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SMS Pommern was one of five Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Kaiserliche Marine between 1904 and 1906. Named after the Prussian province of Pomerania, she was built at the AG Vulcan yard at Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland), where she was laid down on 22 March 1904 and launched on 2 December 1905. She was commissioned into the navy on 6 August 1907. The ship was armed with a battery of four 28 cm (11 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). The ships of her class were already outdated by the time they entered the service, being inferior in size, armor, firepower, and speed to the revolutionary new battleship HMS Dreadnought.

After commissioning, Pommern was assigned to II Battle Squadron of the High Seas Fleet, where she served throughout her peacetime career and the first two years of World War I. Before the war, the fleet was primarily occupied with cruises and extensive training exercises, developing strategic concepts for use in a future conflict. At the start of the war, Pommern and the rest of II Battle Squadron were tasked with supporting the defenses of the German Bight and were stationed at the mouth of the Elbe. They also participated in several fruitless sorties into the North Sea in attempts to lure out and destroy a portion of the British Grand Fleet.

These offensive operations culminated in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916. She and her sisters briefly engaged the British battlecruisers commanded by David Beatty late on the first day, and Pommern was hit once by a 12 in (30.5 cm) shell from the battlecruiser HMS Indomitable. During the confused night actions in the early hours of 1 June, she was hit by one, or possibly two, torpedoes from the British destroyer HMS Onslaught, which detonated one of Pommern's 17-centimeter (6.7 in) gun magazines. The resulting explosion broke the ship in half and killed the entire crew. Pommern was the only battleship of either side sunk during the battle. Wiki


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