SMS Cöln (1916)

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SMS Cöln (1916) .jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire
Ship type Small cruiser
class Cöln class
Shipyard Blohm & Voss , Hamburg
Build number 247
Launch October 5, 1916
Commissioning January 17, 1918
Whereabouts Self-sunk on June 21, 1919
Ship dimensions and crew
155.5 m ( Lüa )
149.8 m ( KWL )
width 14.2 m
Draft Max. 6.43 m
displacement Construction: 5,620 t,
maximum: 7,486 t
crew 559 men
Machine system
machine 14 × water tube boilers
2 × steam turbine
48,708 hp (35,825 kW)
29.3 kn (54 km / h)
propeller 2 three-winged ø 3.5 m
  • Belt: 18-60 mm
  • Deck : 20-60 mm
  • Collision bulkhead: 40 mm
  • Ammunition socket : 20 mm
  • Command tower: 20–100 mm
  • Shields: 50 mm

The second SMS Cöln was a small cruiser of the Imperial Navy . It was the replacement for the small cruiser Ariadne , which sank on August 28, 1914 in a naval battle near Helgoland - together with its predecessor Cöln , after which the new ship was named.

Construction and technical data

The second Cologne ran on 5 October 1916 in Hamburg at the shipyard of Blohm & Voss under yard number 247 from the stack. She was the lead ship of the last class of small cruisers that were developed in the Imperial Navy. Based on previous experience, these ships were much larger and had a higher speed and a much stronger armament than their predecessors.

The length of the second Cologne was 156 m, the width 14.5 m and the draft 6.4 m. The ship displaced 5,600 tons and the propulsion system consisted of two sets of steam turbines that powered two propellers. The steam boilers could be fired with both coal and oil . The maximum speed was officially 27.5  knots , the cruising cruising speed was 24.5 knots. During the test drives, however , the Cöln could reach up to 29 knots. Their main armament consisted of eight 6-inch rapid-fire cannons. In addition, there were anti-aircraft guns, torpedo tubes and laying devices for the 200 mines that could be carried on board . The deck armor and the side armor belt were 6 cm thick, the command tower was protected by 10 cm thick armor.

Use and whereabouts

Due to a lack of material and personnel, the ship could only be put into service on January 17, 1918. After the test drives it was assigned to the II reconnaissance group. Except for a few mining operations in the German Bight , the Cöln did not have any major missions. At the end of the war it was in Wilhelmshaven . On November 19, 1918, the imperial ocean-going fleet began its march to internment at Scapa Flow , where the ships lay at anchor for months. The Cöln anchored northeast of the island of Cava . When finally it was clear that the Allies would collect the ships, was on 21 June 1919, the command for scuttling given. The remaining crew on board the Cöln also opened the sea valves on their ship. At around 1:50 p.m., the small cruiser Cöln capsized to starboard and sank to the bottom of Scapa Flow. In contrast to most of the other German ships sunk there, it was not lifted.

The wreck

The wreck lying at the position 58 ° 54 ′  N , 3 ° 3 ′  W coordinates: 58 ° 53 ′ 32 ″  N , 3 ° 3 ′ 0 ″  W in 35 m water depth on its starboard side is today a popular destination for scuba divers and is valid as one of the best diving destinations in Scapa Flow. The ship is largely intact. However, during salvage work, the two front guns, their shields and mounts as well as their screws and anchors were removed . At the stern, a hole was blasted in the fuselage to get into the engine room. The side wall on the port side rises to a depth of 20 m. The penetration into the interior of the ship is considered very dangerous because of the large amounts of sediment deposited there . This can suddenly worsen the view. Several fatal diving accidents are said to have occurred on the wreck.


January to October 1918 Frigate Captain Erich Raeder
October to November 1918 Frigate Captain Ludwig Kaulhausen
November 1918 to June 1919 Lieutenant Captain Johann Heinemann


  • Erich Gröner , 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. 143 .
  • Hans. H Hildebrand, Albert Röhr, Hans-Otto Steinmetz: The German warships . Biographies - a mirror of naval history from 1815 to the present . tape 2 : Ship biographies from Baden to Eber . Mundus Verlag, Ratingen, S. 182 f . (Approved licensed edition by Koehler's Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg, approx. 1990).

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