Cologne class

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Cöln class
Small cruiser Dresden
Small cruiser Dresden
Type Small cruiser
units 10
Order 1914
Keel laying 1915-1916
Launch 1916–1918
(7 units)
Namesake Cities Cologne , Wiesbaden , Dresden , Magdeburg , Leipzig , Rostock , Schooner Frauenlob , 3 without names
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning 1918 (2 units)
Whereabouts Coln and Dresden : self-immolation June 21, 1919; Remainder scrapped unfinished
Technical specifications

Construction: 5620 t
Maximum: 7486 t


KWL : 149.8 m
over all: 155.5 m


14.2 m


6.01-6.43 m


17 officers and 542 men


27.5 kn
(test drive Cöln : 29.3 kn)


5400 nm at 12 kn
( Cöln : 6000 nm at 12 kn)


Continuous load: 31,000 PSW
test drive: 49,428 PSW
( Cologne : 48,708 PSW)


like Magdeburg class


300–1100 t coal and
200–800 t heating oil


4650 BRT
2200 NRT

Electrical system

1 diesel and 2 turbo generators with a total of 300 kW , 220 volts

The Cöln class was a class of two small cruisers of the Imperial Navy , which were used at the end of the First World War .


The Cöln class was the last series of small cruisers of the Imperial Navy . Designed in 1914, the original plan was to build ten units. By the end of the war , however, only seven ships were launched. The rest ( replacement Cologne , replacement Emden and replacement Karlsruhe ) was no longer ready.

The seven ships of the Cöln class - like the units of the Königsberg class  - were given names of small cruisers that had already been lost in the course of the First World War, but compared to their predecessors they had a bowed stem, were larger, faster and more powerful armed.

Due to a lack of personnel and material, only the Cöln II and Dresden II could ultimately be put into service in 1918. However, both ships were hardly ever used. After the war they were interned in Scapa Flow , where they scuttled themselves on June 21, 1919 .

List of ships

Surname Shipyard Keel laying Launch Commissioning Whereabouts
SMS Cologne Blohm & Voss , Hamburg 1915 October 5, 1916 January 17, 1918 self-sunk on June 21, 1919 in Scapa Flow
SMS Wiesbaden AG Vulcan , Szczecin 1915 March 3, 1917 not completed and broken up in 1920
SMS Dresden Howaldtswerke , Kiel 1916 April 25, 1917 March 28, 1918 self-sunk on June 21, 1919 in Scapa Flow
SMS Magdeburg Howaldtswerke, Kiel 1916 November 17, 1917 not completed and broken up in 1922
SMS Leipzig AG Weser , Bremen 1916 January 28, 1918 not completed and broken up in 1921
SMS Rostock AG Vulcan, Szczecin 1916 April 6, 1918 not completed and broken up in 1921
SMS women praise Imperial shipyard , Kiel 1916 October 16, 1918 not completed and broken up in 1921
Substitute Cologne AG Weser, Bremen 1916 not completed and broken up in 1921
Replacement Emden AG Weser, Bremen 1916 not completed and broken up in 1921
Replacement Karlsruhe Imperial shipyard, Kiel 1916 not completed and broken up in 1920



The hull of a Cöln- class cruiser was 155.5  m long, 14.2 m wide and had a draft of 6.43 m with an operational displacement of 7,486  t .


It was driven by 14 steam generators - eight coal-fired and six oil-fired marine boilers - and two turbine sets with which a total output of 31,000 hp was achieved. These gave their power to two shafts with one screw each . The maximum speed was 27.5 knots and the maximum distance traveled was 5,400 nautical miles at 12 knots.


The 559-strong crew consisted of 17 officers and 542 NCOs or crews .


The artillery armament consisted of eight 15 cm guns with 45 caliber length in single mounts and three 8.8 cm anti-aircraft guns with 45 caliber length also single mounts. Furthermore, there were four 60-cm deck torpedo tubes and up to 200 sea mines could be transported.


  • Gerhard Koop, Klaus-Peter Schmolke: Small cruisers 1903-1918. Bremen to Cologne class. Volume 12 Ship classes and ship types of the German Navy, Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7637-6252-3 .
  • Erich Gröner , Dieter Jung, Martin Maass: The German warships 1815-1945. Volume 1. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7637-4800-8 .

Web links

Commons : Cöln class  - collection of images, videos and audio files