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SACHSEN central citadel ironclads (1878 - 1883)


  Baden 1889  


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Sachsen   74 Vulcan, Stettin 1875 21.7.1877 20.10.1878 discarded 2.1910
Bayern   3 Kiel KW 1874 13.5.1878 4.8.1881 discarded 2.1910
Württemberg   78 Vulcan, Stettin 1876 9.11.1878 9.5.1881 torpedo training and test ship 1906
Baden   4 Kiel KW 1876 28.7.1880 24.9.1883 discarded 10.1910

Technical data

Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t

Sachsen: 7935

Bayern: 7742

Württemberg: 7877

Baden: 7938

Length, m

98.2 oa 93.0 wl

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 HSE, 8 rectangular boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 700

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

wrought iron; citadel: 254 - 203 sides, 152 transverse bulkheads, deck: 75 - 50, barbettes: 254, CT: 140


6 x 1 - 263/20 RKL/22 C/76, 6 x 1 - 87/22 RKL/24 C/82, 8 x 1 - 37/37 SK L/40



Standard scale images

<i>Sachsen</i> 1881
Sachsen 1881
<i>Sachsen </i>1900
Sachsen 1900


  <i>Baden </i>1889  
  Baden 1889  

Project history

The Sachsens, classed as armoured corvettes, had a somewhat unusual main armament layout. Two guns were mounted side by side on the forecastle, in a pear-shaped barbette, and the others were mounted in the corners of a square barbette occupying the space just behind the four funnels, also arranged in a square. The patent sandwich wrought iron armour protected the citadel and barbettes.

Ship protection

There was used patented wrought iron sandwich armour. Citadel expanded from underwater hull part till the upper deck and consisted from 254mm (tapered to 203mm near transverse bulkheads) side armour backed by 200mm wood and 152mm transverse bulkheads backed by 230mm wood. Armour deck had 75-50mm thickness. CT had 140mm sides. Barbettes were protected by 254mm iron armour backed by 250mm wood.


1886, all: + 3 - 350 TT (2 bow, 1 stern)

(1896-1897, Germaniawerft, Kiel), Baden; (1895 - 1898, Schichau, Danzig), Bayern; (1897-1899, Kiel KW), Sachsen; (1898-1899, Kiel KW), Württemberg : all wrought iron armour was replaced by Krupp armour, fore CT was replaced by new, with 200mm sides and 50mm roof, new aft CT was mounted, with 15mm sides and 12mm roof. 3-cyl single expansion engines were replaced by 4-cyl compound engines (HCE), rectangular boilers were replaced by 8 Dürr boilers (8 Thornycroft on Württemberg), 6201-6454hp, 14.2-15.7kts, 576-615t of coal, 3000(10)nm. + 8 x 1 - 88/27 SKL/30 C/89, 2 - 450 TT (beam)

Naval service

  All four ships were rebuilt in the second half of the 1890s with Krupp armour replacing the original, the funnels being reduced to one, compound engines fitted to increase the speed by at least a knot and the secondary armament changed to eight 88mm.

In 1906 Württemberg became an experimental and instructional ship for torpedo warfare, with only four 88mm guns but seven 450mm torpedo tubes (1 bow, 4 beam sm and aw, 2 stern). Sachsen and Bayern became target ships in 1911 and were broken up in 1919, while Baden was used as a hulk for boom defence from 1912, relegated to a target ship in 1920, but not scrapped until 1939. Württemberg was broken up in 1920.