Small cruiser SMS Amazone (1900)

The small cruiser SMS Amazone was a ship of the Gazelle class, which remained as some of the few ships after the war of the German Navy and could continue to serve in the Imperial Navy of the Weimar Republic.


Launching and design:

The beginning of construction of the Amazon took place in December 1899, the launching on 6 October 1900. It was the 3rd ship of the Gazelle class, which formed the first modern small cruisers as propagation buildings due to the fleet law of 1898.

The construction leaned against the Avisos of the Meteor classes as well as the single ship SMS Hela. Since the Gazelle class had no predecessor models, the ships were rebuilt accordingly.




History of SMS Amazone:

The commissioning took place on May 18, 1901. After several test drives, the ship was officially handed over on December 21, 1901 as Aufklärungskreuzer the Imperial Navy.

Already at the first association ride the Amazon was rammed by the battleship SMS Kaiser Wilhelm II and had until July 1902 for repair in the dock. In the following autumn maneuver in September, the amazone was again damaged when they practiced an onboard maneuver with auxiliary hospital ship Hansa.

On 2 June 1903, the next accident of the ship, as this ran aground in Brest (France).

On August 12, 1904, the Amazon was again damaged when in the Kiel fjord the Russian barque Anna rammed the ship. The last accident occurred on 3 March 1905, when the Amazon collided with the torpedo boat D 6.

The out of service on September 28, 1905, when the Amazon was replaced by the small cruiser SMS Berlin and the reserve was allocated.


SMS Amazone




Use in the war:

At the beginning of the war, the Amazon was reactivated on 2 August 1914 and subordinated to the Coastal Defense Division Baltic Sea. There she mainly carried out towing and rescue operations. Due to their low speed, the ship could not follow the faster ships and was finally divided end of 1914 in the Western Baltic Sea for coastal protection.

From March 1916, the Amazon was withdrawn from the Baltic Sea and served the submarine school as a target for training. In August 1916, the heavy 10.5-cm guns were exchanged for 8.8-centimeter rapid-fire guns. Subsequently, the ship remained as a residential ship in Kiel harbor.




Use in the Imperial Navy of the Weimar Republic:

After the war, the Amazon was one of the few ships left to the Weimar Republic by the victorious powers.

The ship was modernized from 1921 to 1923 by the navy shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, where among other things a modern Kreuzerbug and a new Fockmast were installed. From December 1, 1923, until 1925, the ship served in the Imperial Navy until 1925, when it was used mainly for foreign trips.

1929 was the last international trip to Gothenburg before the ship was finally put out of service on January 15, 1930 and replaced by the light cruiser Köln.





The deletion from the list of warships took place on March 31, 1931, which she was then used as a housing ship at the submarine acceptance Commission in Kiel.

As of October 6, 1939, she also served the commission as an accompanying ship for the test command for new warship construction.

After the Second World War, the ship in Bremen was once again used as a host ship to accommodate the many homeless civilians who had lost their home due to the Allied bombing raids on Bremen. An idea to convert the ship to a youth hostel was not realized. The scrapping took place in 1954 in Hamburg.




Ship data:


SMS Amazone


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




Germaniawerft, Kiel


4.858.000 Mark


October 6th 1900


May 18th, 1901


Scrapped in Hamburg in 1954


104,8 meters


12,2 meters


Max. 5,39 meters


Max. 3.082 Tons


257 Men


9 Marine Boiler
2 3-cylinder compound machines


9.018 PS (6.633 kW)

Maximum speed:  

21,3 kn (39 km/h)


10 × 10.5 cm L / 40 rapid fire cannons (1000 rounds)

2 × torpedo tube ∅ 45 cm (under water, 5 shots)





Deck: 20-50 mm
Sole: 80 mm
Command tower: 20-80 mm
Shields: 50 mm






You can find the right literature here:


German Battleships 1914–18 (1): Deutschland, Nassau and Helgoland classes (New Vanguard)

German Battleships 1914–18 (1): Deutschland, Nassau and Helgoland classes (New Vanguard) Paperback – February 23, 2010

Supported by official documents, personal accounts, official drawings and specially commissioned artwork, this volume is an enlightening history of the Deutschland to Osfriesland classes. Detailing the last of the pre-dreadnaught battleship classes, this book goes on to explain the revolutionary developments that took place within the German Imperial Navy as they readied themselves for war. This included creating vessels with vast increases in size and armament. This account of design and technology is supplemented by individual ship histories detailing combat experience complete with first-hand accounts. The specially commissioned artwork also brings this history to life with recreations of the battleship Pommern fighting at Jutland and ships of the Osfriesland class destroying HMS Black Prince in a dramatic night-time engagement.

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The Imperial German Navy of World War I, Vol. 1 Warships: A Comprehensive Photographic Study of the Kaiser’s Naval Forces

The Imperial German Navy of World War I, Vol. 1 Warships: A Comprehensive Photographic Study of the Kaiser’s Naval Forces Hardcover – December 28, 2016

The Imperial German Navy of WWI is a series of books (Warships, Campaigns, & Uniforms) that provide a broad view of the Kaiser's naval forces through the extensive use of photographs. Every effort has been made to cover all significant areas during the war period. In addition to the primary use of photographs, technical information is provided for each warship along with its corresponding service history; with a special emphasis being placed on those warships that participated in the Battle of Skagerrak (Jutland). Countless sources have been used to establish individual case studies for each warship; multiple photos of each warship are provided. The entire series itself is unprecedented in its coverage of the Kaiser's navy.

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German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations

German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations Hardcover – November 4, 2014

This is the most comprehensive, English-language study of the German Imperial Navy's battlecruisers that served in the First World War. Known as Panzerkreuzer, literally "armored cruiser," the eight ships of the class were to be involved in several early North Sea skirmishes before the great pitched battle of Jutland where they inflicted devastating damage on the Royal Navy's battlecruiser fleet. This book details their design and construction, and traces the full service history of each ship, recounting their actions, drawing largely from first-hand German sources and official documents, many previously unpublished in English.

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The Kaiser's Battlefleet: German Capital Ships 1871-1918

The Kaiser's Battlefleet: German Capital Ships 1871-1918 Hardcover – March 15, 2016

The battleships of the Third Reich have been written about exhaustively, but there is little in English devoted to their Second Reich predecessors. This new book fills an important gap in the literature of the period by covering these German capital ships in detail and studying the full span of battleship development during this period. The book is arranged as a chronological narrative, with technical details, construction schedules, and ultimate fates tabulated throughout, thus avoiding the sometimes disjointed structure that can result from a class-by-class approach. Heavily illustrated with line drawings and photographs, many from German sources, the book offers readers a fresh visual look at these ships. A key objective of the book is to make available a full synthesis of the published fruits of archival research by German writers found in the pre-World War II books of Koop & Schmolke, Großmer's on the construction program of the dreadnaught era, Forstmeier & Breyer on World War I projects, and Schenk & Nottelmann's papers in Warship International. As well as providing data not available in English-language books, these sources correct significant errors in standard English sources.

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