Scharnhorst Class Armoured Cruisers

World War 1 Naval Combat

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sms scharnhorst Scharnhorst Class.  The last of the 'conventional' German armoured cruisers.  Increased in size from the Roon class, the extra size mainly being used to increase the main armament although the disposition of the extra 8.2 inch guns in single wing turrets above the casemates for the secondary guns limited their firing arcs.

SMS Scharnhorst
Built Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, laid down January 1905, completed October 1907, cost 20,319,000 Marks

SMS Gneisenau
Built Weser, laid down December 1904, completed March 1908, cost 19,243,000 Marks

Size:
Length 472 feet 2 inches waterline 474 feet 9 inches overall, beam 71 feet, draught 27 feet 6 inches, displacement 11,616 tons  load 12,985 tons full load.

Propulsion:
3 shaft Triple expansion engines, 26,000 ihp, 22.5 knots

Trials:
Scharnhorst 28,783 ihp = 23.5 knots
Gneisenau 30,396 ihp = 23.6 knots

Armour:
6-3in belt, 7in barbettes, 7in turret faces, 2.5-1.5in decks

Armament:
8 x 8.2in 40cal (2 x 2, 4 x 1), 6 x 5.9in 40 cal (6 x 1), 18 x 3.45in 35 cal (18 x 1), 4 x 17.7in TT

Comments:
Enlarged Roon class with a heavier main armament.  Crew 764.

World War 1 Service:
Scharnhorst
Flagship of East Asian Squadron under Admiral Graf Spee.
1 November took part in the Battle of Coronel.
8 December sunk at the Battle of the Falkland Islands.

Gneisenau
East Asian Squadron.
1 November took part in the Battle of Coronel.
8 December sunk at the Battle of the Falkland Islands.

SMS Scharnhorst along with Gneisenau formed the core of the German East Asian Squadron at the start of World War 1 and achieved fame as part of the squadrons exploits before being sunk by British battlecruisers at the Battle of the Falkland Islands. sms scharnhorst

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