Preussen Class Ironclad
The Preussen class of armored frigates was a class of three ships built for the German Imperial Navy in the early 1870s. The lead ship, Preussen, was laid down in 1871 and launched in 1873. Friedrich der Grosse also was laid down in 1871 and launched in 1874. Grosser Kurfürst, although the first to be laid down, in 1869, was the last to be completed, launched in 1875. The ships served in the fleet starting in 1876, when Preussen was commissioned.
Grosser Kurfürst was lost in 1878 during maneuvers shortly after her commissioning, when a pair of small sailing boats crossed the bows of Grosser Kurfürst and König Wilhelm, which caused both ships to undertake emergency maneuvers. In the confusion, König Wilhelm collided with Grosser Kurfürst, causing the latter to sink. Both Preussen and Friedrich der Grosse served in the fleet until the 1890s, when they were relegated to secondary duties, including serving as harbor ships, and later as coal hulks. The ships were eventually scrapped following the end of World War I, in 1919 and 1920, respectively.
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