I’ve wanted to draw SMS Baden for such a long time but I didn’t think that I had the prerequisite skills to pull it off until now.
SMS Baden was a Bayern class battleship which was a class of four super-dreadnought battleships built by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), comprising Bayern, Baden, Sachsen, and Württemberg. Construction started on the ships shortly before World War I; Baden was laid down in 1913, while Bayern and Sachsen followed in 1914, and Württemberg, the final ship, was laid down in 1915. Baden was ordered under the provisional name Ersatz Wörth in 1912, under the fourth and final Naval Law, which was passed that year. Construction began at the Schichau-Werke dockyard in Danzig under construction number 913. The ship was laid down on 20 December 1913 and launched on 30 October 1915. After fitting-out, sea trials were conducted; the ship was commissioned into service on 14 March 1917, too late to take part in The Battle of Jutland. Baden was the last battleship completed by the Imperial Navy due to shipbuilding priorities shifting to U-boat construction after it was determined U-boats were more valuable to the war effort, and so work on new battleships was slowed and ultimately stopped altogether; two of his brothers—Sachsen and Württemberg—were incomplete when the war ended. Baden had cost the Imperial German Government 49 million Goldmarks.
Armed with eight 38cm (15in) guns arranged in four twin gun turrets: two superfiring turret pairs fore and aft of the superstructure. Baden and her sister Bayern were the first German warships to feature guns of this calibre; earlier battleships carried either 28 or 30.5cm (11 or 12in) guns. His secondary armament consisted of sixteen 15cm (5.9in) guns, four 8.8cm (3.45in) guns and five 60cm (23.6in) underwater torpedo tubes, one in the bow and two on each beam.
Baden was 179.4m (588ft 7in) long at the waterline, and 180m (590ft 7in) long overall. He had a draft of between 9.3–9.4m (30ft 6in–30ft 10in). Baden displaced 28,530 metric tons (28,080 long tons) at his designed displacement, which did not include a full load of combat supplies, fuel, and other operational necessities; at full combat load, she displaced up to 32,200 metric tons (31,700 long tons). Baden's displacement was more than 3,000 metric tons (3,000 long tons) greater than that of the preceding König-class ships, making him, along with his brother Bayern, the largest and most powerfully armed battleships built by the Imperial Navy. Baden was powered by three sets of Schichau steam turbines, which were rated at 34,521 shaft horsepower (25,742kW), and produced a maximum of 55,500 shaft horsepower (41,390 kW). Designed speed was 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph), but Baden achieved a maximum speed of 22.1 knots (40.9 km/h; 25.4 mph). Upon commissioning, he carried a crew of 42 officers and 1,129 enlisted men.
Upon commissioning into the High Seas Fleet, Baden was made the fleet flagship, replacing Friedrich der Grosse. Baden saw little action during his short career; the only major sortie in April 1918 ended without any combat. Following the German collapse in November 1918, Baden was interned with the majority of the High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow by the British Royal Navy. Baden was not originally intended to be surrendered under the terms of the Armistice, but was substituted for the battlecruiser Mackensen, which lay incomplete and could not put to sea. As a result, instead of joining the High Seas Fleet when it departed for Scapa Flow on 21 November 1918, Baden left Germany on 7 January 1919. The Royal Navy inspected the ship on 9 January, but many of the technical instruments, including gunnery equipment, had been removed before the ship left Germany.
The fleet remained in captivity during the negotiations in Versailles that ultimately produced the treaty that ended the war. A copy of The Times informed Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, the commander of the interned German fleet, that the Armistice was to expire at noon on 21 June 1919, the deadline by which Germany was to have signed the peace treaty. Von Reuter came to the conclusion that the British intended to seize the German ships after the Armistice expired. To prevent this, he decided to scuttle his ships at the first opportunity. On the morning of 21 June, the British fleet left Scapa Flow to conduct training manoeuvres; at 11:20 Von Reuter transmitted the order to his ships. Baden was the last major warship to begin the scuttling process, and British sailors in the harbour managed to board and secure Baden and run him aground to prevent him from sinking in deeper water. He was the only capital ship not successfully sunk in the scuttling. The ship was refloated in July, after which he was towed to the British naval base at Invergordon.
After the ship arrived in Invergordon, Baden was carefully examined by Royal Navy technicians. Naval engineers inspected the hull, the ship's armour system was extensively investigated; the British team concluded that the ship had not been modified to incorporate the lessons from the Battle of Jutland of 31 May – 1 June 1916. The main battery turrets and ammunition magazines were also the subject of intense scrutiny with the gunnery school HMS Excellent running loading trials on the main battery guns. It was found that the guns could be prepared to fire in 23 seconds, 13 seconds faster than in the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships. The ship's watertight bulkhead and underwater protection systems also particularly interested the inspection team; they paid close attention to the ship's pumping and counter-flooding equipment.
After the inspection was concluded, it was determined to expend Baden as a gunnery target. In January 1921 the first round of gunnery tests was ordered. The second series of tests was scheduled for 16 August 1921 and immediately following the second round of gunnery trials, Baden was scuttled. The ship sank in Hurd Deep in a depth of approximately 180m (600ft).
The most important finding of the trials on Baden was that the 7in (18cm) thick medium armour was completely useless against large-calibre shells. As a result, the British navy adopted the "all or nothing" armour pioneered by the United States Navy. The "all or nothing" armour theory consisted of protecting the ship's vitals with extremely heavy armour, while leaving the rest of the ship completely unprotected. This system was used on Britain's first post-war class of battleships, the Nelson class.
Running Sea Trials
Baden is running sea trials, he has a sternspirit fitted but not a bowspirit, anti-torpedo nets are fitted.
The sternspirit has been removed, and because of experience from the Battle of Jutland so has the anti-torpedo nets.
Baden has now had a spotting top added to his foremast, four 8.8cm FlaK guns have been fitted, the
380mm (15in) turrets have had life rafts fitted to their sides. To aid in aerial recognition the 380mm (15in) turret roofs have been painted black and large white circles added to ‘B’ and ‘C’ turret roofs and ‘C’ turret has had a Range Finder fitted.
Torpedo Tubes Removed; During Operation Albion in October 1917 Bayern struck a mine, which severely damaged the forward broadside torpedo room. Having shipped approximately one thousand tonnes of water Baden was forced to withdraw to a local port for repairs. Based on inaccurate evaluations of the damage briefed to the Kaiser, he made the decision to have the forward beam torpedo tubes removed from both Bayern and Baden.
Baden as originally envisioned, with eight 8.8cm Flak, anti-torpedo nets and five torpedo tubes.
Because I have no accurate dates from the photos that I used for references, the best I can manage is the year the Baden is supposed to represent. I’ve also added the Coat of Arms, even though it was not fitted to the ship itself, I am certain Baden would have the Coat of Arms ‘awarded’ as if they were fitted.
Hope you enjoy.