Danish Naval History Web Forum

Danish Naval History Web Forum
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Danish Submarines Names

Hello all!

Can someone translate and explain the names of the Danish submarines?

I know that Kroneborg is the castle near the Helsingør, Narhvalen is the Narwhal and Delphines is the Dolphin, but this is all I know.

Need help.



Re: Danish Submarines Names

Here you are:

Name in Danish Translated to English Meaning
Kronborg Kronborg The castle of Elsinore
TUMLEREN The Harbour Whale
SÆLEN The Seal
SPRINGEREN The White-beaked Dolphin
NORDKAPEREN The North Atlantic Right Whale
DELFINEN The Dolphin
TUMLEREN The Harbour Whale
SPRINGEREN The White-beaked Dolphin
SPRINGEREN The White-beaked Dolphin
STØREN The Sturgeon
SÆLEN The Seal
HAVFRUEN The Mermaid
HAVKALEN The Greenland Shark
DAPHNE Daphne, A Greek nymph
DRYADEN The Dryad, A Greek tree nymph
ROTA Rota, ?, name used several times for Danish naval vessels
BELLONA Bellona, The Roman godess of war
FLORA Flora, The Roman godess of flowers and spring
ÆGIR Aegis, The Norse king of the sea
RAN Ran, The Norse goddess of the sea
TRITON Triton, The Greek messenger god of the big sea
NEPTUN Neptune, The Roman god of water and sea
GALATHEA Galathea, A Greek sea-nymph
THETIS Thetis, The Greek godess of water
HAVFRUEN The Mermaid
2den APRIL April 2, The battle of Copenhagen 1801
NAJADEN The Naiad, Greek nymph who presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, and brooks.
NYMFEN The Nymph

Re: Danish Submarines Names

Thank you very much, Henrik. Great help!

It would be nice to find out what is "Rota" :)

Re: Danish Submarines Names

I am having problems finding TUMLEREN - The Harbour Whale :( What is it?

The page about the submarine giving the translation "The Porpoise" (Phocoena phocoena)...


... but in Dansk it will be "Marsvin"...


I found "Tumler" in Norsk (bokmål)‬...


... but it is different animal (Tursiops truncatus) and in Dansk is called "Øresvin"...


So after which exactly animal Danish submarines were named???


Re: Danish Submarines Names

Rota is the name of a Valkyrie from Norse mythology

Re: Danish Submarines Names

Thank you, Thel!

Re: Danish Submarines Names

Tumleren is another name for Marsvin - in english porpoise.

Re: Danish Submarines Names

Thank you, Carsten Smedegård !

Re: Danish Submarines Names

I have been trying to find out what the meaning of ROTA is - in Danish naval usage - for quite a number of years now, to absolutely no avail.

See, in this quest of mine, my latest posting (dated February 23, 2012), under the heading "ROTA," on this web forum.

ROTA is the name of one of the Valkyries, from Old Norse mythology.

The problem with the Danish navy's utilization of the name ROTA is that there are about 25 different Valkyries which are known to us today - by individual name - from extant Old Norse sources. However, the Danish navy has only chosen this one particular Valkyrie ROTA to name Danish warships, to the exclusion of the individual names of the other Valkyries which are now known to us. The Danish navy has never utilized the name of any of the other 25 Valkyries, currently known to us, to name any of Denmark's warships, combat or otherwise.

All of the Danish warships named ROTA have been combat warships, rather than auxiliary naval vessels.

This practice of naming only Danish combat vessels ROTA is consistent with the "battle" connotations of the individual names of most of the Old Norse Valkyries which are now known to us. However, the strong battle connotations of the names of other Valkyries has not been utilized - aside from ROTA - by the Danish navy to name other Danish combat vessels, including other Danish submarines.

Re: Danish Submarines Names

Alex Kosolov -

Your inquiry specifically requests that the meaning of the names of Danish submarines be "explained."

As an initial observation, my personal impression is that the Danish navy does not have any rational policy of naming Danish naval ships, to the absurd extent that the Danish navy - in ignoring Denmark's own extremely rich heritage - uses Greek and Roman mythology to name Danish naval ships!

The Danish navy takes the bureaucratic trouble to create a "coat of arms" for each Danish naval ship's individual name - and the Danish navy even publishes official books which bureaucratically enshrine these individual ships' coats of arms - but often have only a vague idea about the meaning of the name itself, or how to effectively express this meaning in words, as is exhibited in the Danish navy's official bureaucratic explanation of an individual Danish ship's name - which explanations may provide a supposed explanation, but not necessarily an explanation which includes the "meaning" of the ship's name - e.g., the meaning of ROTA.

Old Norse bards (skalds?), the works of which are relied upon by modern scholars who study Old Norse mythology, were poets.

One major problem in attempting to understand the meaning of an Old Norse Valkyrie name like ROTA is that once a contemporary (often poetically or otherwise unimaginative) individual uses certain words to define, e.g., the meaning of, e.g., the name of an individual Valkyrie, those defining words are rigidly and mindlessly repeated by rote by all subsequent authors, as though these particular modern words were chiseled into a Rune stone somewhere.

[In history, one pervasively sees this tendency to mindlessly repeat anything which has been said before - as a conspicuous example, this has been going on for TWO THOUSAND YEARS since Aristotle, regarding Aristotle's and textbook "explanations" of informal fallacies.]

Another problem is that the Old Norse alphabet (and modern expressions thereof) is different from the Latin letters used in modern Scandinavian languages, and that these Old Norse letters were pronounced differently in Old Norse than they are pronounced in modern translations, as expressed in contemporary Scandinavian words utilizing the Latin alphabet.

In Old Norse, "Rota" means something like "turmoil" - to my mind, the nuanced concept of turmoil is expressed more poetically in, for example, in the English-language word "havoc," which to my mind also expresses the "turmoil" concept more forcibly.

In Old Norse mythology, the individual names of the individual Old Norse Valkyries often had "battle connotations" - like, for example, the names of many British destroyers in World War II. Take a random look at a minute portion of the names of British DESTROYERS - repeat, DESTROYERS (ergo, that which destroys) - and one sees names like FURY, HOSTILE, JACKAL, ONSLAUGHT, BRAZEN, DARING, ENCOUNTER, etc., etc., etc., etc.

Based on my reading and understanding, the Old Norse named their individual Valkyries in the same way the British named their WWII destroyers, with names that had battle connotations, like "Havoc" - or in British English, this may be spelled "Havock."

Apparently, the Old Norse did not want to send Valkyries, onto the battlefield to chose slain warriors, with Valkyrie names like INSIPID, LANGUID, DOCILE, IMPOTENT, SOMNOLENT, INEPT, COWARD.

Re: Danish Submarines Names

There is another unique feature regarding the meaning of, e.g., Old Norse names for Valkyries, i.e., the names and types of Old Norse mythological figures which accompanied a Valkyrie on a mission.

In ROTA's case, ROTA was typically accompanied by two other Old Norse mythological figures which rode out with ROTA on ROTA's missions. My memory is that at least of of these two other "riders" that accompanied ROTA was another type of Nordic mythological figure, such as a norn, which performed distinct Old Norse mythological functions.

My understanding is that within Old Norse society, the skaldic poets sang their poetic compositions to an audience, the members of which audience were challenged to understand the symbolic meanings of the interrelationship of all of the mythological figures interacting within the context of a skaldic composition. Therefore, to understand the meaning of ROTA's role, one would need to understand the symbolic mythological significance of the interrelationship of the riders who accompanied ROTA on a mission.

The foregoing is my understanding, and as such the "meaning" of an individual mythological figure in the compositions of the Nordic skalds is not so simple as just understanding the meaning of, e.g., the name of an individual Valkyrie.

Re: Danish Submarines Names

Acc. to Den Store Danske Encyklopædi is ROTA the latin name for "WHEEL"
Regards Peter

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