Talk:SMS Hindenburg

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Featured article SMS Hindenburg is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Featured topic star SMS Hindenburg is part of the Battlecruisers of the world series, a featured topic. It is also part of the Battlecruisers of Germany series, a featured topic. These are identified as among the best series of articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve them, please do so.


I was very surprised to learn that this ship was named for Hindenburg while he was not only alive but on active duty. Not counting royalty, did this ever happen either before or later? Radio Sharon (talk) 02:44, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

All of the König class battleships effectively were named after the Kaiser, because they were all titles that he held (König=King, Großer Kurfürst=Great Elector, Markgraf=Margrave, and Kronprinz=Crown Prince). SMS Prinz Adalbert was named after the Kaiser's son, Prince Adalbert of Prussia (1884-1948) and SMS Prinz Heinrich was named after the Kaiser's brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia (1862-1929). The only non-royal examples were the unfinished battlecruiser SMS Mackensen, which was named for August von Mackensen (also in military service during the war) and the old ironclad frigate SMS Bismarck, which was built in the late 1870s, while Bismarck was still alive. I think that's about it for German ships of the period. Parsecboy (talk) 12:46, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


Battlecruisers can also be referred to as "dreadnoughts". Staff's book repeatedly refers to them as such; for instance, on page six, in reference to SMS Von der Tann, he writes "When completed Von der Tann was the fastest dreadnought warship in the world". Dreadnought refers to "all-big-gun" and generally turbine propulsion, nothing more. Parsecboy (talk) 13:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Dreadnoughts are also defined by armor and speed. Battlecruisers, sacrifice some of the former in order to gain more of the latter. BCs also tend to have slightly lesser caliber big guns than dreadnoughts. You should be aware that the very term dreadnought comes from a battleship and not a battlecruiser. These types of ships preceded the BCs by several years. Now the Fast battleships, which are descendants of 2nd generation BCs, such as HMS Hood, can certainly be considered dreadnoughts, or even super dreads in some cases. But we are not talking one of those here. In every book and article on the subject I have read over the decades, the term dreadnought is applied ONLY to battleships of a specific type, Never to battlecruisers. Even Wikipedia's own articles on the subject do not make that least not yet. The term major capital ship would be far more accurate and acceptable.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 10:28, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, British battlecruisers might have sacrificed armor, but the German ships certainly did not, and the Derfflingers carried the same caliber main guns as the corresponding German BBs of the König class. Yes, "dreadnought" typically refers to the battleship, but it can also refer to battlecruisers. Another source: David Howarth's The Dreadnoughts on page 49 "her name had shifted from armored cruiser to dreadnought cruiser to battle cruiser". The World War I Encyclopedia states "the battlecruisers, known until 1912 as 'dreadnought armored cruisers'...." Evans' and Peatties' Kaigun states "the result was the dreadnought armored cruiser, known by 1912 as the battle cruiser. Parsecboy (talk) 11:11, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Something else to consider: John Brooks' Dreadnought Gunnery and the Battle of Jutland refers to both battleships and battlecruisers as dreadnoughts. For instance, on the first page, he states "However, the greater speeds of the dreadnought battleships and battlecruisers allowed them to..." On page 2, he states "In 1908, Germany laid down her first dreadnought battlecruiser...". You have yet to provide a single source proving your claim that "dreadnought" can only refer to battleships. I've given you 5 that demonstrate your position is incorrect. Parsecboy (talk) 11:38, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Just to point out a couple of things; Invincible followed Dreadnought by 6 months, not several years. Also, the first fast battleships were the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships, which were completed long before Hood was even laid down. And "super-dreadnought" refers to mounting all the main guns on the centerline (i.e., with superfiring guns), and the heavy battery consisting of guns larger than 12 inches (such as HMS Orion, the first super-dreadnought). Parsecboy (talk) 11:47, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
If you notice above I stated some fast battleships could be referred to as super dreadnoughts. Regardless, they are not the subject of this debate.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:03, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Well Hindenburg was built after 1912, so the term dreadnought armored cruiser does not apply. In fact during and after the First World War, it became standard and accepted practice to refer to ONLY battleships as dreadnoughts, irregardless or what experimental and temporary terms were used to describe BCs antebellum. You are quoting out of historical context. And any author who misuses the term dreadnought is also wrong by long accepted conventions. Instead of 5, I'd rather you just give me 3 better words in place of your one questionable one.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:03, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Brook's book was published in 2005, and refers to the ships as dreadnoughts. Staff's was published in 2006. You're telling me they're wrong? On a somewhat related note, my grandmother used to argue with the dictionary.
Here's something else you apparently will dismiss out of hand: Peter Hore's Battleships of World War I repeatedly refers to "Dreadnought-type battleships and battlecruisers." A former Captain of the Royal Navy, a 40-year veteran, no less, is full of shit then?
All fast battleships are super-dreadnoughts according to the definition of the term; can you find me a fast BB that carried its armament in wing turrets or en echelon? Parsecboy (talk) 13:11, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't think Capt. Hore is full of shit. But I do think you are engaging in territorial urination with this article. Why else would you so obstinately allow a controversial term to not be replaced by one that is less so and applies at least as well. What I ask for is minor and reasonable. Is not this project supposed to be about constructive collaboration instead of territorial urination?--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:24, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Because it's only controversial to you. You have still not provided a single source to back up your claim. Wikipedia is also about citing reliable sources. You have dismissed three books written in the past three years as "wrong" without any justification other than your opinion. When you provide sources, then we can proceed. Parsecboy (talk) 13:26, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Definition of a dreadnought refers only to all-big-guns and, maybe, turbines. Speed and armor have nothing to do with it. If you believe differently, please provide some cites supporting your belief. Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 19:05, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
    • Dreadnought is the definition given to a ship that makes use of a uniform battery of guns on a center line rather than a variety of guns spread out all across the ship. By this definition then, any large caliber gun ship that employees a uniform battery of main guns down the main line without secondary guns would be referred to as a dreadnought regardless of the displacement or classification of the vessel in question. This definition expanded somewhat with super dreadnought and the WWII era gunships that employed uniform secondary gun batteries and AA-guns, but its essence remains unchanged. TomStar81 (Talk) 21:32, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Okay, this is an interesting argument. It's my opinion that battlecruisers are dreadnoughts, for the reasons outlined by Tom above. Having said that, I don't think that we necessarily should refer to them as such; it may be more confusing than it is worth. I think that when someone thinks of a "dreadnought" they think of a late 1900/early 1910 battleship, not of a battlecruiser. Thoughts? —Ed (TalkContribs) 22:29, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Our goal here is to create articles aimed at the general reader and the amateur aficionado. Using the term so promiscuously, will only create confusion among both these audiences.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 12:38, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

1 : a warm garment of thick cloth; also  : the cloth 2 [Dreadnought, British battleship] a : battleship b : one that is among the largest or most powerful of its kind

Score 1 for battleship, now let's try the Free Dictionary- n. A battleship armed with six or more guns having calibers of 12 inches or more.

That's 2, now let's see what Wordnetweb at Princeton says- (n) dreadnought, dreadnaught (battleship that has big guns all of the same caliber)

Three is indeed a magic number, but we can do better, so let's go over to Your Dictionary- Etymology: after Dreadnought, the first of such a class of British battleships, built in 1906 any large, heavily armored battleship with many powerful guns

Oh my, they used the B word twice, but I'll only count it once as 5. Audio English says- The noun DREADNOUGHT has 1 sense: 1. battleship that has big guns all of the same caliber

This definition is pretty much echoed by All Words and (implying there that dreadnought is a synonym for Battleship) so that makes for 8.

It seems old Granny is not the only one who likes to argue with dictionaries. Even the bloody Wiktionary defines it as a battleship! But since this is supposedly an encyclopedia article, let's see what some other 'pedias have to say.

Starting with, the oldest, most prestigious in the English language, hail Britannica- development of warships ( in naval ship:Battleships ) The Dreadnought gave its name to an entirely new class of battleships of the most advanced design.

Besides its definition (as taken from the US Military Dictionary ) offers up two entries-

Dreadnought is the name given to a type of battleship introduced into the principal navies after the experiences of the Russo-Japanese War. The chief innovations were higher speed and a main armament of heavy guns. The first to enter service was HMS Dreadnought in December 1906.

n.historical a type of battleship introduced in the early 20th century, larger and faster than its predecessors and equipped entirely with large-caliber guns.

This latter is echoed by Here is an interesting definition from Notice how battlecruisers are mentioned separately, and with no mention od the dreaded D word.

That should be enough for now. My sources are all out there and readily available for everyone to see, unlike your collection of dead tree bark. I will gladly provide dead tree parts too upon request and more links if need be. In the meantime, you can search these results and if you can find any references to battlecruisers as dreadnoughts, please share.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 12:38, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Dictionaries and encyclopedias are fine and all, but I prefer to think naval scholars have a greater deal of authority on this one. Parsecboy (talk) 12:53, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Those are reference works. Is that not what WP is supposed to be also? You are being closed-minded now, as well as unreasonable.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:12, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Battlecruisers can be referred to as dreadnoughts, which I have demonstrated above. Why is it such a big deal to you that this article does so? Parsecboy (talk) 13:22, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
And I just demonstrated above that the term traditionally and properly only applies to battleships. Why can't you simply accept that? To paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd; Gimme three words, mistah, and you'll never seea me no more.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:35, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Done. Parsecboy (talk) 13:38, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Pity we could have not come to this reasonable compromise earlier, but that's all bilge water now. Peace my friend.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:41, 19 August 2009 (UTC)