The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

From the birth of the Dreadnought to the period immediately after the end of World War I.
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Gary
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by Gary » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:46 am

Is it just me or is the Kaiser class the forgotten class of the HSF?

By that I mean I can always find plenty of pcitures on-line of the Badens, Konigs, Helgolands and Nassau's but for some reason a google search of the Kaiser class doesnt get much of a return :?
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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:56 pm

Gary wrote:Is it just me or is the Kaiser class the forgotten class of the HSF?

By that I mean I can always find plenty of pcitures on-line of the Badens, Konigs, Helgolands and Nassau's but for some reason a google search of the Kaiser class doesnt get much of a return :?
Try "Kaiser Klasse". The five ships are sometimes classified as Kaiser Friedrich Klasse or Kaiser Friedrich III Klasse
Ulrich

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Re:

Post by Djoser » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:05 am

Ulrich Rudofsky wrote:I don't know the whole story, but the Kaiser and Teddy Roosevelt were fond of each other. Teddy's daughter Alice ("Princess Alice or the wild animal in good clothes) christened the Kaiser Willi's yacht METEOR (there were 5 SMY Meteors). http://www.scripophily.net/toshconewyo1.html
Fascinating little tale, there. Disappointing as far as Teddy actually liking the Kaiser, but then maybe he saw some good in that rather disgusting monarch. It does happen that bad people have a good side sometimes. Or maybe Teddy was a good actor and making the best of the political situation. It would have been interesting to see them together.

I am a big fan of the WW I German navy, and enjoy reading about the land army as well, but any extensive reading dealing with the Kaiser has always given the impression he was a rather repulsive, rude, and very insecure man who basically ruined what he inherited. One has but to read the text of his address to the German troops leaving to help with the Boxer Rebellion to see him in full effect. 'Kill all the yellow bastards! Show no mercy whatsoever!' being the gist of it.

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Gary
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by Gary » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:22 am

'Kill all the yellow bastards! Show no mercy whatsoever

Doing what any leader should do he was rallying his men.
I suspect there was more than one British officer who would have agreed with that statement.

The Kaisers biggest error was the colossal fortune he spent on constructing a luxury fleet to show off to his British cousins (high sea's fleet).

It was his holidays in Britain with his cousins that made him jealous and want a large battle fleet too (despite the fact that Germany had no real need for a one)
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by lwd » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:35 pm

Gary wrote: ...The Kaisers biggest error was the colossal fortune he spent on constructing a luxury fleet to show off to his British cousins (high sea's fleet)...
I'd argue not keeping Bismarck around and listening to him more was a bigger one.

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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:45 am

According to some authors this "Kaiser Willy was just a fool" statement is incorrect and due to typical "allied wartime propaganda". The Germans built the fleet not becuase of the Kaiser's dead arm but because the British were doing whatever possible to strangle the ever growing German merchant fleet and the German exports. That is why Edward Gray and the French and Russian finnaly formed their wicked alliance to destroy Germany.
Obviously almost 100 years of victorious claims put the Kaiser as just a tantrum keen deformed monster in a state that beat all their contemporaries in social reforms and economic wealth (from 1870 to 1914) kicking France out of No.1 continental power with criminal ease at Sedan.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by 19kilo » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:51 am

In the early 1900s Britain was activly seeking an alliance with Germany, but this was scorned by the German government, possibly under pressure from Tirpitz. He needed an "enemy" with a big fleet to get his Navy Laws past. And far from stiffling German colonial and mercantile ambitions, the British activly encouraged Germany along those lines. It was a collosal blunder made my the Kaiser in appointing Tirpitz State Secretary in order to build up the fleet. Germany had no need of such a battlefleet and all it accomplished was to make an enemy of the preminent naval and industrial power of the age, and drive that power into the hands of the entente. EVEN then, at the start of the Great War, Britain may have stayed neutral ( at least for a few months) had Germany not made another collosal blunder in going into Belgium.

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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by RF » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:02 pm

Gary wrote:'Kill all the yellow bastards! Show no mercy whatsoever
Perhaps influenced by the fact that it was the German ambassador in Peking who was murdered in public by the Boxers, not the ambassador of any other country.
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by RF » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:03 pm

lwd wrote:
Gary wrote: ...The Kaisers biggest error was the colossal fortune he spent on constructing a luxury fleet to show off to his British cousins (high sea's fleet)...
I'd argue not keeping Bismarck around and listening to him more was a bigger one.
I agree.
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by RF » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:08 pm

19kilo wrote:In the early 1900s Britain was activly seeking an alliance with Germany, but this was scorned by the German government, possibly under pressure from Tirpitz. He needed an "enemy" with a big fleet to get his Navy Laws past. And far from stiffling German colonial and mercantile ambitions, the British activly encouraged Germany along those lines. It was a collosal blunder made my the Kaiser in appointing Tirpitz State Secretary in order to build up the fleet. Germany had no need of such a battlefleet....
With a colonial empire and substantial foreign investments and merchant shipping a sizeable navy was needed. What the Germans could have done was to make an agreement with Britain, incorporating an alliance, whereby an agreed size for the HSF is agreed with the British, as was done in 1934. If Bismarck was around in the early 1900's he would probably have done that.
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by lwd » Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:36 pm

RF wrote:
19kilo wrote:In the early 1900s Britain was activly seeking an alliance with Germany, but this was scorned by the German government, possibly under pressure from Tirpitz. He needed an "enemy" with a big fleet to get his Navy Laws past. And far from stiffling German colonial and mercantile ambitions, the British activly encouraged Germany along those lines. It was a collosal blunder made my the Kaiser in appointing Tirpitz State Secretary in order to build up the fleet. Germany had no need of such a battlefleet....
With a colonial empire and substantial foreign investments and merchant shipping a sizeable navy was needed. What the Germans could have done was to make an agreement with Britain, incorporating an alliance, whereby an agreed size for the HSF is agreed with the British, as was done in 1934. If Bismarck was around in the early 1900's he would probably have done that.
I thought I'd read somewhere that Bismarck realized that colonial empires just weren't woth it anymore. He might even have traded off what Germany had for trade concessions and other treaties.

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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by RF » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:59 am

It was under Bismarck's chancellorship that in 1884 Germany acquired colonies in Africa and then in the Pacific, with territories purchased from Spain.
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by Djoser » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:20 pm

Gary wrote:'Kill all the yellow bastards! Show no mercy whatsoever

Doing what any leader should do he was rallying his men.
I suspect there was more than one British officer who would have agreed with that statement.
His own grandmother Queen Victoria despised him. That ought to tell you something right there.

Bulow described the Kaiser's speech as "...the worst speech of this period and perhaps the most harmful William II ever made." Not that Bulow was any great prize, but his perception of the right and wrong way for the Kaiser to address the troops was probably far better than his judgment in recreational matters.

It was this speech that originated the term 'Huns' as applied to the German Army. "Take no prisoners! Kill him when he falls into your hands!"* might be what he thought was a good way to rally his troops, but for a head of state it was most assuredly indiscreet. Hohenlohe was appalled as well. They attempted to edit the transcript of the speech, but it was too late for that, it rapidly spread around the world and did very little to add to the reputation of the Kaiser or Germany.

And if I was a guest on his yacht...well, I wouldn't have lasted long, what with the enforced calisthenics and stupid practical jokes.

Sorry guys, I am not one to bash the German Empire in general, and god knows the English, French, and Russians played a part in provoking the war, but he strikes me as being a pompous, insufferable little prick almost any way you look at him. Admittedly I am not an authority, my judgment derives from having read The Arms of Krupp, The Guns of August, Dreadnought, and Castles of Steel (the latter two by Robert K. Massie, both quite good--and neither demonstrating any serious pro-British, anti-German bias as far as I could tell).

*And that is a quote.

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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by RF » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:26 pm

Djoser wrote:
Sorry guys, I am not one to bash the German Empire in general, and god knows the English, French, and Russians played a part in provoking the war, but he strikes me as being a pompous, insufferable little prick almost any way you look at him.
*And that is a quote.
As I have tried to explain to Karl, I don't think the Russians, French and certainly the British wanted war in 1914. They were responding to events which included violation of small countries by the two Kaisers. Note that their ally the Italians backed out and had nothing to do with it.

The other aspect of the speech by the Kaiser was that it was also carried into genocide in Africa, in the form of the 1907 Herero War, which again did nothing to improve either his image or that of the German Army. And secretly backing the Boers in South Africa at the same time as the Boxer Rebellion further disendeared him to the British.
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Re: The German Dreadnought Kaiserin

Post by lwd » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:07 pm

RF wrote:It was under Bismarck's chancellorship that in 1884 Germany acquired colonies in Africa and then in the Pacific, with territories purchased from Spain.
I'm not at all an expert here but I thought that those were against the advice of Bismarck. Ultimately he had to do what the King ordered, did he not?

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