Ironclad SMS Kaiser Friedrich III.

The SMS Kaiser Friedrich III. was one of the five battleships of the Kaiser-Friedrich III. Class, which together with the Brandenburg class should bring the German Navy up to the state of the art and replace the obsolete wooden ships.


Launching and design:

The basic construction of the Kaiser class was like that of the Brandenburg class. However, there were major changes in the superstructures, which were significantly larger and based on the French armored ships.

From the year 1895, the construction of the five ships at the Imperial Shipyard in Wilhelmshaven began. The launch of the SMS Kaiser Friedrich III. took place on 1 July 1896.


SMS Kaiser Friedrich III.

SMS Kaiser Friedrich III.


The propulsion of the ship class consisted for the first time of three standing three-cylinder triple expansion steam engines of four Thornycroft steam boilers and
8 cylinder boilers were driven and delivered 13,053 hp. This three shaft drive was also used in the following warships, except for the big cruiser.

The armor of the sides consisted of an improved Kc steel with a thickness of 300mm. Other armor was the 60mm deck, the 50-250mm towers and the 150mm casemates.

The heavy armament consisted of two twin towers with fast charging cannons and a caliber of 24cm. Although the caliber was lower than the Brandenburg class, these guns had a higher range and shooting performance. The medium artillery consisted of 18 15cm guns and the light artillery of 12 8,8cm guns.




History of SMS Kaiser Friedrich III .:

The Kaiser Friedrich was in the period from 7 October 1898 to February 1899 in the test phase, then it was assigned as a flagship of the I. Squadron. Until the end of 1899, the ship carried out predominantly representative tasks in the company of the Kaiserjacht Hohenzollern.

On April 2, 1901, the squadron moved from Danzig to Kiel, when the Kaiser Friedrich III. had heavy ground contact and as a result, was torn open over half of the ship's bottom. During the sealing work on the leaks, fire also broke out on the boilers due to the self-ignition of tar oil. The affected boiler room and ammunition rooms were flooded, the latter to avoid an explosion and thus the loss of the ship. The following day, the ship could be made roadworthy again so far that it could enter by itself with five knots in Kiel. The ship was put out of service due to the great reparations measures and was in the dock until the end of 1901.

After its re-commissioning 1902 took place from 1908 extensive modernization measures, which lasted until 1910. Then the ship did its duty as accompanying ship the reserve formation of the Baltic Sea.

With the outbreak of World War I, the SMS Kaiser Friedrich III. like the ships of the Brandenburg class the V. squadron. assigned and were entrusted with security tasks in the Baltic Sea.

In March 1915, the squadron was dissolved and the ships contained therein out of service.


SMS Kaiser Friedrich III.

SMS Kaiser Friedrich III.




The end of the SMS Kaiser Friedrich III .:

The decommissioning of the ship took place on 20 November 1915. Immediately, the 24cm guns were converted as railway batteries and brought to the Western Front. The rest of the ship was used as quarters for prisoners.

After the war in 1920, the ship was removed from the list of warships and the scrapping began.




Ship data:

Ship type Ironclad
Country Germany
Launching 1st of July, 1896
Whereabouts Scrapped in 1920
Plating Belt: 100-300mm on 250mm teak

Deck: 65mm

Towers: 50-250mm

Front control room: 30-250mm

Control room aft: 30-150mm

Casemates: 150mm

Drive 4 Thornycroft steam boilers
8 cylinder boiler
3 stationary 3-cylinder compound machines with 13,053 hp
Length 125,3 meters
Width 20,4 meters
Draft max. 8,25 meters
Displacement 11.785 metric tons
Speed Max. 17.3 knots
Arming 4 x rapid fire protection 24,0cm

18 x rapid fire protection 15.0cm

12 x rapid-fire gun 8,8cm

12 x machine cannon 3,7cm

6 × torpedo tube ⌀ 45 cm (1 in the bow, 2 laterally, under water, 1 stern over water)

Crew 622 - 651 men






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