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Schleswig Holstein - Linienschiffe


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 Special thanks to Michael Emmerich of for the use of images and information in this section

Schleswig Holstein in winter 1941/1942


After World War I Germany was only allowed to keep six old pre Dreadnought battleships (plus two on reserve). These were the ships of the Braunschweig and Deutschlandclass. Build between 1904 and 1905, the Braunschweig class was already obsolete during World War I and were decommissioned in 1917, but the lack of available ships forced those veterans of the Battle of Jutland  into service again. They were not able to fight any modern warship of their time and could only be used as coast defense or training ships. In this role, they made intensive voyages to Africa, Middle- and South America between 1926 and 1939.

Most of those ships didn't see action in World War II anymore, since they were replaced by modern units, only the Schleswig Holstein and Schlesien did.

The Braunschweig was broken down in 1931, the Elsass in 1936, the Hessen was replaced by the Admiral Scheer and used as a target ship, the Lothringen was only used as a naval reserve, the Preussen was broken down in 1931 while some parts were used for torpedo and mine tests.


Construction Data Dimensions Commanders
Laid down:     Germaniawerft Kiel, 1905
Launched:     07.12.1906
Commissioned:     06.07.1908
Fate:     scrapped after 1946
Costs:     25 Mio Reichsmark
Size (Max):     14218 t
Length (Total):     127,6 m
Length (Waterline):     125,9 m
Beam:     22,2 m
Draft:     8,21 m
Crew:     742 - 802



Armour and Aircraft

Engines & Performance

28 cm  L/20:     4
15 cm L/45:     14 (12 since 1931, 10 since 1935, 0 since 1939)
8.8 cm L/45:     20 (4 since 1919; 2 since 1927)
3,7 cm L/83 C/30:     4 (since 1936)
2 cm MG L/83:     4 - 22
Deck:     240 mm (max)
Belt:     40 mm
Command Tower:     300 mm
Turrets:     280 mm (max)
Shafts:     3
Engines:     3
Type:     3-cyl expansion engines
Total Performance:     19330 shp
Speed:     19,1 kn
Range:     4800 sm at 10 kn

Operational History

31.05.1916:   Participated in Battle of Jutland in 2nd Squadron.
01.09.1939:   At 4.45 AM the Schleswig Holstein opens World War II by firing on the western flats of the Vistula island.
08.04.1940:   "Operation Weserübung":  
Together with MTBs and fishing craft, the Schleswig Holstein transports army soldiers from Eckernförde Bight.
09.04.1940:   Troop landings in Nyborg.
1941-1944:   Used as a dormitory ship at Gotenhafen or as a training ship. The ship sails about 6000 nautical miles in this period.
Sep - Dec 1944:   Used as  Flak Ship, equipped with more AA guns.
18.12.1944:   After brought in a battle ready state, the Schleswig Holstein was hit by three bombs during an air raid on Gotenhafen. The ship sink on its keel.
20.12.1944:   Large fire on board.
25.01.1945:   Removed from fleet list, most of the crew is killed in defense of Marienburg.
21.03.1945:   The wreck is blown up.
Spring 1946:   The wreck us raised by the 4th Soviet fleet and towed to Tallin.
29.09.1946:   Added to Soviet fleet lists, some sources say that it was renamed to Borodino .
25.06.1947:   Since the damage to the ship was too heavy making repairing impossible, the ship is scuttled near the Neugrund shoal.