The Dreadnoughts

1st and 2nd Battle Squadrons
1st and 2nd Battle Squadrons in Kiel (U.S. National Archives)

German battleship design started out well with the SMS Nassau and only got better. Broad and extensively compartmentalized, they were able to take extensive damage and still get home. Built with the North Sea in mind, where constant bad weather was expected to keep battling ranges short, German battleships were slow to adopt a heavier main armament that would make their ships more of a match for their British rivals, expecting a higher quantity of hits to make up for lesser effect of their small shells. But when they did decide to increase their gun size, they went whole heartedly into the 380mm (15") gunned Bayern, probably one of the most balanced battleship designs to come out of World War I.


Nassau Class
SMS Nassau, Westfalen, Rheinland, and Posen


Helgoland Class
SMS Helgoland, Ostfriesland, Thüringen, and Oldenburg


Kaiser Class
SMS Kaiser, Friedrich der Grosse, Kaiserin, König Albert, and Prinzregent Luitpold


König Class
SMS König, Grosser Kurfürst, Markgraf, and Kronprinz


Bayern Class
SMS Bayern, Baden, Württemberg, and Sachsen

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Last Update on 05/15/2008

This page © Copyright 2001, Thomas L. Tanner, Jr. unless otherwise noted.