Built as a battleship under yard No 640 by Schichau, Danzig for the Imperial German Navy.
03 August 1898 keel laid down.
21 April 1900 Launched as the KAISER BARBAROSSA, named after Frederick I. Barbarossa.
Displacement 11,599 tons full load, dim. 125.3 20.4 x 7.89 m. (draught). Lpp. 120.9 m.
Powered by triple expansion steam engines, 13,000 ihp, three shafts, speed 17.5 knots.
Range by a speed of 10 knots, 3,940 mile.
Armament: 4 – 24 cm, 18 – 15 cm, 12 – 8.8 cm and 12 – 1pdr. guns. 6 – 45 cm torpedo tubes.
Crew 39 officers and 612 enlisted.
10 June 1901 commissioned.
SMS KAISER BARBAROSSA (His Majesty's Ship Emperor Barbarossa) was a German pre-dreadnought battleship of the Kaiser Friedrich III class. The ship was built for the Imperial Navy, which had begun a program of expansion at the direction of Kaiser Wilhelm II. She was constructed at Schichau, in Danzig. KAISER BARBAROSSA was laid down in August 1898, launched on 24 April 1900, and completed in June 1901, at the cost of 20,301,000 Marks. The ship was armed with a main battery of four 24-centimeter (9.4 in) guns in two twin gun turrets.
KAISER BARBAROSSA served with the German navy from her commissioning in 1901, though her active career was limited due to two lengthy stays in drydock. The first was for repairs following damage to her rudder in 1903, which lasted until early 1905, and the second for a major modernization, which began immediately after the conclusion of repair work in 1905 and lasted until late 1907. She returned to service for another two years, before being decommissioned in 1909 and placed in the reserve division. She continued to participate in fleet training exercises for the next three years.
Following the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, KAISER BARBAROSSA and her sisters were mobilized as coastal defense ships in the V Battle Squadron and assigned to the North and Baltic Seas. She saw no combat during the war, and due to a shortage of crews, the ships were withdrawn from active duty in February 1915 and relegated to secondary duties. KAISER BARBAROSSA was briefly used as a torpedo target ship for most of 1915 and thereafter spent the remainder of the war as a prison ship in Wilhelmshaven. Following the end of the war in 1918, KAISER BARBAROSSA was decommissioned and sold for scrap metal. The ship was broken up in 1919–1920.
KAISER BARBAROSSA was 125.3 m (411 ft) long overall and had a beam of 20.4 m (67 ft) and a draft of 7.89 m (25.9 ft) forward and 8.25 m (27.1 ft) aft. She displaced up to 11,599 t (11,416 long tons; 12,786 short tons) at full load. The ship was powered by three 3-cylinder vertical triple-expansion steam engines that drove three screw propellers. Steam was provided by four Marine-type and eight cylindrical boilers, all of which burned coal. KAISER BARBAROSSA’s powerplant was rated at 13,000 indicated horsepower (9,700 kW), which generated a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h). She had a normal crew of 39 officers and 612 enlisted men.
KAISER BARBAROSSA’s armament consisted of a main battery of four 24 cm (9.4 in) SK L/40 guns in twin gun turrets,[a] one fore and one aft of the central superstructure. Her secondary armament consisted of eighteen 15 cm (5.9 inch) SK L/40 guns and twelve 8.8 cm (3.45 in) SK L/30 quick-firing guns. The armament suite was rounded out with six 45 cm torpedo tubes, all in above-water swivel mounts. The ship's belt armor was 300 mm (11.8 in) thick, and the deck was 65 mm (2.6 in) thick. The conning tower and main battery turrets were protected with 250 mm (9.8 in) of armor plating, and the secondary casemates received 150 mm (5.9 in) of armor protection.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, the emperor of Germany, believed that a strong navy was necessary for the country to expand its influence outside continental Europe. As a result, he initiated a program of naval expansion in the late 1880s; the first battleships built under this program were the four Brandenburg-class ships. These were immediately followed by the five Kaiser Friedrich III-class battleships, of which KAISER BARBAROSSA was a member. KAISER BARBAROSSA’s keel was laid down on 3 August 1898, at the Schichau-Werke in Danzig, under construction number 640. She was ordered under the contract name "A" as an addition to the fleet. KAISER BARBAROSSA was launched on 21 April 1900, and then-Vizeadmiral (Vice Admiral) Alfred von Tirpitz, the State Secretary of the Reichsmarineamt (RMA—Imperial Navy Office), gave the launching speech, and the new battleship was christened by Princess Luise Sofie of Prussia. Sea trials began on 4 May 1901, during which two tests were recorded: a 50-hour endurance test and a 6-hour speed test. The former produced a sustained speed of 15.5 kn (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph), while the latter saw a maximum speed of 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph). and on 10 June she was commissioned into the fleet in Kiel. The final cost of the vessel was 20,301,000 marks.
Following her commissioning, KAISER BARBAROSSA was assigned to the I Squadron of the fleet, which shortly thereafter went on a cruise to Spain. While moored in Cadiz, the ships met the four Brandenburg-class ships, which were returning from their expedition to suppress the Boxer Rebellion in China. From 22 August to 21 September, KAISER BARBAROSSA participated in the annual autumn maneuvers of the entire fleet. While in the Danzig Bay, the fleet conducted a naval review for the visiting Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The winter cruise in December went to southern Norway. In April and May 1902, the squadron went on a training cruise to Britain, followed by a tour of the Kiel Week sailing regatta in late June. The ships then took part in another training cruise to Norway in July and then the autumn maneuvers, which began in the Baltic and concluded in the North Sea with a fleet review in the Jade. During the exercise, which lasted from 17 August to 18 September, KAISER BARBAROSSA and the rest of I Squadron were assigned to play both the role of the German fleet and hostile forces. The usual winter cruise went to Bergen, Norway that year.
In 1903, the fleet, which was composed of only one squadron of battleships, was reorganized as the "Active Battle Fleet." KAISER WILHEM DER GROSSE remained in the I Squadron along with her sister ships and the newest Wittelsbach-class battleships, while the older Brandenburg-class ships were placed in reserve in order to be rebuilt. The first quarter of 1903 followed the usual pattern of training exercises. The squadron went on a training cruise in the Baltic, followed by a voyage to Spain that lasted from 7 May to 10 June. The ship suffered some minor damage to her rudder, which necessitated temporary repairs at the Kaiserliche Werft (Imperial Shipyard) in Kiel from the end of July to 21 August. She thereafter took part in the autumn maneuvers and the winter cruise in the eastern Baltic and the Skagerrak. The autumn maneuvers consisted of a blockade exercise in the North Sea, a cruise of the entire fleet first to Norwegian waters and then to Kiel in early September, and finally a mock attack on Kiel. The exercises concluded on 12 September. The winter training cruise began on 23 November in the eastern Baltic and continued into the Skagerrak in early December. On 15 December, KAISER BARBAROSSA was decommissioned for permanent repairs to her rudder, which lasted until January 1905. She did not return to service, however, and instead began a major reconstruction.
During the modernization, four of her 15 cm guns were removed and two 8.8 cm guns were added. All twelve machine guns were removed, as was the ship's stern-mounted torpedo tube. KAISER BARBAROSSA’s superstructure was also cut down to reduce the ship's tendency to roll excessively and her military masts were replaced with lighter pole masts. The ship's funnels were also lengthened. KAISER...