After World War I Germany was only allowed to keep six old pre Dreadnought battleships (plus two on reserve). These were the ships of the Braunschweig and Deutschlandclass. Build between 1904 and 1905, the Braunschweig
class was already obsolete during World War I and were decommissioned in 1917, but the lack of available ships forced those veterans of the Battle of Jutland into service again. They were not able to fight any modern warship of their time and could only be used as coast defense or training ships. In this role, they made intensive voyages to Africa, Middle- and South America between 1926 and 1939.
Most of those ships didn't see action in World War II anymore, since they were replaced by modern units, only the Schleswig Holstein
was broken down in 1931, the Elsass
in 1936, the Hessen
was replaced by the Admiral Scheer
and used as a target ship, the Lothringen
was only used as a naval reserve, the Preussen
was broken down in 1931 while some parts were used for torpedo and mine tests.