Liner SMS Schwaben

The liner SMS Schwaben belonged to the Wittelsbach class, which were built shortly after the turn of the century for the imperial navy to equip the German deep-sea fleet with powerful warships can.


Launching and design:

The ships of the Wittelsbach class are based on the predecessor ships of the Kaiser Friedrich III class, whereby there are no significant differences among the classes.

The launching of SMS Schwaben took place on 19 August 1901, the commissioning on 19 April 1904.


Liner SMS Schwaben

Liner SMS Schwaben




History of SMS Schwaben:

After the commissioning began on 18 May 1904, the test drives, with the first trip from Wilhelmshaven Cape Skagen should lead to Kiel. During this trip, the ship set to the north of Fehmarn on the ground, the hull was badly damaged and had to be repaired makeshift. After the test drives the Schwaben was briefly used as a torpedo training ship until it was assigned to the inspection of the artillery ship on 11 January 1905 and was used as an artillery training ship.

In the following years he took part in the annual maneuvers. On 14 October 1910, the Schwaben collided with the battleship SMS Elsass and then had until January 4, 1911 in Kiel for repair.

On November 30, 1911, the Schwaben was decommissioned and assigned to the reserve fleet. 1912 was still the short-term participation in the annual autumn maneuver.




Use in the war:

With the outbreak of the First World War, the reserve fleet was put back into service and the SMS Schwaben assigned to the newly formed IV. Squadron, whose task was to secure the Elbe estuary.

For the company in the Gulf of Riga in support of the army in the advance on Riga, the squadron was relocated to the Baltic Sea. After the end of the company was the Schwaben before Libau as a backup ship.

Since the ships of the Wittelsbach class were considered obsolete at the beginning of the war and were inferior to the new Russian ships of the Gangut class, the older ships were ordered from the Baltic to Kiel, with the Schwaben drove to Wilhelmshaven on. There it was used from 20 November 1915 as a drill and machine training ship, and from the spring of 1916 gradually the heavy and medium artillery was expanded.





According to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, the Schwaben did not belong to the ships that had to be interned or extradited.

The ship was first decommissioned on December 6, 1918 and then converted to a mothership for shallow minesweepers. After the reconstruction, the Swabians were relocated to the Baltic Sea to carry out their task.

On March 8, 1921, the final out of service and the deletion of the list of warships took place. In the same year the ship was then sold and scrapped in Kiel.




Ship data:


SMS Schwaben


German Empire

Ship Type:  





Imperial Shipyard, Wilhelmshaven


21.678.000 Mark


August 19th, 1901


April 19th, 1904


Scrapped in Kiel in 1921


126,8 meters


20,8 meters


Max. 8,04 meters


Max. 12.798 Tons


683 to 703 Men


6 Marine Boiler
6 transverse cylinder boilers
3 standing 3-cylinder compound machines


13.253 PS (9.748 kW)

Maximum speed:  

16,9 kn (31 km/h)


4 × Rapid Fire Gun 24,0 cm L / 40 (340 shots)

18 × Rapid Fire Gun 15,0 cm L / 40 (2.520 shots)

12 × Rapid Fire Gun 8,8 cm L / 30 (1.800 shots)

12 × Revolver cannon 3,7 cm

6 × torpedo tube ø 45 cm (4 sides, 1 bow, 1 stern, under water, 12 - 16 rounds)


Waterline: 100-225 mm on 100 mm teak
Deck: 50 mm
Slopes: 75-120 mm
Heavy Artillery:
Tower fronts: 250 mm
Tower ceilings: 50 mm
Medium artillery:
Shields: 150 mm
Casemates: 140 mm
Citadel: 140 mm
Front control station: 250 mm
Aft control station: 140 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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