SMS Bismarck (1877)

Bismarck in the Indian Ocean in the 1880s. 1889 painting by Julius Huth, original in the public domain.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1875
Launched
1877
Commissioned
1878
Decommissioned
1891
AD/BC
AD
History

SMS Bismarck was the first of a class of steam corvettes, laid down in 1875. Commissioned 27 August, 1878, she spent most of her career in the German colonies, and represented Germany in the 1886 World Exhibition, hosted in Australia. Bismarck was used as flagship in the African squadrons in the mid-1880s, and cruised the Pacific in 1887, before she was sent home in the following year, and placed in reserve. An overhaul was cancelled the following year, and Bismarck was decommissioned 21 September, 1891. She was used as a barracks ship until 1920, with a rebuild to better fit the role in 1903, and was subsequently broken up for scrap.