PCS Gdansk (BB-1939) & HSMS Freya (CV-1939)


Back to Special Projects page:

Earlier in this series is the Scandinavian Kung Gustav, The Odin class is mentioned there as the previous class with twin turrets. While it was a class of two for Scandinavia, the third member of the class was completed for another amalgamation of countries that I do, Polithstovia. Polithstovia is  the countries of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia joined together to give a decent naval budget that can purchase some decent equipment other than a few destroyers / minesweepers each. The fourth hull of the group was repurposed as an aircraft carrier, Scandinavia's first.

The 400mm (15.8") guns fired a 2500 pound shell 35,000 yards and was the equal of any of the 16" ships of other nations. The Bofors factories and armouries manufactured unbelievable amounts of weapons that were sold to the world. These sales paid the way for the Scandinavian armed forces. The naval shipyards also built many ships for customers around the world, one of which was the Gdansk for Polithstovia. One of the first countries to put a dual purpose weapon system into production, the 130mm guns came in single, twin, and triple mountings. And of course the worlds favourite weapon the Bofors 40mm, which was made in single, twin, quadruple. up to the six gun mounting in the Royal Navy. The first mountings were put aboard Scandinavian ships in 1937 and featured on all Scandinavian ships from then on.

The long sleek lines of the Odin class showed how efficient the hull design was. The art of streamlining had gone ahead by leaps and bounds in the 1920's and 30's, meaning less engine power being required to make decent speeds. Both the battleship and aircraft carrier easily made 30 knots at 125,000shp, even at their full load displacement.

In the coming conflict, the Freya caused more damage than the other three put together. Even with the Gdansk being on the Allied side, and the other three on the Axis side. The Scandinavians had received assistance from the US Navy with the planning for the Freya. Probably the weakest part of the design was the 'open' bow design, the only saving grace being the freeboard and sheer of the bow forward as used in the battleships as well.

  Battleships Aircraft Carrier (Freya)
Displacement 35,700 tons std 41,800 tons full load 36,200 tons std, 43,000 tons full load
Length 750 ft 761 ft
Breadth 100 ft 118 ft over sponsons
Draught 30 ft 30
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 125,000shp 4 shaft steam turbines, 125,000shp
Speed 30 knots 30 knots
Range 6000 miles at 15 knots (2300 at 25knots) 6000 miles at 15 knots (2300 at 25knots)
Armour 12" side, 5.9" deck, 13"/8.2"/5.1" turrets 3" side armour, 5.1" box over machinery and armouries
Armament As built
8 x 15.8" (4x2)
18 x 5.1" (6x3)
24 x 40mm (3x4, 6x2)
As built
8 x 5.1" (4x2)
30 x 40mm (10x2, 10x1)
Aircraft 2 60
Complement 1850 2000
Notes HSMS Odin (1937)
HSMS Thor (1938)
PCS Gdansk (1939)
HSMS Freya (1939)

From Wiki:
"The outbreak of World War II caught the Polish Navy in a state of expansion. Lacking numerical superiority, Polish Naval commanders decided to withdraw main surface ships to Great Britain to join the Allied war effort and prevent them from being destroyed in a closed Baltic (the Peking Plan). On 30 August 1939, 3 destroyers (ORP BłyskawicaORP Grom, and ORP Burza) sailed to the British naval base at Leith in Scotland. They then operated in combination with Royal Navy vessels against Germany. Also two submarines managed to flee from the Baltic Sea through the Danish straits to Great Britain during the Polish September Campaign (one of them, ORP Orzeł, made a daring escape from internment in TallinnEstonia, and traveled without charts). Three submarines were interned in Sweden, while remaining surface vessels were sunk by German aircraft."

Even when creating Polithstovia, to give a larger navy, the navy is created to close off the Gulf of Finland from Soviet Russia. The new Navy now has a battleship, battlecruiser, heavy cruiser, light cruisers, destroyers and minor warships. The Germans and or Soviets would love to get hold of any of these vessels by trapping them in the Baltic and capturing them. I have two scenarios with these ships. One. Send them, as per real life, to Britain, leaving three to four days before the Germans launch their attack. That way the ships get to fight on with the Allied forces. Two. The fleet goes across to Scandinavia to be interned there. Thinking that the Scandinavians would eventually join the Allies and the ships could the fight on with the Allies. The Soviet attack on Scandinavia in November/December 1939, sent the Scandinavians into the Axis camp and when the Scandinavians joined the Axis in May 1940, the interned ships were seized and incorporated into the Axis Combined Fleet (North).

The first fighters aboard the Freya were the license built J9, a version of the US P-35 fighter aircraft. These were replaced with the much superior FW-190A in 1941.


Back to Special Projects page: