The early 20th century was the golden age of armored artillery ships. Dreadnoughts replaced older battleships that had started to look rather poor in comparison with the more advanced steel monsters. Oil began to replace coal as fuel for ships, and each year more higher-speed battleships and battlecruisers, equipped with larger guns, were entering into service. However, it was the breakout of World War I in 1914 that put an end to the unconditional reign of dreadnoughts at sea. Pretty ironic, considering that this was the conflict in which these ships were supposed to prove their worth.
The appearance of a new lethal weapon - submarines - had a significant hand in this, combined with the advancement of aviation, which also started to make its presence felt in naval marine affairs. The unprecedented warfare, lasting several years, exhausted the resources of both the defeated, as well as the majority of the victors. Plans to lay down the huge armada of steel monsters that were preparing to enter service were doomed. After the war, several dozen battleships and battlecruisers at different stages of construction, including Prinz Eitel Friedrich, were dismantled.