SMS Braunschweig (1902)

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German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) Naval flag 1920-1934
Bundesarchiv DVM 10 Bild-23-61-31, ship of the line of the Braunschweig class.jpg
A ship of the line of the Braunschweig class
Construction data
Shipyard Germania shipyard , Kiel
construction no. 97
Keel laying October 24, 1901
Launch December 20, 1902
Commissioning April 14, 1904
Whereabouts Retired March 31, 1931 ,
then Hulk in Wilhelmshaven
Technical specifications
Displacement normal: 13,208 t
maximum: 14,394 t
length Water line: 126 m
over all: 127.7 m
width 22.2 m
Draft 8.16 m
  • 4 × 28 cm L / 40 Sk
  • 14 × 17 cm L / 40 Sk
  • 18 × 8.8 cm L / 35 Sk
  • 6 × 45 cm torpedo tubes
Machine system 3 standing 3-cylinder
triple expansion piston engines
14 oil / coal-fired steam boilers
(6 of which are cylinder boilers )
3 screws (central shaft: 4-wing Ø 4.5 m; outer shaft: 3-wing Ø 4.8 m)
Drive power 16,809 PSi
Fuel supply 1,670 tons of coal and 240 tons of oil
speed 18.7 kn
Driving range 5,200 nm at 10 kn
crew 35 officers and 708 men
Seal of the Imperial Navy - (Mirrored) - Command SMS Braunschweig

The ship of the line SMS Braunschweig was the type ship of a class of ships of the line of the Imperial Navy . It was named after the then Duchy of Braunschweig .

The old ship of the line served in the Reichsmarine from 1922 to 1926 .



The Braunschweig and its sister ships were the first to carry rapid-fire guns with a caliber of 28 cm.


The launch of the SMS Braunschweig

Their construction was supervised by August Müller . The keel laying of the Braunschweig took place on October 24, 1901 at the Germania shipyard in Kiel . She was the third ship of the line from this shipyard for the Imperial Navy . The launch took place on December 20, 1902. The baptism was carried out by the then Prince Regent of the Duchy of Braunschweig, Prince Albrecht of Prussia , who also gave the baptismal address. On October 14, 1904, the Braunschweig was put into service, its construction costs at that time amounted to 23,893,000 marks .

Pre-war missions

She completed her test drives until December and then joined the Second Squadron. There she was until December 1905 and from September 1907 to April 1912 the flagship of the second admiral of the squadron.

The routine service in the fleet was interrupted on 22 November 1905, when she the brother of the emperor, Prince Henry , at that time Chief of Naval Station Baltic, took on board to him to the coronation of the Danish Prince Christian to King of Norway after Christiania bring. The Braunschweig stayed in today's Oslo from November 24th to 29th and returned to Kiel on the 30th. She took part in the Atlantic voyages of the fleet and visited Las Palmas from July 23 to August 7, 1908 and La Coruña from July 18 to 25, 1909 . On July 31, 1912, the Braunschweig then left the Second Squadron and reduced the crew. On December 8, 1912, she came back into service for the V Division and finally retired from active service on July 30, 1913. The following day the crew transferred to the SMS König Albert and put this new ship into service. The Braunschweig became an unmanned ship of the Baltic Reserve Division.

War use

During the mobilization she was put back into service on August 1, 1914 for the IV Squadron of the High Seas Fleet. The squadron was to be deployed mainly in the Baltic Sea area and carried out an advance to the Gulf of Finland from September 3rd to 9th. Another advance on September 22 by the two reserve squadrons (IV./V.) With the Commander in Chief of the Baltic Sea Forces (OdO), Prince Heinrich, on board the Braunschweig was prematurely broken off due to the threat of submarine threats. In addition to being used in the Baltic Sea, the Braunschweig was also repeatedly used in the outpost service in the Elbe estuary, from December 1914 to April 1915 and from May to July.

A squadron of the German High Seas Fleet: Braunschweig class liner (foreground), other liners and a maritime reconnaissance zeppelin

From July 7, 1915 she took part in advances by the OdO. In order to be able to enter the Riga Bay (see: Advance into the Riga Bay ), obsolete torpedo boats converted into minesweepers began on August 8 at 3:50 a.m. in the direction of Irben-Straße , covering the Braunschweig and the small cruiser SMS Bremen a way to clear. From 04:45 a.m., nine former fish steamers followed from Lyser Ort in the direction of Zerel as auxiliary minesweepers, protected by the small cruiser SMS Thetis . At the crossing point, the small former torpedo boat SMS T 52 ran into a mine at 05:10 and sank at 0525 without any loss of people. Thetis , who was approaching for the rescue, was also hit by a mine at 05:38 and had to be released to Libau . Meanwhile, the two Russian gunboats Grozjaschtschi and Chrabry began to bombard the minesweepers at a great distance, whose fire was returned by Bremen , Braunschweig and Alsace , the latter being able to land two heavy hits on the Grozjashchi . Meanwhile, the large torpedo boat SMS S 144 , which was in operation for securing submarines , ran into a mine at 07:07, but could be brought into Libau by SMS S 140 and SMS S 147 . Mine clearing continued steadily the whole time. Around 10:30 a.m., the Russian side took energetic steps against the German ships for the first time and sent the liner Slawa to Irbenstrasse to stop the mine search. This opened fire on Braunschweig and Alsace at 16,000 meters , which immediately shot back. The Slava turned away immediately and withdrew to the Riga Bay. At 11:15 a.m., the mine clearing was over and a gap in the mine locks was cleared. However, at 1:32 p.m. the minesweeper SMS T 58 sank on a further barrier that had remained undetected until then.

In August the OdO also had the large liner ships SMS Posen and SMS Nassau at its disposal, as the old liners were seen as too endangered by mines and torpedoes. After another deployment in the Elbe in September, the Braunschweig moved to Libau in October, where her sister ship Alsace and the SMS Mecklenburg were also moored. A shortage of personnel forced reductions in the number of crews on the old ships, and in August 1916 they relocated to Kiel to serve only as a recruit training ship.

On August 20, 1917, the Braunschweig was decommissioned and from then on served as the accommodation ship of the shipyard division.

Use in the Reichsmarine

After the end of the war, the Braunschweig was taken over by the Reichsmarine and was in service from December 1, 1921 to January 31, 1926.

On March 1, 1922, she became the flagship of the Commander of the Naval Forces of the North Sea. In July 1922 she made her first trip abroad and visited the Norwegian ports of Fretheim and Mundal . Visits to Gothenburg and Helsingfors followed in the summer of 1923 . After ice service in the Baltic Sea in February and March 1924, a visit to La Coruña followed from July 6th to 13th . After a trip to the Baltic Sea in April 1925, the ship visited the Norwegian ports of Stavanger , Sande , Balholmen and Hyoe in June .

On January 31, 1926, the Navy put the Braunschweig out of service and replaced it with the Schleswig-Holstein .

On March 31, 1931, the Braunschweig was struck off the list of warships and was scrapped in 1932.


October 15, 1904 to July 30, 1913
October 15, 1904 to September 1905 Sea captain Alfred Ehrlich
September 1905 to September 1907 Sea captain Hermann Jacobsen
September 1907 to September 30, 1908 Captain Richard Eckermann
October 1, 1908 to September 1909 Sea captain Friedrich Schrader
September 1909 to September 1910 Sea captain Karl Wilbrandt
September 1910 to July 31, 1912 Sea captain Georg von Ammon
August 1, 1912 to November 30, 1912 Corvette Captain Paul Schrader (reduced crew)
December 1, 1912 to July 30, 1913 Sea captain Karl Thorbecke
August 1, 1914 to August 20, 1917
1st to August 1914 Sea captain Gottfried Freiherr von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels
August 1914 to July 1916 Sea captain Max Lans
July 1916 to August 1916 Captain Reinhold Schmidt
August 1916 to December 1916 Corvette Captain Walter Mehnert (reduced crew)
December 1916 to May 1917 Corvette Captain Leo Hertzer (reduced crew)
May 1917 to June 1917 Captain Franz Wilde (reduced crew)
August 1917 to August 20, 1917 Corvette Captain Günther Paschen (reduced crew)
December 1, 1921 to January 31, 1926
December 1, 1921 to January 1922 Corvette Captain Franz Claassen (reduced crew)
January 1922 to February 28, 1922 Corvette Captain Albrecht Meißner (reduced crew)
March 1, 1923 to October 1923 Sea captain Adolf Pfeiffer
October 1923 to January 1925 Sea captain Franz Wieting
January 1925 to January 31, 1926 Sea captain Gottfried Hansen


  • Siegfried Breyer: The Navy of the Weimar Republic. Marine-Arsenal special issue, Vol. 5, Podzun-Pallas Verlag, Friedberg 1992, ISBN 3-7909-0464-3 .
  • Erich Gröner / Dieter Jung, Martin Maass: The German warships 1815-1945. Volume 1, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7637-4800-8 .
  • Hans H. Hildebrand, Albert Röhr, Hans-Otto Steinmetz: The German warships: Biographies - a mirror of naval history from 1815 to the present. Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft, Herford.
  • Jürgen Schultz: A ship called "Braunschweig". All about the launch of the liner "Braunschweig" of the Imperial German Navy on December 20, 1902. In: Kleine Schriften , No. 15, published by the Braunschweig City Archives and Braunschweig City Library , Braunschweig 1986.

Web links

Commons : Braunschweig  - Collection of images, videos and audio files