The SMS Bayern was a German super-dreadnought battleship launched in 1915; she and her sister SMS Baden were the last German
battleships completed during the First World War, as well as the most powerful ones. The Bayern class was a derivative from the Konig
class with a slightly larger hull and similar levels of protection, but with only four main turrets of much larger caliber and grouped
machinery. Unlike other German warships they had a tripod mast to hold the heavy fire control post.
These ships were the German equivalent of the British classes Queen Elizabeth and Revenge, having very similar artillery, protection
and speed. A series of tests carried after the war between the SMS Baden and the HMS Revenge demonstrated that the subdivision and
underwater protection was superior in the German ship, but this one was inferior in many other aspects. Surprisingly, the German armor
resulted inferior to the British counterpart and vulnerable to the British projectiles. Also the German artillery resulted
disappointing, for the newer 381-millimeter cannons lacked the excellent precision of earlier German weapons, besides firing
lighter projectiles than the British counterpart.
The standard German battleship with three aligned propellers and small-tube boilers ensured a lighter machinery at the expenses of
reliability. In general, it was considered that the construction level of the Bayern class was inferior to that of the British
counterparts. Even if the Revenge class had a notable metacentric height, that of the Bayern class was even higher, which hypothetically
would compromise the stability of the firing platform in the open Atlantic ocean.
The SMS Bayern joined the High Seas Fleet just after the Battle of Jutland and took part in operations in the North Sea and in the
Baltic, where the 12th October 1917 she resulted mined, suffering important damages. On the other hand the SMS Baden served as flagship
of the High Seas Fleet but saw little action during her short career. Both ships ended their days in the infamous base at Scapa Flow,
where the remains of the former German Fleet were used as study, testing and targetting material for the Royal Navy.
The illustration shows the SMS Bayern as she was in 1918; it can be seen the tripod mast with the rangefinder housing, the antiaircraft
cannons on the superstructure and the circles painted on the roof of the main turrets for helping aerial reconnaissance.
Class: Bayern (2 units - Baden, Bayern)
Length: 180 meters
Beam: 30 meters
Draught: 9.4 meters
Displacement (normal): 28500 tonnes
Propulsion: 3 x shaft, 3 x steam turbine Schichau, 11 x coal boiler, 3 x petrol boiler, 52000 horsepower
Speed: 21 knots (39 kilometers/hour)
Range: 7500 nautical miles (13875 kilometers) at 10 knots
Fuel: 900-3400 tonnes of coal and 200-620 tonnes of petrol
Armament: 8 x 381-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 16 x 150-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 8 x 88-millimeter cannon,
5 x 600-millimeter torpedo tube
Armor: 170-350 millimeters in belt, 30-200 millimeters in ends, 40 millimeters in superstructure deck, 30 millimeters in battery deck,
30-120 millimeters in armored deck, 350 millimeters in barbettes, 100-350 millimeters in main turrets, 170 millimeters in battery,
250-350 millimeters in conning tower