A German Imperial Navy S.M.S. IRENE Ribbon Tally
A German Imperial Navy S.M.S. IRENE Ribbon Tally - In silk with silver gilt threading, measuring 120 cm in length, worn, fine. Footnote: SMS Irene was a protected cruiser or Kreuzerkorvette of the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) and the lead ship of the Irene class. She had one sister, Prinzess Wilhelm; the two ships were the first protected cruisers built by the German Navy. Irene was laid down in 1886 at the AG Vulcan shipyard in Stettin, launched in July 1887, and commissioned into the fleet in May 1888. The cruiser was named after Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine, sister-in-law of Kaiser Wilhem II. As built, the ship was armed with a main battery of fourteen 15 cm (5.9 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Irene saw extensive service with the German fleet in the first years of her career, frequently escorting Kaiser Wilhelm II's yacht on cruises throughout Europe. In 1894, she was deployed to East Asian waters; she was in dock for engine maintenance in November 1897 when Otto von Diederichs seized the naval base Kiaochou Bay, and so she was not present during the operation. She was present in the Philippines in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Manila Bay between American and Spanish squadrons during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Irene eventually returned to Germany in 1901. She remained in service until early 1914, when she was retired from front-line service and converted into a submarine tender. She served in this capacity until 1921, when she was sold for scrap and broken up the following year.