Cologne (ship, 1928)

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German light cruiser Cologne underway during late 1930s.jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire German Empire
German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) 
Ship type Light cruiser
class Koenigsberg class
Shipyard Marine shipyard , Wilhelmshaven
Build number 116
building-costs 36,000,000 marks
Launch May 23, 1928
Commissioning January 15, 1930
Whereabouts Sunk on March 30, 1945
Ship dimensions and crew
174.0 m ( Lüa )
169.0 m ( KWL )
width 15.2 m
Draft Max. 6.28 m
displacement Standard : 6,000 tn.l.
Construction: 6,750 t
Maximum: 7,700 tn.l.
crew 514 to 850 men
Machine system
machine 6 steam boilers
4 sets of steam turbines
2 MAN 10-cylinder diesel
68,485 hp (50,371 kW)
32.5 kn (60 km / h)
propeller 2 three-winged 3.7 m

from 1934 additionally:


The Köln was a light cruiser of the Reichsmarine and the later Kriegsmarine . The ship was named after the city of Cologne and was the third and last unit of the Königsberg class . Sister ships were the Königsberg and the Karlsruhe .


Construction and commissioning

The launch of the Cologne as the third and last unit of the Königsberg class took place on May 23, 1928 at the Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in the presence of the Cologne mayor Konrad Adenauer , the Reichswehr Minister Wilhelm Groener and the chief of the naval command, Admiral Hans Zenker .


From December 8, 1932 to December 12, 1933, the cruiser Cologne undertook a training trip for future officers. It led from Wilhelmshaven through the North Sea and the Biscay to Spain . Then it went to the Mediterranean , where Italy and Egypt were visited. Then it went through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea and into the Indian Ocean . On the journey from Sabang to Fremantle , the equator baptism took place on March 2, 1933 . The other stations were Sydney , Hobart , Rabaul , Guam , Japan , China , Flores and Ceylon . Then it went again through the Suez Canal, through the Mediterranean, the Biscay and the North Sea back to Wilhelmshaven.

During the Spanish Civil War, Cologne patrolled the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

During the Second World War, Cologne took part in operations in the Baltic Sea and in the Weser Exercise company . Then she was used as a mine layer and occasionally in the trade war in the North Sea. In 1939 and 1940, tests of a Flettner Fl 265 were carried out on the cruiser Köln , and a landing platform was built on Tower B. After a submarine attack in February 1943, the Cologne and the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper had to be decommissioned because of the major repairs that were necessary. The Köln was not back in service until March 1944 , now as a training ship .

On December 12, 1944, the Köln was badly damaged in a bombing raid and then brought to Wilhelmshaven for repairs. There the ship was aground in another air raid by five bombs on March 31, 1945 in the construction port of the Kriegsmarine shipyard. The two aft treble towers remained operational and were able to intervene in the battles around Wilhelmshaven in the last days of the war. They shot at the advancing British until the available 6 inch ammunition was used up. The wreck was then blown up.



January 15, 1930 to September 27, 1932 Frigate captain / sea ​​captain Ludwig von Schröder
September 28, 1932 to March 19, 1934 Frigate Captain / Sea Captain Otto Schniewind
March 20, 1934 to September 30, 1935 Frigate captain / sea captain Werner Fuchs
October 1, 1935 to October 15, 1937 Frigate captain / sea captain Otto Backenköhler
October 16, 1937 to January 14, 1940 Sea captain Theodor Burchardi
January 15, 1940 to May 28, 1941 Sea captain Ernst Kratzenberg
May 29, 1941 to March 28, 1942 Sea captain Friedrich Hüffmeier
March 29 to May 24, 1942 Corvette Captain Hellmuth Strobel (deputy)
May 25 to December 12, 1942 Sea captain Martin Baltzer
December 13, 1942 to February 17, 1943 Sea captain Hans Karl Meyer
April 1, 1944 to January 1945 Frigate Captain / Captain Hellmuth Strobel
January to April 1945 Corvette Captain Fritz-Henning Brande

Known crew members


  • Erich Gröner , Dieter Jung and Martin Maass: The German Warships 1815–1945 Volume 1 . Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7637-4800-8 .
  • Robert Gardiner (ed.), Roger Chesneau (ed.): Conway's All the World Fighting Ships 1922-1946 . Conway Maritime Press Ltd, London 1980, ISBN 0-85177-146-7 .
  • Harald Fock: Fleet Chronicle . Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-7822-0788-2 .

Web links

Commons : Cologne  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ The cruiser Cologne - trips abroad and journeys ( memento from March 1, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), viewed on November 14, 2009
  2. Christine Winter: “A Good-Will Ship”: The Light Cruiser Cologne Visits Rabaul (1933) . In: Australian Journal of Politics & History . tape 54 , no. 1 , February 26, 2008, ISSN  0004-9522 , p. 44-54 , doi : 10.1111 / j.1467-8497.2008.00483.x .