SMS Furst Bismarck (Prince Bismarck) was the first armoured cruiser built for the Imperial German Navy
She was built in the Imperial Dockyard in Kiel, Germany and was intended for service in the far east. She was named after the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck and launched in 1897. The SMS Furst Bismarck had a displacement of 10,700 tons and a crew of 529, her overall length was 410 feet with a beam of 65 1/2 feet.
Her armament consisted of four 9.4 inch, twelve 6 inch, ten 15 pounders and fourteen 1 pound guns she was also fitted with torpedo tubes.
After completion the SMS Furst Bismarck sailed for the far east, she was to become the flagship of the German East Asia Squadron. She arrived in Tsingtao (Qingdao) on the east coast of China in the summer of 1900, while she was stationed in the Shandong Province she took part in the Boxer uprising.
The SMS Furst Bismarck was withdrawn from the German East Asia Squadron after being replaced by the larger SMS Scharnhorst and returned to Germany in the summer of 1909. Some time before the start of the Great war she underwent a refit. She was used in the roll of coastal defence for a while before being withdrawn to Kiel and used as a training ship.
She spent the rest of the Great War stationed at Kiel, where she was used as accommodation and also as a training ship for engineers. She stayed in Kiel after the end of the war, but was withdrawn from service in 1919 and then sold for scrap.