Victoria Luise class armoured cruisers (1897)

Victoria Luise class armoured cruisers (1897)

German Empire (1896) Victoria Luise, Freya, Vineta, Herta, Hansa

The first German armoured cruisers:
The second class of German “battlecruisers” appeared after SMS Kaiserin Augusta, later used as a training ship. These were more compact vessels and more maneuverable than the latter, but heavier, with a roll and other motions at sea which would vary according to the units and their shipyards.
The Victoria Luise class started in 1896 in Weser, Vulcan and Danzig, including the Victoria Luise, Herta, Freya, Vineta and Hansa, launched in 1897-98 and accepted for service in 1898-99.

The names has mostly semi-mythological origin, apart Victoria Luise which was a Prussian Princess, last daughter of Emperor Wilhelm II. Freya was the Norse goddess of love, fertility and death, as well as Hertha for fertility, another goddess, Vineta was a mythical city at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea and Hansa was about the famous Hanseatic League.

Note: This post is a placeholder. There will be a complete overview of the class in the next future, officially released on Facebook and other social networks

SMS Victoria Luise in the Hudson River
SMS Victoria Luise in the Hudson River before the war

Design of the Victoria Luise

prow of SMS Hansa II in drydock – Bundesarchiv

Victoria Luise – Ships drawing

They were more powerfully armed than the previous Kaiserin Augusta, with 210 mm pieces in single turrets and 150 mm pieces in broadside batteries. The 105 mm pieces were banned from this type of ship. They sported also for the first time a characteristic bow combining the advantages of a clipper bow and a spur. Protection was not high, but they traded this for speed. These cruisers served as a basis for developments that were to follow.
Armed with massive military masts, three funbels, and heavy in the high, they were rebuilt (new boilers, single masts, two pieces of 150 mm and 10 heavy machine guns removed, an 88 mm added).

SMS Hansa II
SMS Hansa II – Bundesarchiv


In 1914 they constituted the 5th lighting squadron, the Freya serving on its side as a training ship in the eastern squadron. Subsequently, in 1915, the four units were in turn reclassified as training ships, in the same wing, then in 1916 disarmed (except the Freya) and used as utility ships. An attempt was made to reuse the Victoria Luise in 1920 as a freighter after a major transformation, but in reality she was not very successful and was broken up two years later. So much German trade companies were desperate for ships after the war. The others were broken up in 1919-21.

SMS Hertha at Dar-Es-Salaam
SMS Hertha at Dar-Es-Salaam

SMS Victoria Luise 1898 specifications

Dimensions 110,6 x 17,4 x 6,94 to 7 m depending of the builder
Displacement 6,400 – 6,600 tonnes Fully Loaded
Crew 477
Propulsion 3 triple expansion steam engines, 8 boilers, 10,500 hp.
Speed 18.5 knots (34 km/h; 20 mph)
Range 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Armament 2 x 210 ( 2×1 ), 6 x 150, 11 x 88 mm, 3 x 450 mm TTs.
Armor Decks 100 mm, berbettes and min turrets 100 mm.

blueprint 2 view victoria luise

sms victoria luise illustration
SMS Victoria Luise Illustration


Specs Conway’s all the world fighting ships 1860-1905. J. Gardiner
The V.Luise class on wikipedia
Victoria Luise On

The Modeller’s corner:
Paper Model by Fentens

Helgoland class Battleships (1909)
WW1 German Commerce Raiders

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