Battleship SMS Thüringen

The battleship SMS Thüringen belonged to the Helgoland 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 battleships, which appeared at least equal to the caliber size of the British ships. These 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 SMS Thüringen took place on 27 November 1909, the commissioning on 10 September 1911.


Battleship SMS Thüringen

Battleship SMS Thüringen




History of SMS Thüringen:

After commissioning and the usual test drives the Thüringen was assigned to the I. Squadron and performed some maneuvers

Following the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne in Serbia, Thuringia took part in a trip to Norway together 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 Thüringen was involved in the Battle of the Skagerrak, where they could sink the British armored cruiser HMS Black Prince.

At the beginning of November, according to the naval order of October 24, 1918, Thüringen was to take part in the decisive battle against the British Navy. Due to the resulting revolt on some ships of the High Seas Fleet, was also taken on the Thüringen on 6 November 1918, the command of the soldiers' councils and the order to leak expelled. Only after the revolt was crushed, the ship returned on 9 November back in Wilhelmshaven.





According to the provisions of the Versailles Treaty, SMS Thüringen had to be handed over to France as a reparation service.

On April 29, 1920, the ship was brought to Cherbourg and handed over to the French navy. These used the Thüringen until 1923 as a target ship.

After use Gavres was started with the scrapping, with a large part of the ship was sunk in the sea.




Ship data:


SMS Thüringen


German Empire

Ship Type:  





AG Weser, Bremen


46.314.000 Mark


November 27th, 1909


September 10th, 1911


Scrapped in Gavres from 1923 to 1933


167,2 meters


28,5 meters


Max. 8,94 meters


Max. 24.700 Tons


1.113 Men


15 Marine Boiler
3 stationary 4-cylinder compound machines


34.944 PS (25.701 kW)

Maximum speed:  

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
(4 sides, 1 bow, 1 stern under water, 16 shots)


Waterline: 120-300 mm
Deck: 55-80 mm
Torpedo bulkhead: 30 mm
Towers: 100-300 mm
Casemates: 170 mm
Front control station: 100-400 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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