Siegfried class battleships (1889)

Germany (1889) Siegfried, Beowulf, Frithjof, Heimdall, Hildebrand, Hagen, Odin, ägir

A first step for a young navy

The Siegfried class battleships were a bit of a testimony of the humble beginnings of the German Navy. The young Kaiserliches Marine emerged in 1870 from the aggregation of several navies, inherited from various political entities which went back to the "Holy Roman Empire". The 1870s fleet (after the Franco-Prussian war, that ended with the unification of the German Empire) was composed of the ironclad ram Prinz Adalbert (1865), turret ship Arminius (1863), and central battery ironclads Friedrich Carl, Kronprinz, König Wilhelm, and Hansa (1872). The latter was the first major warship to be built in Germany, at Dantzig Dyd. All the others were either French or British-built. Following these were the Grosser Kurfürst class, three central battery ironclad (1873) and two Kaiser class (1874), and the four Sachsen (1877) and single Oldenburg (1884). All were discarded before ww1. So the new ships inaugurated a turreted modern design, that will be followed by the Brandenburg class from 1891.


The Hagen underway after reconstruction, prior to WW1

Symptoms of the philosophy before the arrival on the throne of Wilhelm II and his personal naval ambitions, these coastal battleships had no other vocation than the defense of the major German ports of the Baltic. Their dimensions allowed only for a modest armament, and they were comparable to the small capital units developed by the Scandinavian navies of the era. The German admiralty ordered these series in 1888-1893, launched in 1889-95 and accepted in 1890-96. They were ordered at Germaniawerft (1), Weser (2), Wilhelmshaven (1), Kiel Dyd (3) and Dantzig Dyd (1), private and government shipyards. All these ships, after the Hagen from 1898 which inaugurated the new design, were completely rebuilt in 1900-1904. Two 88 mm guns were added, the hulls were lengthened to 86.5 m, new boilers traduced by two funnels and a tonnage rising to 4,158 tons.

Design

Their configuration was singular, with three standard heavy guns, of which two were at the front on each side, and one at the rear, centerline. The Odin and Aegir, the last two ships, differed by a secondary armament comprising 10 x 88 mm, four 450 mm TTs, the armor, the two funnels and military masts. Thes ships were small, 76.40 meters at the waterline and 79 m long overall by 14.90 m (48 ft 11 in) and 5.51-5.74 m draft. The ships used transverse and longitudinal steel frames in the hull. They had eight watertight compartments and a double bottom that ran for 60% of the hull. After the refits, one more watertight compartment was added. The ships were described as good sea boats. They had gentle motion and were very responsive to commands from the helm but lost significant speed in heavy seas.


The SMS Siegfried before construction (wikimedia commons)

Armor

Protection consisted of compound steel (first three ships) or Krupp armor (the others backed by teak planking. The upper main armored belt was 240 millimeters (9.4 in) thick reduced to 180 mm (7.1 in) on both ends backed by 330 mm (13 in) of timber. The lower belt was 140 mm (5.5 in) thick, 100 mm (3.9 in) on both ends and backed by 290 mm (11 in) of timber. The main deck was 30 mm (1.2 in) thick up to 50 mm (Hagen and Heimdall) while the conning tower top was 30 mm (1.2 in) thick with 80 mm (3.1 in) sides up to 160 mm on the same ships. The hull sections also had a pronounced tumblehome in accordance to the fad of the era.

Propulsion

The Siegfrieds were powered by two 3-cylinder triple expansion engines, with their respective engine room, driving a pair of three-bladed screws 3.50 m in diameter. These TE engines were fed by eight German mixed-fired admiralty boilers. However Hagen had eight British-built Thornycroft boilers instead. Top speed, as observed in trials were about the same, Beowulf being the fastest at 15.1 knots (28.0 km/h; 17.4 mph) but it fall at 14.6 knots (Heimdall). In addition to the powerplant, three electric generators provided 29 to 26 [email protected] 67 volts and carried up to 220 t of coal and 220 t of fuel oil which maximized available space, for a total 1,490 nautical miles (2,760 km; 1,710 mi) at a cruising speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). At 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), the ships could only steam 740 nmi (1,370 km; 850 mi). The refit allowed larger holds, so total bunkerage rose to 580 t of coal and 500 t of fuel oil, rising their autonomy to 3,400 nautical miles at 10 knots.

Armament

Primary armament: 3 turrets with single 24-centimetre (9.4 in) K L/35 guns in a triangular arrangement inside MPL C/88 turrets. Traverse was 150 degrees on the broadside from the centerline, with a depression/elevation of −4 degrees/25 degrees. Maximum range was 13,000 m (43,000 ft), ammunition storage was 204 rounds, and these guns had a rate of fire of about 2 shells per minute, firing 1895 shell models, armor-piercing 140 kg (310 lb).

Secondary armament: Eight 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/30 guns (Siegfried six), 1,500 rounds of ammunition, the shells were 10 kg (22 lb) fired at a muzzle velocity of 590 m/s (1,936 m/s) and about 15 rounds per minute. Six machine guns were also fitted for some time. For close-quarters, four 35 cm (14 in) torpedo tubes were installed in the stern (above-water swivel mount), two laterally above water, and a fourth in the bow. 10 torpedoes were carried as reloads.


SMS Hagen in 1910, after reconstruction

Reconstruction

These ships were rebuilt through extensive refits between 1898 and 1904, the major changes consisting on having the hull lengthened to 86.13 m (282 ft 7 in) overall, and the draft slightly reduced to 5.45 m. Displacement rose to 3,500 metric tons, fully loaded at 3,741 t (3,682 long tons) and between 4,000 to 4,436 t (3,937 to 4,366 long tons) depending on the ship after 1910. Also after the refit they all received ten 8.8 cm guns and 2,500 rounds in storage rather than 1,500. Also stern and lateral tubes were replaced with 45 cm tubes, while lateral TTs were moved underwater submerged with 8 torpedoes in storage plus three for the bow tube.


SMS Hagen during reconstruction

Active service

In 1914, these eight ships consituted the sixth squadron of Rear-Admiral Eckermann in the Kaiserliches Marine. In 1915 they were demoted as local coast guards ships with a reduced crew until 1916 when they were completely disarmed. They were sold in 1919. Although four were broken up in 1919-1921 (the SMS Hildebrand was stranded on a Dutch sandbank during her transfer), the Beowulf served briefly as an ice-breaker. The Frithjof, Odin and Aegir were converted into cargo ships and survived until 1929-35.

The Odin class (1893)

This class is sometimes separated from the main coastal battleship class, although they are very similar. Conway's doesn't do the distinction. Just like the previous ships they were named after Norse god Odin and Ägir (or Aegir in modern German). They had eight watertight compartments and a double bottom for about 60% of the length of the hull and were considered better seaboats, although slower. They also had the same propulsion system and three electric generator units. However Aegir innovated and was sometimes nicknames "Electrische Anna" because of her increased number or power generator giving 243–250 kW at 120 V. Armament was identical, but for protection they had their main main battery barbettes and cupolas between 30 to 200 mm (1.2 to 7.9 in) thick backed by 200 mm (7.9 in) of teak.


Ägir in 1902

SMS Odin in 1900
SMS Odin in 1900

Both ships saw limited service after reconstruction because of the revolution brought up by the Dreadnought. A Second Naval Law (1908) therefore reduced their service life to 20 years and therefore Odin-class ships and the previous class were to be replaced by the Kaiser-class battleships.However the class was maintained in service for coastal defense but was withdrawn from active service in 1915. Odin was converted as a tender in Wilhelmshaven, struck on 6 December 1919 and sold to A. Bernstein Co. (Hamburg) and then converted as a freighter from 1922, while being finally scrapped in 1935. Ägir was also based at Wilhelmshaven, served as a barracks ship, was stricken on 17 June 1919, sold to the same Hamburg company and used also as a freighter until 1929 when she was grounded off the Karlsö lighthouse (Gotland Island). She was declared unsalvageable and later broken up in site, her bow ornament surviving to be displayed today at the Laboe Naval Memorial.


SMS beowulf in the 1890s

Links

wikipedia.org/wiki/Siegfried-class_coastal_defense_ship
wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin-class_coastal_defense_ship
http://www.kaiserliche-marine.de
http://www.sms-navy.com/
http://www.fr.naval-encyclopedia.com/1ere-guerre-mondiale/Kaiserliche-Marine.php
Specs Conway's all the world fighting ships 1860-1905, 1906-1921.

Siegfired specifications (before refit)

Dimensions76.40/79 m x 14.90 m x 5.70 m (259 ft 2 in x 48 ft 11 in x 18 ft 8 in)
Displacement3,500 metric tons (3,400 long tons)
Crew280
Propulsion2 screws, 2 VTE engines, 6 boilers, 4,800 ihp (3,600 kW)
Speed14.5 knots ()
Range 8,870 nmi (16,430 km, 10,210 mi) 19 knots (35 km/h, 22 mph)
Armament3 x 240mm, 10 x 88mm, 4 TLT 450 mm (SM: fore, aft, 2 sides)
ArmorTurrets 203, belt 230, blockhaus 230, barbettes 203 mm

Gallery

Siegfiried illustration
Illustration of the SMS Siegfried by the author

Naval History

⚑ 1870 Fleets
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Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
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Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
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Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
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WW1

☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
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Duncan class (1901)
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ww1 British cruisers
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WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
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Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
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USS Wichita (1937)
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WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
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Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
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GMT Evarts class (1942)
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USS Terror (1941)
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PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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