Imperial shipyard Kiel

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Imperial shipyard Kiel

The Kaiserliche Werft Kiel (KWK from 1867 to 1920) was, along with the Kaiserliche Werft Danzig and the Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven, one of three shipyards that produced warships for the navy of the German Empire and also naval aircraft during World War I. The four seaplanes manufactured by KW Kiel had the IDs: 463–466. The two shipyards in Kiel and Danzig , as the oldest of the three shipyards, also built for the Navy of the North German Confederation .


Extension of the coastal armored ship SMS Hagen 1899. Illustration from the magazine Die Gartenlaube.

Almost all of the Kiel shipyard only built larger ships - such as cruisers - for the Imperial Navy and only received an order for the manufacture of a turbine U-cruiser towards the end of the First World War . She was responsible for the construction of new ships, the repair as well as the creation and improvement of the general equipment of all ships of the Imperial Navy, whereby the new building of ships only made up a small part of the work performance of the shipyard. Since the imperial shipyards were organized and managed strictly militarily, the shipyard director was also a naval officer , and the economic performance was correspondingly lower than in privately organized shipyards, since the naval shipyards had to guarantee repairs and material stocking in addition to new buildings. Before the Germaniawerft and the Howaldtswerke , the Kaiserliche Werft Kiel was the largest shipyard based in Kiel and in 1882 employed around 3,500 people, three times as many workers as the Howaldtswerke.


Around 1865 the Kingdom of Prussia established a military depot on the Schwentine in Kiel. In 1867, Kiel became the naval port of the North German Confederation and the North German Confederation's naval shipyard was established as the Royal Shipyard in Kiel . This was built on the former site of the shipyard previously founded by Georg Howaldt after the shipyard had moved to the Schwentine estuary. With the proclamation of the German Empire on January 18, 1871, the Navy of the North German Confederation became the Imperial Navy and the Royal Shipyards were renamed Imperial Shipyards .

From 1881 to 1885 Rear Admiral Kühne was her senior shipyard director .

Main building of the workers' park of the Kaiserliche Werft Kiel, colored wood engraving by Fritz Stoltenberg, 1901

When the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal was finally completed in 1895 , the Kaiserliche Werft Kiel moved to Kiel- Gaarden-Ost in 1899 . In the years 1899 to 1904 the area of ​​the shipyard expanded so far that the Germania shipyard in the south had to cede part of its premises to the Imperial Shipyard. The business continued to grow to the north and in 1904 the last remnants of the old fishing village of Ellerbek disappeared with the expansion of the shipyard . To connect the two parts of the shipyard, the transporter ferry was completed in 1910 and soon became a landmark of Kiel.

After the end of the First World War and the final dissolution of the Imperial Shipyards in 1920, the Imperial Shipyard Kiel first became the Reichswerft Kiel , which from 1925 was part of Deutsche Werke AG in Berlin as Deutsche Werke Kiel AG (DWK) .

Web links

Commons : Kaiserliche Werft Kiel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 54 ° 19 ′ 10 ″  N , 10 ° 9 ′ 28 ″  E

Individual evidence

  1. Christa Geckeler: Establishment of a naval shipyard in Ellerbek ( Memento of the original from September 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , at:, accessed on May 25, 2016  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Photos: Kaiserliche Werft Kiel , on:, accessed on May 25, 2016
  3. Jürgen Jensen: Kiel in the Empire. The appearance of the naval station of the Baltic Sea 1871-1918 , special publication of the Society for Kiel City History, Volume 9, Neumünster 1978
  4. ^ Rüdiger Wenzel: Population, Economy and Politics in Imperial Kiel between 1870 and 1914 , special publication by the Society for Kiel City History, Volume 7, Kiel 1978