HNLMS Schorpioen

Schorpioen 2 

HNLMS Schorpioen is a Schorpioen-class monitor built in France for the Royal Netherlands Navy in the 1860s. 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 from the Buffel's, but she never ever used this overestimated weapon.

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 an 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.


Museum info:
Address: Hoofdgracht 3, 1781 AA Den Helder, Netherlands
Phone: + 31223657534
Schorpioen's website
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