HSwMS Gotland (1933)

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HMS Gotland (cruiser), 1936.jpg
HSwMS Gotland in 1936
Name: Gotland
Builder: Götaverken
Laid down: 1930
Launched: 14 September 1933
Commissioned: 14 December 1934
Decommissioned: 1956
Struck: 1960
Fate: Sold in 1962 and scrapped in 1963
Badge: HMS Gotland vapen, flygplanskryssare.svg
General characteristics
Type: Cruiser
Displacement: 4,600-(~5500 full load ) t
Length: 134.8 m (442 ft 3 in)
Beam: 15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)
Draught: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
Speed: 27.5 knots (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph)
  • 467 (ship)
  • 60 (aircraft)
  • 6 × 152 mm (6 in) guns in two twin turrets and two single turrets
  • 4 × 75 mm (3.0 in)
  • 4 × 25 mm (0.98 in)
  • 8 × 40 mm (1.6 in) added in 1944
  • 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • Mines
Aircraft carried:
  • Aircraft (before conversion):
  • Six Hawker Osprey (had capacity for eight)
Notes: Initially seaplane cruiser converted to anti-aircraft cruiser

HSwMS Gotland was a seaplane cruiser of the Swedish Navy built by Götaverken.

The design of the ship started out in December 1926 as a seaplane carrier with room for twelve aircraft.[1] When presented with the design, Sweden's Naval Construction Board decided that it wanted the ship to have cruiser and minelaying functions as well as operating as a seaplane carrier.[1] The resulting 5,000-ton design presented in January 1927 proved impossible to build within the available budget of Sk16.5 million.[1] The design was then reduced in size requiring one of the forward turrets be removed.[1] Its guns were then placed in casemates either side of the superstructure, a feature otherwise found only in the American Omaha class cruisers.[1] The construction contract for the ship was issued on 7 June 1930.[2]

Hawker Osprey S 9, ready for launch on HSwMS Gotland

Its aircraft complement consisted of six Hawker Osprey seaplanes. It had capacity for eight and attempts were made to purchase two more, unsuccessfully since production of the type had ceased. The aircraft were found to suffer from wave damage during rough weather, often forcing the ship to return to port.[3]

During World War II Gotland sighted the German battleship Bismarck when it broke out of the Baltic Sea. The sighting was reported to Swedish Navy headquarters but the message was intercepted by the British embassy, which triggered the Battle of the Denmark Strait and the allied chase of the great battleship.

HSwMS Gotland was converted in 1944 to an anti-aircraft cruiser due to a lack of modern seaplanes. This involved the removal of the seaplanes and the addition of four 40 mm Bofors guns and two 20mm L/70 guns.[3] The Ospreys continued in service from harbour bases with the last being retired on 2 December 1947.[4]

After World War II she served as a training ship. Starting 1953 and finishing in 1954 she was modified to allow her to serve as a fighter direction ship in the event of war as well as a training ship in peacetime.[3] She was decommissioned in 1956, struck off in 1960, sold in 1962 and finally scrapped in 1963.


  • 1936–1937: Helge Strömbäck
  • 1937–1938: Gösta Odqvist
  • 1938–1938: Erik Samuelson
  • 1944–1945: Moje Östberg
  • 1946–1947: Henning Hammargren
  • 1947–1949: Erik Friberg
  • 1950–1951: Sven Hermelin
  • 1955–1956: Magnus Hammar


  1. ^ a b c d e Layman, R.D; McLaughlin, Stephen (1991). The Hybrid Warship The Amalgamation of Big Guns and Aircraft. Conway Maritime Press. p. 40. ISBN 0-85177-555-1.
  2. ^ Layman, R.D; McLaughlin, Stephen (1991). The Hybrid Warship The Amalgamation of Big Guns and Aircraft. Conway Maritime Press. p. 41. ISBN 0-85177-555-1.
  3. ^ a b c Preston, Antony (2002). The World's Worst Warships. Conway Maritime Press. pp. 108–111. ISBN 0-85177-754-6.
  4. ^ Layman, R.D; McLaughlin, Stephen (1991). The Hybrid Warship The Amalgamation of Big Guns and Aircraft. Conway Maritime Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-85177-555-1.


  • Anderson, R. M. (1977). "Re: Gotland". Warship International. XIV (2): 97. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Westerlund, Karl-Erik (1977). "Re: The HMS Gotland". Warship International. XIV (2): 96–97. ISSN 0043-0374.

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