Small cruiser SMS Wiesbaden

The small cruiser SMS Wiesbaden belonged to the consisting of only 2 units Wiesbaden class. The Wiesbaden was completed in the 2nd year of war and sunk the following year.


Launching and design:

The Wiesbaden class was based on the recently introduced Graudenz class. The only decisive difference was that in the Wiesbaden class on the foredeck 2 15-cm guns were installed and not just 1.

The launch of the SMS Wiesbaden took place on 30 January 1915, the commissioning on 23 August 1915.


Small cruiser SMS Wiesbaden

Small cruiser SMS Wiesbaden




Use in the war:

After the commissioning, the test rides were carried out immediately, which were under time pressure due to the ongoing war. After completion of the trips, the ship was assigned to the II. Aufklärungsgruppe and relocated to the North Sea to take over security tasks and to lay mine locks.

From May 31 to June 1, 1916 SMS Wiesbaden took part in the Battle of the Skagerrak. There, the ship was already at the beginning of the battle a hit in the engine room, so that the ship had become unable to maneuver. Over the next few hours, the ship received more hits and a torpedo hit at the rear. Due to the high stability, the Wiesbaden did not begin to sink until around 2:45 o'clock. It could save only 22 crew members in the lifeboats and drifted for 2 days at sea. Only the Norwegian steamer Willy discovered the lifeboats, at that time, however, only the supreme heater Hugo Zenne was alive.





The wreck of the SMS Wiesbaden is still in about 52 meters and was dived several times by marine divers of the German Navy.




Ship data:


SMS Wiesbaden


German Empire

Ship Type:  

Small cruiser




AG Vulcan, Szczecin




January 30th, 1915


August 23rd, 1915


Sunk on June 1st, 1916 during the Battle of the Skagerrak


145,3 meters


13,9 meters


Max. 6,06 meters


Max. 6.601 Tons


474 Men


12 Marine Boiler
2 steam turbines


31.000 PS (22.800 kW)

Maximum speed:  

27,5 kn (51 km/h)




8 × Rapid Fire Gun 15,0 cm L / 45 (1.024 rounds)

4 × Anti-aircraft gun 5,3 cm L / 44

4 × Torpedo tube ⌀ 50.0 cm (8 rounds)

120 mines


Belt: 18-60 mm
Deck: 20-60 mm
Command tower: 20-100 mm
Collision bulkhead: 40 mm
Sole: 20 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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