SMS Elsass was the second of five pre-dreadnought battleships of the Braunschweig class in the German Imperial Navy. She was laid down in May 1901, launched in May 1903, and commissioned in November 1904, though an accident during sea trials delayed her completion until May 1905. She was named for the German province of Elsass, now the French region of Alsace. Her sister ships were Braunschweig, Hessen, Preussen and Lothringen. The ship was armed with a battery of four 28 cm (11 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Like all other pre-dreadnoughts built at the turn of the century, Elsass was quickly made obsolete by the launching of the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought in 1906; as a result, her career as a frontline battleship was cut short.