In September 1910, the first of a series of powerful German battlecruisers entered into service, which would jeopardize the supremacy of the British fleet in the years to come. It was the SMS Von der Tann, a 21,000 tons battlecruiser armed with eight 280mm guns and 27 knot top speed. This ship became an experimental vessel used as a base for the following battlecruisers of the Kaiserliche Marine. The German Navy needed to counteract the new British Indefatigable class battlecruisers, so protection was a very careful aspect of the design. Von der Tann was provided with a 250mm armoured belt, turrets with armoured plates of 230mm, a coning tower with 250mm thick armour and 180mm thick antisubmarine bulkheads. The active life of Von der Tann was really brilliant, participating in almost all the important actions of WWI. Of course it was in Jutland, where she sank the British Indefatigable battlecruiser, (against which she was created), and although it suffered major breakdowns, she continued fighting until the end of the action. Sadly, her fate was the same as that of many ships of the German High Seas Fleet. She was interned at Scapa Flow after the Armistice, where she was sunk by her crew on June 21, 1919.

VON DER TANN gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin



Blohm & Voss



Entered service




Displacement, (full load)

21,700 tonnes

Dimensions (length x beam x draught)

171.70 x 26.60 x 9.20 meters

Armour, (maximum)

Steel: Barbettes: 230mm – Main turrets: 230mm – Command tower: 250mm
Steel: Belt: 250mm – Bulkhead: 180mm – Upper deck: 20mm – Armoured deck: 50mm


18 x Schulz-Thornycroft boilers – 4 x Parsons steam geared turbines

Power, (total)

43,600 shp

Shafts - Screws

4 shafts – 4 screws


24.8 knots (46 km/h)


2,936 tonnes of coal


4,400 n. miles (8,140 km) at 14 knots


660 x 280mm shells + 1,500 x 150mm shells + 3,200 x 88mm shells + 11 torpedoes

Main guns

8 x 280mm SK L/45 guns in twin turrets

Secondary guns

10 x 150 mm SK L/45 guns in single mounts + 16 x 88 mm SK L/45 guns in single mounts


4 x 450mm torpedo tubes (submerged)