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Fylgia Class Light Cruiser

early photo of Fylgia
early photo of Fylgia
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Ship Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
Fylgia Bergsund Oct 03 21 Dec 05 21 Jun 07 Stricken Jan 1953

Displacement: 4,300 tons/4,369 tonnes (standard).
Length: 379ft/115.5m (oa); 377ft 8in/115m (wl).
Beam: 48ft 6in/14.8m; Draught: 20ft/6.09m (mean).
Machinery: 2-shaft 4-cyl VTE engines; 12 Yarrow boilers.
Performance: 13,000shp=21.5kts; Bunkerage: 850 tons coal.
Range: 5,770nm at 10kts.
Protection: 4in main belt, 2in deck, 2in to 5in turrets, 4in CT.
Guns: eight 6in (4x2); four 57mm (4x1); two 37mm.
Torpedoes: two 18in fixed beam.
Aircraft: nil.
Complement: 341.

Design

This ship was the first true cruiser to be built by Sweden, and was intended to act as a scout for the main force of the Swedish Fleet, the coast defence battleships. She was a protected cruiser with a 4in waterline belt in the way of the machinery spaces and a 2in deck which sloped to meet the lower edge of the side belt. The turrets had 5in maximum armour, while the ammunition hoists were protected by 4in armour. The armour was of Krupp type.

The main machinery was typical of the period, being coal-fired twin-screw triple-expansion engines developing a total of 12,000shp for a designed maximum speed of 21.5kts. The boilers were of the Yarrow type. On trials she achieved 22.8kts with 12,440shp.

Fylgia was unusual for her day in that her main armament was arranged in twin gunhouses, when the norm for cruisers was single open shields. Furthermore, the gunhouses were arranged in an economical manner, one each forward and aft, and the other pair on the beam. The guns were Bofors 6in/50 M03 weapons firing a 101lb shell. She also carried fourteen 6pdr (57mm), ten of which were in casemates, and two single 18in submerged tubes.

The order for her construction was placed on 14 October 1902 with Bergsund, Finnboda. In Norse mythology Fylgia was a spirit who accompanied one through life; a guardian angel.

Modifications

The number of 6pdr guns appears to have been reduced in the 1920s to perhaps six guns in the casemates.

In 1939 she began a major overhaul at Oscarshamn's shipyard, where she was to be found at the start of WW2. In the course of this refit the boilers were removed and replaced by four Penhoet oil-fired boilers, and the forward funnel was removed. The vacant space in the former boiler room was converted into cadets' accommodation to suit her for her new role as a training ship. All of the superstructure was removed, and a new bridge similar to that on the Goteborg class destroyers was added. The two remaining funnels were reduced in height and given small caps. The ram bow was replaced by a raked bow, and all of the casemate structures and their anti-torpedo boat 6pdr guns were removed, four 57mm AA single mountings being shipped at the same positions. An AA bandstand was fitted on the roof of the forward gunhouse, and four 40mm were added.

Service

Fylgia made her first cruise after commissioning to the USA, on a goodwill visit to the Swedish emigrant colonies. Her career was spent mainly as a training ship, making a number of cruises to North and South America, Africa and Asia. She became the first Swedish ship to visit the USSR when she went to Sevastopol in 1925. Her major refit, begun in 1939, was not completed until 1941, when she recommenced her training role. She was stricken on 1 January 1953, but was subsequently used as a target in weapons trials until finally sold for scrapping and broken up by Petersen & Albeck at Copenhagen in 1957.

Fylgia in the 30s
Fylgia in the 30s
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Fylgia in 1944/45 after conversion
Fylgia in 1944/45 after conversion
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