HNLMS Koning der Nederlanden

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COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Het gepantserde marineschip Zr. Ms. Koning der Nederlanden TMnr 10001802.jpg
Koning der Nederlanden after she became an accommodation hulk
Name: Koning der Nederlanden
Namesake: King of the Netherlands
Builder: Rijkswerf, Amsterdam
Cost: 3,220,170 florins
Laid down: 31 December 1871
Launched: 28 October 1874
Commissioned: 16 February 1877
Decommissioned: 1 April 1895
Reclassified: 1 December 1899 as accommodation and guard ship
Fate: Scuttled 2 March 1942
General characteristics
Type: Ironclad turret ship
Displacement: 5,400 metric tons (5,300 long tons)
Length: 268 ft 4 in (81.8 m) (p/p)
Beam: 49 ft 10 in (15.2 m)
Draught: 19 ft 3 in (5.9 m)
Installed power: 4,630 ihp (3,450 kW)
Sail plan: Barque-rigged
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 256

HNLMS Koning der Nederlanden[a] was an iron-hulled ironclad ramtorenschip[1] (turret ram ship) built by the Rijkswerf at Amsterdam for the Royal Netherlands Navy in the early 1870s. She was the largest ship to serve in the Dutch Navy during the 19th century. The ship was converted to a barracks ship in the late 1890s and stationed in Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies. Koning der Nederlanden was scuttled in Surabaya on 2 March 1942, during the Battle of Java, to prevent her capture by the Japanese.

Design and description[edit]

HNLMS Koning der Nederlanden was the largest ship built for the Dutch Navy during the 19th century.[2] She was fitted with a ram that protruded 1.22 meters (4 ft 0 in) from the bow. The ship's gun turrets were only 3.3 meters (10 ft 10 in) above the waterline, but the freeboard could be increased by use of hinged bulwarks. The turrets were rotated by hydraulic machinery.[2]

The ship had a length between perpendiculars of 268 feet 4 inches (81.8 m), a beam of 49 feet 10 inches (15.2 m), and a draught of 19 feet 3 inches (5.87 m). She displaced 5,400 tonnes (5,300 long tons). Her crew consisted of 256 officers and men.[2]


Koning der Nederlanden had two compound steam engines, built by Penn and Sons,[3] each driving a single 4.876-meter (16.0 ft) propeller. The engines were powered by seven boilers. The engines produced a total of 4,630 indicated horsepower (3,450 kW) which gave the ship a maximum speed of 11.95 knots (22.13 km/h; 13.75 mph) during her sea trials that began on 26 July 1877. She carried 620 long tons (630 t) of coal and had three funnels. The ship was barque-rigged with three masts and had a total sail area of 847 square meters (9,120 sq ft).[4]


The ship mounted a pair of Armstrong 11-inch (279 mm) rifled muzzle-loading guns in each gun turret. Each gun weighed 25.4 long tons (25.8 t). Four 120-millimeter (4.7 in) Krupp breech-loading guns were mounted on the upper deck and six 37-millimeter (1.5 in) Hotchkiss 5-barrel revolving guns were also fitted in the ship's superstructure.[5] They fired a shell weighing about 1.1 lb (0.50 kg) at a muzzle velocity of about 2,000 ft/s (610 m/s) to a range about 3,500 yards (3,200 m). They had a rate of fire of about 30 rounds per minute[6] The ship was initially armed with spar torpedoes, but they were removed shortly after completion.[2]


Koning der Nederlanden had a complete waterline belt of wrought iron that was 200 millimeters (7.9 in) thick amidships, but reduced to 150 millimeters (5.9 in) at the bow and stern. Each gun turret, and its base, was protected by 230-millimeter (9.1 in) armor plates, although the total thickness around the gun ports was 305 millimeters (12 in). The deck was unarmored.[4]


Koning der Nederlanden

Koning der Nederlanden was laid down at the Rijkswerf[1] in Amsterdam on 31 December 1871. She was launched on 20 October 1874 and commissioned on 16 February 1877.[2] The ship was designed by B.J. Tideman and renamed from Matador to Koning der Nederlanden during construction.[7] In the autumn of 1876 the ship was transferred through the newly built North Sea Canal to the naval yard Willemsoord in Den Helder.[8] In September 1877 she carried out see trials on the North and Baltic Sea. She left the Netherlands on 3 March 1878 for the Dutch East Indies where she arrived in Aceh on 6 may that year.[9]

From there she steamed to Batavia where she arrived in June 1878 and was repaired at Surabaya from August until November that year.[10] At the end of the year she was stationed at Batavia and served in the Auxiliary squadron.[1] In May and June 1880 she made a trip to the Timor Archipelago to show the Dutch flag.[11] From March till August 1881 Koning der Nederlanden was stationed at Cirebon. She was there to support measures taken by the civil government to counter the in- and export of cattle in the region. In late January 1882 she was again sent to Cirebon due to the outbreak of cholera. The ship was recalled after a few weeks and send to Riau for practice.[12] In April and July 1883 she practiced respectively along the north coast of Java and the Sunda Strait. On 1 August she replaced Zeeland as guard ship at Batavia. After an outbreak of cholera on board later that year the crew disinfected the ship in late September.[13] Koning der Nederlanden was since December 1883 in Surabaya for repairs to her boilers. The boilers were later replaced in 1885 at Surabaya.[14] In April 1887 she was sent together with Prins Hendrik der Nederlanden to Makassar for a three-month practice.[15] From 25 June 1889 until 1 January 1893 she was attached to the naval force stationed on the north coast of Aceh.[16][17][18] After that she served as station ship in Olehleh, Aceh until 7 February 1895.[18][19][20]

The 37-millimeter guns were replaced by two quick-firing, 75-millimeter (3.0 in) guns and four 37-millimeter quick-firers by 1890. The ship decommissioned on 1 April 1895 and began her conversion to an accommodation and guard ship at Surabaya Dockyard in August 1896. She retained all four of her 120-millimeter and two of her 37-millimeter guns when she recommissioned on 1 December 1899.[2]

From 1920 till 1922 she served as debarkment and accommodation ship for the Submarine Service.[21][22][23] She was set on fire in Surabaya and then scuttled to prevent her capture by the Japanese during World War II on 2 March 1942.[2]



  1. ^ "HNLMS" stands for "His Netherlands Majesty's Ship" but the Royal Netherlands Navy uses "Zr. Ms." (Dutch: Zijner Majesteits schip) instead of the international HNLMS.[24]


  1. ^ a b c Koloniaal verslag van 1879, Bijlage C [5.9], p. 5
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Dutch Ironclads Prins Hendrik and Konig der Nederlanden, pp. 200–201
  3. ^ Silverstone, p. 341
  4. ^ a b Dutch Ironclads Prins Hendrik and Konig der Nederlanden, p. 201
  5. ^ Dutch Ironclads Prins Hendrik and Konig der Nederlanden, p. 200
  6. ^ "United States of America 1-pdr (0.45 kg) 1.46" (37 mm) Marks 1 through 15". 15 August 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  7. ^ Dirkzwager, p. 27
  8. ^ Staatsbegrooting voor het dienstjaar 1878. VI. 2., p. 9
  9. ^ Staatsbegrooting voor het dienstjaar 1879. VI. 2., p. 13
  10. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1879, Bijlage C [5.2], p. 59
  11. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1881, Bijlage C [5.8], p. 9
  12. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1882, Bijlage C [5.9], p. 9
  13. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1884, Bijlage C [5.8], p. 9
  14. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1885, Bijlage C [5.8], p. 9
  15. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1888, Bijlage C [5.9], p. 7
  16. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1891, Bijlage C [5.8], p. 7
  17. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1892, Bijlage C [5.10], p. 7
  18. ^ a b Koloniaal verslag van 1893, Bijlage C [5.9], p. 9
  19. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1894, Bijlage C [5.9], p. 9
  20. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1895, Bijlage C [5.10], p. 3
  21. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1921, Bijlage D, p. 5
  22. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1922, Bijlage D, p. 5
  23. ^ Koloniaal verslag van 1923, Bijlage E, p. 5
  24. ^ "List of Acronyms Preceding the Name of a Ship". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2019.


  • Gardiner, Robert, ed. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-8317-0302-8.
  • "Dutch Ironclads Prins Hendrik and Konig der Nederlanden". Warship International. IX (2): 199–200. 1972.
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1984). Directory of the World's Capital Ships. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 978-0-88254-979-8.
  • Ross, David. Great Warships From The Age Of Steam. New York: Metro Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4351-5487-2
  • Dirkzwager, J. M., ed. (1970). Dr. B. J. Tideman 1834-1883 : Grondlegger van de moderne scheepsbouw in Nederland. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
  • Staatsbegrooting voor het dienstjaar 1878 (VI. 2.)
  • Staatsbegrooting voor het dienstjaar 1879 (VI. 2.)
  • Colonial reports:

External links[edit]