HNoMS Sarpen

HNoMS Sarpen

1860: Steam gunboat
1893: Command vessel
BUILDING SITE: Carljohansværns Værft, Horten
NAVY SHIP LIST NUMBER: Serial number 41
CONSTRUCTION COST: 42 000,- Norwegian rigsdaler included weapons
LAUNCHED: 8 Desember 1860
HOIST COMMAND: Not certain, most likely same year


  • 2x 65mm Hotchkiss rapid firing cannons
    -Barrel lenght in caliber: L/47
    -Weight: 600 Kilogram
    -Placement: One aft and one Bow (front end and back end)
  • 2x 37mm Hotchkiss revolvercannons
    -Barrel lenght in caliber: L/20
    -Barrels: 5x
    -Rounds per minute: 35 - 68 (as fast as you can crank)
    -Weight: 600 Kilogram on pivot fork in stand
    -Mount: on pivot fork in stand
    -Placement: Uncertain, most likely on the brigdes middle on each side

Displacement: 192 Metric Tons
Lenght: 32 Meter
Width: 6.5 Meter
Middle Depth: 2.09 Meter
Largest Depth: 2.2 Meter

1x Horizontal single-expanding steam machine
-Power: 600Indicated Horsepowers 1 axle
2x Box-shaped tube boilers
Speed: 10 Knots (18.52 Km/h)
Bunker: 204 Tons of Coal

1x Inclined single expansion steam machine
-Power: 220 Indicated Horse Powers
-Propeller: 1x 4 bladed propell diameter 1.68 Meter
1x Boiler with two burners
-Bunker: 26.5 Tons of Coal 120 hours useage
Speed: 10 Knots ( 18.52 Km/h)

Estimated crew: 50 Men
The size of the crew varied between 76 and 18men during the various voyages

Hull material: Iron

The main difference between HNoMS Sarpen and HNoMS Rjukan is the eigne, speed and some dimensions, the Sarpen is quite a bit faster

The first armament of this vessel is so old, literally anicent so i don’t see much point in including those

About Rjukan and Sarpen
Rjukan was the name of the first steam gunboat, launched on 22 November 1860, while Sarpen was launched just 16 days later. They became construction numbers 44 and 45 at Karljohansvern Verft, and they were thus started after the giant project King Sverre"Europe’s horror" with construction number 43. Rjukan was built in oak on an iron frame, while Sarpen was built in iron, and was the yard’s first iron ship at the time . They had a steam engine of 220 IHK, and two masts for a sail guidance of up to 221 square metres, as a means of propulsion. During speed trials, they made about 7 knots with only steam, while the speed increased to 9.5 knots when all sails were additionally set.

Their first important task was to form part of a Norwegian squadron that was equipped in 1864 on the occasion of the German-Danish war over Schleswig. Here the new Kong Sverre, together with the frigate Nidaros and the steamship Gler, made up the main division, while the four steam gunboats made up “the light division”. For a period, the squadron was part of a joint Swedish-Norwegian squadron under the command of Prince Oscar Fredrik. Otherwise, the equipment was not so numerous, which is probably due to the fact that their suitability as warships was overtaken by the development of armor and even more powerful guns. In addition, we had eventually acquired a fleet which, calculated in terms of the number of vessels, was relatively large in relation to our personnel resources (not unlike today’s situation!!).

Rjukan managed only one season in fisheries supervision in 1872 and a departmental exercise for gunboats in 1875, before she was converted into a command vessel in 1893-94. It received new steam machinery and new rapid-firing Hotchkiss guns. Already after her first outfitting as a command vessel, in western Norway in 1894, it was found that she was not particularly suitable for this either. She thus only received some equipment for the border regulation commission (1897) and the pre-war marking service (1899 and 1900) before the mobilization in 1905. Then she was again used as a command vessel for the so-called Hvaler department (gunboats) under commander captain and member of parliament Aasmund Frisak.

Sarpen does not differ much from Rjukan’s equipment pattern. She was also converted into a command vessel in 1894. In 1897 she was used for testing signaling devices, including testing Otto Enger’s new night signaling device, which is located at the Norwegian Naval Museum. When Melsomvik was built as a storage port before the turn of the century, the steam gunboats were also transferred there. Sarpen, however, continued her service also after 1905, and on mobilization in 1914 she was part of the Hvaler department.

From 1924-1928, she was used as a diving vessel under the submarine division at Teie, and she gained a reputation as the Navy’s Methuselah.

Here she was taken by the Germans on 12th April 1940 and used by them as an auxiliary vessel. She was on release at Marinens Hovedverft when it was bombed on 23 February 1945, and due to the damage she was cut up.






HNoMS Sarpen — ImgBB



PRIMARY SOURCE (Limited acess)

90 år under rent norsk orlogsflagg
Norske marinefartøy - samtlige norske marinefartøy 1814-2008 og marinens flygevåpen 1912-1944 | ARK Bokhandel
Leselystig 39: Modeller som forteller – Norsk Marinehistorie | Polar Coordinate


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