SMS Nassau


The appearance of HMS Dreadnought in 1905 was a monumental occurrence for all major naval forces, as this new ship had made all the worlds battle fleets obsolete at a moments notice. But it also meant that everyone was back at square one, so to speak, which made it easier for aspiring naval powers to close the gap to allmighty Great Britain. For Germany, this decision came with a hefty price tag, since both shipyards and the strategically important Kiel Channel had to be resized in order to allow for the much increased size of battleships, and indeed many in the British admiralty had hoped that Germany would refrain from building similar ships or at least hesitate. Nevertheless, not long after Dreadnought entered service, the construction bureaus bustled with Germany's first dreadnought design. Since Germany did not yet have much experience with large scale turbine engines, the new ship would have a conventional triple expansion power plant, which makes it slower than its British counterpart. Also, the main gun calibre was smaller with only 28cm, and the hexagonal turret mount pattern allowed for a broadside of eight rounds only. On the other hand, the rather conventional design allowed for larger security reserves and better armour protection, and with the usual emphasis on quality and good underwater protection, the first German dreadnought SMS Nassau outclassed her British counterpart in terms of stability when she entered fleet service in 1908. Four ships of this class, also named after Prussian provinces, were laid down and completed until 1910, and with their appearance, the first major naval power had a serviceable squadron of dreadnoughts in operation rather earlier than many in Whitehall had expected.

Ship data

Relative combat value: 19249

Basic damage control capacity: 96%


Displacement: 18570 tons

Length: 146 m

Width: 27 m

Draught: 9 m

Standard crew: 1124


Maximum speed (undamaged): 20 knots

Endurance: 14824 km

Coal capacity: 2950 tons

Armour protection

Conning tower armour: 12

Hull armour: 6.3

Main belt armour: 16.6 (includes backing slope of deck armour)

Deck armour: 2.3 (sloped at edges to provide additional belt level protection)

Best armour type: Krupp


12 x 28cm SK L/45, centrally controlled. Ammo: 900 rounds

12 x 15cm SK l/45 20deg, centrally controlled. Ammo: 1800 rounds

14 x 8,8cm SK L/45, centrally controlled. Ammo: 2100 rounds

2 x 8,8cm Flak L/45, centrally/locally controlled. Ammo: 300 rounds

6 x 45cm C/03 D Torpedoes, locally controlled. Ammo: 13 torpedoes

Ships in class

  • Nassau
  • Westfalen
  • Rheinland
  • Posen