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                            Responsible for the content: Lena Johansson, Karlskrona kommun. Photo: Lena Johansson unless otherwise stated 

af Chapman

In 1782 a new era was ushered in at the Karlskrona Yard when Fredric Henric af Chapman was appointed Admiral Superintendent and commissioned to create a completely new fleet for Gustav III’s coming war with, as it turned out, Russia. Chapman, who came from an English family of shipwrights, was born in Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden.
 
He had studied at French, Dutch and English shipyards and in Finland acquired a sound knowledge of the wood and timber needed in shipbuilding. Chapman brought new mathematical methods to ship design, and had previously worked with Augustin Ehrensvärd at the Swedish bases of Stralsund and Sveaborg where he had built new types of vessels for the galley fleet. Chapman had previously built various ships for the Navy as well as drawn up plans for the major warships that would later be launched in Karlskrona.
As Admiral Superintendent, Chapman reorganised the entire shipbuilding process at the dockyard. He introduced the principles of standardised production and the amazingly short time of three years saw the construction of no less than 10 ships of the line and 10 frigates. Until then it had taken several years to build but a single vessel.
 
In 1784 Augustin Ehrensvärd’s son, Admiral Carl August Ehrensvärd, was appointed C-in-C of the Karlskrona Naval Base. A man of letters, well versed in philosophy and art history, he had travelled to Italy where he had been inspired by the classical ideals of Greek and Roman architecture and together with Chapman he created several impressive buildings at the Navy Yard. These included the Plans and Ships’ Models building, the Sculptors’ workshop and the No. I Storehouse.