Seiner Majestät Schiff Hertha was a protected cruiser
The protected cruiser is a type of naval cruiser of the late 19th century, so known because its armoured deck offered protection for vital machine spaces from shrapnel caused by exploding shells above...
of the Victoria Louise class
Victoria Louise class protected cruiser
The Victoria Louise class of protected cruisers was Germany's last class of ships of that type. They were designed for overseas cruiser duties. The class design introduced the clipper bow and blocky sides that typified later German armored cruisers....
, built for the Kaiserliche Marine
The Imperial German Navy was the German Navy created at the time of the formation of the German Empire. It existed between 1871 and 1919, growing out of the small Prussian Navy and Norddeutsche Bundesmarine, which primarily had the mission of coastal defense. Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly expanded...
before the turn of the 20th Century. Hertha was the first ship of the class laid down, in October 1895, and also the first completed, in July 1898. She was built at the AG Vulcan shipyard in Stettin; construction costs totaled 9,932,000 Marks
German gold mark
The Goldmark was the currency used in the German Empire from 1873 to 1914.-History:Before unification, the different German states issued a variety of different currencies, though most were linked to the Vereinsthaler, a silver coin containing 16⅔ grams of pure silver...
Dimensions and machineryHertha was 358 in 3 in (109.19 m) long at the waterline, and had an overall length of 363 in 2 in (110.69 m) She had a beam of 57 in 2 in (17.42 m) and a draught of 22 in 9 in (6.93 m) Hertha displaced 5,660 tons on a standard load, and 6,491 tons fully loaded. The ship was powered by three shaft triple expansion engines, that produced 10000 ihp and delivered a top speed of 19.5 knots (38.2 km/h).
Between 1905 and 1911, the ships of the Victoria Louise class were modernized. The ships had their boilers replaced, and had their original three funnels reduced to two stacks.
Armor and armamentHertha was protected by 4 inches (101.6 mm) thick armor plate on the decks.
The ship was armed with a wide mix of armaments. The main armament consisted of two 8.2 inches (208 mm) guns mounted in single turrets fore and aft. The secondary armament comprised eight 5.9 inches (150 mm) guns in casemates along the length of the ship, along with ten 3.4 inches (86 mm) guns, also casemated. The ships were also armed with three 17.7 inches (450 mm) torpedo tubes.
Service historyHertha served as a colonial cruiser after she was completed. In 1899, she sailed from Germany to Tsingtao. She was assigned to the German East Asia Squadron
German East Asia Squadron
The German East Asia Squadron was a German Navy cruiser squadron which operated mainly in the Pacific Ocean between the 1870s and 1914...
, and served as its flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...
from 17 February 1900 until she was replaced by Fürst Bismarck
SMS Fürst Bismarck (1896)
SMS Fürst Bismarck"SMS" stands for "Seiner Majestät Schiff", or "His Majesty's Ship" in German. was Germany's first armored cruiser, built for the Kaiserliche Marine before the turn of the 20th century. She was named for the German statesman Otto von Bismarck...
As part of the German East Asia Squadron commanded by admiral Felix von Bendemann
Felix von Bendemann
Felix von Bendemann was an Admiral of the German Imperial Navy .Bendemann was born in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony. He was the son of the painter Eduard Julius Friedrich Bendemann and Lida Schadow, who was the daughter of the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow...
during the Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...
she made a noteworthy contribution in the Battle of Taku Forts (1900). Starting on 08 June 1900, along with the SMS Hansa
SMS Hansa (1898)
Seiner Majestät Schiff Hansa was a German Victoria Louise class protected cruiser launched from Stettiner Maschinenbau AG Vulcan shipyard in 1898 for service in the Kaiserliche Marine...
and the small cruisers SMS Gefion
SMS Gefion was a light cruiser of the Kaiserliche Marine launched in 1893. The cruiser was named after Gefjon of Norse mythology. Under the 1891 naval regulations she was classified as a corvette-cruiser, but in 1899 was reclassified to light cruiser...
and SMS Irene
SMS Irene was a protected cruiser or Kreuzerkorvette of the Kaiserliche Marine launched on 23 July 1887 from the Vulcan Shipyard in Stettin, Germany . The cruiser was named after Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, sister-in-law of Kaiser Wilhem II...
, she came before the Taku Fort (together with warships of other nations) to land detachments of Seebatallione
The Seebatallione [sea battalions] were naval infantry troops or marines serving in the Prussian navy, the navy of the North German Confederation, the Imperial German Navy, the Wehrmacht, and briefly in the modern Federal German Navy, the Bundesmarine....
(marines) for the protection of their citizens in Tientsin
On 31 December 1904, Hertha was detached from the East Asia Squadron, and began her voyage to Kiel. She arrived there on 12 May 1905. In 1906, she went to dry dock for a refit, during which she was re-boilered. Hertha originally had three stacks, although during the refit this was reduced to two funnels. The refit was finished by 1908, at which point Hertha became a cadet training ship.
Hertha had a short career during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
. At the outbreak of hostilities, she was assigned to coastal defense duties in the V Scouting Group. By November 1914, Hertha was removed from front line service and became a barracks ship. She was disarmed in 1916. She served in this capacity until the end of the war. In 1919, Hertha was stricken from the naval register. In 1923, she was sold for scrapping.
- World War 1 Naval Combat http://www.kreuzergeschwader.de/kreuzer/hertha.htm