SMS Von der Tann [a] was the first battlecruiser built for the German Kaiserliche Marine, as well as Germany's first major turbine-powered warship. At the time of her construction, Von der Tann was the fastest dreadnought-type warship afloat, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph). She was designed in response to the British Invincible class. While the German design had slightly lighter guns—28 cm (11 in),[b] compared to the 30.5 cm (12 in) Mark X mounted on the British ships—Von der Tann was faster and significantly better-armored. She set the precedent of German battlecruisers carrying much heavier armor than their British equivalents, albeit at the cost of smaller guns.
Von der Tann participated in a number of fleet actions during the First World War, including several bombardments of the English coast. She was present at the Battle of Jutland, where she destroyed the British battlecruiser HMS Indefatigable in the opening minutes of the engagement. Von der Tann was hit several times by large-caliber shells during the battle, and at one point in the engagement, the ship had all of her main battery guns out of action either due to damage or malfunction. Nevertheless, the damage was quickly repaired and the ship returned to the fleet in two months.
Following the end of the war in November 1918, Von der Tann, along with most of the High Seas Fleet, was interned at Scapa Flow pending a decision by the Allies as to the fate of the fleet. The ship met her end in 1919 when German caretaker crews scuttled their ships to prevent their division among Allied navies. The wreck was raised in 1930, and scrapped at Rosyth from 1931 to 1934.
SMS Von der Tann WL T/S
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