Liner SMS Wittelsbach

The liner SMS Wittelsbach belonged to the same ship 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 Wittelsbach took place on 3 July 1900, the commissioning on 15 October 1902.


Liner SMS Wittelsbach

Liner SMS Wittelsbach


Liner SMS Wittelsbach

Liner SMS Wittelsbach


Liner SMS Wittelsbach

Liner SMS Wittelsbach




History of SMS Wittelsbach:

After commissioning the usual test drives were made. It came on December 13, 1902 at the Great Belt to a ground touch, whereupon the ship stuck. Only on 20 December, the ship was released again and had to be brought to Kiel in the shipyard.

On March 1, 1903, the allotment was made as a flagship in the 1st Squadron until it was put out of service on 20 September 1910 for the time being.

The reactivation took place on November 16, 1911, the ship was relocated to the Baltic Sea. In the following years mainly maneuvers and training trips were carried out.


Liner SMS Wittelsbach

Liner SMS Wittelsbach


Liner SMS Wittelsbach

Liner SMS Wittelsbach




Use in the war:

With the outbreak of the First World War, the SMS Wittelsbach was assigned to the IV Squadron and remained in the Baltic Sea.

In the period up to 4 July 1915 several attempts were made in the Baltic Sea, but without enemy contact. In between, the Wittelsbach changed for a short time in the North Sea to take over there in the Elbe estuary and the Jade estuary backup services.

From August 1915, the Wittelsbach participated in the attack in the Gulf of Riga in support of the army in the attack on Riga. After the completion of the company in September, yet another push towards Gotland. Following the ship remained in Libau.

The transfer from Libau to Kiel took place on 10 November 1915. There, SMS Wittelsbach was assigned to the readiness division Baltic Sea and partly used as a recruiting drill.

The out of service on August 24, 1916, then the relocation to Wilhelmshaven.





After the war, the SMS Wittelsbach was still used from June 1, 1919 to July 20, 1920 as a mothership for shallow minesweepers in the Baltic Sea.

On March 8, 1921, the ship was then removed from the list of warships, sold and scrapped from 1921 to 1922 in Wilhelmshaven.




Ship data:


SMS Wittelsbach


German Empire

Ship Type:  





Imperial shipyard, Wilhelmshaven


Ca. 22.000.000 Mark


July 3rd, 1900


October 15th, 1902


Scrapped in Wilhelmshaven from 1921 to 1922


126,8 meters


20,8 meters


Max. 8,04 meters


Max. 12.798 Tons


683 Men


6 Thornycroft steam boilers and
6 transverse cylinder boilers
3 standing 3-cylinder compound steam engines


15.530 PSi

Maximum speed:  

18,1 kn


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

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

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

12 × 3,7 cm revolver cannon

6 torpedo tubes 45 cm (4 sides, 1 bow, 1 stern, under water, 12 - 16 shots)


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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