SMS Cormoran (1892)

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German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge)
SMS Cormoran
SMS Cormoran in Brisbane
Construction data
Ship type Small cruiser
Ship class Buzzard- class
Construction designation: Cruiser IV. Classe E
Builder: Imperial Shipyard Gdansk
Building no .:
Keel laying : November 1890
Launch : February 27, 1892
Completion: July 25, 1893
Building-costs: 2.495 million gold marks
Ship dimensions
Measurement: 1019 BRT
458 NRT
Displacement : Construction: 1559 t
Maximum: 1,864 t
Length of the waterline :
Length over all:
L KWL : 79.62 m
L overall approx : 82.6 m
Width of trunk:
Width over all:
10.2 m
12.7 m
Draft : 4.45 - 5.35 m
Side height : 6.42 m
Technical specifications
Boiler system : 4 cylinder boilers
Machinery: 2 horizontal 3-cylinder
triple expansion steam engines
Number of propellers: 2 three-leaf 3 m
Shaft speed: 130 / min
Drive power: 2949 PSi
Speed: 15.5 kn
Driving range: 2880 nm at 9 kn
Fuel supply: 310 tons of coal
Crew: 161 to 166 men
Construction: Transverse frame steel construction
(stem: bronze mandrel)
Rigging : Schoonerbark , later topsail schooner
Sea target guns: 8 SK - 10.5 cm L / 35
5 Rev - 3.7 cm
Torpedo tubes : 2 35 cm on deck
self-sunk on September 28, 1914
in Tsingtau

SMS Cormoran was a small cruiser of the Imperial Navy .


In the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II. When the ship was launched on May 17, 1892, the chief shipyard director of the Imperial Shipyard Danzig , Captain z. S. Aschmann, the christening ceremony of the small cruiser of the Bussard class. This class was intended for foreign assignments from the outset. The test drives from Kiel were completed on September 22nd.

First period of service

On October 16, the Cormoran sailed together with the sister ship Condor to secure German interests in South Africa . On December 15, 1892, the two ships arrived in Lourenço Marques , Portugal , where the Cormoran stayed until July 1895.

On July 5, 1895, she began the journey to East Asia. On September 13, Singapore was reached, and before Swatau they united with the East Asian Cruiser Division led by the great cruiser Kaiser under Rear Admiral Hoffman . The association cruised off China and Japan , with the gunboat Iltis lost in a typhoon in July 1896.

In October / November 1897 the Cormoran drove down the Yangtze to Hankau , where an agreement was concluded with China on October 4 to set up a German branch. She was also involved in the occupation of Kiautschou . From May to July 1898 it lay in front of Manila to protect German citizens , which culminated in a confrontation with the United States, the so-called Manila Incident .

On the night of March 23rd to 24th, 1899, she ran onto a reef on the western tip of New Pomerania (now New Britain ) on the way to the Samoa Islands , where she was supposed to reinforce the sister ship Falke . When the steamer Stettin arrived on March 29 , the commander had everything that was unnecessary thrown overboard or brought ashore, which freed the cruiser. In the shipyard of Sydney , the damage could be repaired until early June.

On June 17th the cormorant arrived in Apia . Shortly afterwards, the Samoa Treaty was signed . In June 1900 the ship was again for repair work in Sydney, on October 2, it anchored again at Apia. After a tour through the German colonies of German New Guinea and German Samoa , the annual overhaul was carried out in Sydney from March 15 to May 1, 1901. On July 28, 1901, the Cormoran was again in front of Apia. After further round trips she received the order to travel home in Sydney in 1903. She started her journey home on May 23, 1903, arrived in Kiel on September 13, and on September 26 was decommissioned in Danzig .

Second term of service

After a major overhaul with the installation of new boilers and a rigging in a topsail schooner , the new commissioning took place on May 1, 1909. The trip took her again to the South Seas, where she took part in a punitive expedition against the local population in Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land (northeast New Guinea). On November 13th, the local governor Albert Hahl embarked on board the cruiser, which was traveling 183 nm up the Kaiserin Augusta River for reconnaissance purposes. The estuary was reached again on November 22nd.

On January 8, 1910, the Cormoran arrived at Apia. On May 3, 1910, after a severe hurricane, it reached Hong Kong , and on July 15, it was back in front of Apia. On December 19, she appeared from Rabaul near Ponape , where the Sokehs revolt had broken out by the German cruiser squadron until February 22, 1911.

In May 1912 the Cormoran received its next major overhaul in the port of Tsingtau ( Qingdao ). After a long cruise, which was mainly used for surveying purposes, she ran back into Apia on January 10, 1913. On February 24, she was transferred to the gunboat class by decree of the Reichsmarineamt . From June 4th to July 5th she was in Sydney on a repair visit. From February 22nd to 27th, 1914, she supported the police forces on Bougainville in tribal feuds with a landing corps .

On May 30, 1914, what was now the gunboat arrived in Tsingtau for major repairs.

World War and whereabouts

After the outbreak of the First World War , the Cormoran was decommissioned on August 6, 1914. Until August 10, the Russian steamer Rjäsan , which was brought up by the small cruiser Emden , was equipped as an auxiliary cruiser , which was now named Cormoran . Under the command of the Cormoran , its crew and reinforcements, the new auxiliary cruiser left the port on August 10 and waged an unsuccessful trade war . He first joined the cruiser squadron in the South Seas and was then supposed to lead a cruiser war with the auxiliary cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich in the South Seas. The auxiliary cruiser Cormoran was unable to raise or sink any ships during its 127-day expedition in the South Seas. On December 14, 1914, he entered Guam , where he did not receive enough coal to continue his enterprise. He was interned and remained in Guam until he was scuttled on April 7, 1917.

The disarmed hull of the original Cormoran was in the night of 28/29. Sunk in the inner bay of Tsingtau by staff of the Imperial Shipyard in September 1914.


July 25 to September 22, 1893 Corvette Captain Robert Wachenhusen (1850–1929)
October 2, 1894 to November 1896 Corvette Captain Alfred Brinkmann (1853–1902)
November 1896 to January 1899 Corvette Captain Reinhold Brussatis (1855–1928)
January 1899 to November 1900 Corvette captain / frigate captain Hugo Emsmann (1858–1933)
November 1900 to July 1902 Corvette Captain Max von Grapow (1861-1924)
July 1902 to September 1903 Corvette Captain / Frigate Captain Otto von Burski (1860–1905)
May 1, 1909 to May 1911 Corvette Captain Werner Siemens (1873–1964)
May 1911 to April 1913 Corvette Captain Paul Ebert (1873–1939)
April 1913 to August 1914 Corvette Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt (1874–1945)

Individual evidence

  1. Willi A. Boelcke: This is how the sea came to us - The Prussian-German Navy overseas 1822 to 1914 . Ullstein, Frankfurt / Main, Berlin, Vienna 1981, ISBN 3-550-07951-6 , pp. 253f.


  • Hans H. Hildebrand, Albert Röhr, Hans-Otto Steinmetz: Die deutscher Kriegsschiffe , Vol. 1, 3rd edition, Mundus Verlag, Ratingen, ISBN 3-88385-028-4
  • Richard Weidinger: Swan of the South Seas. Navy diary memories. [SMS Cormoran in the South Seas 1909–1911]. e-publi Verlag, Berlin 2014. ISBN 978-3-7375-0372-3
  • Paul Ebert: South Sea Memories , Leipzig (Verlag HF Koehler) 1924.

Web links

Commons : Cormoran (ship, 1893)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 36 ° 3 ′ 0 ″  N , 120 ° 16 ′ 0 ″  E