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Schleswig-Holstein file photo [1833]


Ship ClassDeutschland-class Battleship
BuilderFriedrich Krupp Germaniawerft
Laid Down2 Sep 1905
Launched17 Dec 1906
Commissioned6 Jul 1908
Sunk19 Dec 1944
Displacement13,200 tons standard; 14,218 tons full
Length419 feet
Beam73 feet
Draft25 feet
MachineryThree 3-cylinder vertical expansion engines, 3 shafts, 3 boilers
Power Output19,330 shaft horsepower
Speed17 knots
Range4,800nm at 12 knots
Armament1905: 2x2x28cm guns, 14x17cm casemated guns, 22x8.8cm casemated guns, 6x45cm torpedo tubes; 1939: 2x2x28cm guns, 2x8.8cm guns, 2x2x3.7cm guns, 22x2cm cannon
Armor100-230mm belt, 280mm turrets, 40mm deck, 300mm conning tower


ww2dbaseThe German battleship Schleswig-Holstein was a pre-WW1-era Deutschland-class battleship. During WW1, she participated in the Battle of Jutland, where she was hit once by gun fire from the British Royal Navy's 2nd Battle Squadron. After WW1, she was one of six battleships that Germany was permitted to keep, partially because she was already rather obsolete much like the other five. In the mid-1920s, she underwent a refitting that merged her first two smoke stacks into a single one. When she emerged from refitting in 1926, she became the flagship of the German Navy. In 1936, she became a training ship. By 1939, although still rated as a battleship, she was not on par with most contemporaries.

ww2dbaseWhen the invasion of Poland took place on 1 Sep 1939, Schleswig-Holstein was in the harbor of the Free City of Danzig, having arrived there several days later on a courtesy visit. At 0445 hours on 1 Sep, she bombarded the nearby Polish defensive position on the Westerplatte peninsula with 280-millimeter and 170-millimeter shells. Ignacy Skowron, a Polish Army corporal serving at Westerplatte at the time, recalled seeing "a flash of red" as Schleswig-Holstein opened fire. "I grabbed a machine gun," said Skowron. "We got the order and we started to fight back. [Schleswig-Holstein] then sailed into the channel and started to fire shell after shell at us. I saw huge trees being snapped in two."

ww2dbaseAfter the surrender of the Westerplatte garrison, Schleswig-Holstein went on to bombard Polish positions at Gdynia, Kepa Oksywska, and the Hel Peninsula. At Hel, she was hit by a 152-millimeter shell from a Polish coastal gun. In Apr 1940, she supported the invasion of Denmark, but the government of Denmark capitulated before she saw action. She acted as a training ship until Sep 1944, from which time she re-entered combat duty as an anti-aircraft picket ship. On 19 Dec 1944, she sank in shallow water at Gdynia after being struck by British bombers. In Mar 1945, she was damaged by scuttling charges set by her crew.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Schleswig-Holstein was raised by the Russians and towed to Tallinn, Estonia where she might had been renamed Borodino. She was scuttled near Osmussaar Island in the Baltic Sea in 1948. Her hull was used as a target ship until the 1960s. The wreck of Schleswig-Holstein is now protected by the Estonian National Heritage Board as a historic shipwreck.

ww2dbaseSources: BBC, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Sep 2009

Battleship Schleswig-Holstein Interactive Map


Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein, circa 1930Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein in port, circa 1934
See all 6 photographs of Battleship Schleswig-Holstein

Schleswig-Holstein Operational Timeline

11 Jun 1904 The order for battleship Schleswig-Holstein was placed.
6 Jul 1908 Schleswig-Holstein was commissioned into service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
8 Dec 2011 12:09:36 PM

I was told as a young boy that I was related to Adm Hennecke ( my mothers maden name) who commanded this boat at one time. My family while in the Us kept the detroit pree press paper that had head line about the capture of Adm Von Hennecke and other officers in 1944. What can you tell me about Adm Hennecke and this battleship?

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More on Schleswig-Holstein
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Poland
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway

Battleship Schleswig-Holstein Photo Gallery
Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein, circa 1930Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein in port, circa 1934
See all 6 photographs of Battleship Schleswig-Holstein

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