Monday, 26 June 2017

German Flakschiff: Niobe

HNLMS Gelderland began life as a Holland-class cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She entered service in 1900, and had an active career representing the Netherlands across the world. By 1940 she was obsolete, and was being used as an artillery training ship.

When built, her characteristics were:
  • Displacement: 4,100 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 310’ 9” (94.76m)
    • Beam: 48’ 4” (14.76m)
    • Draught: 18’ (5.4m)
  • Speed: 19.5 knots
  • Propulsion: 2 shafts powered by two 3-cycle triple expansion engines
  • Armament: 2 × 5.9” (150mm ) guns (2 x 1); 6 x 4.7” (120mm) guns (6 x 1); 6 x 2.9” (75mm) guns (6 x 1); 12 x 37mm QF guns (12 x 1)
  • Complement: 397
A silhouette of HNLMS Gelderland.
HNLMS Gelderland.
HNLMS Gelderland.
She was captured by the German in 1940, renamed Niobe, and used as a training ship until her conversion in 1944.

When converted into a flakschiff, Niobe carried:
  • 10 x 4.1” (10.5cm) SK C/32 guns (10 x 1)
  • 4 x 40mm Bofors guns (4 x 1)
  • 16 x 20mm guns (4 x 4)
A silhouette of KMS Niobe.
KMS Niobe.
KMS Niobe.
KMS Niobe. The single funnel has not yet been heightened and given a cowl.
A stern view of KMS Niobe.
She was sunk in Kotka harbour, Finland, by aircraft of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet on 16th July 1944. Her hull was subsequently raised and scrapped in 1953.

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