Liner SMS Preußen

The liner SMS Preußen belonged to the Braunschweig class and was one of the first ships of the Imperial Navy, which was equipped with the new 28 cm SK L / 40 guns. Also the middle artillery was equipped for the first time with guns of the type 17 cm SK L / 40.


Launching and design:

The keel laying of the Preußen took place in April 1902 as a unit line ship of the Braunschweig class. The 5 mounted ships should replace the older ships of the Wittelsbach class and were in contrast to those due to the new armament significantly heavier.

For the first time, the 28 cm SK L/40 guns developed by Krupp were used in double towers on bow and stern on ships. The medium artillery got also for the first time guns of the type 17 cm SK L/40. Thus, the ships of the Braunschweig class belonged to the most heavily armed of the imperial navy in the time.

The launching of SMS Preußen took place on 30 October 1903, the commissioning on 12 July 1905.


Liner SMS Preußen

Liner SMS Preußen




History of SMS Preußen:

After commissioning, the usual test drives were carried out. With the completion of this was the transfer to the II. Squadron of the High Seas Fleet and in the following years the participation in several maneuvers.


Liner SMS Preußen firing at full speed, image by Willy Stöwer




Use in the war:

With the outbreak of the First World War, the SMS Preußen was used as flagship of the II Squadron. Due to its old age, however, the Preußen were only used to guard Öresund between Denmark and Sweden.

Since the Preußen at the time of the capitulation was considered technically outdated, it was not one of the ships that had to be delivered to the victors under the terms of the ceasefire.





In 1919, the SMS Preußen was taken to the new Reichsmarine and rebuilt in Wilhelmshaven to a mothership for flat minesweepers. Since the ship was not usable by the conversion, however, by top-heavy, was no use in the Imperial Navy.

On March 5, 1929, then the deletion from the list of warships, on February 25, 1931, the sale to a company and the subsequent scrapping.


The launched Preußen after the conversion to the mother ship for FM boats




Ship data:


SMS Preußen


German Empire

Ship Type:  





AG Vulcan, Szczecin




October 30th, 1903


July 12th, 1905


On February 25th, 1931 Sold and scrapped


127,7 meters


22,2 meters


Max. 8,16 meters


Max. 13.208 Tons


743 Men


3 upright 3-cylinder triple expansion piston machines
14 oil / coal fired steam boilers (of which 6 are cylinder boilers)
8 cylinder boiler
2 standing 3-cylinder compound machines



16.980 PSi

Maximum speed:  

18,5 kn (34 km/h)


4 × 28 cm L / 40 Rapid-fire gun

14 × 17 cm L / 40 Rapid-fire gun

18 × 8,8 cm L / 35 Rapid-fire gun

6 × 45 cm torpedo tubes


Belt: 225 mm
Towers: 250 mm
Citadel: 140 mm
Deck: 40 mm
Slope: 75 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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