Wittelsbach Class Battleship

World War 1 Naval Combat

World War 1 Naval Combat

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SMS Wittelsbach Wittelsbach Class. Visually similar to the preceding Kaiser Friedrich III Class they can be distinguished by the flush main deck as opposed to the lower quarterdeck of the previous class.  They retained the weak main armament at a time when more powerful guns were standard in foreign equivalents.

SMS Wittelsbach
Built Wilhelmshaven Navy Dockyard, laid down September 1899, completed October 1902, cost 22,740,000 Marks

SMS Wettin
Built Schichau, Danzig, laid down October 1899, completed October 1902, cost 22,597,000 Marks.

SMS Zahringen
Built Germania, Kiel, laid down November 1899, completed October 1902, cost 22,275,000 Marks.

SMS Schwaben
Built Wilhelmshaven Navy Dockyard, laid down November 1900, completed April 1904, cost 21,678,000 Marks.

SMS Mecklenburg
Built A G Vulcan, Stettin, laid down May 1900, completed May 1903, cost 22,329,000 Marks.

Size:
Length 410 feet 9 inches waterline 416 feet overall, beam 74 feet 9 inches, draught 26 feet 4 inches, displacement 12,798 tons deep load.

Propulsion:
3 shaft Triple Expansion, 15,000 ihp, 17 knots.

Trials:
Wittelsbach 13,900 ihp = 17 knots
Wettin 15,530 ihp = 18.1 knots
Zahringen 14,875 ihp = 17.8 knots
Schwaben 13,253 ihp = 16.9 knots
Mecklenburg 15,171 ihp = 18.1 knots

Armour:
9-4in belt, 10in turrets, 3in decks

Armament:
4 x 9.4in 40cal (2 x 2), 18 x 5.9in (18 x 1), 12 x 3.4in (12 x 1), 5 x 17.7in TT

Comments:
Generally similar to their immediate predecessors but with a more extensive belt.  These ships were the first battleships produced under the Navy Law of 1898 brought about by Admiral Tirpitz.  Crew 683.

World War 1 Service:
Wittelsbach
IV Battle Squadron in the Baltic Sea.
26-31 August1914 attempt to help the beached cruiser SMS Magdeburg .
May 1915 support of the German army in the Baltic Sea.
11 July 1915 ran aground, but no damage.
August 1916 decommissioned.
1921 sold and scrapped.

Wettin
IV Battle Squadron in the Baltic Sea.
November 1915 into reserve.
August 1917 barrack ship at Kiel.
1921 sold for scrap.

Zahringen
IV Battle Squadron in the Baltic Sea.
26-31 August1914 attempt to help the beached cruiser SMS Magdeburg .
November 1915 torpedo training ship.
1945 sunk as a block ship.

Schwaben
IV Battle Squadron in the Baltic Sea.
1916 depot ship for minesweepers.
1920 sold for scrap.

Mecklenburg
4th Battle Squadron in the Baltic Sea.
1916 floating prison.
1920 sold for scrap.

SMS Mecklenburg.  The class, as with the earlier German Battleships were too weak, slow and vulnerable to play much of a role in the war.  After initially being used in a combat capacity they were used in various other roles such as depot, training or prisoner of war ships. SMS Mecklenburg

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