German SMS Blücher
German SMS Von der Tann
An item dated Le Yacht reported that the German armoured cruiser Blücher performed well during her trials when achieving 25,88 miles which speed exceeded the contracted 24 miles.(1) She was the German opponent of the British Minotaur (2)-class but by far the lesser of the British Indomitable-class battle cruisers (3) which opponent was the German Von der Tann.(4) The Blücher was the last German cruiser fitted out with piston machinery.
1. Designed as an answer to the British battle cruisers of the Invincible-class but in fact no match for the successors of the armoured cruisers. It became just after the building was ordered clear that these British battle cruisers were armed with 8-30,5 cm guns and not as earlier was believed 6/8-23cm guns. Ordered as the ‘E’ after the authorisation by the Reichstag on 26 May 1906 of the needed budget, was she laid down on 21 February 1907 at the Kaiserliche Werft at Kiel, Germany, launched on 11 April 1908 and commissioned on 1 October a year later was she sunk during the battle of Dogger Bank against British naval forces on 24 January 1915.
2. Minotaur-class armoured class cruisers of the Minotaur, Shannon and Defence, completed between 1908-1909 with a speed of 23 knots and an armament of 2x2-23m4cm/9.2” breech loading Mk XI guns, 10x1-19,1cm/9.2” breech loading Mk V guns, 16x1-7,6cm/3”/12pd quick firing guns and 5-45cm/18” submerged torpedo tubes.
3. Invincible-class consisting of the Invincible, Inflexible and Indomitable completed between 1908-1909, with a speed of 25 knots and an armament of 4x2-30,5cm/12“ breech loading Mk X guns, 16x1-10,2cm/4”quick firing Mk III guns, 7x1 Maximum guns and 5x1-45cm/18” torpedo tubes.
4. Laid down at the shipyard of Blohm&Voss, Hamburg, Germany on 21 March 1908, launched on 20 March 1909, baptized on 1 September 1910, commissioned on 20 March 1909, interned after the First World War at Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, Scotland but scuttled by her own crew to prevent that she fell into British hands on 21 June 1919 and in the 1930s raised and broken up at Rosyth, Scotland. Her homeport was Kiel, Germany. The armament consisted of 4x2-28cm SK L/45 guns fore and aft 1 turret, 2 amidships), 10x1-15cm SK L/45 guns (casemated) 16-8,8cm SK L/45 guns and 4-18” torpedo tubes.