Battleship SMS König Albert

The battleship SMS König Albert belonged to the Kaiser class and meant a large technical step in the construction and the development of large-scale ships, in which for the first time in the imperial navy capital ships were equipped with a turbine drive. The ships of the imperial class belonged to the most advanced warships of the imperial navy, but could never use their clout.


Launching and design:

The Kaiser class was an evolution of the Helgoland class, but had significant changes in the propulsion system and in the armament. Instead of the previous piston engine drive, a turbine drive with additional oil firing was installed, which led to a significant increase in performance.

While the number of guns was reduced from 6 to 5, the turrets were placed so they could fire in both directions.

By reducing the turrets could now also the saved weight in a stronger armor are invested, which the belt armor was raised to 350 mm. For the first time, the new nickel steel was also used in parts of the armor.

The launching of SMS König Albert took place on 27 April 1912, the commissioning on 31 July 1913.


Battleship SMS König Albert

Battleship SMS König Albert


Side view SMS König Albert


Battleship SMS König Albert

Battleship SMS König Albert




History of SMS König Albert:

After commissioning, the test drives were carried out at the König Albert before the ship together with the SMS Kaiser and the small cruiser Straßbourg Detached Division summarized to test the new turbine drives extensively.

On December 9, 1913, the trip to Cameroon and German Southwest Africa began from Wilhelmshaven to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. On June 17, 1914, the two ships Kaiser and König Albert returned to Kiel, the Straßbourg remained in Central


8,8cm anti-aircraft gun on the SMS König Albert

8,8cm anti-aircraft gun on the SMS König Albert


SMS König Albert in the floating dock

SMS König Albert in the floating dock




Use in the war:

With the outbreak of the First World War, the SMS König Albert was initially charged with securing tasks in the German Bight. In the course of the year 1914 and 1915 some attempts took place in the North Sea, which, however, remained without enemy contact.

In March and April 1916, the König Albert was again used for advances, then had to be overtaken in the Imperial shipyard Wilhelmshaven, which the ship could not participate in the Battle of the Skagerrak.

On December 1, the ships of the Imperial class were assigned to the IV Squadron. Until August 18, 1917, the König Albert was entrusted only with security tasks, then the ship had to Kiel for repair work, these were completed on 23 September. In October, the ship took part in the Albion company in the Baltic Sea, where the Baltic islands were conquered. Together with the SMS Friedrich der Große, the batteries were shot at Sworbe and Zerel.

The year 1918 was a long one for König Albert without great undertakings. The decisive battle with the naval command on 24 October 1918 against the British ships in which also the König Albert should take part, had to be broken off due to the revolts on some of the ships.





Under the terms of the ceasefire agreement, the SMS König Albert belonged to the ships of the Imperial Navy, which were to be delivered to the victorious powers and interned in Scapa Flow. The crossing with most other ships took place from Wilhelmshaven on 19 November 1918.

Since at the end of the negotiations in Versailles was foreseeable that the interned ships are no longer returned to Germany, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the crews of the ships on June 21, 1919 the order to self-subsidence, the König Albert sank at 12:54 clock.

On July 31, 1935, the wreck of the ship was lifted, towed to Rosyth and scrapped there in the course of 1936.


SMS König Albert during the scrapping




Ship data:


SMS König Albert


German Empire

Ship Type:  





Ferdinand Schichau, Danzig


45.761.000 Mark


April 27th, 1912


July 31st, 1913


Sunk on June 21, 1919 in Scapa Flow, lifted on July 31, 1935 and scrapped in 1936


172,4 meters


29 meters


Max. 9,1 meters


Max. 27.000 Tons


1.084 Men


16 marine kettles
3 Parsons turbines


39.813 PS (29.282 kW)

Maximum speed:  

22,1 kn (41 km/h)


10 × 30,5 cm L / 50 Rapid Fire Gun (860 rounds)

14 × 15 cm L / 45 Rapid Fire Gun (2.240 rounds)

12 × 8,8 cm L / 45 Rapid Fire Gun (of which 4 Anti-aircraft guns, 2.800 rounds)

5 torpedo tubes ∅ 50 cm (4 sides, 1 bow, under water, 19 shots)



Waterline: 120-350 mm
Deck: 60-100 mm
Torpedo bulkhead: 40 mm
Towers: 110-300 mm
Casemates: 170 mm
Front control station: 150-400 mm
Aft control console: 50-200 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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