SMS Prinz Heinrich

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Illustration of Prinz Heinrich
Career (German Empire) Kaiser
Name: Prinz Heinrich
Namesake: Prince Heinrich of Prussia
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft, Kiel
Laid down: December 1898
Launched: 22 March 1900
Commissioned: March 1902
Fate: Scrapped in 1920
General characteristics
Class and type: Prinz Heinrich class unique armored cruiser
Displacement: 8,857t standard; 9,806t full load
Length: 415.33 ft (126.59 m)
Beam: 64.33 ft (19.61 m)
Draught: 26.5 ft (8.1 m)
Propulsion: 15,694 hp (11,703 kW), three shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 567
Armament: Two 9.4 in (24 cm) (2 × 1)
ten 5.9 in (15 cm) (10 × 1)
ten3.45 in (8.8 cm) (10 × 1)
four 17.7 in (45 cm) torpedo tubes
Armor: 4 in (10 cm) in belt
6 in (15 cm) in turret faces
2 in (5.1 cm) in deck

Seiner Majestät Schiff Prinz Heinrich was a unique armored cruiser built by the Kaiserliche Marine at the turn of the 20th century. Prinz Heinrich's design set a precedent for subsequent German armored cruisers by concentrating her secondary armament admidships, as opposed to the previous Fürst Bismarck unique armored cruiser, which spread the secondary armament along the length of the ship.


Dimensions and machinery

Prinz Heinrich was built at Kiel Navy Dockyard; laid down in December 1898, and completed in March 1902, at a cost of 16,588,000 Marks. She was 410 feet 1 inch (124.99 m) at the waterline, 415 feet 4 inches (126.59 m) overall. She had a beam of 64 feet 4 inches (19.61 m), and a draught of 26 feet 6 inches (8.08 m) Prinz Heinrich displaced 8,857 tons standard, and 9,806 tons at full load. She was powered by a 3 shaft, triple expansion engine, producing 15,695 ihp (11,704 kW) and a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h).


Prinz Heinrich was protected by a four inch (102 mm) thick armor belt. Her turrets had six inch (152 mm) thick faces, and her deck was covered by two inches of armor plate.


Her main armament consisted of two 9.4-inch (239 mm) guns in single turrets, one fore, one aft. Secondary armament included ten 5.9-inch (150 mm) guns in casemates and another ten 3.45 inch (88 mm) guns, also casemated. Prinz Heinrich was also armed with four submerged 17.7-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes.

Service history

At the start of World War I, Prinz Heinrich was assigned to the III Scouting Group. She participated in the operation to bombard Hartlepool on 16 December, 1914. Prinz Heinrich, along with Roon, was assigned to the van of the High Seas Fleet, which was providing distant cover to Rear Admiral Hipper's battlecruisers, which were conducting the bombardment.[1]

In April 1915, she was transferred to the Baltic Sea, although less than a year later, in March 1916, she became a barracks ship, and served in that capacity until the end of the war. Prinz Heinrich was scrapped in 1920.


  1. Scheer, p69


  • Scheer, Reinhard (1920). Germany's High Seas Fleet in the World War. Cassell and Company, ltd. 

External links

cs:SMS Prinz Heinrich de:SMS Prinz Heinrich es:SMS Prinz Heinrich fr:SMS Prinz Heinrich ja:プリンツ・ハインリヒ (装甲巡洋艦) ru:Принц Генрих (броненосный крейсер)