S.M.S. König Wilhelm (1868)

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S.M.S. König Wilhelm (1868)
Builder: Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Blackwall[1]
Yard Number: 30f[2]
Purchased: 6 February, 1867[3]
Laid down: 1865[4][5]
Launched: 25 April, 1868[6]
Commissioned: 20 February, 1869[7]
Stricken: 4 January, 1921[8]
Sold: 1921[9][10]
Fate: Broken up
S.M.S. König Wilhelm was an armored frigate purchased by the Royal Prussian Navy in 1867 and completed in 1869.

Construction

Ordered by the Ottoman Navy and designed by Sir Edward Reed as an ironclad frigate with her guns mounted amidships in the so-called "central citadel" configuration. Unusually, her iron hull used both transverse and longitudinal framing instead of one or the other exclusively, and included eleven watertight compartments and a double bottom over 70 per cent of the hull. Her machinery consisted of a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion engine built by Maudslay driving a single four-bladed propeller and fed by eight trunk boilers built by J. Penn & Sons of Greenwich.[11][12]

König Wilhelm was laid down at Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Blackwall in 1865 as the Fatikh with the building number 30f.[13][14][15] The Ottoman government proved unable to pay for her, so Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company offered her for sale first to the Royal Navy and then to Prussia, who purchased her on 6 February, 1867. During the purchase negotiations she was renamed Wilhelm I on 10 January, 1867, then renamed again to König Wilhelm on 14 December.[16][17]

König Wilhelm was launched into Bow Creek on 25 April, 1868 and completed early the next year.[18]

Service

König Wilhelm commissioned on 20 February, 1869 and was the largest and most powerful warship to see service in the Prussian Navy, a distinction she retained for some time after German Unification. Fittingly, she served as a flagship.[19][20]

During a fleet visit to England in May 1878 she rammed the brand new ironclad Großer Kurfürst which sank with heavy loss of life. On her return to Germany she required major repairs at Wilhelmshaven Dockyard, and the opportunity was taken to strengthen her ram bow and install new transverse trunk boilers with superheaters, a task which extended her time in dockyard hands until 1882.[21][22]

In 1895-1896 she was extensively modernized by Blohm & Voss, emerging as an armoured crusier without her original sailing rig.[23][24]

König Wilhelm was reduced to a harbor ship on 3 May, 1904 and then became a stationary barracks and training ship for cadets at Kiel on 1 October, 1907. She was transfered to Mürwik after 1909.[25][26] The old ship was stricken on 4 January, 1921, sold, and subsequently towed to Rönnebeck and broken up.[27][28]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

Armament

[30][31]

As Designed

  • Thirty-three 72-pounder bronze rifles

As Commissioned

  • Eighteen 240mm/20 caliber guns
  • Five 210mm/22 caliber guns

After c. 1890

  • Eighteen 240mm/20 caliber guns
  • Four 210mm/22 caliber guns
  • Seven 150mm/30 caliber guns
  • Four 88mm/30 caliber quick-firing guns
  • Five 350mm torpedo tubes, thirteen torpedoes

1896

  • Eighteen 240mm/20 caliber guns
  • One 150mm/30 caliber gun
  • Sixteen 88mm/30 caliber quick-firing guns
  • Five 350mm torpedo tubes, thirteen torpedoes

1907

  • Sixteen 88mm/30 caliber quick-firing guns

1915

  • Four 88mm/30 caliber quick-firing guns

See Also

Footnotes

  1. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 3.
  2. Lyon; Winfield. The Steam & Sail List. p. 324.
  3. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  5. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 3.
  6. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  7. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  8. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  9. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  10. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  11. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. pp. 243, 389.
  12. German Warships 1815-1945 I. pp. 3-4.
  13. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  14. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 3.
  15. Lyon; Winfield. The Steam & Sail List. p. 324.
  16. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. pp. 243, 389.
  17. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  18. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  19. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  20. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  21. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  22. German Warships 1815-1945 I. pp. 3-4.
  23. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  24. German Warships 1815-1945 I. pp. 3-4.
  25. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  26. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  27. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  28. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.
  29. Rangliste der deutschen Reichsmarine, 1897. p. 18.
  30. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 243.
  31. German Warships 1815-1945 I. p. 4.

Bibliography

  • Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Gray, Randal (editor) (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Gröner, Erich (revised and expanded by Dieter Jung and Martin Maass) (1990). German Warships 1815-1945. Volume One: Major Surface Vessels. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.


Armored Frigate S.M.S. König Wilhelm
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