HSMS Visby (DDL-1938+)


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The Visby class of four large destroyers represented a radical change in thinking for the Scandinavian Navy. The late 1930's and another European War was on the cards. Scandinavia wished to remain neutral but was not sure if the Major Powers to its south and East would honour that neutrality. Selling and bartering Scandinavias vast natural resources helped to keep the flow of the necessary fuel oil to feed the fleet coming. But in time of war, any of the major powers could interfere with Scandinavia oil tankers. To try and eke out the most from its ships the Scania company had been tasked with producing diesel engines for the navy. Running diesel engines uses less fuel oil than the equivalent steam turbine installations. (Another But). But the diesels by themselves were not powerful enough to power the biggest units of the Svealand and Tre Kronor class ships, and these ships had mixed diesel / turbine instalations. The Visby class were the first destroyers completed under the new regulations and had four of the 11,000bhp diesel units fitted. This required a ship almost 40 feet longer than was required due to the space required by the diesels. Radius of action was huge compared to earlier destroyers.

Other than the propulsion the ships were unremarkable. Being big ships they carried a decent armament, with four twin 4.7" turrets giving the ships the same armament as the Smaland class anti-aircraft cruisers that were 60-70 feet bigger than the Visbys. The Visbys AA armament while useful for a destroyer was half what was mounted on the Smalands. Even the torpedo armament at eight tubes for the Visbys did not compare with the twelve tubes mounted on the Smalands. In 1944-45 refits the class was upgraded with two 50mm automatic mountings replacing the center mounted twin 40mm and 20mm mountings around the after funnel. The two sets of standard 21.5" quad torpedos mountings were replaced with four twin Snaab Homing torpedo mountings. Radar and sonar had continually been upgraded through out the ships service lives.


Displacement 2,700 tons standard, 3,600 tons full load
Length 415 ft
Breadth 39 ft
Draught 12 ft
Machinery 2 shaft diesel engines, 44,000bhp
Speed 34 knots
Range 7000 miles at 15 knots (1800 at 32 knots)
Armament 8 x 4.7" (4x2)

6 x 40mm (2x2 2x1)

8 x 20mm (3x2 2x1)

Torpedoes 8 x 21.5" (2x4)
Mines 36 when fitted
Complement 210
Notes HSMS Visby

HSMS Oeland

HSMS Kristiana

HSMS Aland



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