SMS König[a] was the first of four König-class dreadnought battleships of the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. König (Eng: "King") was named in honor of King William II of Württemberg. Laid down in October 1911, the ship was launched on 1 March 1913. Final construction on König was completed shortly after the outbreak of World War I; she was commissioned into the High Seas Fleet on 9 August 1914.
Along with her three sister ships, Grosser Kurfürst, Markgraf, and Kronprinz, König took part in most of the fleet actions during the war. As the leading ship in the German line on 31 May 1916 in the Battle of Jutland, König was heavily engaged by several British battleships and suffered ten large-caliber shell hits. In October 1917, she forced the Russian pre-dreadnought battleship Slava to scuttle herself in the Battle of Moon Sound, which followed Germany's successful Operation Albion.
König was interned, along with the majority of the High Seas Fleet, at Scapa Flow in November 1918 following the Armistice. On 21 June 1919, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the order to scuttle the fleet, including König, while the British guard ships were out of the harbor on exercises. Unlike most of the scuttled ships, König was never raised for scrapping; the wreck is still on the bottom of the bay.
SMS Konig WL t-shirt
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