SMS Braunschweig was the first of five pre-dreadnought battleships of the Braunschweig class built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy). She was laid down in October 1901, launched in December 1902, and commissioned in October 1904. She was named after the Duchy of Brunswick (German: Braunschweig). 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, Braunschweig was quickly made obsolete by the launching of the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought in 1906; as a result, her career as a front-line battleship was cut short. The ship served in II Squadron of the German fleet after entering service. During this period, she was occupied with extensive annual training, as well as making good-will visits to foreign countries. She also served as a flagship for most of her pre-war career. Surpassed by new dreadnought battleships, Braunschweig was decommissioned in 1913, but reactivated a year later following the outbreak of World War I. She was assigned to IV Battle Squadron, which operated in both the North Sea, protecting the German coast, and the Baltic Sea, where it opposed the Russian Baltic Fleet. Braunschweig saw action during the Battle of the Gulf of Riga in August 1915, when she engaged the Russian battleship Slava. By late 1915, crew shortages and the threat from British submarines forced the Kaiserliche Marine to withdraw older battleships like Braunschweig, and she spent the rest of the war first as a headquarters ship, then as a training ship, and finally as a barracks ship. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, she was retained after the end of the war and modernized in 1921?22. Braunschweig served in the reformed Reichsmarine, operating as the flagship of naval forces assigned to the North Sea. She made several cruises abroad, including a voyage into the Atlantic in 1924. The ship was decommissioned again in January 1926 and was stricken from the naval register in March 1931, hulked, and subsequently broken up for scrap.