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MOLTKE battlecruisers (1911-1912)


  Goeben 1912  


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Moltke   200 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg 7.12.1908 7.4.1910 30.9.1911 interned 11.1918, scuttled 21.6.1919
Goeben   201 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg 28.8.1909 28.3.1911 2.7.1912 to Turkey 8.1914 (Yavus Sultan Selim)

Technical data

Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

186.6 oa 186.0 wl

Breadth, m


Draught, m

8.77 mean 9.19 deep load

No of shafts



4 Parsons steam turbines, 24 Marine boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 3100

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

belt: 270 - 100, bulkheads: 200 - 100, deck: 50 with 50mm slopes, turrets: 230 - 60, barbettes: 230 - 30, casemates: 200 - 150, CT: 350 - 80, torpedo bulkhead: 30


5 x 2 - 283/47 SK L/50 C/09, 12 x 1 - 149/42 SK L/45 C/09, 12 x 1 - 88/45 SK L/45 C/13, 4 - 500 TT (1 bow, 2 beam, 1 stern)



Standard scale images

<i>Moltke</i> 1914
Moltke 1914


  <i>Goeben </i>1912  
  Goeben 1912  

Project history

This class were a considerable improvement on the Von der Tann and in addition to increased size, had a different hull form with greater amidships beam and finer ends. The Moltke was built under the 1908-9 programme and the Goeben under that for 1909-10. The forecastle deck ran to abaft the mainmast and freeboard at normal load was about 7.3m forward and 4.3m aft. GM was 3.01m and it was originally intended to use Frahm anti-rolling tanks. Tandem rudders were fitted.

The main turrets were distributed as in Von der Tann except that the after turret was replaced by a super-firing pair. The Drh LC/08 mountings were similar to C/07 but only 13.5° elevation was allowed though this was increased to 16° in Moltke after Jutland and to 22.5° in Goeben by the end of the war. All magazines were above shell rooms. The 15cm guns were in an upper deck battery. The TT were located at bow, stern and on either broadside forward of the torpedo bulkhead.

There were 12 boiler rooms and 4 engine rooms with main turbines arranged as in Von der Tann; boiler pressure was also as in this ship, as was the later use of tar oil. On the mile Moltke attained 85,780shp = 28.4kts and Goeben 85,660shp = 28.0kts.

Ship protection

The main belt was 270mm between the outer edges of the end barbettes and from 1.4m above to 0.4m below lwl. It was tapered to 130mm at the lower edge 1.8m below lwl, while the upper part was a uniform 200mm to the battery port sills or upper deck outside the battery. Forward the belt was 120-100mm and aft 100mm. The barbettes were 230-200mm but the amidships ones were 80mm behind the 150mm battery armour, and all 30mm behind the 200mm upper belt. The turrets had 230mm faces and rears, 180mm sides and 80-60mm roofs, and the armour deck was 25mm behind the main belt with 50mm slopes, 50mm forward and 80mm with 50mm slopes aft. The forecastle deck was 25mm over the battery and the upper deck 25mm over the main belt outside the battery. The torpedo bulkhead was 50-30mm.


1914, Moltke: - 4 x 1 - 88/45; + 4 x 1 - 88/45 SK L/45 C/13 (AA)

1916, Moltke: - 8 x 1 - 88/45

Naval service

In the 1914-18 War Moltke, undamaged at Dogger Bank and possibly never fired at, was torpedoed by British submarine E1 on 19 August 1915 but the hit was right forward and little damage was done. At Jutland she scored 9 hits on Tiger in the first 12 minutes and in spite of 4 381mm hits and 1 343mm near miss, was in good fighting order and able to do 25kts at the end of the day. On 24 April 1918 the starboard inner screw fell off and before the turbine could be stopped, the wheel of the engine turning gear disintegrated, wrecking the auxiliary condenser outlet and causing about 2000 tons of water to flood in with salting of all boilers. Emergency repairs enabled her to proceed under own power about 36 hours later, and she was then torpedoed in way of the port engine rooms by British submarine E42. Flooding amounted to 1730 tons but no vital damage was caused. The Moltke was raised at Scapa Flow in 1927 and broken up in 1927-29.

The Goeben was in the Mediterranean in 1914 and was able to outrun the Indomitable and Indefatigable on 4 August 1914. She entered the Dardanelles on the 10th, was nominally transferred to Turkey as Yavuz Sultan Selim and operated with moderate success against the Russian Black Sea Fleet. She struck 2 Russian mines on 26 December 1914 causing about 2000 tons of flood water, and during the sortie from the Dardanelles on 20 January 1918, in which she sank the monitor Raglan, struck 3 British mines. None of these 5 mines ruptured the torpedo bulkhead. The two Russian and one of the British mine holes were repaired using cofferdams.

After the war the Goeben became Turkish property and was refined and the two remaining British mine holes finally repaired in 1926-30. She was laid up in 1948 and decommissioned in 1960.