Battleship SMS Sachsen

The battleship SMS Sachsen was the third ship in the Bayern class, a type of large-scale ships that were considered to be one of the most modern ships in the world at the time. Due to the First World War and the associated scarcity of raw materials and shipyard workers, however, the Sachsen could not be completed.


Launching and design:

The SMS Sachsen belonged to the Bayern class and was a further development of the Nassau class, which was intended as a counterweight for the newly emerged British dreadnought ships. The experience of the Nassau ships accordingly flowed into the development of the Bayern class, which particularly concerned the caliber of heavy guns and armor.

In contrast to the other ships of the Bayern class, Sachsen lost the middle turbine set. Instead, it was planned to install a 12,000hp two-stroke six-cylinder diesel engine. However, this was still in the test phase at the time of the launch and should have been installed later.

On April 7, 1914, the construction began. Due to the withdrawal of the shipyard workers in the military service and the scarcity of raw materials due to the First World War, delayed the construction of the Sachsen significantly. In addition, after the launch on November 21, 1916 other projects were brought forward, so that the work came to a standstill.


The battleship SMS Sachsen under construction seen from port side


The battleship SMS Sachsen under construction seen from above





The capitulation of the German Empire took place 9 months before the planned completion of the ship. Since under the provisions of the Versailles Treaty Germany warships over a size of 10,000 tons was prohibited, the ship had to be deleted on November 3, 1919 from the list of warships.

In 1920 it was sold and scrapped in 1921 at the Arsenalmole in Kiel.




Ship data:


SMS Sachsen


German Empire

Ship Type:  





Germaniawerft, Kiel


ca. 49.000.000 Mark


November 21st, 1916


Not completed


Scrapped in Kiel in 1921


182,4 meters


30 meters


Max. 9,4 meters


Max. 32.500 Tons


1.171 Men




9 Marine Boiler
2 Parsons turbines
1 MAN 6-cylinder diesel engines


54.000 PS (39.717 kW)

maximum speed:  

22,25 kn (41 km/h)




8 × Rapid Fire Gun 38 cm L / 45 (720 shots)

16 × Rapid-fire gun 15,0 cm L / 45 (2.560 shots)

8 × Anti-aircraft guns 8,8 cm L / 45 (3.200 shots)

5 × torpedo tube ∅ 60 cm (1 bow, 4 sides, under water, 20 shots)


Belt: 30-350 mm
Deck: 90-120 mm
Towers: 100-350 mm
Barbettes: 40-350 mm
Casemates: 170 mm
Front command post: 50-400 mm
Aft command post: 50-170 mm
Citadel: 250 mm
Torpedo bulkhead: 50 mm
Transverse bulkhead: 170-200 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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