Victoria Louise class protected cruiser

The Victoria Louise class of protected cruiser
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...

s 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 cruiser
Armored cruiser
The armored cruiser was a type of warship of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like other types of cruiser, the armored cruiser was a long-range, independent warship, capable of defeating any ship apart from a battleship, and fast enough to outrun any battleships it encountered.The first...

There were five ships of the class, Victoria Louise
SMS Victoria Louise
Seiner Majestät Schiff Victoria Louise was the lead ship of her class of protected cruisers, built for the Kaiserliche Marine before the turn of the 20th Century....

, Hertha
SMS Hertha
Seiner Majestät Schiff Hertha was a protected cruiser of the Victoria Louise class, built for the Kaiserliche Marine 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...

, Freya
SMS Freya
Seiner Majestät Schiff Freya was a protected cruiser of the Victoria Louise class, built for the Kaiserliche Marine before the turn of the 20th Century. Freya was built at the Imperial Dockyard in Danzig...

, Vineta, and 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...

. They were laid down between 1895 and 1898, and completed between 1898 and 1900.

Dimensions and machinery

The ships of the Victoria Louise class were 358 in 3 in (109.19 m) long at the waterline, and had an overall length of 363 in 2 in (110.69 m) They had a beam of 57 in 2 in (17.42 m) and a draught of 22 in 9 in (6.93 m) They displaced 5,660 tons on a standard load, and 6,491 tons fully loaded. The ships were powered by three shaft triple expansion engines, that produced 10000 ihp and delivered a top speed of 19.5 kn (23.7 mph; 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 armament

The ships were protected by 4 inches (101.6 mm) thick armor plate on the decks.
The Victoria Louise ships were 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 history

The ships had very limited careers 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...

. They started the war as coastal defense ships, but by November 1914, they were converted into barracks ships, and with the exception of Freya, which became a training ship in April 1915, served in this capacity until the end of war. The ships of the class were scrapped between 1920 and 1923.

See also

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