|A First Look at the Components of WSW's Schleswig-Holstein|
The newest 1:700 warship model from WSW of Germany is the German Predreadnought Battleship, Schleswig-Holstein as the ship appeared in 1939. Her most notable action was firing the first shots of World War Two.
On the morning of September 1, 1939, Schleswig-Holstein was in the Polish Port of Gdansk (Danzig). This port was in a part of Poland known as the Danzig Corridor, which had been awarded to Poland from Germany following World War One. On that morning in September, Schleswig-Holstein was involved in her first combat since the Battle of Jutland in May 31, 1916. Her eleven inch guns fired to reduce the Polish fortress of Westerplatte, which guarded the harbor of Danzig.
Schleswig-Holstein was laid down in August 1905, launched December 7, 1906 and in commission July 6, 1908. She was one of the six ship Deutschland Class, which was the last class of predreadnought battleships built be Germany. One of her sisterships, the Pommern, was blown up at Jutland in the night action, when a British torpedo hit detonated her magazines. Germany was allowed to keep Schleswig-Holstein, following World War One, since the victorious allies did not see predreadnought designs as a threat. Indeed Germany was limited to 10,000 tons per ship for battleship replacement. The allies envisioned that Germany would build more modern versions of Schleswig-Holstein. Instead, Germany built the Deutschland Class Panzer Schiffes.
Schleswig-Holstein was reconstructed in 1925-26 and again in 1930-31. Her appearance greatly changed as the two forward funnels were trunked together and she received additions to her superstructure. During World War Two she remained in the Baltic as a training ship. While anchored at Gotenhaven in 1944, Schleswig-Holstein was struck by three bombs in a raid by the RAF. She was burnt out by fire and sank in 39 feet of water. Awarded to the Soviet Union after World War Two, she was raised, refurbished and served in the Soviet Navy as a target vessel until 1956. She was scuttled in the Gulf of Finland, where the wreck remains to this day.
The WSW model is of Schleswig-Holstein as she appeared on September 1, 1939, when she inaugurated World War Two. The model presents a very striking appearance, with the piled up superstructure, trunked funnels and additional AA mounts. All components of the kit are shown with the exception of the brass rod included for masts and yards. Casting is of the standard outstanding quality for which WSW is known. No photo-etched fret is included in the kit. A build review of this kit will appear in the future.