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






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