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Episode 1031

König-class battleship
Sun, 2020-Mar-01 01:14 UTC
Length - 3:58

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Sunday, 1 March 2020 is König-class battleship.

The König class was a group of four dreadnought battleships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) in the early 1910s. The class comprised König, the lead ship, Grosser Kurfürst, Markgraf, and Kronprinz. The design for the ships was derived from the preceding Kaiser class, using the same basic hull but with a rearranged main battery of ten 30.5 cm (12 in) guns in five twin-gun turrets to improve the guns' firing arcs. Instead of the staggered wing turrets used in the Kaisers, the Königs placed their main guns all on the centerline using superfiring pairs fore and aft. Budgetary constraints and the need to begin construction quickly to compete with Britain in the Anglo-German naval arms race prevented any more radical changes. Diesel engines were planned for the ships, but they could not be readied in time, so all four vessels reverted to steam turbines for their propulsion system.

As tensions in Europe spiraled out of control during the July Crisis in 1914, work on the ships was accelerated; all four ships were completed in the early months of World War I and they were rushed into service to join III Battle Squadron of the High Seas Fleet. They took part in a number of operations in the North Sea as support for the battlecruisers of I Scouting Group, including the Raid on Yarmouth and the Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby in late 1914. The year 1915 passed uneventfully, as a series of sweeps into the North Sea failed to bring contact with elements of the British Royal Navy. All four ships were present at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May – 1 June 1916, where they formed the front of the German line of battle. As a result, they received numerous hits, with Kronprinz the only member of the class to avoid being damaged in the action.

As the German fleet shifted priorities to the U-boat campaign after Jutland, the surface fleet declined in significance, though major fleet elements were sent to the Baltic Sea in September 1917 to wage Operation Albion to secure several islands in the Gulf of Riga from Russian forces . König and Kronprinz took part in the Battle of Moon Sound there, where they damaged the Russian pre-dreadnought Slava and forced her scuttling. The four König-class ships saw little activity thereafter and plans for a final attack on the Royal Navy in October 1918 led to the Wilhelmshaven mutiny. All four ships were interned at Scapa Flow after the war, where they were scuttled on 21 June 1919. Grosser Kurfürst was raised in 1938 and broken up, but the other three vessels remain on the sea floor, where they remain popular diving sites.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:14 UTC on Sunday, 1 March 2020.

For the full current version of the article, see König-class battleship on Wikipedia.

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This has been Aditi. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.


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