Small cruiser SMS Königsberg (1915)

The small cruiser SMS Königsberg belonged to the same class of ships, which were built during the First World War and served as replacement for the already lost at the beginning of the war small cruisers. The Königsberg was the only ship of this class, which was not interned in Scapa Flow, but was later used in the French Navy.


Launching and design:

The ships of the Königsberg class, also called Königsberg II class, were designed from 1913 and should replace the small cruisers of the former Königsberg class. Since the ships of the first class were already partially lost at the beginning of the First World War, some ships of the new class were named after them.

The construction was based on the experience of the first Königsberg class, but the new ships were larger in size, faster and had a stronger armament. The Rammbug finally ceased, as it had lost any military benefits.

The launching of SMS Königsberg took place on 18 December 1915, the commissioning on 12 August 1916.


Small cruiser SMS Königsberg (1915)

Small cruiser SMS Königsberg (1915)


Small cruiser SMS Königsberg (1915)

Small cruiser SMS Königsberg (1915)




Use in the war:

After commissioning and completion of the test drives the SMS Königsberg was assigned as the flagship of the II reconnaissance group. There, the ship in the North Sea was mainly cared for with security tasks.

In September 1917, the Königsberg was relocated to the Baltic Sea, where the ship initially participated in bandage exercises and was then parked to secure the troop transport during Operation Albion (the occupation of the Baltic Islands).

When the operation was completed, the Königsberg was again transferred to the North Sea for security purposes. There she also took part in the second Helgoland battle on November 17, 1917. During the battle, the ship was hit by the HMS Repulse, damaging all three chimneys. Under the crew there were 8 dead and 15 injured. After the naval battle, the ship had first in the yard for the necessary repairs, then she took over again security tasks in the North Sea.

At the end of the war, the SMS Königsberg was set up to bring the German delegation to the United Kingdom on November 13, 1918 in order to increase the conditions there for the ceasefire of the German High Seas Fleet. On 18 November, the ship arrived again in Wilhelmshaven.





SMS Königsberg was the only ship in its class not to be interned in Scapa Flow under truce conditions. It was used as escort for the interned German submarines and as a mail ship between the interned deep-sea fleet and Germany.

The deletion from the list of warships then took place on 5 November 1919, the final out of service on 31 May 1920.

Due to the conditions on the part of the French government in the sense of reparations payments, the ship was transferred to the out of commission in July 1920 in Cherbourg to the French Navy and renamed on 6 October 1920 in Metz. The ship was assigned in November 1921 to the Division Volante de l'Atlantique and in April 1922 the Mediterranean Division.

As of September 1922, Königsberg, now Metz, was involved in securing French citizens in the Greco-Turkish War. In 1925, the ship was used together with the former SMS Strasbourg in Morocco to block the supply of insurgent Rifkabylen.

Through restructuring, the 2nd Division and the ships including the Metz were moved from the 3rd Division to Brest. There was in December 1929, the relocation of the Metz in the reserve fleet.

In 1934, the ship was then removed from the list of warships and scrapped until 1936.


Small cruiser Metz

Small cruiser Metz




Ship data:


SMS Königsberg

From 1920 Metz


German Empire

From 1920 France

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




AG Weser, Bremen




December 18th, 1915


August 12th, 1916


Scrapped in 1936


151,4 meters


14,3 meters


Max. 6,3 meters


Max. 7.125 Tons


475 Men




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


31.000 PS (22.800 kW)

Maximum speed:  

27,8 kn (51 km/h)


8 × Rapid Fire Gun 15,0 cm L / 45 (980 rounds)

2 × Anti-aircraft gun 8,8 cm L / 45

4 × torpedo tube ⌀ 50.0 cm (5 shots)

200 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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