-class of 1907, a series of four light cruisers. They were a successor to the Bremen
-class, being larger and having a smaller ramming bow.
The first ship in the class was SMS Königsberg
, ordered as 'Ersatz Meteor
', launched in 1905 and comissioned in 1907. Her service included stints to German East-Africa as well as escorting the Kaiser's Yacht during state visits.
In 1914, her appearance had changed only slightly, the most notable being the addition of several searchlights. During the war, Königsberg
, together with the coiler Somalia
conducted several raids against the British ship from East-Africa, having arrived there just before the outbreak. After several tours, including sinking the British cruiser HMS Pegasus
in the Battle of Zanzibar, she was cornered at the African coast by several British warships. During what became known as Battle of Rufiji Delta, she was sunk in shallow water, binding several British warships for this operation.
Second ship was SMS Stettin
, ordered as 'Ersatz Wacht
', launched and comissioned in 1907. The most notable difference was the 'detached' third funnel, a trait shared with all later ships of that class. She was part of the main fleet and participated in several battles, including Heligoland Bight and Jutland. In 1917, she was withdrawn from active duty and used as a U-boat school. After the war, she was surrendered to Great Britain and scrapped in 1921.
Third ship was SMS Nürnberg
, ordered as 'Ersatz Blitz
', launched in 1906 and comissioned in 1908. Similar to Stettin
in appearance, this is her in 1912: The searchlights from the middle had been moved to platforms on the mast (the forward mast held two searchlights mounted abreast). Stettin
had been modified in a similar way. Nürnberg
was part of the East Asia Squadron under Admiral Spee. She participated in the Battle of Coronel and the Battle of the Falkland Isles, where she and the rest of the squadron were sunk.
Fourth ship, SMS Stuttgart
, was laid down in 1905 as cruiser O
and as such was not a replacement ship, but planned to increase the overall fleet ship. She was launched in 1906 and comissioned in 1908. She first served as a gunnery training vessel and when the war broke out, she participated in patrol and raiding operation in both the North and Baltic Sea, including the Battle of Jutland.
She was decomissioned at the end of 1916, her crew transferred to the new SMS Emden
of the second Königsberg
-class. In 1918, the German Navy had begun to modify a number of steamers into seaplane carriers, however those were too slow to keep up with the fleet. Stuttgart
was therefore chosen for conversion as she had the necessary speed. For the conversion, six of her ten 105mm guns were removed, the two front ones were replaced with 88mm Flaks. A hangar was constructed on the aft part of the ship, allowing for the housing of two seaplanes and a third one could be transported on the deck behind it. Stuttgart
survived the war and was formally stricken from the naval register in 1919. In 1920, she was handed over to Great Britain as war prize 'S' and subsequently broken up for scrap.
Any help and source material is always welcome.