Norwegian Navy WW1

The Norwegian Navy

In 1905 the union between the Norwegian and Swedish kroner was coming to an end, and Norway had only a modest fleet of coastguard and torpedo boats. The weakness of the industrial means of the country forced the government to order its largest units in England, contrary to the Swedes. This fleet was limited to a monitor and 4 coastal battleships, 4 gunboats, a destroyer and 12 torpedo boats. The total strength was 1000 active men reinforced per 1000 conscripts. It was planned to build additional units before 1914: 3 destroyers, 3 torpedo boats, 4 submersibles, and two other coastal battleships were planned.

Coastal Battleship HNoMS Norge

Neutral during the war, Norway did not suffer so little was its commercial traffic. Only his iron, also interested English and German, and was the point of attention of his big neighbors. The navy carried out mainly missions of mines dredging and coastal surveillance. However, Norwegian neutrality leaned rather on the side of the allies. In 1916, for example, she intercepted a German diplomatic bag infected with germs intended to contaminate the pockets of plasma intended for the wounded English. It was also proposed in 1918 to involve Norway in stalking the U-Bootes by equipping it with the latest English acoustic equipment, but the proposal had no follow-up. Norway did not take part in the battles of the Great War, its fleet carrying out surveillance missions and remaining alert. Here is what it contained:

4 Coastal Battleships: 2 class Norge (1900), 2 class Haarfarge (1897). Expected (ordered in 1913: 2 class Nidaros, they were requisitioned by the RN in August 1914 and integrated as HMS Gorgon and Glatton).

HNoMS Tordenskjold

2 Cruisers: Frithjof (1895), Viking (1891). These two low-tonnage ships were rebuilt and rearmed in 1904-08. Frithjof served as a training ship.

4 Destroyers: Recent: 3 class Draug (1908-13), Valkyrjen (1896).

40 Torpedo Boats:
First class: 3 class Teist (1906), 10 class Hval (1896-1901).
Second class: 5 class Ravn (1903), 4 class Hvas (1900), 8 class Varg (1894), 3 class Snar (1888), 4 class Of (1882).
Third class: Rap (1872), Ulven (1878), Myg (1899).
4 Submersibles: Köbben (1909), 3 class A2 (1913). Built in Germany.

11 Miscellaneous: Gunboats Aeger (1893), Ellida (1880), 2 Gor class (1884), 5 Vale class (1874), 2 class Rjukan (1860).

HNoMS Sael
HNoMS Sael

Tonnage 1914:
Armored Coast Guard 4 – Cruisers 2 – Destroyers 1 – Raiders 40 – Submersibles 4 – Miscellaneous 11

The Norwegian Navy during the First World War:

Some units were built during the war: Three torpedo class Trygg, completed in 1919-21; the Orkla gunboat (1917), the Fröya mine anchor (1916), and the two other Glommen class (1917).