Svenska Marinen (WW1) [New Page] PART II

The Swedish Navy at the eve of the Great War was the most powerful in Scandinavia, after the German Imperial and Russian Imperial Navies.

Sverige class (1916)
Sverige class (1916)

Despite strong incentives and pressures from the central powers, Sweden stayed neutral all along the war, exporting its iron ore to both belligerent sides. Sweden also had a powerful coastal fleet in addition to submersibles, torpedo boats and mine warfare, some of which were recent and almost pocket dreadnoughts like the Sverige and Oscar II. Both were also well suited for shallow waters and archipelago of this area. They entered indeed in calculations on both sides, allies and Germans alike.

The only naval military intervention of Sweden was to secure the Åland Islands in February 1918, with a naval-backed occupation until April, before the Islands were ceded to the newly-independent Finns. During WW1 Sweden could enforce its neutrality policies with a force of 12 Coastal Battleships (three in construction), 10 Monitors, 7 Cruisers, 8 Destroyers, 49 Torpedo Boats, 8 Submersibles, and 9 auxiliary ships like minesweepers and minelayers.

HSwMS Fylgia (1905)
HSwMS Fylgia (1905)

The previous part has been about Swedish coastal battleships. In this second part, we see the smaller ships of the fleet, from cruisers to destroyers, gunboats and torpedo boats, submarine and miscellaneous ships. Sweden built two cruisers prior to the Great War, Fylgia, and Claes Fleming named after a famous admiral. They both were reconstructed and served actively in WW2 as well, with camouflage and neutrality white bands. The first was an armoured cruiser, Fylgia, the second a minelayer. We will see also the coastal monitors of the Berserk/Hildur Class (1872), some steam corvettes still used as gunboats, the Örnen class Torpedo Gunboats (1898), the lighter Blenda class (1874) and Urd class (1877) and HMS Edda. We also see the birth of Swedish destroyer design with the single mode, Magne and Wale, and the Ragnar and Hugins class, up to the large wartime Wrangel class.

HMS Hugin 1926
HMS Hugin 1926

But Sweden also relied on a considerable number of first and second class torpedo boats, of which all classed are treated in detail. Another very interesting aspect of the Swedish Navy was its early use and domestic development of Submarines.
First, the HMS Hajen, was inspired by the current American Holland-type designs. but then, the Admiralty ordered a double-hull Italian boat, Hvalen, built a small coastal Undervattensbaten class (1909), before settling on a proper design with the wartime Svärdfisken class (1914), Delfinen (1914), and Laxen/Aborren class (1914). With the next Hajen (1917) and Bävern class (1921), Sweden took for inspiration Germany, as these were modelled after plans from Weser.

Bävern class
Bävern class

Svenska Marinen – The Swedish Navy in WW1

WW2 Brazilian Navy [New Page]
Siegfried class battleships (1889)

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