The battleship SMS Ostfriesland belonged to the Heligoland ship class and was the first warship in the imperial navy whose main armament was 30.5-cm for the first time. It was one of the most advanced warships in the navy, but was used as the largest part of the fleet predominantly defensive.
Launching and design:
Between 1907 and 1908 drafts were submitted to replace older armored ships against modern large-scale ships, which appeared at least equal to the caliber size of the British ships. This included the Helgoland class with a total of 4 ships were planned. Unlike the British ships, the Helgoland class placed great emphasis on armor, which was more pronounced than other ships.
At the time of ship planning, the designers had already known the principle of over-firing gun turrets, but in the Helgoland class, the main artillery was divided into 6 twin towers, with 1 tower each on the midship line and 2 towers each on port and starboard.
The launching of the SMS Ostfriesland took place on 30 September 1909, the commissioning on 1 August 1911.
History of SMS Ostfriesland:
After commissioning and the usual test drives the Ostfriesland was assigned on September 22, 1911 the 1st Squadron, the ship was appointed on 29 April 1912 the flagship.
Following the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne in Serbia, Ostfriesland took part in a trip to Norway along with the other ships of the German fleet. As the diplomatic crisis worsened, the ships were ordered back ahead of schedule.
Use in the war:
With the outbreak of the First World War, the ships of the 1st Squadron were entrusted with security tasks in the North Sea to intercept invading British ships.
In the course of 1915 several attempts were made with the squadron. Thus, on January 24, 1915, the large ships covered the retreat of the German ships after the battle on the Dogger Bank or performed security tasks during the advance into the Riga Bay in August.
From 31 May to 1 June 1916 East Frisia was involved in the Battle of the Skagerrak, where they could sink a British destroyer and the armored cruiser HMS Defense. On the way back the ship ran on a sea mine, leading to a dead and invading water. Subsequent repairs continued until 25 July 1916. In October, Ostfriesland was involved in the occupation of the Baltic islands.
The last foray of the ship was carried out during the night of 23rd to 24th April 1918 in the North Sea. In early November, the Ostfriesland should participate according to the fleet command of October 24, 1918 in the decisive battle against the British Navy. Due to the resulting revolt on some ships of the High Seas Fleet, the command authority was taken over on the Ostfriesland on 6 November 1918 by the soldiers' councils and the command to expire. Only after the revolt was crushed, the ship returned on 9 November back in Wilhelmshaven.
According to the terms of the ceasefire, SMS Ostfriesland was not one of the ships to be interned in Scapa Flow. It took place on 16 December 1918 out of service in Germany and on 5 November 1919 the deletion of the list of warships.
Only through a request from the victorious powers after the conclusion of the Versailles Treaty, the SMS Ostfriesland had to be delivered as reparation to the United States. Thus, the ship ran on April 7, 1920 from Wilhelmshaven to Rosyth in Scotland, where it was surrendered and put into the service of the US Navy.
Since the US Navy had no use for the ship, it was put on 20 September 1920 out of service. On January 4, 1921, the ship sailed to Cape Henry off Virginia Beach to be used as a target ship for aerial bombs.
After the 3rd attack on July 21, 1921, the ship was damaged so badly that it turned to the side and was sunk within 10 minutes.
Imperial Shipyard, Wilhelmshaven
September 30th, 1909
August 1st, 1911
Sunk on July 21st, 1921 as a target ship for aerial bombs
Max. 8,94 meters
Max. 24.700 Tons
1.113 to 1.192 Men
15 Marine boiler
34.944 PS (25.701 kW)
21,0 kn (39 km/h)
12 × 30,5 cm L / 50 Rapid Fire Gun (1.020 rounds)
14 × 15 cm L / 45 Rapid Fire Gun (2.100 rounds)
14 × 8,8 cm L / 45 Rapid Fire Gun (of which 2 Anti-aircraft guns, 2.800 rounds)
6 torpedo tubes ⌀ 50 cm
Waterline: 120-300 mm
You can find the right literature here:
German Battleships 1914–18 (1): Deutschland, Nassau and Helgoland classes (New Vanguard)
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.
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 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.
German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations
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.
The Kaiser's Battlefleet: German Capital Ships 1871-1918
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.