Small cruiser SMS Regensburg

The small cruiser SMS Regensburg belonged to the Graudenz class, a class of ships consisting of 2 ships, 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Class was created from the 1911 draft of the Navy Design Office and was intended to replace the two ships of the outdated Irene Class and serve as a successor to the Karlsruhe Class.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 launch of the SMS Regensburg took place on 25 April 1914, the commissioning on 3 January 1915.


Small cruiser SMS Regensburg

Small cruiser SMS Regensburg




Use in the war:

After the commissioning and the following test drives the ship was assigned to the II. Reconnaissance group.

During the war, the Regensburg moved back and forth between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, while doing security tasks when laying mine locks or participated in the shelling of coastal cities.

During the Battle of the Skagerrak from 31 May to 1 June 1916, the Regensburg was also involved in the rescue of the crew of SMS Lützow when the battlecruiser had to be abandoned because of invading water.

From March to July 1917, a major overhaul took place in the Imperial shipyard in Kiel, after which the Regensburg flagship of the IV. Reconnaissance group and participated again in operations in the North and Baltic Seas.

After the capitulation of the German Empire, the Regensburg had not be delivered like most other modern ships. From the ship, the weapons were expanded and it acted as a commuter and escort ship between the interned fleet and Germany. In addition, it accompanied the SMS Baden and 2 submarine pressure docks during the transfer to England.


Small cruiser SMS Regensburg fron 1918

Small cruiser SMS Regensburg from 1918




Service in the French Navy:

On May 19, 1920, the Regensburg was decommissioned in Germany and had to be delivered as reparations to France. There it was incorporated in May 1922 under the new name Strasbourg in the French Navy and assigned to the 3rd Division in the Mediterranean.

In 1922/1923 and 1925, the Strasbourg was involved in operations in Turkey and the Moroccan coast, before the division was renamed 2nd Division and relocated in August 1928 as an Atlantic fleet to Brest.

In December 1929, the transfer was made to the French Reserve Fleet.





On December 15, 1936, the ship was removed from the list of warships.

When the German Wehrmacht invaded France in 1940, the old German ship fell into the hands of the Kriegsmarine. It was towed to Lorient and served there as a barge for the workers on the submarine bunker. After completion of the work, the ship was sunk in front of the bunker in 1944 to serve as a barrier against torpedo attacks.

The wreck of the former small cruiser is still in front of the bunker today.


Today's wreck of SMS Regensburg, seen with Google Maps




Ship data:


SMS Regensburg


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




AG Weser, Bremen


8.800.000 Mark


April 25th, 1914


January 3rd, 1915


Sunk in Lorient in 1944 as a submarine bunker shelter


142,7 meters


13,7 meters


Max. 6 meters


Max. 6.382 Tons


385 to 402 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)

120 sea mines

from 1917:

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

2 × Anti-aircraft guns 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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