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HNoMS Odin (1939)
HNoMS Odin (1939).jpg
Odin in 1939.
Career (Norway)
Name: Odin
Namesake: Norse chief god Odin
Builder: The Royal Norwegian Navy's shipyard at Karljohansvern, Horten
Yard number: 126[1]
Launched: 24 January 1939[1]
Commissioned: 1939
Captured: by Germany on 9 April 1940
Service record
Operations: Opposing the German invasion of Norway
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: Panther
Acquired: 11 April 1940
Fate: Handed back to Norway after VE Day
Service record
Operations: Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany
Career (Norway)
Name: Odin
Commissioned: 1945
Decommissioned: 1959
Fate: Sold for scrapping in 1959
General characteristics as built
Class & type: Sleipner class
Displacement: 735 tons [2]
Length: 74.30 m (243.77 ft)
Beam: 7.75 m (25.43 ft)
Draft: 4.15 m (13.62 ft)
Propulsion: Two De Laval geared turbines with two shafts and 12,500 hp
Speed: 32 knots (59.26 km/h)
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,482.00 km) at 15 knots (27.78 km/h)
Complement: 75 (10 officers and 65 sailors)[3]
Armament: 3 × 10 cm guns
1 × 20 mm anti-aircraft gun
2 × 12.7 mm Colt
anti-aircraft machine gun
2 × 53.3 cm trainable torpedo tubes
4 × depth charge throwers
General characteristics after German rebuild
Class & type: Sleipner class
Displacement: 735 tons [2]
Length: 74.30 m (243.77 ft)
Beam: 7.75 m (25.43 ft)
Draft: 4.15 m (13.62 ft)
Propulsion: Two De Laval geared turbines with two shafts and 12,500 hp
Speed: 32 knots (59.26 km/h)
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,482.00 km) at 15 knots (27.78 km/h)
Complement: 75 (10 officers and 65 sailors)[3]
Armament: 1 × 10,5 cm gun
1 × 40 mm anti-aircraft gun
4 × 2 cm anti aircraft guns,
2 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes,
24 mines

HNoMS Odin was a Sleipner class destroyer that entered service with the Royal Norwegian Navy in 1939. She and the other Sleipner class vessels were built as part of a Norwegian rearmament scheme in the last years leading up to the Second World War. In 1940 she had taken part in protecting Norwegian neutrality, before being caught up in the German invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940. After fighting the invasion forces at Kristiansand, she was captured and pressed into Kriegsmarine service for the duration of the war. After the end of the war, she was returned to Norway. In 1948 she and her surviving sister ships were converted to frigatesand remained in service until being sold for scrapping in 1959.


Odin was built at Karljohansvern naval shipyard in Horten with yard number 126, and was launched on on 24 January 1939.[1]

Second World War

After the outbreak of the Second World War Odin formed part of the 3rd destroyer section in the Kristiansand Defence Sector of the 1st Naval District.[4]

Opposing the German invasion of Norway

Rio de Janeiro

On 8 April 1940 she had taken part together with the guard ship Lyngdal in the rescue of the surviving sailors and soldiers from the 5,199 ton clandestine German troop transport Rio de Janeiro[5][6][7] sunk by the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł near the small port of Lillesand.

Defending Kristiansand

The next morning, 9 April 1940, Odin took part in the defence of Kristiansand, against landing group four of the German invasion of Norway. When the battle at Kristiansand between the Kriegsmarine flotilla and Odderøya Fort began Odin steamed out into the Toppdalsfjord and opened up on attacking Luftwaffe bombers with her Oerlikon 20 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine guns. Continuous evasive manoeuvring saved the destroyer from being hit by the many bombs dropped at her and several hits were recorded on the attacking aircraft, although none were shot down. At about 0730hrs a twin-engined aircraft attacked the interned German U-boat U-21 that was docked in Kristiansand harbour, having been seized by Norwegian warships for neutrality violations after running aground on the Oddene shallows near Mandal 27 March that year.[8] U-21 had been docked in Kristiansand since 28 March.[9] Odin fired at the aircraft, only to discover it was a RAF Lockheed Hudson reconnaissance aircraft. Neither this time did the Odin's fire bring her target down. At 1000hrs an order not to fire at British and French forces came to the commander of Kristiansand. This order, combined with confusion of which flags were flown by the intruding warships, led to the German force being able to enter the harbour unopposed on their third attempt at 1030hrs. Odin was captured at Marvika naval station together with numerous other naval vessels in the Kristiansand area, including her sister ship Gyller.[10]

German service as the Panther

After the German capture of Kristiansand Odin was handed over to the Kriegsmarine on 11 April and officially entered service as the Panther on 20 April.[11] However, before entering the Kriegsmarine she was partially rebuilt and rearmed. During the remainder of the war she operated in Skagerak and Kattegat as an escort and training ship, in 1940 forming the 7. Torpedobootsflottille together with Gyller,[12][13] and from January 1942 as a torpedo recovery vessel in Gotenhafen.

Post-war RNoN service

After the end of the Second World War Panther/Odin was recovered in Holmestrand, Norway, May 1945 and returned to the Royal Norwegian Navy.

After three more years in Norway as a destroyer Odin was converted to a frigate in 1948. Odin and her sister ships was phased out and sold for scrapping in 1959


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "6110876". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 7 February 2009.  (subscription required)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Abelsen 1986: 30
  3. 3.0 3.1 Johannesen 1988: 89
  4. Niehorster, Leo. "Scandinavian Campaign: Administrative Order of Battle Royal Norwegian Navy 1st Naval District – Kristiansand Defense Sector". Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  5. "5603819". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 10 February 2009.  (subscription required)
  6. Skovheim, Nils (29 June 2007). "Rio de Janeiro" (in Norwegian and English). Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  7. Kersaudy, François (1995). "Rio de Janeiro". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik (in Norwegian). Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45. Oslo: Cappelen. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  8. Steen 1954: 103
  9. Sivertsen 2001: 69
  10. Berg 1997: 19
  11. Emmerich, Michael. "Panther". German Naval History. Retrieved 8 February 2009. 
  12. Heise, Hans-Jürgen. "Torpedobootsflottillen 1 - 7" (in German). Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  13. Kindell, Don. "German Navy ships, June 1940". Retrieved 15 April 2010. 


  • Abelsen, Frank (1986) (in Norwegian and English). Norwegian naval ships 1939–1945. Oslo: Sem & Stenersen AS. ISBN 82-7046-050-8. 
  • Berg, Ole F. (1997) (in Norwegian). I skjærgården og på havet – Marinens krig 8. april 1940 – 8. mai 1945. Oslo: Marinens krigsveteranforening. ISBN 82-993545-2-8. 
  • Johannesen, Folke Hauger (1988) (in Norwegian). Gå på eller gå under. Oslo: Faktum Forlag AS. ISBN 82-540-0113-8. 
  • Sivertsen, Svein Carl (ed.) (2001) (in Norwegian). Sjøforsvaret dag for dag 1814–2000. Hundvåg: Sjømilitære Samfund ved Norsk Tidsskrift for Sjøvesen. ISBN 82-92217-03-7. 
  • Steen, E. A. (1954) (in Norwegian). Norges Sjøkrig 1940-1945 – Bind I: Sjøforsvarets nøytralitetsvern 1939-1940 : Tysklands og Vestmaktenes planer og forberedelser for en Norgesaksjon. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. 

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