Battlecruiser SMS Hindenburg

The large cruiser (also called battle cruiser) SMS Hindenburg belonged to the Derfflinger class and was a new development based on the experience of SMS Seydlitz and the ships of the Moltke class. The Derfflinger class was one of the last built in the Empire battlecruisers, but already showed the construction of groundbreaking progress and belonged to the strongest fighting ships of the German Navy.


Launching and design:

The design of the Derfflinger class stems from the ships of the Moltke class and the large cruiser SMS Seydlitz, which came out as an evolution from the Moltke class. Completely new was the construction with a smooth deck and the height-adjusted turrets. Of the newer small cruisers, the novel Längsspantsystem was taken over. In addition, the bow was redesigned and was designed completely vertically above the waterline, which increased the speed of the ship.

The combat strength was increased by the use of 30.5-cm fast charge guns in four twin towers, also unlike the predecessor ships. Although British ships had already used the caliber 35.5-cm, but the slightly smaller German caliber were due to the quality and bullet speed equal to those of the British.

The launching of SMS Hindenburg took place on 1 August 1915, the commissioning on May 10, 1917.


Launched SMS Hindenburg


SMS Hindenburg


SMS Hindenburg




Use in the war:

With the commissioning in May 1917, the SMS Hindenburg, as well as the two sister ships, too late operational to something to change the maritime warfare in favor of the German Empire something. In addition, after the Battle of the Skagerrak from May 31 to June 1, 1916, the navy management increasingly relied on the submarines and no longer on large operations with the large overwater vessels.

Also on the last last great naval battle between German and British ships at Helgoland on November 17, 1917, the Hindenburg could not participate because the British ships had already withdrawn when the ship arrived at the place.

For the remainder of the war, the ship did not participate in any further operations.

With the armistice conditions of November 1918 the Hindenburg belonged to the ships, which should be interned after Scapa flow.


Seal of SMS Hindenburg





When, during the peace negotiations, it was foreseeable that the interned German ships would no longer be returned to the German Empire, the German Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter issued orders to sink the ships on June 21, 1919. Due to the shallow waters, the Hindenburg could not completely sink, parts still towered out of the water until 1930 before the lifting and scrapping was started.


SMS Hindenburg at Scapa Flow


The sunken SMS Hindenburg




Ship data:


SMS Hindenburg


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Big cruiser (Battle cruiser)




Imperial Shipyard, Wilhelmshaven


59.000.000 Mark


August 1st, 1915


May 10th, 1917


Sunk on June 21, 1919 in Scapa Flow itself
1930 lifted and scrapped


210,4 meters


29 meters


Max. 9,57 meters


Max. 31.500 Tons


1.182 Men


14 Marine Boiler
2 set of marine turbines


72.000 PS

Maximum speed:  

27 kn (50 km/h)


8 × Rapid Fire Gun 30.5 cm L / 50 (720 shots)

14 × fast-fire gun 15.0 cm L / 45 (2.240 rounds)

4 × Anti-aircraft guns 8,8 cm L / 45 (1.800 rounds)

4 × torpedo tube ⌀ 60,0 cm (1 stern, 2 sides, 1 bow, under water, 12 shots)


Belt: 100-300 mm
Citadel: 270 mm
Deck: 30-80 mm
Torpedo bulkhead: 45 mm
Front command tower: 130-300 mm
Aft command tower: 50-200 mm
Casemate: 150 mm
Towers: 150-270 mm






You can find the right literature here:


German Battleships 1914–18 (1): Deutschland, Nassau and Helgoland classes (New Vanguard)

German Battleships 1914–18 (1): Deutschland, Nassau and Helgoland classes (New Vanguard) Paperback – February 23, 2010

Supported by official documents, personal accounts, official drawings and specially commissioned artwork, this volume is an enlightening history of the Deutschland to Osfriesland classes. Detailing the last of the pre-dreadnaught battleship classes, this book goes on to explain the revolutionary developments that took place within the German Imperial Navy as they readied themselves for war. This included creating vessels with vast increases in size and armament. This account of design and technology is supplemented by individual ship histories detailing combat experience complete with first-hand accounts. The specially commissioned artwork also brings this history to life with recreations of the battleship Pommern fighting at Jutland and ships of the Osfriesland class destroying HMS Black Prince in a dramatic night-time engagement.

Click here!



The Imperial German Navy of World War I, Vol. 1 Warships: A Comprehensive Photographic Study of the Kaiser’s Naval Forces

The Imperial German Navy of World War I, Vol. 1 Warships: A Comprehensive Photographic Study of the Kaiser’s Naval Forces Hardcover – December 28, 2016

The Imperial German Navy of WWI is a series of books (Warships, Campaigns, & Uniforms) that provide a broad view of the Kaiser's naval forces through the extensive use of photographs. Every effort has been made to cover all significant areas during the war period. In addition to the primary use of photographs, technical information is provided for each warship along with its corresponding service history; with a special emphasis being placed on those warships that participated in the Battle of Skagerrak (Jutland). Countless sources have been used to establish individual case studies for each warship; multiple photos of each warship are provided. The entire series itself is unprecedented in its coverage of the Kaiser's navy.

Click here!



German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations

German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations Hardcover – November 4, 2014

This is the most comprehensive, English-language study of the German Imperial Navy's battlecruisers that served in the First World War. Known as Panzerkreuzer, literally "armored cruiser," the eight ships of the class were to be involved in several early North Sea skirmishes before the great pitched battle of Jutland where they inflicted devastating damage on the Royal Navy's battlecruiser fleet. This book details their design and construction, and traces the full service history of each ship, recounting their actions, drawing largely from first-hand German sources and official documents, many previously unpublished in English.

Click here!



The Kaiser's Battlefleet: German Capital Ships 1871-1918

The Kaiser's Battlefleet: German Capital Ships 1871-1918 Hardcover – March 15, 2016

The battleships of the Third Reich have been written about exhaustively, but there is little in English devoted to their Second Reich predecessors. This new book fills an important gap in the literature of the period by covering these German capital ships in detail and studying the full span of battleship development during this period. The book is arranged as a chronological narrative, with technical details, construction schedules, and ultimate fates tabulated throughout, thus avoiding the sometimes disjointed structure that can result from a class-by-class approach. Heavily illustrated with line drawings and photographs, many from German sources, the book offers readers a fresh visual look at these ships. A key objective of the book is to make available a full synthesis of the published fruits of archival research by German writers found in the pre-World War II books of Koop & Schmolke, Großmer's on the construction program of the dreadnaught era, Forstmeier & Breyer on World War I projects, and Schenk & Nottelmann's papers in Warship International. As well as providing data not available in English-language books, these sources correct significant errors in standard English sources.

Click here!






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