SMS Frauenlob (1902)

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Women praise
SMS Frauenlob German cruiser.jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire
Ship type Small cruiser
class Gazelle- class
Shipyard AG Weser , Bremen
Build number 132
building-costs 4,596,000 marks
Launch March 22, 1902
Commissioning May 12, 1903
Whereabouts Sunk on May 31, 1916
Ship dimensions and crew
105.0 m ( Lüa )
104.4 m ( KWL )
width 12.4 m
Draft Max. 5.61 m
displacement Construction: 2,706 t
Maximum: 3,158 t
crew 257 men
Machine system
machine 9 marine boilers,
2 3-cylinder compound machines
8,623 hp (6,342 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

SMS Frauenlob was a small cruiser of the Imperial Navy . She was the lead ship of an improved version of the Gazelle class and was used in World War I and wassunkduring the Battle of the Skagerrak .

It was named in the tradition of the former Prussian war schooner Frauenlob , who sank in a typhoon off Yokohama on September 2, 1860 . Its construction was financed by donations from German women.

Building history

Construction of seven Gazelle- class ships began between 1897 and 1900. After the initial experience, the Reichsmarineamt revised the draft. It received thicker armor for the command tower, was set up for an increased number of crews and was given a greater width to accommodate a larger coal supply, which increased the range. As a result, the three ships commissioned according to this draft also had an increased draft. In the summer of 1901 AG Weser in Bremen received the order for the new buildings G and H , the Frauenlob and the Arcona ; the third order for the new J , the Undine , went to the Howaldtswerke in Kiel , for which it was the first major warship to be built.

Peace service time

The early launch of the Frauenlob took place on March 22, 1902 due to lack of space at the shipyard. The director of the General Naval Department in the Reichsmarineamt, Vice Admiral Wilhelm Büchsel , gave the baptismal address ; She was baptized by Princess Anna zu Stolberg-Wernigerode . It was not put into service for test drives until February 17, 1903. After a three-day long journey around Cape Skagen , the cruiser arrived in Kiel on April 5, 1903 and was assigned to the reconnaissance ships of the 1st Squadron, even if it still had to carry out some tests. He then took part in the squadron trip to Spain from May 7th to June 10th, and in all subsequent training trips and maneuvers. He visited Norway and the Netherlands . On May 29, 1905, the cruiser ran into mud due to an oar damage when leaving Bremerhaven , but without suffering any damage. In 1906 the Frauenlob won the Kaiser-Shooting Prize for small cruisers under her commander, Frigate Captain Robert Mischke , but sank her own steam pinasse while shooting torpedoes . On January 19, 1908, Frauenlob was the last of the Gazelle cruisers to leave the fleet. Your commander and most of the crew switched to the new turbine cruiser Stettin .

In the summer of 1912, a major overhaul of the cruiser in reserve began. Four upper deck guns were removed and replaced with ten 3.7 cm cannons to use the cruiser as a training ship. Although the conversion was completed in January 1913, the ship was never used.

Sea battle near Heligoland

1st phase of the battle near Heligoland
The Arethusa

At the beginning of the war, Frauenlob was part of securing the German patrols off Heligoland . On the morning of August 28, 1914, superior British units attacked the German ships. The Frauenlob and the Kleine Kreuzer Stettin were dispatched to reinforce the German outpost chain in response to reports from British destroyers and were the first larger German ships on the scene at 8 a.m. They attacked the Harwich Force led by Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt . This consisted of two light cruisers and 33 destroyers . The praise of women damaged the British flagship Arethusa with two hits at the beginning of the sea ​​battle so badly that it was incapacitated. The British cruiser was technically superior to the outdated woman praise in all respects, but was also only recently put into service. The British turned away, and the woman praise gave up the pursuit of the battered opponent at around 8:30 a.m. after she had lost contact with the Stettin , who had been hit by the Fearless . The Frauenlob itself had received ten hits and five dead. With the torpedo boat V 3 and the severely damaged minesweeper T 33 , she withdrew to the shelter of the Helgoland batteries.

Fortunately for her, the women's praise did not come across the far superior British associations, which rushed to support Tyrwhitt. The small cruisers Cöln , Mainz and Ariadne and also the torpedo boat V 187 were sunk by them during the day.

In November 1914 the Frauenlob was ready for action again and was the only cruiser of the Gazelle class to remain with the reconnaissance ships because of the losses off Heligoland. In October 1915 a longer layover time followed. The commander and a large part of the crew switched to Danzig , which had been restored after a mine hit , and which shortly thereafter suffered a mine hit in the Baltic Sea, so that the commander and parts of the crew were again commanded to the Frauenlob , which in early 1916 was part of the association of IV. Recon Group returned.

Battle of the Skagerrak

The Southampton

In the Battle of the Skagerrak on May 31, 1916, the Frauenlob belonged to the IV reconnaissance group under Captain z. S. Ludwig von Reuter on the Stettin . The group also included the small cruisers Munich , Stuttgart and Hamburg , the flagship of the 1st submarine flotilla. During the confusing night fighting, this group met the British 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, which was commanded by Commodore William Goodenough , at around 10 p.m. A fierce battle broke out over the shortest distance. The British cruisers Southampton and Dublin were badly damaged. Then the woman praise received a torpedo hit from the Southampton . At the same time, an artillery hit in the stern set the riot ammunition on fire. The praise of women was listed to port and began to sink. Parts of the crew continued to fight until the ship sank around 11.35 p.m. Only eight of the 332-strong crew survived. Particularly noteworthy among the dead is boatswain's mate Anton Schmitt , who remained seriously wounded at his post as a gunner and went down with the ship. The destroyer Anton Schmitt was named after him.


The ship's bell of women praise

The wreck was located by Danish divers in 2000 . The hull is largely intact. In 2001 the ship's bell was discovered, recovered and handed over to the Naval Memorial in Laboe .


February 17, 1903 to September 1904 Corvette / frigate captain Johannes Nickel (1858-?)
September 1904 to September 1905 Frigate Captain Maximilian Caesar (1861–1911)
October 1905 to September 30, 1907 Frigate Captain Robert Mischke (1865–1935)
October 1, 1907 to January 19, 1908 Corvette captain / frigate captain Friedrich Boedicker (1866–1944)
August 2, 1914 to January 1915 Frigate Captain Konrad Mommsen (1871–1946)
January to October 1915 Frigate Captain Georg Hoffmann (1874–1916)
October to December 1915 Lieutenant captain of the reserve Johannes Wagner (1876–?) (Deputy)
December 1915 to May 31, 1916 Frigate Captain Georg Hoffmann


  • 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,

Web links


  1. According to the author of the book from 1929 “The last eight by SMS Frauenlob”. The author and ensign z. See Walter Stolzmann was one of the survivors. The eight survivors are named and ranked in this book.

Coordinates: 56 ° 9 ′ 0 ″  N , 5 ° 28 ′ 48 ″  E