Artillery Training Vessel Bremse
In the mid-to-late-twenties plans were made for a new Artillery Training Vessel to replace the old vessel Drache
, a modified gunboat of pre-WW1 days. The original design included four 150mm guns, two torpedo tubes, room for a seaplane and a modern two-shaft turbine engine. The design had a displacement of c. 1,500t and a projected top speed of 27-28knots.
The design was highly controversial among the politicians. The old Drache
was a ship of only 800t, armed with 88mm cannons. Also, design-wise, the new Bremse
would be very much like a destroyer, but with 1,500t far above the limit of 800t set by the treaty of Versailles. But her classification as a training vessel put her in a category, where there were no such limitations.
Beginning in 1928 the design began to change. The turbine engine was replaced by a diesel engine, which required a second funnel, which in turn replaced the seaplane. The main caliber was scaled down from 150mm to 127mm (a caliber originally intended for the Type 1923/1924 torpedo boats, but vetoed by the Treaty Powers) and the torpedo tubes were replaced with minelaying facilities for up to 156 mines. Bremse
also received a tube mast and state-of-the-art rangefinders, particularly the massive 7m-rangefinder on top of the bridge.
However, like many German design of that time, Bremse
suffered topweight problems. Fortunately, the German Navy possessed a very useful tool
to deal with such manners. Here’s Bremse
as she appeared in 1935, with new mast and reduced funnels.
In 1939, Bremse
took a role in the war movie "Der letzte Appell" (The last muster), portraying the Australian cruiser Sydney
in her famous battle against SMS Emden
. For that purpose, two fake funnels were added to the ship, to gave the impression of a WW1-era light cruiser. However, with the outbreak of the second world war interrupted the film's production and caused it to be cancelled.
in the eaerly staged of the next war, Bremse
conducted mining operations in the North Sea, commerce raiding in the Baltic Sea, but also did escort- and training missions. During the invasion of Norway, she was part of Battle Ship Group 3 with the target of Bergen. During the battle, she was damaged by Norwegian coastal batteries and required repairs that lasted until August 1940. After another short stint of escort missions, she was involved in two heavy accidents that put her out of commission from November 1940 to June 1941. After that, she returned to escort duties in the Norwegian waters.
On September 6th, 1941, while escorting the freighter Trautenfels
, the convoy was attacked by the British cruisers Nigeria
engaged the attackers and allowed the freighters to escape, but was sunk in the battle, taking 160 of her 192 crewmember with her.
Any help and source material is always welcome.