SMS Arcona (1902)

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SMS Arcona
SMS Arcona (1903) .jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire
Ship type Small cruiser
class Gazelle- class
Shipyard AG Weser , Bremen
Build number 133
building-costs 4,493,000 marks
Launch April 22, 1902
Commissioning May 12, 1903
Whereabouts Sunk on May 3, 1945
Ship dimensions and crew
105.0 m ( Lüa )
104.4 m ( KWL )
width 12.4 m
Draft Max. 5.62 m
displacement Construction: 2,706 t
Maximum: 3,180 t
crew 270 men
Machine system
machine 9 marine boilers,
2 3-cylinder compound machines
8,580 hp (6,311 kW)
21.5 kn (40 km / h)
propeller 2 three-winged ∅ 3.5 m
  • Deck: 20-50 mm
  • Coam: 80 mm
  • Command tower: 20–80 mm
  • Shields: 50 mm

The SMS Arcona was a small cruiser of the Imperial Navy . She was used in the deep sea fleet and in East Asia . Before the First World War it was converted into a mine cruiser .

From 1921 to 1923 she was used by the Reichsmarine as a light cruiser . Removed as a warship in 1930, the Arcona , which was used as a residential ship, was converted into a floating anti-aircraft battery in 1940 and used as a stationary unit until 1945.

Building history

In 1901 the keel for the small cruiser H was stretched at the Werft AG Weser in Bremen . For the shipyard it was the fifth new construction of a Gazelle- class cruiser and the eighth new construction of a ship for the Imperial Navy. The launch took place on April 22, 1902 and Princess Margarethe von Hessen , a sister of the emperor , baptized the new cruiser in the name Arcona , which had previously carried a covered corvette (1859-1884) and a cruiser corvette (1886-1899) .

The Arcona was the ninth Gazelle- class ship to be completed . The last three cruisers formed a subgroup. In some places they had reinforced armor, a larger width and a slightly increased bunker capacity. On May 12, 1903, the Arcona was put into service and carried out test drives until July 18. The required engine output of 8,500  PSi on two shafts was slightly exceeded with 8,580 PSi and reached the required 21.5  knots .


Imperial Navy

The Arcona belonged from July 18, 1903 to April 4, 1907 to the Association of Reconnaissance Ships . She took part in the usual trips and maneuvers and visited Aberdeen as a postman during the summer trip in 1904 . In 1905 she called at the Swedish ports of Kungsbacka and Södertälje during the summer voyage of the fleet . On April 4, 1907, she left the fleet and reduced the crew, which was largely transferred to the SMS Danzig , which replaced the Arcona in fleet service.

On August 14th she was ready for foreign service and left Wilhelmshaven on August 27th, 1907. She ran through the Suez Canal to East Asia and reached the station area in Singapore on October 23rd . She ran to Tsingtau via Hong Kong and Amoy . Mostly deployed in the north of the station area in the Yellow Sea and around Japan, the Arcona made a round trip through the Celebes Sea from December 8, 1908 to February 21, 1909 . When she returned, she ran out again immediately, as riots had broken out in Samoa . When she arrived there on March 22, 1909, the revolt of the independence movement of the local population had largely collapsed. Before the Arcona , the SMS Leipzig had already arrived on board off Samoa with the chief of the cruiser squadron , Vice Admiral Carl von Coerper . They were accompanied by the gunboat SMS Jaguar and the squadron support ship Titania . On May 6th, the Arcona, accompanied by Titania, started the march back. It ran via Suva , Matupi to Saipan , where the convicted troublemakers were sent into exile. Then she visited Guam and then ran back to Tsingtau. In the fall, she represented the German Reich at the 140th anniversary of the discovery of the Bay of San Francisco , which was primarily intended to celebrate the reconstruction of the city after the severe earthquake of 1906. It crossed the Pacific via Honolulu , Hawaii, and in the United States stopped at Seattle , San Pedro de los Angeles and San Diego before the celebration . The way back led them again via Honolulu, where they could tow the British sailing ship Celtic Chief , which was stranded in front of the harbor . Arrived in Yokohama on Christmas Eve , the crew was able to excel at fighting a large fire.

On January 17, 1910, the Arcona began its journey home in Tsingtau. She ran to Sabang , where she met with the Leipzig . The two cruisers exchanged their commanders. Frigate Captain Heuser now led them home. From March 4 to 7, she was then in Port Said , where she met with the replacing cruiser SMS Nürnberg and exchanged parts of the crew. The Arcona arrived in Wilhelmshaven on March 24th and was decommissioned on April 30th, 1910.

From 1911 to 1912 it was converted into a mine cruiser. During the First World War , the Arcona was the command ship of the Ems coastal defense division from 1915 .

Imperial Navy

Because of its age, the Arcona did not have to be delivered after the end of the war. The armament was removed in the spring of 1919 and the ship then served as a tender for minesweeping operations of the 11th minesweeping semi-flotilla in the North Sea, where it replaced the outdated Prussian ship of the line as the mother ship . In 1920 she was armed again and converted back to a cruiser.

On May 25, 1921, she was taken back into service for the North Sea forces. In August 1921 the cruiser visited Arendal , Sandefjord and took part in the unveiling of a memorial for the dead from the Battle of the Skagerrak in Frederiksvärn . In winter she worked in the ice emergency service from the Kattegat to the Gulf of Riga , where she damaged the outer skin and had to go to the shipyard. In the summer of 1922 she visited Balholmen and in 1923 Abo and Karlskrona .

On December 1, 1923, the Arcona was decommissioned and replaced by the modernized sister ship the Amazone .

On January 15, 1930, the Arcona was struck off the naval list and then used as a residential hulk in Wilhelmshaven , Swinemünde and Kiel .

Second World War

After the beginning of the Second World War , the Arcona and her only sister ship, the Medusa , that remained in Germany , both of which had served as barge ships since they were canceled, were converted into floating anti-aircraft batteries in 1940 . Arcona was from 15 April 1940 to 25 May 1940, the Deutsche Werke Kiel rebuilt, serving from May 27, 1940, first in Swinoujscie in the MAA 233. Later, the ship belonged to Marineflakabteilung 282 in Wilhelmshaven, whose Flakuntergruppenkommando North in Hooksiel was . Since their machinery was no longer usable, they were removed. The ships were towed into position and anchored there. As an anti-aircraft battery, the Arcona displaced 2,650 tons, with a draft of just 5.0 m. Their armament consisted of four heavy 105mm L / 45 Fla -Geschützen, two 4.0-cm Flak , and six 2.0-cm-Fla - machine guns . The ship was blown up by the crew in May 1945 in the II. Entrance / Wilhelmshaven. The wreck was scrapped in 1948/49.


May 12, 1903 to September 1904 Corvette Captain Karl Zimmermann
September 1904 to September 1905 Corvette Captain Hubert von Rebeur-Paschwitz
September 1905 to April 1907 Corvette Captain Herwarth Schmidt von Schwind
April to June 1907 Lieutenant Paul Boethke
June to August 1907 Captain Wilhelm Schultz
August 1907 to June 1909 Corvette captain / frigate captain / sea ​​captain Horst von Hippel
June 1909 to February 7, 1910 Corvette Captain / Frigate Captain Hermann Schröder
February 7 to March 30, 1910 Frigate Captain Karl Heuser
October 31, 1912 to October 1916 Corvette Captain Wilhelm von Hippel
October 1916 to July 1917 Frigate Captain Ernst Piper
July 1917 to February 1918 Corvette Captain Erich Heyden
February to December 1918 Corvette Captain Carlo Peucer
December 1918 to May 1919 unknown
May 1919 to February 19, 1920 Captain Erich Haeker
May 25, 1921 to July 3, 1923 Frigate Captain Friedrich Hermann
July 3 to December 1, 1923 Sea captain Walter Gladisch


  • Gröner, Erich / Dieter Jung / Martin Maass: The German warships 1815-1945 . tape 1 : Armored ships, ships of the line, battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, gunboats . Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7637-4800-8 , p. 127-129 .
  • Erich Gröner: The German warships 1815-1945. Volume 7. Landing associations (II): Landing vehicles ie S. (Part 2), landing ferries, landing support vehicles, transporters, ships and boats of the army, ships and boats of the sea pilots / air force, colonial vehicles. Bonn: Bernard & Graefe 1990 ISBN 3-7637-4807-5 .
  • Hans H. Hildebrand / Albert Röhr / Hans-Otto Steinmetz: The German warships: Biographies - a mirror of naval history from 1815 to the present , Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft, Herford,
  • Fritz Witschetzky : The fishing protection trip and Norway trip of the small cruiser "Arcona". A diary , Charlottenburg (Verlag Offene Zeiten) 1922.
  • Friedrich August Greve: The air defense in the Wilhelmshaven section 1939-1945. 2nd Navy Flak Brigade. Hermann Lüers, Jever 1999.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich August Greve: The air defense in the Wilhelmshaven section 1939-1945. 2nd Navy Flak Brigade . Hermann Lüers, Jever 1999, p. 48 .
  2. There are also statements to the contrary, which say that at the end of the war Arcona was undamaged in the 2nd entrance in Brunsbüttel.