Although looking different to their predecessors, the two armored cruisers of the Roon
class were very similar to the Prinz Adalbert
class. With the same armament, same armor protection scheme their only improvement was speed - to increase their top speed, a larger engine system and a fourth funnel had to be added.
Unlike other armored cruisers, they were used for normal fleet operations during World War I. Roon
took part in some Baltic Sea operations, from 1916 it was used as a floating barrack in Kiel. In 1918 it was considered to convert the ship into a seaplane carrier, but this was canceled after the end of the war. In 1921, the ship was scrapped in Kiel .