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HNLMS Schorpioen
Den helder schorpioen.JPG
Schorpioen in Den Helder, Netherlands
Career (Royal Netherlands Navy)
Launched: 1868
Decommissioned: 1982
In service: 1868
Out of service: 1906
Homeport: Den Helder
Fate: Museum Ship (1982 - Present)
General characteristics
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h)
Range: 2,150 nautical miles (3,980 km) @ 6 knots (11 km/h)
Complement: 150 men, officers, petty-officers, and sailors
Armament: Ram; Two 300 pound (136 kg), 23 cm Armstrong guns later replaced with a single 28 cm gun, and two 7.5 cm guns, four 3.7 cm guns, and two Hotchkiss Revolving Cannons.

HNLMS Schorpioen is a sister ship of HNLMS Buffel. Built in the same year, 1868 in France, they were the core of the then renewed Royal Netherlands Navy, replacing the outdated wooden ships that combined sailing and steam propulsion and carried so called smooth-bore guns. These new ships were equipped with heavy rifled 23 cm guns, and a heavy armor. The hull had an armor plated belt of 15 cm (6 inches) and the gun turret, housing the two guns, had almost 30 cm (12 inches)of armor. She came from the building yard with two tripod masts and able to employ about 600 m2 of sails, but she proved to be a difficult sailing ship and some years later the yards, masts and the sails were removed. As with the Buffel her huge steam engines gave her a max. speed of 13 knots (24 km/h). Her striking weapon was the pointed ram bow, slightly different than the Buffel's, but she never ever used this overestimated weapon.

Service record[edit | edit source]

As with the Buffel, her record is not very impressive. In 1886 the Schorpioen was hit in the stern quarter by a paddle steam tugboat in the harbor of Den Helder and sank in two hours. Fortunately, she could be raised and repaired. In 1906 she completed her role as an operational warship and was transformed into a lodging or accommodation ship. At the beginning of World War II, she fell into German hands, was towed to Germany, and served there as a lodging - and storage ship. After the war, in 1947 she was found in Hamburg (Germany) and towed back to Den Helder; again to become a lodging ship, first in Amsterdam and later in Den Helder where she became the barracks for the Dutch WRNS. In 1982, after decommissioning, she was bought by a private foundation that was established to transform her into a floating museum in Middelburg, in the southern part of the country. Seven years later, after a complete renovation, she opened her doors to visitors, as a museum. In 1995, the Royal Netherlands Navy purchased her back and put her under the supervision of the Dutch Navy Museum in Den Helder where she is now the third, and largest, vessel on display. In May 2000, after a renovation period of eighteen months to restore her to her former glory, the ship was opened to visitors.

See also[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 52°57′45″N 4°46′19″E / 52.96242°N 4.77206°E / 52.96242; 4.77206

External links[edit | edit source]

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