:: SMS KONIG (1913) ::

SMS Konig battleship (1913) High resolution picture

The SMS Konig was a German dreadnought battleship launched in 1913, one of the most powerful warships that Germany had at the outbreak of the First World War, together with the other ships of her class. These ships were completed at the same time than the British ships of the Iron Duke class; compared with those the Konig class had a wider hull with a thicker armored belt and a much better internal subdivision. Also the secondary armament was much better placed in the Konig than in the British counterpart.

The rangefinders were of stereoscopic type, in contrast with the British, who preferred coincidence rangefinders. Both had their advantages, but the stereoscopic ones, being initially more precise, were more prone to worsen over time. Anyway, the degree of training of the operators was more important than the differences between both types.

The secondary armament was placed in the center of the ship, in a retracted position, where it was better protected from harsh sea conditions than in the stern or the prow; the 88-millimeter cannons originally installed in casemates were later removed and replaced by antiaircraft cannons placed next to the aft conning tower. These were the first German battleships fitted with antiaircraft artillery from the moment of their construction. But the continuity with the 305-millimeter cannons from the previous classes caused the same incapacity to penetrate through the strongest armor.

The propulsion was given by turbines that moved three propellers; the project for using a Diesel engine for the central propeller was discarded because such engines were unable to develop the required power. The installation of a turret amidships meant that the boiler room and the engine room were separated.

The ships of the Konig class took part in the Battle of Jutland, where all of them received damage with the exception of the SMS Kronprinz. This one and the SMS Grosser Kurfurst were torpedoed by the British submarine J1, in November 1916, without fatal consequences for the ships. The SMS Grosser Kurfurst also hit a mine in October 1917. The four ships survived the war and were eventually sunk by their own crews, along with other 70 German ships, the 21st June 1919, during their internment in Scapa Flow.

The illustration shows the SMS Konig as she was when she took part in the Battle of Jutland the 31st May 1916. Note the torpedo nets and the circles painted on the turret roofs for aerial identification.

Class: Konig (4 units - Grosser Kurfurst, Konig, Kronprinz, Markgraf)

Type: Battleship

Length: 175.7 meters

Beam: 29.5 meters

Draught: 8.3 meters

Displacement (normal): 25390 tonnes

Propulsion: 3 x shaft, 3 x steam turbine Parsons, 3 x oil boiler Naval, 12 x coal boiler Naval, 43300 horsepower

Speed: 22.5 knots (41.67 kilometers/hour)

Range: 10000 nautical miles (18500 kilometers) at 10 knots

Fuel: 3600 tonnes of coal

Complement: 1136

Armament (as built): 10 x 305-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 14 x 150-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 6 x 88-millimeter cannon, 5 x 508-millimeter torpedo tube

Armament (in 1918): 10 x 305-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 14 x 150-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 4 x 88-millimeter antiaircraft cannon, 5 x 508-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 200-350 millimeters in belt, 150 millimeters in ends, 30 millimeters in superestructure deck/battery deck, 30-100 millimeters in armored deck, 80-300 millimeters in main turrets, 300 millimeters in conning tower

~ Return to Dreadnought Battleships ~

~ Return to Military Ships ~