Willem van der Zaan

This minelayer was the last to be built for the Royal Netherlands Navy before WW II started, and since she was completed only days before the German invasion in Poland in September 1939, she was brandnew and perfectly suited for her task. She was the first to have a 4.7 inch armament instead of the standard 3 inch guns, of which the latter later proved to be hopelessly inadequate. She also had a very modern and effective AA-armament. Armed with the rapid firing double 40 mm Bofors guns and the Hazemeyer fire control system, she was one of the best armed ships the Royal Netherlands Navy had. Her designers also kept the wish of the Navy in mind to use her as a training ship for cadets. She had accomodation for some 40 of them.

Click to enlarge
Willem van der Zaan lying at the quay before the war (Collection webmaster).

Construction details
Name Willem van der Zaan
Dockyard Nederlandse Dok Mij, Amsterdam
Laid down January 18 1938
Launched December 15 1938 
Commissioned 21 August 1939
Pennant Nos M-08 (WW II)
Status Profile

Displacement 1247 t / 1407 t
Crew 92 (as minelayer)
130 (as training ship)
Dimensions 70.0 (pp) 75.2 (oa) x 11.2 x 3.28 (min) m
Fire Control System Hazemeyer central FCS for AA-battery
Armament 2 x 120 mm No.7 (2x1)
4 x 40 mm Bofors* (2x2)
4 x .50 (2x2)
Mines 120 originally **
Air 1 aircraft with heavy crane
ASW Asdic from 1940
Radar Several types installed during war
* Later replaced by a less efficient Vickers quad 40 mm "pompom". The original set was removed by the British for them to study
** Modifications in the UK in 1940 reduced this number to 90

Propulsion details
Boilers 2 Yarrow 3 drum
Machinery 2 Werkspoor Triple-expansion-engines
Performance 2200 hp
Shafts 2
Max Speed 15,5 knots

Postcard of Willem van der Zaan postwar, classified as frigate (Collection webmaster)

August 21, 2014 Added new photo.

Back Home