Small cruiser SMS Graudenz

The small cruiser SMS Graudenz belonged to the cruiser class of the same name with the sister ship SMS Regensburg, which were completed shortly before the First World War and were among the most modern cruisers of the imperial navy.


Launching and design:

The Graudenz class sprang from the official draft of 1911 by the construction department of the Imperial Navy and was to replace the two ships of the outdated Irene class and serve as a successor to the Karlsruhe class.

The construction compared to the predecessor class was almost identical. Only 4 instead of 5 boiler rooms were planned and the number of chimneys increased from 2 to 3.

Like the predecessor classes, the ships of the Graudenz class were named after cities. The eponym was the city (now Grudziądz) in the former West Prussia, south of the city of Gdansk.

The launching of the ship took place on 25 October 1913, the commissioning on 10 August 1914.


SMS Graudenz




Use in the war:

With the beginning of the First World War, the ship was assigned to the IV. reconnaissance group and initially performed mainly outpost and security services in the North Sea, but in between also made forays into the British coast.

On January 24, 1915, the Graudenz was involved in the naval battle on the Dogger Bank, but left this without damage.

In September, it participated in the rescue of the survivors of the collision between the torpedo boats V 1 and G 12 at the Horns reef in the eastern North Sea off the coast of Denmark.

n the period from October 26, 1915 to February 18, 1916, the Graudenz was for conversion work in the shipyard in Kiel. The 12 10,5cm guns were exchanged for 7 15cm guns to use more firepower. Furthermore, 2 8.8cm anti-aircraft guns, 2 50cm torpedo tubes were installed as well as facilities to carry around 120 mines. After the reconstruction, the ship was relocated to the North Sea for security purposes.

On April 22, 1916, the Graudenz was severely damaged by a mine and had to be towed by the torpedo boat S 51 and the small cruiser Frauenlob to Wilhelmshaven, where the repair lasted until September 13, 1916.

By the end of the war, the ship finally only provided security services in the German Bight.





The Graudenz was one of the few warships that did not have to be transferred to Scapa Flow after the conditions of surrender. It remained initially in the Imperial Navy, but was deleted on 5 November 1919 from the military list and put on 10 March 1920 out of service.

On June 1, 1920, the demand of the victorious powers to deliver the ship took place. Under the name of ship E, it was first brought to Cherbourg and then handed over to Italy. There it was taken on May 6, 1925 with the name Ancona in the Italian Navy.

In September 1935, the transfer was made to the reserve fleet of Italy, then the decommissioning and from 1938 began with the scrapping.


Seal mark SMS Graudenz

Seal mark SMS Graudenz




Ship data:


SMS Graudenz


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




Imperial shipyard, Kiel


8.800.000 Mark


October 25th, 1913


August 10th, 1914


Delivered to Italy and scrapped in 1938


142,7 meters


13,8 meters


Max. 6,08 meters


Max. 6.382 Tons


385 Men


10 coal-fired boilers and
2 oil fired double boiler
2 sets of steam turbines


26.000 PS (19.123 kW)

Maximum speed:  

27,5 kn (51 km/h)


12 × Rapid Fire Gun 10,5 cm L / 45 (1,800 rounds)

2 × torpedo tube ⌀ 50.0 cm (5 shots)

from 1916:

7 × speedfire gun 15.0 cm L / 45 (980 rounds)

2 × Flak 8,8 cm L / 45

4 × torpedo tube ⌀ 50.0 cm (5 shots)

120 sea mines


Belt: 18-60 mm
Deck: 20-40 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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