Battleship SMS Deutschland

The SMS Deutschland belonged to the same ship class, which were built as the last unit type ships in the German imperial area. Already at the beginning of the First World War, the ship was outdated, but survived this and was one of the few ships that were left after the surrender of the Weimar Republic.


Launching and design:

At the beginning of the 20th century, concepts were developed to further upgrade the imperial navy. The concept of the Deutschland class was similar to the already set up shortly before Braunschweig class held. These got for the first time the 28 cm SK L / 40 guns developed by Krupp as well as the ships of the Deutschland class. However, the armor was slightly stronger than the Braunschweig class. With a maximum displacement of around 14,000 tons, however, the ships were significantly smaller than those of the other maritime powers. With the Dreadnought class, which was newly developed in the United Kingdom and was under construction at that time, the ships of the Deutschland class were already outdated before the launch and were clearly inferior to the new ships of the British.

The launch was still on 20 November 1904 without modernization measures, which was sharply criticized in politics. For changes to the ships, however, was probably missing at this time the money, also was the first inaugurated Kaiser Wilhelm Canal in Schleswig-Holstein not designed for larger vessels.


SMS Deutschland




History of SMS Deutschland:

The commissioning of Deutschland took place on 3 August 1906, already on 26 September she became the flagship of Prince Henry, the new chief of the High Seas Fleet. Until August 1907, some sea maneuvers and test drives were made.

During the turn of the year from 1907 to 1908 a stronger radio system was installed. From July 13, 1098 to August 13, 1908, some trans-ocean voyages took place, as well as 1909. After the appointment of Vice Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff to the fleet chief, the transfer of Prince Henry took place.


Tsar Nicholas II in German uniform and Kaiser Wilhelm II in Russian uniform on the deck of SMS Deutschland




Use in the war:

At the outbreak of the First World War, the SMS Deutschland was assigned to its sister ships of the Deutschland class of the 2nd Squadron and was used to secure the Elbe estuary.

From May 31, 1916 to June 1, 1916, the ship also participated in the Battle of Skagerrak, but had no major involvement in this.

After the Battle of Skagerrak, the four ships of the Deutschland class (the SMS Pommern sunk in the Battle of Skagerrak) were assigned to coastal protection. On August 15, 1917, the 2 squadron was completely dissolved and SMS Deutschland 10 September 1917 put out of service and relocated to Kiel, where their heavy guns were removed. Subsequently, the ship was relocated to Wilhelmshaven and served there as a residential ship.


SMS Deutschland front turret


Seal mark of SMS Deutschland

Seal mark of SMS Deutschland





Since the ships of the Deutschland class at the time of the capitulation of the German Empire in November 1918 were already completely outdated, they did not have to be delivered to the victorious powers. In addition, the Deutschland from 1917 was no longer operational as a warship. It was therefore deleted on January 25, 1920 from the list of warships, sold and then scrapped.

Of Deutschland are still preserved today the ship's bell, which is exhibited in the mausoleum of Prince Henry in Hemmelmark and the Bugzier, which is in the underwater weapons school in Eckernförde.




Ship data:


SMS Deutschland


German Empire

Ship Type:  





Germaniawerft, Kiel


24.481.000 Mark


November 20th, 1904


August 3rd, 1906


Scrapped in 1920


127,6 meters


22,2 meters


Max. 8,25 meters


Max. 14.218 Tons


743 Men


8 Marine Boiler
6 cylinder boiler
3 3-cylinder compound machines


16.990 PS (12.496 kW)

Maximum speed:  

18,6 kn (34 km/h)


4 × Rapid Fire Gun 28.0 cm L / 40 (340 shots)

14 × fast-fire gun 17.0 cm L / 40 (1.820 rounds)

20 × Rapid Fire Gun 8.8 cm L / 35 (2,800 rounds)

6 × torpedo tube ∅ 45.0 cm (under water, 16 shots)



Belt: 100-225 mm on 80 mm teak
Citadel: 170 mm
Armor deck: 40-97 mm
Command tower: 30-300 mm
Towers: 50-280 mm
Casemates: 160 mm
Shields: 70 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.

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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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