Port of registry: Flag of the German Empire.svg Bremen, Germany
Builder: Stettiner Vulcan, Stettin, #234, for the Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen (NDL)
Laid down:1896, Launched:4 May 1897, Maiden voyage:19 September 1897
Passenger ship, Gt:14,349, 24,300 tons displacement, Length:197,64m. Beam:20,13m. Depth:11,88m. 14 boilers, 2-4 cyl. triple expansion reciprocating engines:33,000 ihp. (25,000 kW.) 2 propellers, 22.5 kn 1,506 passengers, crew:488.
Armament:(in World War 1) 6 x 105 mm. (4.1') guns; 2 x 37 mm. (1.5') guns.
The KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE was a German transatlantic ocean liner named after Wilhelm I, German Emperor, the first ruler of united Germany. Constructed in Stettin for the North German Lloyd (NDL), she entered service in 1897 and was the first liner to have four funnels. The first of four sister ships built between 1903 and 1907 by NDL (the others being SS KRONPRINZ WILHELM, the SS KAISER WILHELM II and the SS KRONPRINZESSIN CECILE, she marked the beginning of a huge change in the way maritime supremacy was demonstrated in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.
The ship began a new era in ocean travel and the novelty of having four funnels was quickly associated with size, strength, speed and above all luxury. Quickly established on the Atlantic, she gained the Blue Riband for Germany, a notable prize for the quickest trip from Europe to America which had been previously dominated by the British. In 1900, she was involved in a fire in the port of New York which resulted in several deaths. She was also the victim of a naval ram in the French port of Cherbourg in 1906. With the advent of her sister ships, she was then converted to an all third class ship to take advantage of the lucrative immigrant market travelling to the United States.
Converted into an auxiliary cruiser during World War I, she was given orders to capture and destroy enemy ships within the first months of the war. Relatively successful, she destroyed several enemy ships before eventually being destroyed in the Battle of Río de Oro in August 1914, the first month of the war, by the British cruiser HMS HIGHFLYER. Her wreck was rediscovered in 1952 and then dismantled.
(Paraguay 1986, 3 G. StG.not) Internet.
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