The last of the four Konig class battleships of the German High Seas Fleet, many keen divers will have heard about, if not actually dived this 25,800 ton dreadnought. She saw active service throughout WWI, including the Battle of Jutland which she emerged from unscathed. Originally named simply SMS Kronprinz, she was renamed SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm in honour of Wilhelm, the last Crown Pince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire, just months before being interned in Scapa Flow.
Today KPW lies upside down in depths ranging from 38m at the stern to about 25m at the bow. Parts of her superstructure and some of the main armaments are accessible from the port side. Two of her three sister ships, SMS Margraf and SMS Konig, lie close by.
There are many recognisable features on this wreck. Visiting divers are very enthusiastic about the 15″ guns of D and E Turrets – they are indeed an awesome sight. All the casemate guns on the port side can be seen. The rudders and rudder steering machinery are also very interesting, as are some of the boiler rooms which are accessible with extreme care. There is apparently another 15″ gun barrel visible among the wreckage forward towards the bow, with a length of anchor chain wrapped around it, though I have yet to see it (despite repeated attempts!).