SMS Schleswig - Holstein

Estonia,Baltic Sea

SMS 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 the Great War in 1914, 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 interned  in Scapa Flow, or being given away as a prize of war. From 1935 she was used as a school and cadet ship and sailed several times 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 the 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 plan was never completed. After the war the wreck was towed to Talinn and used as a target ship 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 opens fire on
Westerplatte 1. September 1939
Courtesy of Navypedia, Public domain


Last updated: May 2019