HNoMS Vale


CLASS: 2nd class gunboats after rebuild 2nd class minelayer
1874 Gunboat
1911 Minelayer
BUILDING SITE: Karljohansværns Værft, Horten
NAVY SHIP LIST NUMBER: Serial number 51
CONSTRUCTION COST: 261 477, 33 Norwegian Kroner included weapons
LAUNCHED: 14 April 1874
HOIST COMMAND: 14 April 1874


  • 1x 270mm (26.7cm) Armstrong rifled muzzle loader cannon
    -Caliber: NO2 L/13.8
    -Weight: 20.000 Kilograms
    -Mount: sled aftage with forepivot as bow thruster without protection
    -Manufacturer: Armstrong

  • 1x 37mm Armstrong cannon
    -Caliber: L/45
    -Mount: Armstrong Rapid-firing cannon as stern gunner with shield of 6mm special steel
    -Armor: 6mm shield with special steel
    -Manufacturer: Armstrong
    -Serial Number: 9789

  • 2x 37mm Hotchkiss Revolvercannons
    -Caliber: L/20
    -Placement/mount: Placed on the bridges in shields of 5mm special steel
    -Armor: 5mm shield with special steel
    -Serial numbers: 3244, 3245


  • 1x 124mm rapid firing Nordenfelt cannon
    -Caliber: L/44
    -Serial number: 3
    -Mount: bow, replaced the 270mm cannon

  • 2x 37mm Hotchkiss Revolvercannons
    -Caliber: L/20
    -Placement/mount: Placed on the bridges in shields of 5mm special steel
    -Armor: 5mm shield with special steel
    -Serial numbers: 3244, 3245

  • 1x 37mm Armstrong cannon
    -Caliber: L/45
    -Mount: Armstrong Rapid-firing cannon as stern gunner with shield of 6mm special steel
    -Armor: 6mm shield with special steel
    -Manufacturer: Armstrong
    -Serial Number: 9789

    -50x pendulum mine M/1911
    -50x pendulum mine M/1913
    -50x swing arm mines M/1915

Displacement: 250 Metric Tons fully loaded
Lenght: 27.3 Meter
Width: 7.9 Meter
Depth: 2.2 Meter

2x Vertical compound machines
-Power: 200 Indicated Horsepowers
2x Cylindrical tube boilers
-Working pressure: 4.2 kg per kilovolts per centimeter
Propellers: 2x
Speed: 8 Knots (14,81 Km/h)
Bunker: 22 Metric Tons of Coal

Estimated crew: 41 Men
The size of the crew varied between 26 and 44 men during the various voyages

Hull material: Steel

1874: Launched the 14 april
1874: Hoist command the14 april
1911: Rebuilt into a minelayer
1940: command retired on 5 May after defending Sognefjorden
1940: Taken over by German forces on 13 May and converted into a distillation vessel
1943: Used as a tugboat
1945: Returned
1947: Sold for scrapping in Stavanger

The picture above, it the only known existing image of HNoMS Vale

In 1911, Vale was transformed into a minelayer. The Denene 26.7 cm cannon was taken away and replaced with a 124 mm Nordfelt cannon. It also had room for 50 miners.

When war broke out in Norway in 1940, Vale was stationed at Flatøy just north of Bergen. On the morning of 9 April, the vessel sailed north towards the Sognefjord and arrived at Balestrand in Sogn on the morning of 13 April to join the force that was supposed to defend the Sognefjord. After the defense of the Sognefjord on 1 May had been abandoned, Vale received orders to go to Tromsø together with the minesweeper Gor.

As the possibilities of reaching northern Norway would be quite small with the old slow-moving vessels, the ship’s commanders decided, after they had moored along the quay at Kjelkenes on 4 May, to dismiss the crews. The 5th of May saw the command of the minesweepers strike after the vessels’ small arms and ammunition stocks were brought ashore and hidden away. On 13 May, the Germans took over the vessels. Vale was returned to Norway at the end of the war in 1945. In 1946 it was sold to Stavanger Skipsopphugningsco A/S for scrapping.

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

The Norwegian 2nd class gunboats are old and slow, but with a large cannon to pose a treath to larger vessels. Many of these has the 270mm Armstrong muzzle loader mounted, but some of the others have more modern cannons from 260mm, 210mm etc, in addition to various smaller cannons

In game i believe this would be placed at rank 1-2, it would have to be used in a smart way due to it’s lack of speed, and the reload time of the large caliber cannon, but if a player can manage that, it has a lot of potentional as the larger cannon can deal a lot of damage to vessels, even larger destroyers. and wile reloading this cannon, the smaller and higly effective 37, 47, cannons can be used to fight off other smaller boats.

I believe the 26.7cm Muzzle loader cannon are of the more modern and last of it’s kind, and while being only one cannon and have much in common with the later breech loading cannons like the 260mm l/22 cannon this could be useable, the ammunition should be pretty simlar, but i have not managed to find information on that.

after it was rebuilt into a minelayer, it now has acess to 3 different seamines and up to ca 50x of them! one could therefore make a barrage of mines, depending on the map, to slow down or prevent the sone from being attacked/captured by the enemy

the torpedoes wich it has, they are not big and strong, but can still do a decent amount of damage to close vessels, and them being forward-firing is an advantage

If it is doubted that the vessel itself, or some of the weapons like the muzzleloader would work, it could be implemented in the most relevant nation to be tested, then await the result and feedback from players

270mm (26.7cm) Armstrong rifled muzzle loader cannon


This is what it looked like, this is how they stored and dropped the mines of HNoMS Nor and the other vessels of the 2nd class

This is not a Sketch of HNoMS Vale, but of HNoMS Gor wich is another gunboat in the 2nd class, but they are very simlar, the only difference being a little different size and armament, so the drawings here can be used for the HNoMS Vale, until one eventually find a Scetch of HNoMS Vale.

Here is one more drawing, this seems to be more of a “universal” as nothing more than “2nd class gunboat” is specified. (all 2nd class gunboats are simlar, with minor changes in size, weapons and machinery)



HNoMS Vale — ImgBB



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