German Light Cruiser
Yard - Wilhelmshaven
Laid Down: 18
07 Jan 1925
15 Oct 1925.
5,600 tons standard; 6,900
tons full load.
Length 508.8 ft, Beam
46.9 ft, Draught 19.0 ft
2 shafts; Brown-Boveri
geared-turbines; 10 boilers;
5,300nm at l8 kt; 6,700nm
at 14 kt.
8 x 5.9 in;
3 x 3.5 in;
4 x 20mm; 4 x 21 in.
The cruiser Emden was the first major warship to be
built under the limitations imposed by the Versailles Treaty.
She was laid down in 1921 and completed in 1925, her design being
based on that of the Koln, the last cruiser to be built during the recent
the first time, electrical welding was used to build a warship of this
size. Emden's main
purpose, however, was not as a fighting ship, but to train the young
officers and cadets needed to form nucleus of the new Reichsmarine. In 1926
her aft funnel was modified slightly by being raised to the same height as
the forward funnel. From the
period October 1926 – 29th
March 1933 she acted as a training ship, which included five international
voyages. After a brief refit
at Wilhelmshaven she carried on
this role again for the next four years, which included a further six
international voyages. One of
her commanding officers during this time was Karl Dönitz (Sept 34 to Sept
35). In March 1939 she played
a minor role as a fishery protection vessel off Iceland.
Supported by torpedo boats, Emden laid mines in the North Sea in
August. Whilst sheltered in
Wilhelmshaven she shot down a Blenheim Bomber, which crashed, into her
bow. This resulted in the
first naval casualties of the war (4th Oct 1939). After repairs she continued in the training role.
As part of operation Weserubung, Emden helped transported troops
from Swinemunde on 6th Apr 1940.
She then went to Kiel and joined Squadron 5, comprising the Lutzow
and the ill-fated Blucher (lost, 8th April 1940), Emden’s
embarked troops deployed at the Drobak Narrows to attack Norwegian
Forts. She then went to
Oslofiord and acted as a communications post for all three services from
10th April. In
November she once again took on the training role.
In late September 1941 she joined the cruiser Leipzig and together
they bombarded Russian shore batteries at Cape Rista and also sank the
soviet MTB 83. She once again
became a training ship before commencing a major refit at Wilhelmshaven
from June to November 1942. Further
training duties followed until November 1944, before she mined the
Skagerrak. On 9th
December she ran aground at Oslofiord and had to be towed to Pillau by Ice
Breakers. After a six day
journey she limped into Kiel harbour for her last refit.
During an air raid on Kiel on the night of 9th /10th
April 1945, she became heavily damaged and was beached in Heikendorfer
Bay. She was de-activated on
the 26th April and blown up on 3rd May 1945.
Her remains were broken up in 1948.
MANY THANKS TO CARL PROCTOR WHO CONTRIBUTED THIS