Small cruiser SMS Augsburg

The small cruiser SMS Augsburg was one of the ships that operated in the Baltic Sea against the Russian Navy and had to be delivered to the victorious powers after the war.


Launching and design:

The launch of the SMS Augsburg took place on 10 July 1909. The ship belonged to the Kolberg class, small cruisers that were built as successor to the Dresden class and were fully equipped for the first time with turbine drive.

The turbine used in the Augsburg came from the C A Parsons & Co or the Marine Steam Turbine Company and was developed by the British Charles Parsons. In the sister ships, however, turbines from other manufacturers were used. Also, the Kolberg class was one of the last cruisers that were still equipped with a Rammbug, although not as pronounced as in previous models.

The commissioning took place finally on 1 October 1910.


Turboset from Parsons




History of SMS Augsburg:

Even during a test drive, shortly after commissioning, the Augsburg was ordered to a rescue and rescue operation, where it was about the sunken submarine U 3.

As of February 24, 1911 she was assigned to the torpedo inspection and served there as a pilot ship, later as an artillery test ship, for which she was specially rebuilt in the Imperial Shipyard in Gdansk.

From June 1914 Augsburg served in the Baltic Sea and took over there outpost and security services.


SMS Augsburg




Use in the war:

With the beginning of the First World War, Augsburg carried out several operations in the Baltic Sea. Among other things, together with the small cruiser Magdeburg mine barriers were placed in the eastern Baltic, shot at the city of Libau (today's Latvia) or made forays into the Gulf of Finland.

On September 2 and 6, 1914, the first direct battles took place with the Russian destroyer Nowik and the battleships Bajan and Pallada.

For the 17th of November 1914 a large attack on the Russian naval base in Libau was planned by the German naval line. Although this had been largely cleared by the Russian Navy, however, the naval leadership assumed that subsequently British submarines could use the base. On the way there, however, the big cruiser Friedrich Carl ran on 2 sea mines and began to sink. The Augsburg was called in to pick up the survivors when the ship began to sink. The attack was subsequently canceled.

In January 1915 the 2nd attempt was made to attack the naval base of Libau. This time, the Augsburg itself went to a sea mine, had to mourn 8 dead and had to go to Szczecin, where it was repaired makeshift. In April 1915, the ship was, after a thorough repair in Hamburg again operational and was sent back to the Baltic Sea.

On July 2, 1915, Augsburg, along with other cruisers and the minecruiser SMS Albatross was involved in a mine-laying operation in the Gulf of Finland. After completion, only the Augsburg remained at the miner when they met a Russian squadron. The Russian ships concentrated their fire only on the albatross, which had to be beached heavily damaged.

Augsburg also undertook similar operations with the small cruiser Strasbourg and the mineships of Rügen and Germany, until Augsburg, in July 1916, had a grounding in another operation in the Gulf of Riga and had to be towed to the Kaiserliche Werft Kiel. Simultaneously with the repair work, the armament of the 10.5 cm guns was exchanged for six 15 cm guns and the bridge modernized. The repair work and reconstruction were completed in April 1917 and the ship was relocated to the Baltic Sea.

The last mission during the war was the company Albion in which the Augsburg took part. In this September and October 1917, the Baltic islands Saaremaa (Ösel), Hiiumaa (Dagö) and Muhu (Moon) were conquered, which used the Russian Navy to control the middle and northern Baltic Sea.





After the surrender and the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, the SMS Augsburg had to be removed from the list of warships and delivered as reparation to Japan. On September 3, 1920, the crossing to Japan took place. Since these had no use for the ship, it was scrapped in 1922.




Ship data:


SMS Augsburg


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




Imperial shipyard, Kiel


7.593.000 Mark


July 10th, 1909


October 1st, 1910


Delivered to Japan and scrapped in 1922


130,5 meters


14 meters


Max. 5,45 meters


Max. 4.882 Tons



317 to 383 Men

15 Marine Boiler
2 set of Parsons turbines


31.033 PS (22.825 kW)

Maximum speed:  

26,7 kn (49 km/h)


12 × rapid fire cannons 10.5 cm L / 45 (1.800 rounds)

4 × fast fire cannons 5.2 cm L / 55 (2,000 rounds)

2 × torpedo tube ⌀ 45.0 cm

from 1917/18:

6 × rapid fire cannons 15.0 cm L / 45 (900 rounds)

2 × Flak 8,8 cm L / 45

2 × torpedo tube ⌀ 45,0 cm (5 rounds)

2 × torpedo tube ⌀ 50.0 cm (4 rounds)

120 mines


Deck: 20-80 mm
Sole: 100 mm
Command tower: 20-100 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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!



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.

Click here!






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