HNoMS KJELL - Torpedoboat 2nd Class

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HNoMS KJELL - Torpedoboat 2nd Class

BUILDING SITE: Marinens Hovedverft, Horten
LAUNCHED: 12 march 1912

1x 76mm Fast firing automatic cannon
1x 45.7cm single torpedotube in bow
2x 45.7cm overwater torpecocannon, on deck

Displacement: 125 ton, steel hull
Length: 41.1m
Width: 4.7m
Depth: 2.4m
Crew: 21 men

Steam eigne triple expansion
Power: 1864 IHK
Speed: 26 knots

1940: Participated in the liberation of 303 Allied seamen from the German tanker Altmark in the Jøssingfjord in February
1940: Taken over by the German navy at Kristiansand on 9 April
1940: New name 19 April KT 1 Tiger
1940: New name 27 June NK 01 Grenadier
1945: Returned and sold for scrapping
2006: The wreck found on the Sørland coast by hobby divers


Here is a detailed drawing

KJELL was the last of the total of 27 class 2 torpedo boats that were built. it was best known for its involvement in the ALTMARK affair in Jøssingfjord in February 1940, when the British flotilla leader COSSACK freed 303 Allied sailors held as prisoners on board the German tanker ALTMARK. on 8 April, the cellar was lying at the workshop in Kristiansand, but had been fully repaired in the afternoon. On the morning of 9 April, the vessel went to Marvika to take on board the ship’s torpedoes, but before the torpedo boat was ready for war, the commander received orders from the section commander that no resistance should be made to the German military force. after the Germans had occupied MARvika, KJELL was, with German consent, moved to Vingebukta in Topdalsfjorden. On 11 April in the afternoon, KJELL was occupied by German infantry soldiers, and at 18:30 the German war flag was raised on the torpedo boat. under the name GRENADIER, KJELL entered German service as a patrol boat, but was returned to the Norwegian navy in 1945. KJELL was decommissioned in 1945 and sold in 1946 for scrapping

It was only during the American Civil War that people first really opened their eyes to how important mines and torpedoes could be, and especially then for a weaker party in a conflict. here at home, the officers kept themselves well informed about the military technological developments, and young lieutenant Johan Koren was one of those who took a particular interest in mines and torpedoes. In the spring of 1869, under the auspices of the Naval Society, he gave a lecture about this, where the Minister of the Navy, Ole Broch, was also present. In the Navy’s budget for the coming term 1869 - 1871, 9,000 spd, approx. NOK 36,000, were earmarked for the development of the new weapon, of which 2/3 was to be used for a torpedo boat. a separate Torpedovesen was established in 1870, with Koren as commander. Despite the name, the new entity initially focused on fixed and floating mines, including in Dørbaksundet. But from 1873, of course, goså Rap, with its proposed Harvey’s towed torpedo, was tested. The vessel was good enough, but the torpedo solution worked poorly. although Whithehead had at that time developed a self-propelled torpedo, the Torpedovesenet under ing B Schnilter tried for a few more years to develop their own self-propelled torpedo. the attempts were abandoned in 1875. and together with Sweden, Norway then ordered 50x of the new Whithehead torpedo which was powered by compressed air. development had then progressed so far that they could make 20 knots over a distance of 180 metres. they went to self-adjusting depth and the explosive charge had reached 23 kilos. the length was 5.8 meters and the diameter 38 cm. in the absence of anything else, strangely enough our new gunboats from 1877 (sleipner 1 class, Nor and Brage 2 class) were the first to have self-launching torpedoes installed. in the form of an underwater torpedo tube in the bow. in the meantime we had ordered a new mining boat from Sweden. it was christened the Ulven and after delivery in 1878 was tested with rod torpedoes with electric firing. there was no success either, and in 1879 Koren constructed a system of lowering brackets for Whithhead torpedoes which were then installed on both Rap and Ulven. they were both practiced at Dørbaksund in 1882, with both King Oscar and Prince Carl present. And it was another high point in Rap’s short career when it brought the royals back to Christianity. for soon a long series of new and far better torpedo boats followed. Rap and Ulven remained in storage, but were brought out during the First World War and used as guard boats during the First World War. The Ulven was later converted into a pleasure boat, while the Rap was fortunately preserved, so that it can still be seen at the Marine Museum in Horten

In the years from 1882 to 1888, the first seven of the long series of new 2 class torpedo boats were built in quick succession. around the introduction of parliamentarism, there was great tension between the left in Norwegian politics and the king. The left saw the military as the king’s extended arm and there was little will to allocate money for new vessels. that funds were actually obtained for the torpedo boats can be attributed to the fact that they were far less expensive to build than gunboats, and that they fitted in well with the idea of an archipelago defence, which should only serve Norway’s interests. The basic idea was that they should be small and fast, so that even without being hit they could surprise larger warships, deliver their torpedoes, and retreat. other nations, not least Great Britain, had long since caught up with our lead in development and passed us by. Shipbuilding inspector Blom at Karljohansvern Verft thus had a lot to lean on when he led the development of our new torpedo boats. The challenge was that the steam engine had to be far stronger in relation to displacement than with some previous Norwegian-produced vessels. The shipyard, which had built several iron hulls since the 1860s, was now to build a steel hull for the first time. The coal-fired steam boiler was still a locomotive boiler and the piston steam engine was of the compound type. the launching of the torpedo boat OD in 1882, as the first steel boat, was thus a major milestone for the yard, and the joy was no less when it achieved a speed of a staggering 18 knots. then another six torpedo boats followed in succession, with gradually greater displacement, larger steam engine, but largely at the same speed. While OD only got a single torpedo tube in the bow, the next six got double torpedo tubes in the bow. the tubes lay above the waterline and the torpedoes were launched with compressed air or gunpowder. on deck they had a five-barreled rapid-firing 37mm revolver cannon. the first three Lyn, Glimt and Blink, had to change their names because the Swedes wanted to reserve the southernmost part of the alphabet as the first letter of their own torpedo boats. the new torpedo boats gained a reputation as being lighter and more maneuverable and with good seagoing properties. It could certainly be needed, because the comforts for the crew of 11-12 men were otherwise not great. Ahead of the crew’s boats, the torpedoes protruded into the room, and in addition they had extra torpedoes under the deck. after a few years of separate torpedo boat exercises, from 1887 they entered joint exercises for the coastal defense department. then the later commanders Børresen and Sparre each had their own torpedo boat. The tours were extended in both time and operational areas, but there were still only summer tours lasting a couple of months.

As is well known, the period of the Union ended with the left understanding that we had to strengthen our defense in order to strengthen our position in the Union, or get rid of it. after a break of a few years, there was therefore new momentum in the construction of torpedo boats. from 1894 until 1905 a further 17 torpedo boats were launched. only now were they designated 2 class torpedo boats, since we simultaneously acquired or built a larger type of torpedo boats. in between these, the navy yard also built a smaller torpedo boat which was given the descriptive name MYG (mosquito). the idea with this 3 class torpedo boat was that it should operate in closed waters and that presentation should be taken care of by an associated depot ship, but this one was left. for the new series of Class 2 torpedo boats, the enthusiasm was not as great. they were larger and certainly more comfortable, but even though they had a water-tube boiler and a more powerful steam engine, in the first half the speed was not any greater. they had been given a flatter stern, which resulted in a larger stern wave and poorer steering. from LYN in 1896, the one torpedo tube in the bow was replaced with a rotatable torpedo cannon on deck, so that one could aim more easily regardless of the vessel’s course. they were given two quick-firing single-barreled cannons. due to capacity problems, some of the boats were combined with other Norwegian shipyards. only with the last five before 1905 was it possible to get the speed up to 22-23 knots. after the dissolution of the union we got three more torpedo boats of 2 class, Teist, Skarv and Kjell. These had two torpedo guns on deck, and they were both larger and faster than the last boats of the 1st class. that they still chose to call them 2 class, I have found no better explanation than that they were a kind of “protest”, because they had really wanted even bigger torpedo boats






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