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From Mike F. Yaklich

Ęgir and Tor are sometimes described as "destroyers", but they were more in the frigate or destroyer-escort class, well under 1,000 tons.

The tiny Norwegian navy had five new vessels of this type, and three or four old ones (WWI vintage) of similar size. If I recall correctly, the Aegir sank a German transport approaching Stavanger as it was trying to get out to open waters (this ship had on board a lot of the heavy equipment for the

German airborne troops which had taken Stavanger's airfield), but then it was itself sunk by German aircraft. One other ship of this type, I believe

it was the Sleippner (sp?-- named after Odin's 8-footed horse), did evade numerous air attacks (claiming four or five German planes shot down in its Oddyssey) and eventually reached England. Another one, the Garm, sailed around the Skaggerak for a few days looking for targets, and then was scuttled close off the Norwegian coast as fuel and supplies ran out.

The Eidsvold and Norge were coast defence cruisers, built just before the turn of the century, and coming in, if I recall correctly, at just under 4,000 tons. They were relics, but they did mount a pair of 210mm guns plus

some 150mm pieces. They were both at Narvik on April 9. According to stories I've read, the commander of the 10 large German destroyers that appeared at Narvik requested a parley with the commander of Eidsvold, and demanded his surrender. He got the curt reply, "I attack." Hardly was the

boat with the German officers away when a spread of torpedoes from the destroyers (perhaps advised by radio from the runabout) sank Eidsvold, along with nearly 300 men, the single biggest loss of life for the Norwegian navy during the short (April-June) campaign. The Norge fought back briefly, claiming at least one 210mm hit, but suffered the same fate minutes later. There were two other coast defence cruisers, of similar size and vintage, in the Norwegian forces. One of them (Tordenskjold) was at Horten, the main Norwegian naval base and shipyard in the Oslo fjord, but it was being used as a base and training ship, filled with cadet trainees, and was not in shape to fight. Its commander ordered the crew ashore to fight as marines.

Norway had two modern destroyers building in April 1940, but these were still incomplete at Horten. Also at Horten was the newest and most capable

ship in the Norwegian navy, the fast minelayer-gunboat Olav Trygvasson, which was just over 2,000 tons and mounted (like the planned destroyers) four 120mm guns (plus one 76mm dual-purpose). The Trygvasson gave a good account of itself at Horten, even though still at its moorings. It was credited with sinking a German "torpedo boat" (actually a destroyer escort by Allied standards) and two "R-boats" (minesweepers), the latter vessels trying to land troops. It also damaged the light cruiser Emden, while suffering little damage, apparently because the Germans were having difficulty establishing exactly where the fire was coming from within the Norwegian naval base.

The Norwegian navy also maintained shore defence fortifications and batteries in the outer Oslo fjord (on both sides), at Oskarsborg narrows further up the fjord (where there was also an extensive barrier blocking one of the channels, and mines triggered electronically from shore), at Bergen, Kristiansand, and at the entrance to the Trondheim fjord (multiple batteries in each of the last three cases). At Oskarsborg fire from Norwegian 210mm and 150mm guns, plus shore-mounted torpedo tubes, sank the brand-new German heavy cruiser Blucher (which took almost 1,000 men down along with it, including some of the Gestapo units destined for the occupation of Oslo), and at Kristiansand shore batteries scored two 210mm hits on the light cruiser Konigsberg (rather heavily damaged, it was later sunk by British dive-bombers). Smaller Norwegian naval vessels (in most cases large torpedo boats, up to 220-300 tons) also made noteworthy contributions to the defence of their country, and in the Sognefjord (if I recall correctly) there was a small-scale naval battle between various small boats on both sides, including the ancient minelayer Tyr (built in the late 1880's) for the Norwegians, and the gunnery-training ship Bremse (four 105mm guns) for the Germans, as the two largest combatants, in which vessels were sunk on each side.

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