The Helgoland class battleship was the second class of German
dreadnought battleships. The class comprised four ships: Helgoland, the
lead ship; Oldenburg; Ostfriesland; and Thüringen. The design was a
significant improvement over the previous Nassau-class ships; they had
a larger main batttery—30.5 cm (12.0 in) main guns instead of the 28 cm
(11 in) weapons mounted on the earlier vessels—and an improved
propulsion system. The Helgolands were easily distinguished from the
preceding Nassaus by the three funnels that were closely arranged,
compared to the two larger funnels of the previous class. The ships
retained the unusual hexagonal main battery layout of the Nassau-class.
The ships served as a unit in the I Division, I Battle Squadron
alongside the Nassau-class ships in the II Division of the I Battle
Squadron. They saw combat during World War I, including the Battle of
Jutland in the North Sea and the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in the
Baltic. All four survived the war, but were not taken as part of the
German fleet that was interned at Scapa Flow. When the German ships at
Scapa Flow were scuttled, the four Helgolands were ceded as war
reparations to the victorious Allied powers in the sunken ships' stead.
Ostfreisland was taken by the US Navy and expended as a target during
Billy Mitchell's air power demonstration in July 1921. Helgoland and
Oldenburg were allotted to Britain and Japan respectively, and broken
up in 1921. Thüringen was delivered to France in 1920, and was used as
a target ship for the French navy. The ship was eventually broken up
between 1923 and 1933.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Reconquista: Forces under King Afonso I of Portugal captured Lisbon
from the Moors after a four-month siege in what would be one of their
only successes during the Second Crusade.
Charge of the Light Brigade: Lord Cardigan led his cavalry to disaster
in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.
The Third Dáil adopted the Constitution of the Irish Free State, based
on the requirements of the Anglo-Irish Treaty establishing the first
independent Irish state to be recognised by the British.
The Zinoviev Letter, later found to be a forgery, was published in the
Daily Mail, helping to ensure the British Labour Party's defeat in the
UK general election four days later.
The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, replacing the Republic
of China with the People's Republic of China as China's representative
at the United Nations.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(archaic) Theft of cattle in herds
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I would prefer to remain in prison for another 20 years than bargain my
beliefs for freedom.
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