Gruno-class gunboats

These gunboats were originally designed for harbour defence and covering minelayers on their assignments. By WW II, these ships were completely obsolete due to their lack of anti-aircraft guns, something the whole navy suffered from. They were assigned to simple guard duties in the northern territorial waters of Holland, Friso and Brinio on the IJsselmeer and Gruno mainly in the vicinity of Terschelling. They could be quite effective with their (for their size) large main battery, but only when their were no enemy aircraft around.

Friso before the war, date and place unknown (Collection J. Klootwijk)

Construction details
Name Gruno Friso Brinio
Dockyard Rijkswerf, Amsterdam Rijkswerf, Amsterdam Rijkswerf, Amsterdam
Laid down February 12, 1912 November 2, 1911 October 16, 1911
Launched May 26, 1913 August 29, 1912 August 12, 1912
Commissioned July 15, 1915 July 12, 1915 September 8, 1914
Pennants F.81 (WW II)
N.2 (1946)
- -

Displacement (Washington tons) 545 tons / 634 full load (Brinio)
530 tons / 573 tons full load (Friso)
533 tons standard / 581 tons full load (Gruno)
Crew 52 originally
63 in WW II
Dimensions 52,66 (oa) x 8,52 x 2,75 m
Armament 4 x 105 mm Krupp semi-automatic No.1

1 x 40 mm, 2 x 12.7 mm No.1 (Gruno, until 1940)*
1 x 40 mm No.2, 2 x 12.7 mm Vickers (Brinio)
2 x 12.7 mm No.1 (Friso)
ASW** -
* In 1940, the 12.7 mm machine guns were replaced by two single 40 mm.
** Gruno had depthcharges and asdic type 140A (from January 1941)

Armour details
Belt 55 mm
Transverse bulkheads 55 mm
Deck 17 mm
Conning tower 50 mm
Gun shields 50 mm (front)
25 mm (roof)
20 mm (sides)

Propulsion details
Machinery 2 x 750 hp 2-stroke 6-cylinder Sulzer diesel engines (Brinio)
2 x 750 hp 4-stroke 6-cylinder M.A.N. diesel engines (Friso)
2 x 600 hp 6-cylinder 2-stroke Krupp-Germania diesel engines (Gruno)
Shafts 2
Range 1440 nm @ 6 knots
Bunkerage 34 tons oil
Max Speed 14 - 15 knots

Gruno Escaped to the UK May 14, 1940, arrived on the Thames May 15. Part of the Thames Local Defence Flotilla from May 29. She served as guardship and escort until March, 1942, when she was laid up until November 23, 1942. Recommissioned, she was again part of the Thams Local Defence Flotilla, and she was an escort from May 12, 1943 until early May 1944. She sailed on May 11 from Southend to Harwich, shere she was laid up on May 16 as an accommodation ship. She sailed from Harwich to IJmuiden, Holland via Oostende between June 1 and 3 1945, after which she was used as an accommodation ship for the minesweepingservice. Stricken January 1950, sold for scrap in 1959.
Friso Stationed on the IJsselmeer to prevent landings from eastern Holland to Noord-Holland by the Germans. Succesfully bombarded the port of Stavoren, sinking a ferry and destroying a German piece of artillery. Lost to German bombers May 12 1940 with the loss of 2 men killed and 1 missing. The capsized wreck was sunk by gunfire from Pieter Florisz. The remains were raised on March 15, 1943 and scrapped in Enkhuizen.
Brinio Stationed on the IJsselmeer to prevent landings from eastern Holland to Noord-Holland by the Germans. Attacked by German aircaft and damaged on May 12 1940 with the loss of one man wounded. Scuttled by own crew May 14 1940 on the IJsselmeer. Raised October 12, 1942 and scrapped.

Sources and related links
H. Ummels "Van Pantserboot tot kanonneerboot: de Brinio-klasse (2005)
A.J. Vermeulen "De schepen van de Koninklijke Marine en die der gouvernementsmarine 1814-1962 (1962)
Chr. Mark "Schepen van de Koninklijke Marine in W.O.II" (1997)
W.H.E. van Amstel "De schepen van de Koninklijke Marine vanaf 1945" (1991)
P. de Jong/M.A. Cageling "Onze strijdmacht ter zee" (1938)
Jaarboek van de Koninklijke Marine 1930-1931
Jaarboek van de Koninklijke Marine 1929-1930

Related links
Gruno-class photo special

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