kaiserliche-marine

The Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) battlecruiser SMS Moltke during a visit to Hampton Roads, Virginia in 1912. She participated in most major fleet actions conducted by the German Navy during the First World War, taking damage several times.

During the Battle of Jutland, on the last night of May 1916 Moltke came under fire from Britain’s new fast battleships, coming to the rescue of their own battlecruisers. The four Queen Elizabeth-class super dreadnoughts she faced were carrying new and very powerful 15″ guns. Within 10 minutes she had been hit. The shell pierced a coal bunker, tore into a casemate deck and ignited ammunition stored there. The explosion burned the ammunition hoist down to the magazine, but there it stopped. Another 15″ shell struck the No. 5 starboard 5.9″ secondary. The ship returned home with 16 dead and 20 wounded. She herself had hit the British battlecruiser HMS Tiger 13 times, which suffered 24 men killed and 46 wounded from 18 hits.

The Queen Elizabeth-class super-dreadnought HMS Valiant at Scapa Flow, Scotland, in 1918 - with her German counter SMS Baden in the background. It cannot be said whether this was taken before or after the interned German High Seas Fleet and Baden were scuttled in a last defiant act. However, Baden was run aground when a British crew managed to board her. She was subsequently raised and thoroughly examined. 

Capable of reloading faster than the Queen Elizabeth-class, in around 2/3 the time, they were evenly armoured and the QE-class was faster by roughly 4 knots. One British Commander who lived aboard Baden for some weeks during testing later said to a historian that it was his “considered opinion - which I know coincided with that of others engaged on the same job - that, considered as a fighting machine, anyhow on balance the Baden was markedly in advance of any comparable ship of the Royal Navy”. Lessons learnt from the ships inspection and testing against new British 15″ guns were applied in the design of the Nelson-class. Chiefly, the 7″ medium thickness armour used on Baden proved useless against large-caliber shells. As a result, the Nelson-class were designed to the all-or-nothing armour scheme first used by the United States.

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UB-110 was a Type III U-boat. It was sank on July 19th 1918, was probably the last u-boat sank during world war one. Twenty three of her thirty one crew died during her destruction. On October 4th 1918 she was raised from her watery grave and sold for scrap metal. 

These pictures were taken just prior to her being broken up for scrap. They show the cramped conditions on board that the crew had endured. 

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SMS Rheinland- 1914

SMS Rheinland was one of four Nassau-class battleships, the first dreadnoughts built for the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Rheinland mounted twelve 28 cm (11 in) main guns in six twin turrets in an unusual hexagonal arrangement. 

The navy built Rheinland and her sister ships in response to the revolutionary British HMS Dreadnought, which had been launched in 1906. Rheinland was laid down in June 1907, launched the following year in October, and commissioned in April 1910.