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SMS Fürst Bismarck (1897)
SMS Fürst Bismarck was Germany's first armored cruiser, built for the Kaiserliche Marine before the turn of the 20th century and launched in 1900. Named for the German statesman Otto von Bismarck, the ship was primarily intended for colonial duties. She served in this capacity as part of the East Asia Squadron until she was relieved in 1909, at which point she returned to Germany. The ship was rebuilt between 1910 and 1914, and after the start of World War I, she was briefly used as a coastal defense ship. She proved inadequate to this task, and so she was withdrawn from active duty and served as a training ship for engineers until the end of the war. Fürst Bismarck was decommissioned in 1919 and sold for scrap.Illustration: Hugo Graf; restoration: Adam Cuerden