then transferred to Heimdal from the British cruiser Glasgow, before arriving in Tromsø. Heimdal was also one of the 13 Norwegian vessels that made it to Great Britain after the capitulation in Norway in June. We don’t know much about service in the UK. It was not equipped as a warship, but served as a depot ship and possibly a lodging ship at the Rosyth division, until it was laid up in the autumn of 1943. This probably mostly involved trips between various naval stations on the coast with supplies. After the war, Heimdal returned to Norway, but it was naturally not part of our future plans. It was sold and rebuilt into the cargo vessel Rovena by Trondheim, but already in 1947 it sprung a leak and sank northeast of Iceland.

Pictures of the model of the HNoMS Heimdal

Heimdal had the anchors stored and firmly fixed on deck. Therefore, it was also equipped with a bow crane to lift the anchors over the rail when this was needed.


(338739941-751698983195578-2535360004791670183-n hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB)

Heimdal was equipped from the start with 4 rapid-firing 65 mm guns. Two were located amidships and two were located on the aft deck. In addition, it should also have two smaller cannons, which do not appear on this model.


(338521782-770488327630197-7849781188952379386-n hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB)

The emergency steering wheel and compass were located on the aft deck along with two of the rapid-firing 65 mm guns.


(338592209-529403522465860-8026113554115313656-n hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB)

Scale 1:96 is a relatively small scale for a model boat. Planking on the roof and deck is therefore marked with a faint pencil line instead of gluing millimeter-thin strips with nating in between. Rigging, davits and lifeboats are made in great detail and precision.


(338733398-175938271956416-2802677353028679942-n hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB)

Heimdal was somewhat rebuilt in 1923-24. The museum’s model is probably the original design from before this time. Until then, you had an open bridge with only a slightly set back wheelhouse. The bridge was probably built all the way to the front and enclosed in 23-24. The model also does not include the small radio housing that was behind the chimney. This was probably built on in 1910.


(338608200-1171907096830038-8780316237878405103-n hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB)

The model of Heimdal was built by model builder Dagfinn Andersen from Drøbak. He has also made several other models for the museum. The scale is 1:96.


(338404712-1388321988621948-5816657553464528818-n hosted at ImgBB — ImgBB)



Heimdal patrulje — ImgBB



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1921 for sure +1

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