SMS Preußen (1873)

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Career German Imperial Navy Ensign
Name: SMS Preußen
Builder: AG Vulcan, Stettin
Laid down: 1870
Launched: 22 November 1873
Commissioned: 4 July 1876
Decommissioned: 1906
Fate: Scrapped 1919
General characteristics
Displacement: 6,800 tons
Length: 96 m (315 ft 0 in)
Beam: 16.3 m (53 ft 6 in)
Draft: 7.18 m (23 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: Steam engines
Sail plan: 1,834 square meters
Speed: 14 kn (26 km/h)
Range: 1,690 nmi (3,130 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)
Complement: 46 + 454
Armament: 6 × 22 cm (8.7 in) guns
4 × 17 cm (6.7 in) guns
Armor: Belt: 102 mm (4.0 in)–228 mm (9.0 in)
Turrets: 203 mm (8.0 in)
For the battleship of the same name, see SMS Preußen

SMS Preußen was an armored frigate of the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), launched in 1873 in Stettin in Germany, the first of three of her class. The others were SMS Friedrich der Große, launched in 1874 in Kiel, and SMS Großer Kurfürst, launched 1875 in Wilhelmshaven.

They were the first armored ships with gun turrets built in Germany, as the new Imperial Navy sought independence from foreign shipbuilders. They had initially been planned as casemate ships and were therefore called armored frigates, but even before construction began the design was changed to have the main guns mounted in turrets. Hence they were reclassified as Panzerschiffe (armored ships). They were 96 meters long and had a displacement of 6,800 tons, with iron armor on teak planking. The armor on the turrets was 203 mm, that on the belt 228 mm amidships and 102 mm in front and aft. They had 1,834 square meters of sails and steam engines and a top speed under steam of 14 knots. The crew numbered 46 officers and 454 men. The ships were armed with six 22-cm guns and four 17-cm guns.

The keel for SMS Preußen was laid in 1870 at AG Vulcan in Stettin and she was launched on 22 November 1873 and commissioned on 4 July 1876. She served with the fleet until 1891 and then on harbor duty in Wilhelmshaven until 1906 (renamed Saturn in 1903 when a new battleship received the name Preußen). She was converted into a coal storage hulk in 1906 and scrapped in 1919.

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