Harald Haarfagre (1897)

Harald in drydock, c.1903. Photo by Anders Beer Wilse, public domain in Norway.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Launched
1897
Commissioned
1898
Decommissioned
1948
AD/BC
AD
History

Harald Haarfagre was the second of two Tordenskjold-class coast defense ships, built in the late 1890s as part of a rearmament program leading up to the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. Haarfagre was commissioned 21 March, 1898, displacing 3,900 tons, with a heavy armament, relatively thick 7" armor belt, and a low top speed. The configuration was typical for coast defense ships, as they weren't expected to chase down hostiles, just ward them off. Haarfagre was a mainstay of the Norwegian Navy, until she was withdrawn from frontline duty in the 1930s. Captured by the Germans in 1940, she was renamed Thetis, and turned into a floating flak battery, as was typical of captured coast defense ships. Regaining her original name post-War, Haarfagre was used to transport German POWs, and later as a barracks ship, until she was decommissioned and scrapped in 1948.