The four battleships (the official German designation was Linienschiff) of the Brandenburg
class were the first attempt to build real battleships, in difference to their predecessors which were mainly build as coast defence ships. They were the strongest ships of the German navy when they were commissioned. Although they were quite maneuverable ships with a fast turning speed, they tend to take over much water in heavy seas, something that would be characteristically for almost all German battleships. Their 28cm guns could only be loaded in end-on position and had a slow firing rate once the ammunition stored in the turret itself was used up, the barrels of the medium turrets were shorter than those of the others because of the surrounding superstructure.
As part of the 1st Linienschiff Division, they took part in the international intervention in China after the so called "Boxer-insurrection" in 1900 and 1901.
Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm
was sold to Turkey on 12.09.1910 and was renamed to Barbaros Hayreddin
. It was sunk by the British submarine E11
on 08.08.1915 near the Dardanelles.