Small cruiser SMS Rostock

The small cruiser SMS Rostock belonged to the Karlsruhe class, a class of ships consisting of only two ships. Only shortly before the war put into service, the Rostock was sunk in 1916 in the Battle of the Skagerrak.


Launching and design:

The Karlsruhe class emerged from the Magdeburg class, was designed for 2 ships and was different to the predecessor ships only in the installation of an additional 2 oil-fired water tube boiler for the drive system, which increased their speed and range slightly. The rest of the construction of the ships was almost identical, also in terms of armament.

The launching of the SMS Rostock took place on November 12, 1912, the commissioning on February 5, 1914.


Small cruiser SMS Rostock

Small cruiser SMS Rostock


Small cruiser SMS Rostock

Small cruiser SMS Rostock


Small cruiser SMS Rostock

Small cruiser SMS Rostock




Use in the war:

With the beginning of the First World War, SMS Rostock participated in attacks in the North Sea as well as in the Baltic Sea.

On the night of 31 May to 1 June 1916, the ship also participated as a flagship of the I. leader of torpedo boats at the Battle of the Skagerrak. During the battle, it was able to sink the 2 already heavily damaged British destroyer HMS Nestor and the HMS Nomad. When the German ships set off at 1:30 am, British destroyers were able to catch up with the ships and open the fire. In order not to be hit, the SMS Rostock tried to break through its own lines, but was hit by a torpedo.





By the torpedo hit the turbine system of the ship had failed. As the British ships continued to approach, put the team on the torpedo boats over. As a quick towing failed, the German torpedo boats V71 and V73 submerged the Rostock before the ship fell into the hands of the British. In the course of the battle, the Rostock had 14 dead to complain.




Ship data:


SMS Rostock


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




Howaldtswerke, Kiel


8.124.000 Mark


November 12th, 1912


February 5th, 1914


Abandoned at the Battle of the Skagerrak on 1 June 1916 and sunk by the German torpedo boat V71 and V73


142,2 meters


13,7 meters


Max. 5,38 meters


Max. 6.191 Tons


373 Men




12 carbon Marine boiler
2 Oil Navy double boiler
2 set of marine turbines


26.000 PSw

Maximum speed:  

27,8 kn




12 × 10,5 cm L / 45 fast charging cannons

2 × 50 cm torpedo tubes


Deck: 20 - 40 mm
Slope: 40 - 60 mm
Bulkheads: 40 mm
Command post:
Horizontal: 20 mm
Vertical: 100 mm
Shields: 50 mm
Belted armor: 60 mm
Bow tank: 18 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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