SMS König dreadnought battleship of the Imperial German Navy firing 12 in main guns
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The König class was a group of four dreadnought battleships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine in the early 1910s. The class comprised König, the lead ship, Grosser Kurfürst, Markgraf, and Kronprinz. The design for the ships was derived from the preceding Kaiser class, using the same basic hull but with a rearranged main battery of ten 30.5 cm (12 in) guns in five twin-gun turrets to improve the guns' firing arcs. Instead of the staggered wing turrets used in the Kaisers, the Königs placed their main guns all on the centerline using superfiring pairs fore and aft. Budgetary constraints and the need to begin construction quickly to compete with Britain in the Anglo-German naval arms race prevented any more radical changes. Diesel engines were planned for the ships, but they could not be readied in time, so all four vessels reverted to steam turbines for their propulsion system.