S.M.S. Schleswig-Holstein

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Budget year: 1904
Builders: Fredrich Krupp, Germaniawerft, Kiel
Laid down: ? Aug 1905
Launched: 07 December 1906
Completed: 06 July 1908

Ship's History:
She fought as part of IV Geschwader at the battle of Jutland (Skagerak) on 31 May to 01 June 1916. At 20:30 hours on 31 May 1916 at the battle of Jutland, the British dreadnought HMS New Zealand scored a direct hit on the SMS Schleswig-Holstein with a 12 inch shell. The Schleswig-Holstein suffered minor damage from this hit. The shell penetrated an air intake shaft on the superstructure and burst against the interior amour of the starboard-aft upper deck 17cm casemate. Three men were killed and nine were wounded when two 17cm cartridges were ignited. During the night action of 01 June 1916, immediately after the SMS Pommern was sunk by torpedoes fired by the British destroyer HMS Onslaught, the SMS Schleswig-Holstein scored a direct hit on the bridge of the HMS Onslaught, mortally wounding her Captain and several others. In 1917 she served as a depot ship at Bremerhaven and then as a barrack ship at Kiel in 1918. The Schleswig-Holstein was completely retrofitted in 1927/28 and fitted with two funnels. She returned to active service with German Navy and on 01 September 1939 fired the first hostile shots of the war on the Polish fortifications on the Westerplatte near Danzig. On 18 December 1944 she was burned out following bombing at Gotenhaven and was scuttled there on 21 March 1945.

The wreck was raised by the Soviets after the war and towed aground close to the Estonian coast and used as a target ship for military practice until 1960. According to a reader, Mr. Peep Rada who has had the pleasure of diving on the wreck, there is not much left of structure and nothing is visible above water. She lies in 8-9 meters of water with huge structure parts on the seabed. Mr. Rada states that some parts are still recognizable like ship's bow and thick turret armor.

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