SMS Cöln (1909)

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SMS Coeln.jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire
Ship type Small cruiser
class Kolberg class
Shipyard Germania shipyard , Kiel
Build number 141
building-costs 8,356,000 marks
Launch June 5, 1909
Commissioning June 16, 1911
Whereabouts Sunk on August 28, 1914
Ship dimensions and crew
130.5 m ( Lüa )
130.0 m ( KWL )
width 14.0 m
Draft Max. 5.73 m
displacement Construction: 4,362 t
Maximum: 4,864 t
crew 376 to 383 men
Machine system
machine 15 marine boilers
2 sets of steam turbines
29,036 hp (21,356 kW)
26.8 kn (50 km / h)
propeller 2 three-winged ⌀ 2.55 m
2 three-winged ⌀ 1.78 m
  • Deck: 20-80 mm
  • Coam: 100 mm
  • Command tower: 20–100 mm
  • Shields: 50 mm

SMS Cöln was a small cruiser of the German Imperial Navy , which was named after the city of Cologne (then officially written Cöln ). At the beginning of the First World War it was sunk near Heligoland by the Royal Navy .

Battle and demise

On August 28, 1914, there was a sea ​​battle near Heligoland . The Cöln , under the command of frigate captain Hans Meidinger , left Wilhelmshaven to help the small cruisers Frauenlob and Stettin as well as the distressed torpedo boats of the I. and V. torpedo boat flotilla. On board was the leader of the torpedo boats (FdT), Rear Admiral Leberecht Maaß . The battlecruisers lying in the jade could not leave the port at this time, because the water level was too low to pass the bar of the inner jade .

First, the Cöln encountered the British cruiser Arethusa and eight destroyers that were in combat with the German small cruiser Mainz . The Cöln intervened together with the Strasbourg , but then unexpectedly came across five British battlecruisers, which were under the command of Rear Admiral David Beatty . Given the vastly superior British ships, the two German cruisers tried to escape. The Cöln quickly received several hits, but was relieved by the arrival of Ariadne at around 1 p.m. and was initially able to escape. At 1:25 p.m., however, she was sighted again by the battle cruiser Lion . At around 2:30 p.m., the ship, shot against the burning wreck despite bitter resistance, sank west of Helgoland in the North Sea .

Of the 485 crew members, around 200 men had initially survived the sinking of the ship. However, as there was heavy fog that day, despite several ships in the immediate vicinity, the castaways could not be found. 509 people were killed. Only the chief seaman (stoker) Adolf Neumann from Herten (from Cologne according to the memorial plaque) could be saved. Since the wreck was in the large shipping lane, the remains were blown up in 1979. One of the 10.5 cm guns, along with other artifacts, was recovered during this activity and given to the wreck museum in Cuxhaven.


76 hours after the sinking was a destroyed Kutter of Cöln on Norderney driven. The remains of this dinghy were brought to Cologne and exhibited there for inspection. Today the bow of the cutter wreck is hung in the Eigelsteintorburg .

In July 2014, former Nordwind crew handed over a funeral wreath from the sea on board a new Cologne at the sinking point of the Cöln .

Web links

Commons : SMS Cöln  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. a b JEK: 100 years in memory . MarineForum 9-2014, p. 53.
  2. Small cruiser SMS Cöln - cutter wreck in the Eigelsteintorburg ( Memento from March 1, 2009 in the Internet Archive )