Liner SMS Hannover

The liner ship SMS Hannover belonged to the Deutschland class and was thus one of the last unit warships built for the imperial navy. The Hannover survived the First World War and with its sister ships formed the basis for the later navy of the Weimar Republic.


Launching and design:

The Deutschland class emerged from the Braunschweig class, but was significantly smaller than comparable ships of other nations. As usual at that time, the heavy artillery on German ships consisted of 28-cm guns, larger caliber were used only in later ships.

The launching of the Hanover took place on 29 September 1905, the commissioning on 1 October 1907.


SMS Hannover


SMS Hannover


Three sailors of Hannover in 1910




Use in the war:

After commissioning, the usual test drives were carried out. When these were completed, the ship was assigned to the II Squadron.

With the outbreak of the First World War, Hanover was assigned to the High Seas Fleet, with which it also participated in the Battle of the Skagerrak from 31 May to 1 June 1916. Since the Hanover, together with her sister ships, due to their low speed the other ships drove, they were hardly involved in the fighting. In the retreat, however, they were overtaken by the British torpedo boat destroyers and attacked, the sister ship SMS Pommern was sunk by a torpedo hit.

On 30 November 1916, the spin-off from the High Seas Fleet and the acquisition of security services in the Baltic Sea took place.


SMS Hannover


SMS Hannover




Use in the Navy of the Weimar Republic:

Since the ships of the Deutschland class were completely outdated at the time of the armistice negotiations, these did not have to be delivered to the victorious powers. With the Treaty of Versailles of June 21, 1919, Germany was granted a fleet of 8 old liners, which consisted of 3 ships of the Deutschland class.

In February 1921, thus, the reactivation of Hannover as a ship of the new Imperial Navy, which was to serve as the flagship of the Baltic Sea forces.

In the period from May 14 to June 17, 1926, all major warships were involved in the Atlantic and Spain trip.

On March 1, 1927, the Hannover was decommissioned to carry out some modernization measures until they were reassigned to the fleet in February 1930 and to replace the SMS Elsass.

In September 1931, then the final out of service and in 1936 she was removed from the list of warships.





A planned conversion to a target ship for airplanes was set by the new guidance of the navy, instead starting from May 1944 in Bremerhaven with the scrapping which was completed in October 1946.




Ship data:


SMS Hannover


German Empire

Ship Type:  





Imperial Shipyard, Wilhelmshaven


24.253.000 Mark


September 29th, 1905


October 1st, 1907


Scrapped from May 1944 to October 1946


127,6 meters


22,2 meters


Max. 8,25 meters


Max. 14.218 Tons


743 Men


12 Marine Boiler
3 3-cylinder compound machines


17.768 PS (13.068 kW)

Maximum speed:  

18,5 kn (34 km/h)


4 × Rapid Fire Gun 28,0 cm L / 40 (340 shots)

14 × Rapid Fire Gun 17,0 cm L / 40 (1.820 rounds)

20 × Rapid Fire Gun 8,8 cm L / 35 (2.800 rounds)

6 × torpedo tube ø 45,0 cm (under water, 16 rounds)



Belt: 100-240 mm on 80 mm teak
Citadel: 170 mm
Armor deck: 40-97 mm
Command tower: 30-300 mm
Towers: 50-280 mm
Casemates: 170 mm
Shields: 70 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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