SMS Ariadne (1900)

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Bundesarchiv DVM 10 Bild-23-61-47, Small cruiser SMS Ariadne in action.jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire
Ship type Small cruiser
class Gazelle- class
Shipyard AG Weser , Bremen
Build number 127
building-costs 4,799,000 marks
Launch August 10, 1900
Commissioning May 18, 1901
Whereabouts Sunk on August 28, 1914
Ship dimensions and crew
105.1 m ( Lüa )
104.1 m ( KWL )
width 12.2 m
Draft Max. 5.5 m
displacement Construction: 2,659 t
Maximum: 3,006 t
crew 257 men
Machine system
machine 9 marine boilers,
2 3-cylinder compound machines
8,827 hp (6,492 kW)
22.2 kn (41 km / h)
propeller 2 three-winged ⌀ 3.5 m
  • Deck: 20-50 mm
  • Coam: 80 mm
  • Command tower: 20–80 mm
  • Shields: 50 mm

SMS Ariadne was a small cruiser of the German Imperial Navy . It was used in World War I and was sunk on August 28, 1914 in a naval battle near Helgoland .

The ship was named after Ariadne , the daughter of King Minos of Crete , a figure in Greek mythology . It was the second ship of this name after the cruiser corvette Ariadne , which was in the service of the Imperial Navy from 1872 to 1890.

Service in Peace

On December 14, 1899, the Weser AG in Bremen laid the keel of the small cruiser D , which was named Ariadne when it was launched on August 10, 1900 . It was the fifth Gazelle- class ship . On May 18, 1901, the commissioning took place under frigate captain Karl Deubel, who then also carried out the test voyages with the sister ships Medusa and Thetis . On July 11, an explosion occurred in the forward port boiler, which resulted in three deaths and several injuries. The test drives were canceled on July 26th.

Only on October 1, 1902, they were continued under the command of Korvettenkapitän Josephi, under whom the cruiser then joined the 1st Squadron in Kiel on October 22nd and also took part in the squadron's trip to Norway in December . On March 1, 1903, the Ariadne joined the newly formed association of reconnaissance ships. On the fleet's spring voyage to Spain , she called at Brest . In 1904 she took part in the fleet visit in Great Britain and in 1906 with the liner Prussia at the funeral ceremonies for the Danish King Christian IX. in Copenhagen .

First World War

At the beginning of the First World War, the ship was already out of date. Ariadne , who was under the command of Captain Seebohm, belonged together with Hela , Frauenlob and Stettin to a group of small cruisers that served as security for the German patrols near Helgoland .

On the morning of August 28, British units attacked the German patrols in the German Bight. Several small cruisers, including the Ariadne , were ordered there for support. Coming from the Jade , she ran with the small cruiser Cologne in the direction of the action. The Cologne came because of their higher speed in the fog soon out of sight. No German ship should ever see them again.

The Ariadne continued north-west and at around 1 p.m. encountered a British battlecruiser squadron under the command of David Beatty . The battlecruisers took the Ariadne under fire at close range and turned her into a burning wreck within a quarter of an hour. 64 crew members lost their lives. Finally the British were out of sight in the fog. The small cruisers Danzig and Stralsund found the floating wreck of the Ariadne . 170 men were taken over by the Danzig , 59 from the Stralsund . An attempt to tow the Ariadne failed. The cruiser sank around 4 p.m.

With her appearance, the Ariadne only gave the Cöln, which had previously been badly damaged by Beatty's battlecruisers, a brief respite. The Cologne was initially escaped in the fog after their first clash with the British, but then hit the battlecruiser Lion , which already at the sinking of Ariadne had been involved. The Cologne was also sunk; only one man of her crew survived.

The contemporary witness and writer Theodor Plievier processed the immersion of Ariadne in his autobiographical novel Des Kaisers Kulis .


May 18 to July 26, 1901 Frigate Captain Karl Deubel
October 1, 1902 to September 1904 Corvette / frigate captain / sea ​​captain Adolph Josephi
September 1904 to September 22, 1906 Corvette / frigate captain Johannes Schirmer
2nd to 28th August 1914 Sea captain Hans Hans Seebohm


Web links

Commons : SMS Ariadne  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Theodor Plievier: The emperor's coolies. Novel of the German navy , Malik Verlag, 1930