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SMS Wittelsbach (German: Seiner Majestät Schiff Wittelsbach; English: His Majesty's Ship Wittelsbach) was the lead ship of the Wittelsbach class of pre-dreadnought battleships, built for the Imperial German Navy. She was the first capital ship built under the Navy Law of 1898, brought about by Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. Wittelsbach was laid down in 1899 at the Wilhelmshaven Navy Dockyard and completed in October 1902. She was armed with a main battery of four 24 cm (9.4 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph).

The ship served in I Squadron of the German fleet for the majority of her peacetime career, which spanned from 1902 to 1910. During this period, she was occupied with extensive annual training and making good-will visits to foreign countries. The training exercises during this period provided the framework for the High Seas Fleet's operations during World War I. She was decommissioned in September 1910, but was reactivated in 1911 for training ship duties, which lasted through 1914.

After the start of World War I in August 1914, Wittelsbach was brought back to active duty in IV Battle Squadron. The ship served in the Baltic Sea, including during the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in August 1915, but saw no combat with Russian forces. By late 1915, crew shortages and the threat from British submarines forced the Kaiserliche Marine to withdraw older battleships like Wittelsbach. The ship then saw service in auxiliary roles, first as a training ship and then as a ship's tender. After the war, she was converted into a tender for minesweepers in 1919. In July 1921, the ship was sold and broken up for scrap metal. wiki


SMS Wittelsbach FH print

  • Limited Edition Giclee on archival art paper Paper size 16X24" S/N 400 $135.00 Open Edition on photo paper Paper size 11X14" apx $35.00
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