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SMS Schlesien

SMS Schlesien was one of five Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleships that served in the German Imperial Navy. Named after the province of Silesia in 1906 and commissioned in 1908, Schlesien was primarily occupied with training cruises and fleet maneuvers in her early career. She served with the High Seas Fleet throughout the first two years of World War I, saw brief action at the Battle of Jutland, and became a training ship in 1917. The Treaty of Versailles permitted the German navy to keep eight obsolete battleships, including Schlesien, to defend the German coast. Modernized in the mid-1920s, the ship saw limited combat during World War II, briefly bombarding Polish forces during the invasion of Poland in September 1939. After escorting minesweepers during the invasion of Norway and Denmark in April 1940, she primarily served as a training ship and icebreaker. She was sunk by a mine in 1945 while tasked with providing fire support off the Baltic coast of occupied Poland. (Full article...)

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