Late XIXth century ships


In love with Rei Ayanami
Nov 16, 2001
Fontainebleau FRANCE

for a Boer War scenario currently in beta I need some late XIXth century battleships or other military ships. These are not the key elements of the scenario but I would need to have military transports for mostly England and
military ships for England, Germany and Portugal (smaller ones for the latter).

Some ships have been made into units. I have however very little knowledge of what ships were back then. So if you could tell me how they looked or even better, look here ( and tell me if I could use one or more if these ships (and for which country) that would help me a lot.

Thanks in advance,

I'll assume we're talking about the 1899-1902 Boer War here, and not the earlier conflict in 1880.

Bit of history on the ships of the Royal Navy around that time:

Lots of photos of ships from that era:

Note though that although these warships all look more modern, alot of sail-powered vessels were still in use for long-distance transport, iron-hulled schooners and barques with a mix of sails and screw propellers. Coal power limited the range and cargo capacity of ships, so commercial vessels or transport vessels were still using sails widely for distance trips.

The Monarch, Casemate, Scharnhorst, etc are, I think, a bit later than the Boer war, but you could rename them and say they are Line of Battle Ships or armoured cruisers like the Prince George. The Emden you could use as a Second Class Cruiser. I don't know what you should do about transport ships, you could use the steamer there, but you ought to also have some composite schooners or barques. Perhaps you could try to say the steam frigate was a composite merchant ship of some sort, it wouldn't be a pretty solution but I guess it would do. You should also try to find some representation of the torpedo boats and torpedo/gun boats. I see he has one there at the bottom of the second page but it's not finished yet, perhaps you could just substitute the WW1 subchaser and call it a torpedo boat.

Unlimited by those graphics, I would try to have:

Line of Battle Ships
First Class Cruisers
Second Class Cruisers
Torpedo Boat
Torpedo Gun Boat
Composite steamer
Composite schooner or steel barque, with auxiliary steam

As far as the Boer ships, or those of British allies, I don't really know much. Canada probably had some torpedo boats and perhaps a few small cruisers or old gunboats, but I don't think they sent any fighting warships. I'm not at all sure what the Boers had, if anything. The only navy that really mattered in that conflict was the Royal Navy, though others might have had some merchant shipping (steamers, schooners, barques, etc). For the Boers it would have been pointless to try to challenge the Royal Navy at sea.
German ships commissioned until 1903:

Ships of the Line (Battleships):

Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm (1894)
Brandenburg (1893)
Weißenburg (1894)
Wörth (1893)
Kaiser Friedrich III. (1898)
Kaiser Wilhelm II. (1900)
Kaiser Wilhelm der Große (1901)
Kaiser Karl der Große (1902)
Kaiser Barbarossa (1901)
Wettin (1902)
Wittelsbach (1902)
Zähringen (1902)
Mecklenburg (1903)

Coastal Defence Ships:

Siegfried (1890)
Beowulf (1892)
Frithjof (1893)
Heimdall (1894)
Hildebrand (1893)
Hagen (1894)
Odin (1896)
Ägir (1896)

Large (Armoured) Cruiser:

Kaiserin Augusta (1895)
Victoria Louise (1899)
Herta (1898)
Freya (1898)
Vineta (1899)
Hansa (1899)
Fürst Bismarck (1900)
Prinz Heinrich (1902)
Friedrich Carl (1903)

Small (Light) Cruiser:

Irene (1887)
Prinzeß Wilhelm (1887)
Sperber (1887)
Schwalbe (1887)

Gazelle (1900)
Niobe (1900)
Nymphe (1900)
Thetis (1901)
Ariadne (1901)
Medusa (1901)
Amazone (1901)
Frauenlob (1903)
Arcona (1903)


Seeadler (1892)
Condor (1892)
Gefion (1894)
Greif (1887)
Hela (1896)
Blitz (1882)
Comet (1892)
Bussard (1892)
Geier (1892)
Cormoran (1892)
Falke (1892)
Grille (1857)
Jagd (1888)
Wacht (1888)
Loreley (1884)
Pfeil (1882)


Torpedoboot 1885:
S 7- S 65 (1885- 1892)

Torpedoboot 1892:
S 66- S 81 (1893- 1896)

Torpedoboot 1897:
S 82- S 89 (1897, 98)

Hochseetorpedoboot (High sea torpedoboat) 1898:
S 90 - S 119 (1899- 1903) (S 120- 137 (1904- 1907))

Iltis (1899)
Jaguar (1899)
Tiger (1900)
Luchs (1900)
Panther (1902)
Eber (1903)

Outdated ships (years only roughly):

Sachsen, Bayern, Württemberg, Baden (about 1880): Coastal Defence ships of little value and bad seaworthyness)

Basilisk, Biene, Chamäleon, Crokodill, Hummel, Mücke, Natter, Salamander, Scorpion, Viper, Wespe: Armoured gun boats of very little value (about 1880); Brummer, Bremse (1884) dito, later trainings ship

Cruiser corvettes (1880): Carola, Olga, Marie, Sophie; Charlotte (1885), Nixe (1885)

Cruiser Frigate: Gneisenau (1879), Moltke, Stein, Stosch, Bismarck, Blücher

Armoured Cruiser (in 1898): Deutschland, Kaiser (both 1875), Neptun (ex Friedrich Carl, 1867), Friedrich der Große (1874), Kronprinz (1867), König Wilhelm (1868), Oldenburg (1884), Preußen (1873)

Gun boats: Möve, Habicht (1879), Hay (1881)
Germany didn't participate directly in the Boer War, though.

EDIT oops, saw he was asking for German ships. Must be a global scenario, I was thinking it would just be South Africa. Silly me.
Thanks for the answers.

1/ It is just about the second Boer War, you were correct. And I should have mentionned it.
2/ It is only in Southern Africa.

But Germany and Portugal have colonies there. And I open the possibility for Germany to side with the Boers or the Brits in this war. The Boers did not havy ANY fleet AFAIK and were landlocked. The Germans will have only one cruiser or two and the dominationg fleet will be the British of course. Seawarfare won't be a big part of the game (hence I probably won't add topedo boats) but it could be interesting if the Germans decide to act against the British. And since the British have reinfocement bases overseas their lines could be broken.

So thank you Frekk for the help on choosing the vessels and thank you Adler as I will be able to give the German ship(s) a name.
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