:: SMS SEYDLITZ (1912) ::

SMS Seydlitz battlecruiser (1912) High resolution picture

The SMS Seydlitz was a German battlecruiser launched in 1912; she was an evolution of the previous battlecruisers of the Moltke class, with the same armament and armor thickness, but with a longer and narrower hull to achieve higher speed. The forecastle deck and the casemates were raised one deck up to improve seaworthiness and this taller freeboard was the factor that allowed the SMS Seydlitz to survive in the Battle of Jutland.

Completed one year before the British battlecruisers of the Lion class, the SMS Seydlitz carried much lighter armament and unlike in the British counterparts, two of the turrets were placed outside the centerline, with the disadvantages that this arrangement causes. Besides, the two ships of the Lion class had only one turret below the forecastle level, while the SMS Seydlitz had all but one at that level.

The SMS Seydlitz had advantage over the British ships regarding the higher armor thickness and the much better internal subdivision, but this factor diminished in importance considering the much higher penetration power of the British projectiles. There was also a problem in the isolation of the magazines in the German ship, which caused the two aft turrets to get ablaze when one of the barbettes was penetrated during the Battle of Jutland. In similar circumstances, the turret Q of the HMS Lion was prepared to prevent the explosion. Finally, the boilers and the machinery, albeit larger and heavier, were also more reliable.

During the Battle of Jutland the SMS Seydlitz was responsible, together with the SMS Derfflinger, of the sinking of the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary. The SMS Seydlitz suffered very heavy damage during the battle, being hit by 21 heavy projectiles and one torpedo, but she survived despite of 5300 tonnes of water flooding the hull. In reparation during some months, she spent the rest of the war patrolling the North Sea without important events. After the war she had an innoble end, being sunk by her own crew in Scapa Flow in 1919, as the rest of the German High Seas Fleet seized by the British and reunited in that remote naval base.

The illustration shows the SMS Seydlitz as she was during the Battle of Jutland the 31st May 1916. Note the heraldic shield in the prow worn by every German capital ship, the tall forecastle and the "echelon" turrets.

Class: Seydlitz (1 unit - Seydlitz)

Type: Battlecruiser

Length: 200 meters

Beam: 28.5 meters

Draught: 8.24 meters

Displacement (normal): 25000 tonnes

Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Naval, 27 x boiler Naval, 89738 horsepower

Speed: 29.12 knots (53.4 kilometers/hour)

Range: 4700 nautical miles (8700 kilometers) at 14 knots

Fuel: 1000-3600 tonnes of coal

Complement: 1068

Armament (as built): 10 x 280-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 12 x 150-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 14 x 88-millimeter cannon, 4 x 500-millimeter torpedo tube

Armament (in 1918): 10 x 280-millimeter 50-caliber cannon, 12 x 150-millimeter 45-caliber cannon, 2 x 88-millimeter cannon, 4 x 500-millimeter torpedo tube

Armor: 150-300 millimeters in belt, 100 millimeters in ends, 30-80 millimeters in upper deck, 30-80 millimeters in armored deck, 100-200 millimeters in barbettes, 70-250 millimeters in main turrets, 150 millimeters in casemates, 350 millimeters in conning tower

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