Schleswig - Holstein


Schleswig-Holstein was built at Germaniawerft in Kiel and launched in December 1906. Emperor Wilhelm II himself and other prominent guests were present at the official launch. She was used for training the coming years and had several trips to Norway. At the outbreak of first world war she did service as guard ship and later participated in the battle of Jutland in 1915. After the war Germany was allowed to keep a few of their ships and Schleswig avoided therefore ending up as most German ships in Scapa Flow, scuttled, or being given away as a prize of war. From 1935 she was used as a school and cadet ship and had several trips to the Caribbean and South America. Right before the outbreak of the German invasion of Poland she was sent on an "official visit " to Danzig and laid at anchor outside Westerplatte. At 04:47 in the morning 1.September 1939 she opened fire against Polish positions and officially started the war. Until 1944 she again saw service as a school ship, but was designated to be refitted as an armed escort. But airplanes from RAF damaged her in December 1944 so the plans were never completed. After the war the wreck was towed to Talinn and was used as a target for the Soviet navy until 1966.  There is little left that can remind you of a once proud warship. The remains of her lies scattered over a large area northeast of the island Osmussar on a depth of 10 to 15 meter.

Former names:
SMS Schleswig - Holstein

418,8 x 72,1 x 26,1 f
Tons: Built: Home Port:
13250 grt
Kiel ( D ) 1906
( D )

59°20'36 N  23°32'38 E

Picture: SMS Schleswig-Holstein open fire on
Westerplatte in Poland 1.September 1939
Courtesy of Navypedia


Last updated: May 2019