List of cruisers of Germany

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Kaiserin Augusta and Seeadler, two of Germany's earliest cruisers, in New York in 1893

Starting in the 1880s, the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) began building a series of cruisers of various types. The first designs—protected and unprotected cruisers—were ordered to replace the old sail and steam-powered frigates and corvettes that were of minimal combat value. After several iterations of each type, these new cruisers were developed into armored and light cruisers, respectively, over the following decade. All of these ships were built to fill a variety of roles, including scouts for the main battle fleet and colonial cruisers for Germany's overseas empire.

By the 1910s, the protected and unprotected cruisers had been withdrawn from active service, though some continued on in secondary roles. Most of the armored and light cruisers saw action during World War I in all of the major theaters of the conflict, including as commerce raiders in the open ocean and in the fleet engagements in the North Sea such as the Battle of Jutland. Many of the ships were sunk in the course of the war, and most of the remaining vessels were either seized as war prizes by the victorious Allies, scuttled by their crews in Scapa Flow in 1919, or broken up for scrap.

In the 1920s, Germany began a modest program to rebuild its fleet; it began with the first new light cruiser, Emden, in 1923, followed by five more light cruisers and three new heavy cruisers, the Deutschland class. A further five heavy cruisers—the Admiral Hipper class—were ordered in the mid-1935s, though only the first three were completed. Plan Z, a more ambitious reconstruction program that called for twelve P-class cruisers, was approved in early 1939 and cancelled before the end of the year following the outbreak of World War II. Of the six heavy cruisers and six light cruisers that were finished, only two survived the war intact. One, Prinz Eugen, was sunk following nuclear weapons tests during Operation Crossroads in 1946, the other, Nürnberg, saw service in the Soviet Navy until she was scrapped in 1946.

Key
Armament The number and type of the primary armament
Armor The thickness of the deck or belt armor
Displacement Ship displacement at full combat loada
Propulsion Number of shafts, type of propulsion system, and top speed/horsepower generated
Cost Cost of the ship's construction
Service The dates work began and finished on the ship and its ultimate fate
Laid down The date the keel began to be assembled
Commissioned The date the ship was commissioned

Protected cruisers

Starting in the mid-1880s, the German Navy began to modernize its cruising force, which at that time relied on a mixed collection of sail and steam frigates and corvettes. General Leo von Caprivi, then the Chief of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), ordered several new warships the old vessels. Among the new cruisers were the two Irene-class cruisers, laid down in 1886, the first protected cruisers to be built in Germany.1 Design work on their successor, Kaiserin Augusta, began the following year, though she wasn't laid down until 1890. Five more ships of the Victoria Louise class followed in the mid-1890s. These ships, the last protected cruisers built in Germany, provided the basis for the armored cruisers that were built starting at the end of the decade.2 All of these ships were intended to serve both as fleet scouts and overseas cruisers, since Germany's limited naval budget prevented development of ships suited to each task.3

Most of the German protected cruisers served on overseas stations throughout their careers, primarily in the East Asia Squadron in the 1890s and 1900s. Prinzess Wilhelm participated in the seizure of the Kiautschou Bay concession in November 1897, which was used as the primary base for the East Asia Squadron.4 Kaiserin Augusta, Hertha, and Hansa assisted in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900,5 and Vineta saw action during the Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903, where she bombarded several Venezuelan fortresses.6 Irene, Prinzess Wilhelm, and Kaiserin Augusta were relegated to secondary duties in the 1910s, while the Victoria Louise class was used to train naval cadets in the 1900s. All eight ships were broken up for scrap in the early 1920s.7

Ship Armament Armor Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
Irene 4 × 15 cm K L/30 guns
10 × 15 cm K L/228
20 mm (0.79 in)8 5,027 t (4,948 long tons)9 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 8,000 ihp (6,000 kW), 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)8 188610 25 May 18888 Scrapped, 19228
Prinzess Wilhelm 13 November 18898 Scrapped, 19228
Kaiserin Augusta 12 × 15 cm SK L/35 guns11 50 mm (2.0 in)11 6,318 t (6,218 long tons)11 3 shafts, 3 triple-expansion engines, 12,000 ihp (8,900 kW) 21 kn (39 km/h; 24 mph)11 18902 17 November 189211 Scrapped, 192011
Victoria Louise 2 × 21 cm SK L/40 guns
8 × 15 cm SK L/40 guns12
40 mm (1.6 in)12 6,491 t (6,388 long tons)12 3 shafts, triple-expansion engines, 10,000 ihp (7,500 kW), 19.5 kn (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)12 18952 20 February 189913 Scrapped, 192313
Hertha 23 July 189813 Scrapped, 192013
Freya 20 October 189813 Scrapped, 192113
Vineta 6,705 t (6,599 long tons)12 3 shafts, triple-expansion engines, 10,000 ihp, 18.5 kn (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph)12 18962 13 September 189913 Scrapped, 192013
Hansa 20 April 189913 Scrapped, 192013

Unprotected cruisers

1902 lithograph of SMS Gefion

At the same time that Caprivi began ordering new protected cruisers, he also authorized the construction of smaller unprotected cruisers for use in Germany's overseas colonies. The first of these, the Schwalbe class, were laid down in 1886 and 1887.1 A further six vessels of the Bussard class, which were improved versions that were larger and faster than their predecessors, followed over the next five years.14 A final, much larger vessel, Gefion, was laid down in 1892; her design was based on contemporary protected cruisers like Kaiserin Augusta. She represented another attempt to merge the colonial cruiser and fleet scout, which was unsuccessful.15 As a result, the German naval designers began work on the Gazelle class, which provided the basis for all future German light cruisers.1617

All nine cruisers served extensively in Germany's colonies, particularly in Africa and Asia. They participated in the suppression of numerous rebellions, including the Abushiri Revolt in German East Africa in 1889–1890,18 the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900–1901,18 and the Sokehs Rebellion in the Caroline Islands in 1911.19 Most of the ships had been recalled to Germany and decommissioned by the early 1910s, having been replaced by the newer light cruisers. Bussard and Falke were scrapped in 1912, but the rest continued on in secondary roles. Of the remaining seven ships, only Cormoran and Geier remained abroad at the start of World War I in August 1914. Cormoran was stationed in Tsingtao, but her engines were worn out, so she was scuttled to prevent her capture.20 Geier briefly operated against British shipping in the Pacific before running low on coal. She put in to Hawaii, where she was interned by the US Navy. After the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, she was seized and commissioned into American service as USS Schurz, though she was accidentally sunk in a collision in June 1918.21 Seeadler, employed as a mine storage hulk in Wilhelmshaven during the war, was destroyed by an accidental explosion in 1917. Condor, Schwalbe, and Sperber were all broken up for scrap in the early 1920s, while Gefion was briefly used as a freighter, before she too was scrapped, in 1923.22

Ship Armament Armor Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
Schwalbe 8 × 10.5 cm K L/35 guns23 1,359 t (1,338 long tons; 1,498 short tons)23 2 × 2-cylinder double-expansion steam engines, 13.5 kn (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph)23 April 188618 8 May 188818 Scrapped, 19229
Sperber September 188724 2 April 188924 Scrapped, 19229
Bussard 8 × 10.5 cm K L/35 guns25 1,868 t (1,838 long tons; 2,059 short tons)25 2 × 2-cylinder double-expansion steam engines, 15.5 kn (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph)25 188825 7 October 189025 Scrapped, 191325
Falke 8 × 10.5 cm SK L/35 guns25 189026 14 September 189126 Scrapped, 191326
Seeadler 189026 17 August 189226 Destroyed, 191726
Condor 189126 9 December 189226 Scrapped, 192126
Cormoran 189026 25 July 189326 Scuttled, 28 September 191426
Geier 189326 24 October 189526 Captured, 6 April 1917, sunk 21 June 191826
Gefion 10 × 10.5 cm SK L/35 guns26 25 mm26 4,275 t (4,207 long tons; 4,712 short tons)26 2 × 3-cylinder triple expansion engines, 20.5 kn (38.0 km/h; 23.6 mph)26 189227 5 June 189527 Converted to freighter, 1920, scrapped 192327

Armored cruisers

A lithograph of Fürst Bismarck, Germany's first armored cruiser

The first armored cruiser, Fürst Bismarck, was ordered shortly after the Victoria Louise class of protected cruisers. Fürst Bismarck was an improved version of the earlier type, with heavier armament, more extensive armor protection, and a significantly greater size.28 A further seven units, divided between four different designs, followed over the next ten years; each design provided incremental improvements over earlier vessels.29 A ninth armored cruiser, Blücher, was a much larger vessel and she represented an intermediate step between armored cruisers and battlecruisers. Indeed, her design had been influenced by the misinformation Britain had released about its new Invincible-class battlecruisers, which were then under construction. Once the characteristics of the new ships were revealed, Germany began building battlecruisers in response.30

Germany's armored cruisers served in a variety of roles, including overseas as flagships of the East Asia Squadron,3132 and in the fleet reconnaissance forces. All of them, save Fürst Bismarck, saw action during World War I in a variety of theaters. Blücher served with the battlecruisers in the I Scouting Group and was sunk at the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915,33 and the two Scharnhorst-class cruisers formed the core of Maximilian von Spee's squadron that defeated the British at the Battle of Coronel in November 1914 before being annihilated at the Battle of the Falkland Islands.34 Yorck was accidentally sunk by a German mine in November 1914 outside Wilhelmshaven,35 and the two Prinz Adalbert-class cruisers were sunk in the Baltic Sea.36 Only Prinz Heinrich and Roon survived the war; both were scrapped in the early 1920s.37

Ship Armament Armor Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
Fürst Bismarck 4 × 24 cm (9.4 in) SK L/40
10 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/40 guns38
200 mm (7.9 in)38 11,461 t (11,280 long tons)13 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 18.7 kn (34.6 km/h; 21.5 mph), 13,622 ihp39 18962 1 April 19002 Broken up for scrap in 1919–192038
Prinz Heinrich 2 × 24 cm (9.4 in) SK L/40
10 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/40 guns38
100 mm (3.9 in)38 9,806 t (9,651 long tons)38 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 19.9 kn (36.9 km/h; 22.9 mph), 15,694 ihp38 189840 11 March 190240 Broken up for scrap in 192041
Prinz Adalbert 4 × 21 cm (8.3 in) SK L/40
10 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/40 guns41
100 mm (3.9 in)41 9,875 t (9,719 long tons)41 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 20.4 kn (37.8 km/h; 23.5 mph), 17,272 ihp41 190040 12 January 190440 Sunk on 23 October 1915 by HMS E842
Friedrich Carl 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 20.5 kn (38.0 km/h; 23.6 mph), 18,541 ihp41 190140 12 December 190340 Sunk on 17 November 1914 by Russian mines41
Roon 4 × 21 cm SK L/40
10 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/40 guns42
100 mm (3.9 in)42 10,266 t (10,104 long tons)42 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 21.1 kn (39.1 km/h; 24.3 mph), 20,625 ihp42 190240 5 April 190640 Broken up for scrap in 192143
Yorck 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 21.4 kn (39.6 km/h; 24.6 mph), 20,031 ihp42 190340 21 November 190540 Sunk on 4 November 1914 by German mines43
Scharnhorst 8 × 21 cm (8.3 in) SK L/40
6 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/40 guns43
150 mm (5.9 in)43 12,985 t (12,780 long tons)43 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 23.5 kn (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph), 28,783 ihp43 190544 24 October 190744 Sunk on 8 December 1914 at the Battle of the Falkland Islands43
Gneisenau 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 23.6 kn (43.7 km/h; 27.2 mph), 30,396 ihp43 190444 6 March 190844 Sunk on 8 December 1914 at the Battle of the Falkland Islands43
Blücher 12 × 21 cm (8.3 in) SK L/45
8 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/45 guns45
180 mm (7.1 in)45 17,500 t (17,200 long tons)45 3 screws, triple expansion engines, 25.4 kn (47.0 km/h; 29.2 mph), 38,323 ihp45 21 February 190746 1 October 190945 Sunk on 24 January 1915 at the Battle of Dogger Bank45

Light cruisers

A lithograph of SMS Gazelle, the first modern light cruiser built by Germany

Starting in the late 1890s, the Kaiserliche Marine began developing modern light cruisers, based on experience with the unprotected cruisers and a series of avisos it had built over the preceding decade.47 The ten-ship Gazelle class set the basic pattern, which was gradually improved over successive classes.17 The Pillau class introduced more powerful, 15-centimeter (5.9 in) main guns, and the Magdeburg class added a waterline main belt to improve armor protection.48 Between 1897 and the end of World War I, the German Navy completed forty-seven light cruisers; all of these ships saw service during the war in a variety of theaters and roles. Some, such as Emden and Königsberg, served as commerce raiders,4950 while others, such as the two Wiesbaden-class cruisers served with the High Seas Fleet and saw action at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.51

Following the war, the Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to cede all of its most modern light cruisers; only eight Gazelle and Bremen-class cruisers were permitted under the terms of the treaty.52 These ships could be replaced after twenty years, and the first new vessel, Emden, was laid down in 1921. Five more ships of the Königsberg and Leipzig classes were built between 1926 and 1935.53 These six cruisers all saw combat during World War II; two, Königsberg and Karlsruhe, were sunk during the invasion of Norway in April 1940.54 Emden and Köln were destroyed by Allied bombers in the closing months of the war, and Leipzig was discarded after being badly damaged in a collision with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. This left Nürnberg as the only vessel of the type to survive the war. She was seized by the Soviet Union as a war prize and continued in Soviet service until she was scrapped in 1960.53

Ship Armament Armor Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
Gazelle 10 × 10.5 cm SK L/40 guns55 25 mm (0.98 in)55 2,963 t (2,916 long tons)55 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 6,000 ihp (4,500 kW), 19.5 kn (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)55 189755 15 June 190155 Scrapped, 192055
Niobe 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 8,000 ihp (6,000 kW), 21.5 kn (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)55 189855 25 June 190055 Destroyed, 19 December 194355
Nymphe 3,017 t (2,969 long tons)55 20 September 190055 Scrapped, 193255
Thetis 189955 14 September 190155 Scrapped, 193055
Ariadne 3,006 t (2,959 long tons)55 18 May 190155 Sunk, Battle of Heligoland Bight, 28 August 191455
Amazone 3,082 t (3,033 long tons)55 18 May 190155 Scrapped, 195455
Medusa 2,972 t (2,925 long tons)55 190055 26 July 190155 Scrapped, 1948–195055
Frauenlob 3,158 t (3,108 long tons)55 190155 17 February 190355 Sunk, Battle of Jutland, 31 May 191655
Arcona 3,180 t (3,130 long tons)55 12 May 190355 Scrapped, 194855
Undine 3,112 t (3,063 long tons)55 5 January 190455 Sunk, 7 November 191555
Bremen 10 × 10.5 cm SK L/40 guns56 80 mm (3.1 in)57 3,797 t (3,737 long tons)57 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 10,000 ihp (7,500 kW), 22 kn (41 km/h; 25 mph)58 190256 19 May 190456 Sunk, 17 February 191556
Hamburg 3,651 t (3,593 long tons)57 8 March 190456 Scrapped, 195656
Berlin 3,792 t (3,732 long tons)57 4 April 190556 Scuttled, 194756
Lübeck 3,661 t (3,603 long tons)57 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 11,500 shp (8,600 kW), 22.5 kn (41.7 km/h; 25.9 mph)58 190356 26 April 190656 Scrapped, 1922–192356
München 3,780 t (3,720 long tons)57 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 10,000 ihp (7,500 kW), 22 kn58 10 January 190556 Scrapped, 192056
Leipzig 3,756 t (3,697 long tons)57 190456 20 April 190656 Sunk, Battle of the Falkland Islands, 8 December 191456
Danzig 3,783 t (3,723 long tons)57 1 December 190756 Scrapped, 1922–192356
Königsberg 10 × 10.5 cm SK L/40 guns59 80 mm60 3,814 t (3,754 long tons)60 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 13,200 ihp (9,843 kW), 23 kn (43 km/h; 26 mph)60 190559 6 April 190759 Scuttled, 11 July 191559
Nürnberg 3,902 t (3,840 long tons)60 190659 10 April 190859 Sunk, Battle of the Falkland Islands, 8 December 191459
Stuttgart 4,002 t (3,939 long tons)60 190559 1 February 190859 Scrapped, 192059
Stettin 3,822 t (3,762 long tons)60 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 13,500 shp (10,067 kW), 24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph)60 190659 29 October 190759 Scrapped, 1921–192359
Dresden 10 × 10.5 cm SK L/40 guns61 80 mm61 4,268 t (4,201 long tons)61 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 15,000 shp (11,185 kW), 24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph)61 190659 14 November 190859 Scuttled, Battle of Mas a Tierra, 14 March 191559
Emden 2 shafts, 2 reciprocating engines, 13,500 ihp (10,067 kW), 23 kn (43 km/h; 26 mph)61 190662 20 July 190959 Grounded, Battle of Cocos, 9 November 191459
Kolberg 12 × 10.5 cm SK L/45 guns63 40 mm (1.6 in)63 5,418 t (5,332 long tons)63 4 shafts, 4 steam turbines, 19,000 ihp (14,168 kW), 25.5 kn (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph)63 190864 21 June 191064 Scrapped, 192965
Mainz 4,889 t (4,812 long tons)63 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 20,200 shp (15,063 kW), 26 kn (48 km/h; 30 mph) 190764 1 October 190964 Sunk, Battle of Heligoland Bight, 28 August 191464
Cöln 4,864 t (4,787 long tons)63 4 shafts, 4 steam turbines, 19,000 ihp (14,168 kW), 25.5 kn (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph)63 190864 16 June 191164 Sunk, Battle of Heligoland Bight, 28 August 191464
Augsburg 4,882 t (4,805 long tons)63 190864 1 October 191064 Scrapped, 192264
Magdeburg 12 × 10.5 cm SK L/45 guns66 60 mm (2.4 in)66 4,570 t (4,498 long tons)66 4 shafts, 4 steam turbines, 25,000 ihp (18,642 kW), 27.5 kn (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph)67 191059 20 August 191259 Grounded, 26 August 191459
Breslau 191059 10 May 191259 Sunk, Battle of Imbros, 20 January 191859
Strassburg 191059 9 October 191259 Sunk, 23 September 194468
Stralsund 191059 10 December 191259 Scrapped, 193565
Karlsruhe 12 × 10.5 cm SK L/45 guns69 60 mm69 6,191 t (6,093 long tons)69 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 26,000 shp (19,388 kW), 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)69 21 September 191170 15 January 191469 Sunk, 4 November 191469
Rostock 191169 5 February 191469 Sunk, Battle of Jutland, 1 June 191669
Graudenz 12 × 10.5 cm SK L/45 guns71 60 mm69 6,382 t (6,281 long tons)71 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 26,000 shp, 27.5 kn (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph)71 191271 10 August 191471 Scrapped, 193771
Regensburg 191271 3 January 191571 Scuttled, 194471
Pillau 8 × 15 cm (5.9 in) SK L/45 guns72 80 mm72 5,252 t (5,169 long tons)72 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 30,000 shp (22,000 kW), 27.5 kn72 191373 14 December 191473 Ceded to Italy, 20 July 192073
Elbing 4 September 191573 Scuttled, 1 June 191673
Wiesbaden 8 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns73 60 mm73 6,601 t (6,497 long tons)73 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 31,000 shp (23,000 kW), 27.5 kn73 191373 23 August 191574 Sunk, 1 June 191674
Frankfurt 20 August 191574 Sunk as a target, 18 July 192174
Königsberg 8 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns75 60 mm76 7,125 t (7,012 long tons)76 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 31,000 shp (23,000 kW), 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)76 191476 12 August 191676 Scrapped, 193676
Karlsruhe 191576 15 November 191676 Scuttled, 21 June 191976
Emden 191476 16 December 191676 Scrapped, 192676
Nürnberg 191576 15 February 191776 Sunk as a target ship, 192276
Brummer 4 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns77 15 mm (0.59 in)74 5,856 t (5,764 long tons)74 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 33,000 shp (25,000 kW), 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)74 191576 2 April 191676 Scuttled, 21 June 191976
Bremse 1 July 191676 Scuttled, 21 June 191976
Cöln 8 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns78 40 mm (1.6 in)79 7,486 t (7,368 long tons)79 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 31,000 shp (23,000 kW), 27.5 kn (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph)79 191580 17 January 191880 Scuttled, 21 June 191980
Dresden 191680 28 March 191880 Scuttled, 21 June 191980
Wiesbaden 191580  — Scrapped, 192080
Magdeburg 191680  — Scrapped, 192280
Leipzig 191580  — Scrapped, 192180
Rostock 191580  — Scrapped, 192180
Frauenlob 191580  — Scrapped, 192180
Ersatz Cöln 191680  — Scrapped, 192180
Ersatz Emden 191680  — Scrapped, 192180
Ersatz Karlsruhe 191680  — Scrapped, 192080
FK 1 5 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns81  — 3,800 t (3,740 long tons)81 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 48,000 shp (36,000 kW), 32 kn (59 km/h; 37 mph)81  —  — Design study only82
FK 1a 4,850 t (4,773 long tons)81 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 52,000 shp (39,000 kW), 33 kn (61 km/h; 38 mph)81  —  —
FK 2 5,350 t (5,266 long tons)83 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 60,000 shp (45,000 kW), 32 kn83  —  —
FK 3 7 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns83 6,900 t (6,791 long tons)83 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 70,000 shp (52,000 kW), 32 kn83  —  —
FK 4 8 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns83 8,650 t (8,513 long tons)83  —  —
Emden 8 × 15 cm SK L/45 guns84 40 mm84 6,990 long tons (7,102 t)84 2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 46,500 shp (34,700 kW), 29.5 kn (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph)84 8 December 192185 15 October 192585 Destroyed, 3 May 194586
Königsberg 9 × 15 cm SK C/25 guns87 40 mm88 7,700 long tons (7,824 t)88 3 shafts, 4 steam turbines, 2 diesel engines, 65,000 shp (48,000 kW), 32 kn89 12 April 192687 17 April 192987 Sunk, 10 April 194087
Karlsruhe 27 July 192687 6 November 192987 Sunk, 9 April 194087
Köln 7 August 192687 15 January 193087 Sunk, 3 March 194587
Leipzig 9 × 15 cm SK C/25 guns87 30 mm (1.2 in)88 8,100 t (7,972 long tons)88 3 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 4 diesel engines, 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)+12,600 shp (9,400 kW), 32 kn89 28 April 192890 8 October 193190 Scuttled, July 194690
Nürnberg 9,040 t (8,897 long tons)88 193490 2 November 193590 Scrapped, c. 196090
M 8 × 15 cm SK C/28 guns91 25 mm92 8,500 t (8,366 long tons)92 3 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 4 diesel engines, 35.5 kn (65.7 km/h; 40.9 mph)93 193891  — Scrapped, 193994
N
O  —  —
P
Q 9,300 t (9,153 long tons)92
R

Heavy cruisers

Blücher on sea trials

In addition to restricting the number of light cruisers Germany could possess, the Treaty of Versailles also limited the capital ship strength of the new Reichsmarine to six old pre-dreadnought battleships and placed restrictions on the size of replacement ships, with the intent of prohibiting ships more powerful than coastal defense ships from being built.95 The Reichsmarine responded by designing the Deutschland class; these heavy cruisers armed with 28 cm (11 in) guns were intended to break Versailles by rendering the new treaty cruisers being built by Britain and France under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. If Britain and France agreed to abrogate the naval clauses of the Versailles treaty, Germany would abandon the new cruisers. France rejected the proposal, and so the three Deutschlands were built,96 and a further two of the D-class were planned. When Germany signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement in 1935, the Reichsmarine was permitted to build five new heavy cruisers—the Admiral Hipper class. And Plan Z, approved in early 1939, projected a dozen P-class cruisers based on the Deutschland design.97

Owing to the outbreak of World War II, only three of the Admiral Hippers were completed, and the P-class ships were cancelled.97 Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled following the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939, and Blücher was sunk during the invasion of Norway. Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper were destroyed by Allied bombers in the last month of the war.98 Deutschland, renamed Lützow, and Prinz Eugen both survived the war; the former was sunk in Soviet weapons tests in 1947 and the latter sank after sustaining two nuclear detonations in Operation Crossroads in 1946.99100 The two unfinished Admiral Hippers, Seydlitz and Lützow, were scrapped in the Soviet Union in the late 1950s; the former was a war prize but the latter had been sold to the Soviets before the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.100

Ship Armament Armor Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
Deutschland/Lützow 6 × 28 cm SK C/28 guns101 80 mm (3.1 in)101 14,290 long tons (14,519 t)101 2 shafts, 8 diesel engines, 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)101 5 February 192995 19 May 1931102 Sunk in Soviet weapons test, July 194799
Admiral Scheer 15,180 long tons (15,424 t)101 25 June 193195 1 April 1933103 Sunk on 9 April 1945, broken up for scrap103
Admiral Graf Spee 16,020 long tons (16,277 t)101 1 October 193295 30 June 1934103 Scuttled on 17 December 1939103
D 6 × 28 cm guns104 220 mm (8.7 in)104 20,000 long tons (20,321 t)104b Turbine propulsion,c 29 kn (54 km/h; 33 mph)104 14 February 1934104 Work halted on 5 July 1934, broken up104
E Work not begun104
P1–P12 6 × 28 cm guns105 120 mm (4.7 in)104 25,689 long tons (26,101 t)105 12 diesel engines, 33 kn (61 km/h; 38 mph)104 Canceled on 27 July 1939105
Admiral Hipper 8 × 20.3 cm SK C/34 guns106 80 mm (3.1 in)107 18,200 long tons (18,492 t)101 3 shafts, 3 turbine engines, 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)101 6 July 1935108 29 April 1939100 Scuttled 3 May 1945, broken up in 1948100
Blücher 18,200 long tons (18,492 t)101 15 August 1936109 20 September 1939100 Sunk on 9 April 1940100
Prinz Eugen 18,750 long tons (19,051 t)101 23 April 1936110 1 August 1940100 Sunk after US atomic tests, 22 December 1946103
Seydlitz 19,800 long tons (20,118 t)101 29 December 1936111 Ceded to the Soviet Union, broken up after 1958100
Lützow 19,800 long tons (20,118 t)101 2 August 1937111 Sold to the Soviet Union, broken up in 1958–1959 or 1960100

See also

Notes

Footnotes

  1. ^ Historian Erich Gröner states that full load was defined as "[equal to] type displacement plus full load fuel oil, diesel oil, coal, reserve boiler feed water, aircraft fuel, and special equipment." See: Gröner, p. ix.
  2. ^ This figure is as designed; the combat displacement is unknown.104
  3. ^ The details of the ships' propulsion system are unknown.104

Citations

  1. ^ a b Sondhaus, p. 166.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gardiner, p. 254.
  3. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 142.
  4. ^ Gottschall, pp. 157–162.
  5. ^ Perry, p. 29.
  6. ^ Mitchell, p. 86.
  7. ^ Gröner, pp. 45–48, 95.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 95.
  9. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 94.
  10. ^ Gardiner, p. 253.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Gröner, p. 46.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Gröner, p. 47.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gröner, p. 48.
  14. ^ Gröner, pp. 93–97.
  15. ^ Hildebrand, Röhr, & Steinmetz Vol. 3, p. 194.
  16. ^ Gröner, pp. 98–100.
  17. ^ a b Herwig, p. 28.
  18. ^ a b c d Hildebrand, Röhr, & Steinmetz Vol. 7, p. 145.
  19. ^ Hildebrand, Röhr, & Steinmetz Vol. 2, p. 191.
  20. ^ Gröner, pp. 93–99.
  21. ^ "Schurz". Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  22. ^ Gröner, pp. 94–99.
  23. ^ a b c Gröner, pp. 93–94.
  24. ^ a b Hildebrand, Röhr, & Steinmetz Vol. 7, p. 178.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 97.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Gröner, p. 98.
  27. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 99.
  28. ^ Gröner, pp. 47–49.
  29. ^ Gröner, pp. 49–52.
  30. ^ Staff, pp. 3–4.
  31. ^ Gardiner, p. 249.
  32. ^ Halpern, p. 66.
  33. ^ Tarrant, pp. 36–42.
  34. ^ Herwig, pp. 157–158.
  35. ^ Tarrant, p. 30.
  36. ^ Gröner, pp. 50–51.
  37. ^ Gröner, pp. 50, 52.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 49.
  39. ^ Gröner, pp. 48–49.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gardiner, p. 255.
  41. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 50.
  42. ^ a b c d e f Gröner, p. 51.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gröner, p. 52.
  44. ^ a b c d Gardiner, p. 256.
  45. ^ a b c d e f Gröner, p. 53.
  46. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 150.
  47. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 143.
  48. ^ Gardiner & Gray, pp. 159–161.
  49. ^ Forstmeier, pp. 10–14.
  50. ^ Halpern, p. 77.
  51. ^ Tarrant, p. 62.
  52. ^ See: Treaty of Versailles Section II: Naval Clauses, Article 181
  53. ^ a b Gardiner & Chesneau, pp. 229–231.
  54. ^ Williamson Light Cruisers, pp. 17, 21.
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak Gröner, pp. 99–102.
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Gröner, p. 103.
  57. ^ a b c d e f g h Gröner, p. 102.
  58. ^ a b c Gröner, pp. 102–103.
  59. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Gardiner & Gray, p. 157.
  60. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 104.
  61. ^ a b c d e Gröner, p. 105.
  62. ^ Forstmeier, p. 2.
  63. ^ a b c d e f g h Gröner, p. 106.
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gardiner & Gray, p. 159.
  65. ^ a b Gardiner & Gray, p. 201.
  66. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 107.
  67. ^ Gröner, pp. 107–108.
  68. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 264.
  69. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gröner, p. 109.
  70. ^ Hildebrand, Röhr, & Steinmetz Vol. 5, pp. 83–85.
  71. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gröner, pp. 109–110.
  72. ^ a b c d Gröner, pp. 110–111.
  73. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gröner, p. 111.
  74. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 112.
  75. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 162.
  76. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Gröner, p. 113.
  77. ^ Novik, pp. 185–188.
  78. ^ Gardiner & Gray, p. 163.
  79. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 114.
  80. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Gröner, pp. 114–115.
  81. ^ a b c d e Gröner, p. 116.
  82. ^ Gröner, pp. 116–117.
  83. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 117.
  84. ^ a b c d Gröner, p. 118.
  85. ^ a b Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 229.
  86. ^ Williamson Light Cruisers, p. 13.
  87. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 230.
  88. ^ a b c d e Gröner, p. 119.
  89. ^ a b Gröner, pp. 119–120.
  90. ^ a b c d e f Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 231.
  91. ^ a b Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 232.
  92. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 124.
  93. ^ Gröner, pp. 124–125.
  94. ^ Gröner, p. 125.
  95. ^ a b c d Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 227.
  96. ^ Bidlingmaier, p. 2.
  97. ^ a b Gröner, pp. 63–67.
  98. ^ Gröner, pp. 62, 67.
  99. ^ a b Prager, pp. 317–320.
  100. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gröner, p. 67.
  101. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gröner, p. 60.
  102. ^ Gröner, p. 61.
  103. ^ a b c d e Gröner, p. 62.
  104. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gröner, p. 63.
  105. ^ a b c Gröner, p. 64.
  106. ^ Gröner, p. 66.
  107. ^ Gröner, p. 65.
  108. ^ Williamson Heavy Cruisers, p. 12.
  109. ^ Williamson Heavy Cruisers, p. 22.
  110. ^ Williamson Heavy Cruisers, p. 37.
  111. ^ a b Williamson Heavy Cruisers, pp. 42–43.

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