Kaiserliche Marine

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The Kaiserliche Marine or Imperial Navy was the German Navy created by the formation of the German Empire. It existed between 1871 and 1919, growing out of the Prussian Navy and Norddeutsche Bundesmarine. Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly expanded the Navy, causing a naval arms race between the German Empire and the British Empire. The navy grew to become one of the greatest maritime forces in the world during its existence, second only to that of the Royal Navy. The navy was largely destroyed at Scapa Flow in 1919 by its own officers after the loss of the land war on the Western Front of World War I.

Ships of the Kaiserliche Marine were designated SMS, for Seiner Majestät Schiff (His Majesty's Ship).



The Kaiserliche Marine achieved some important operational feats. It inflicted the first major naval defeat on the Royal Navy in over 100 years at the Battle of Coronel.[1] It also emerged from the fleet action of the Battle of Jutland having destroyed more ships than it lost, although the strategic value of both these encounters was minimal.

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