SMS Goeben [a] was the second of two Moltke-class battlecruisers of the Imperial German Navy, launched in 1911 and named after the German Franco-Prussian War veteran General August Karl von Goeben. Along with her sister ship, Goeben was similar to the previous German battlecruiser design, Von der Tann, but larger, with increased armor protection and two more main guns in an additional turret. Goeben and Moltke were significantly larger and better armored than the comparable British Indefatigable class.[b]
Several months after her commissioning in 1912, Goeben, with the light cruiser Breslau, formed the German Mediterranean Division and patrolled there during the Balkan Wars. After the outbreak of World War I on 28 July 1914, Goeben and Breslau bombarded French positions in North Africa and then evaded British naval forces in the Mediterranean and reached Constantinople. The two ships were transferred to the Ottoman Empire on 16 August 1914, and Goeben became the flagship of the Ottoman Navy as Yavuz Sultan Selim, usually shortened to Yavuz. By bombarding Russian facilities in the Black Sea, she brought Turkey into World War I on the German side. The ship operated primarily against Russian forces in the Black Sea during the war, including several inconclusive engagements with Russian battleships. She made a sortie into the Aegean in January 1918 that resulted in the Battle of Imbros, where Yavuz sank a pair of British monitors but was herself badly damaged by mines.
In 1936 she was officially renamed TCG Yavuz ("Ship of the Turkish Republic Yavuz"); she carried the remains of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from Istanbul to İzmit in 1938. Yavuz remained the flagship of the Turkish Navy until she was decommissioned in 1950. She was scrapped in 1973, after the West German government declined an invitation to buy her back from Turkey. She was the last surviving ship built by the Imperial German Navy, and the longest-serving dreadnought-type ship in any navy.
SMS Goeben WL T/S
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