SMS Hertha

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Career (Germany) Kaiser
Name: Hertha
Builder: AG Vulcan, Stettin
Laid down: October 1895
Launched: 14 April 1897
Commissioned: July 1898
Fate: Scrapped in 1923
General characteristics
Class and type: Victoria Louise class protected cruiser
Displacement: 5,660t standard;
6,491t full load
Length: 363.16 ft (110.69 m)
Beam: 57.16 ft (17.42 m)
Draught: 22.66 ft (6.91 m)
Propulsion: 10,000 hp, three shafts
Speed: 19.5 knots (36 km/h)
Complement: 477
Armament: Two 9.4 in (24 cm) (2 × 1)
eight5.9 in (15 cm) (8 × 1)
ten3.45 in (8.8 cm) (10 × 1)
three17.7 in (45 cm) torpedo tubes
Armor: 4 in (10 cm) in deck

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. She was built at the AG Vulcan shipyard in Stettin; construction costs totaled 9,932,000 Marks.


Dimensions and machinery

Hertha was 358 feet 3 inches (109.19 m) long at the waterline, and had an overall length of 363 feet 2 inches (110.69 m) She had a beam of 57 feet 2 inches (17.42 m) and a draught of 22 feet 9 inches (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 10,000 ihp (7,500 kW) and delivered a top speed of 19.5 knots (36.1 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

Hertha was protected by 4-inch (100 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-inch (208 mm) guns mounted in single turrets fore and aft. The secondary armament comprised eight 5.9-inch (150 mm) guns in casemates along the length of the ship, along with ten 3.4-inch (86 mm) guns, also casemated. The ships were also armed with three 17.7-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes.

Service history

Hertha 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, and served as its flagship from 17 February 1900 until she was replaced by Fürst Bismarck in 1903.

As part of the German East Asia Squadron commanded by admiral Felix von Bendemann during the Boxer Rebellionshe made a noteworthy contribution in the Battle of Taku Forts (1900).[1] Starting on 08 June 1900, along with the SMS Hansa and the small cruisers SMS Gefion and SMS Irene, she came before the Taku Fort (together with warships of other nations) to land detachments of Seebatallione (marines) for the protection of their citizens in Tientsin[2]

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. 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.

See also


  1. The origins of the Boxer War: a multinational study by Lanxin Xiang; Routledge, 2003, 382 pages, p. 282.

External links

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