SMS Hildebrand was the fifth vessel of the six-member Siegfried class of coastal defense ships built for the German Imperial Navy. Her sister ships were Siegfried, Beowulf, Frithjof, Heimdall, and Hagen. Hildebrand was built by the Kaiserliche Werft Kiel shipyard between 1890 and 1893, and was armed with a main battery of three 24-centimeter guns. She served in the German fleet throughout the 1890s and was rebuilt in 1900–1902. She served in the VI Battle Squadron after the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, but saw no action. Hildebrand was demobilized in 1915 and used as a barracks ship thereafter. She ran aground while en route to the Netherlands for scrapping in 1919, and was eventually broken up in situ in 1933.
Hildebrand was 79 meters long overall and had a beam of 14.9 m and a maximum draft of 5.74 m . She displaced 3,741 long tons at full combat load. Her propulsion system consisted of two vertical 3-cylinder triple expansion engines. Steam for the engines was provided by four coal-fired boilers. The ship's propulsion system provided a top speed of 14.8 kn and a range of approximately 1,490 nautical miles at 10 kn . Hildebrand had a crew of 20 officers and 256 enlisted men.
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