With the construction of the third class of German Dreadnoughts several new innovations were integrated in German battleships for the first time. The main turrets were not mounted in the "Hexagon" shape anymore, instead the four midship turrets were replaced with two diagonal mounted ones.
class was the first turbine powered battleships of the German Navy. Although there were several doubts about the reliability of this kind of engines, a voyage by the Kaiser
and König Albert
to South America proved that steam turbines could be used for long distance operations. A second new feature of the engine system was the additional oil firing of the boilers, which could boost the performance. It was also planed to install a diesel engine in the Prinzregent Luitpold
to test the use of diesel engines on major warships. Since the diesel engine was never build, the 4th ship of this class was only powered by the turbines on the outer shafts, no center shaft was ever installed.
All four ships operated together in the 3rd Battleship Squadron almost all the time and took part in the Battle of Jutland, where the Kaiser
was slightly damaged. All were scuttled at Scapa Flow, raised in the 1930s and broken down.