SMS Kaiser Barbarossa battleship (1900) High resolution picture

The SMS Kaiser Barbarossa was a German pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1900 following the naval program initiated by Tirpitz to renovate the Imperial German Navy. Before, the scarce German warships had performed a timid role in the sea but, when Admiral Tirpitz was appointed Minister of Marine in 1897, it was started the construction of a Navy in accordance with the importance of the national coastline and exterior commerce. The program provided a fleet of nineteen battleships, eight coastal battleships, six heavy cruisers and sixteen light cruisers, to be built in seven years.

The SMS Kaiser Barbarossa was one of the new battleships whose characteristics were closer to the French naval construction. However the ship showed the preference of the Germans for a main armament of lower caliber than in the foreign navies, where the caliber 305 millimeters was predominant. There was also a dotation of torpedo tubes, which had become standard equipment for battleships during the last years of the 19th century.

In those same years appeared as well the torpedo nets which were used only when the ships were stationary or navigating at very low speed; however only a part of the existing battleships had these nets installed. Unlike the majority of previous battleships, the ships of the Kaiser Friedrich III class were built with three propellers. The French had already built a battleship with three propellers in 1893, but the British used two until 1906, when they started to build their battleships with four propellers.

During the first months of the First World War the SMS Kaiser Barbarossa served as coastal defense ship in the Baltic and in April 1915 she was destined to serve as a torpedo training ship. She was decommissioned already in November 1915 to be used as a prison ship for war prisoners until the end of the war. All the ships of the class had a similar historial. Removed from the inventory of the Fleet around 1920, these ships were sold for scrap in the 1920s.

Class: Kaiser Friedrich III (5 units - Kaiser Barbarossa, Kaiser Friedrich III, Kaiser Karl der Grosse, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse)

Type: Battleship

Length: 125.3 meters

Beam: 20.4 meters

Draught: 7.89 meters

Displacement (standard): 11197 tonnes

Propulsion: 3 x shaft, 3 x triple-expansion steam engine, 10 x coal boiler, 13000 horsepower

Speed: 18 knots (33 kilometers/hour)

Range: 3420 nautical miles (6330 kilometers) at 10 knots

Complement: 651

Armament: 4 x 240-millimeter 40-caliber cannon, 18 x 150-millimeter 40-caliber cannon, 12 x 88-millimeter 30-caliber cannon, 12 x 37-millimeter cannon, 6 x 450-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 152-305 millimeters in belt, 65 millimeters in deck, 254 millimeters in turrets, 152 millimeters in casemates, 254 millimeters in conning tower

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