1 March 1842
|Died||8 February 1920 77) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Emma Stansfeld Grundy|
Thorsten Nordenfelt (1 March 1842 – 8 February 1920), was a Swedish inventor and industrialist.
Nordenfelt was born in Örby outside Kinna, Sweden, the son of a colonel. The surname was and is often spelled Nordenfeldt, though Thorsten and his brothers always spelled it Nordenfelt, and the 1881 Census shows it as Nordenfelt. The family home in that year was Leinster Lodge on the Uxbridge Road, Paddington in west London.
Thorsten worked for a Swedish company in London from 1862 to 1866 and migrated to England in 1867 when he married Emma Stansfeld Grundy.
Thorsten Nordenfelt and his brother-in-law started a small business to trade Swedish steel for British rails in 1887. Later on he founded Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company, ltd to develop a machine-gun designed by Helge Palmcrantz that would be referred to as the Nordenfelt gun. His company also designed a range of anti-torpedoboat guns in calibres from 37 to 57 mm, that were produced in Erith, Kent, Stockholm and Spain. Under pressure from Rothschild and Vickers his company merged with Maxim's in 1888 to form The Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company.
After a personal bankruptcy Nordenfelt was forced out of the Nordenfelt-Maxim company in 1890 and left England for France, where his new company, Société Nordenfelt, designed the eccentric screw breech used on the French 75. Legal action followed ( Nordenfelt v Maxim, Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Co Ltd ) over a non-compete clause Nordenfelt had signed.
In 1903 he returned to Sweden and retired.
In 1902 a public house named after Thorsten Nordenfelt was built at 181 Erith Road, Erith just along from the Gun and Carriage works of Vickers, Sons and Maxim (previously Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company) . Named 'The Nordenfelt Tavern' it was built to the design of Jonathan G. Ensor (1852/3-19??), architect for brewer Watney Combe & Reid
Discussions between Thorsten Nordenfelt and the English reverend George Garrett led to the production of a series of steam-powered submarines. The first was the Nordenfelt I, a 56-tonne, 19.5-metre long vessel similar to Garret's ill-fated Resurgam (1879), with a range of 240 kilometres and armed with a single torpedo and a 25.4 mm machine gun. It was manufactured by Bolinders in Stockholm in 1884–1885. Like the Resurgam, it operated on the surface using a 100 HP steam engine with a maximum speed of 9 kn, then it shut down its engine to dive. She was purchased by the Greek Government and was delivered to Piraeus harbor in 1886. Following the acceptance tests, she was never used again by the Hellenic Navy and was scrapped in 1901.
Nordenfelt then built the Nordenfelt II ( Abdül Hamid ) in 1886 and Nordenfelt III (Abdül Mecid) in 1887, a pair of 30-metre long submarines with twin torpedo tubes, for the Ottoman Navy. Abdül Hamid became the first submarine in history to fire a torpedo while submerged under water.Nordenfelt's efforts culminated in 1887 with the Nordenfelt IV which had twin motors and twin torpedoes. It was sold to the Russians, but proved unstable and ran aground off Jutland; when the Russians refused to pay for it, it was scrapped.
Abdülhamid and Abdülmecid were in Istanbul in 1914. The submarines were briefly considered for use in harbour defence but it was found that their hulls were too badly corroded.
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against powerful short range attackers. They were originally developed in 1885 by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.
The 1880s was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1880, and ended on December 31, 1889.
Sir Basil Zaharoff, GCB, GBE was a Greek arms dealer and industrialist. One of the richest men in the world during his lifetime, Zaharoff was described as both a "merchant of death" and a "mystery man of Europe". His success was forged through his cunning, often aggressive and sharp, business tactics. These included the sale of arms to opposing sides in conflicts, sometimes delivering fake or faulty machinery and skilfully using the press to attack business rivals.
George William Littler Garrett was a British clergyman and inventor who pioneered submarine design.
The Maxim gun, a recoil-operated machine gun, was invented in 1884 by Hiram Stevens Maxim. It was the first fully automatic machine gun in the world.
Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, Ltd (VSEL) was a shipbuilding company based at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in northwest England that built warships, civilian ships, submarines and armaments. The company was historically the Naval Construction Works of Vickers Armstrongs and has a heritage of building large naval warships and armaments. Through a complicated history the company's shipbuilding division is now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions and the armaments division is now part of BAE Systems Land & Armaments.
The Hunt class was a class of escort destroyer of the Royal Navy. The first vessels were ordered early in 1939, and the class saw extensive service in the Second World War, particularly on the British east coast and Mediterranean convoys. They were named after British fox hunts. The modern Hunt-class GRP hulled mine countermeasure vessels maintain the Hunt names lineage in the Royal Navy.
The 2-pounder gun, officially designated the QF 2-pounder and universally known as the pom-pom, was a 40-millimetre (1.6 in) British autocannon, used as an anti-aircraft gun by the Royal Navy. The name came from the sound that the original models make when firing. This QF 2-pounder was not the same gun as the Ordnance QF 2-pounder, used by the British Army as an anti-tank gun and a tank gun, although they both fired 2-pound (0.91 kg), 40-millimetre (1.6 in) projectiles.
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Vickers Limited was a British engineering conglomerate. The business began in Sheffield in 1828 as a steel foundry and became known for its church bells, going on to make shafts and propellers for ships, armour plate and then artillery. Entire large ships, cars, tanks and torpedoes followed. Airships and aircraft were added, and Vickers jet airliners were to remain in production until 1965.
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A quick-firing or rapid-firing gun is an artillery piece, typically a gun or howitzer, which has several characteristics which taken together mean the weapon can fire at a fast rate. Quick-firing was introduced worldwide in the 1880s and 1890s and had a marked impact on war both on land and at sea.
The Maxim-Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company was the result of a takeover by Hiram Maxim of Thorsten Nordenfelt's Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company in 1888. Rothschild issued £1.9 million of shares to finance the merger. Nathan Rothschild retained a substantial shareholding in the new Maxim-Nordenfelt combine and ‘exerted a direct influence over its management’.
The submarine Abdül Hamid was an early steam powered submarine built in the United Kingdom in 1880 at the Barrow Shipyard. It was bought and put in service by the Ottoman Navy and named after Sultan Abdülhamid II. It was also the first submarine in the world to fire a live torpedo underwater.
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