Gneisenau

Home ] Up ] Prinz Heinrich ] Prinze Adalbert ] Friedrich Carl ] SMS Roon ] SMS Yorck ] [ Gneisenau ] Scharnhorst ] Vicoria Luise ] SMS Hertha ] SMS Vineta ] SMS Hansa ] SMS Freya - Protected Cruiser 1897. ]

German armoured cruiser Gneisenau, launched 14th June 1906, due to having only 17cm single gun turrets in wing arrangements, it was under gunned for the battle fleet of 1914. She was used form 1911 onwards at Tsingtao, the German colony in China and was part of Admiral Graf Spee's East Asian Squadron. She fought at the battle of Coronel and was finally sunk at the Battle of the Falklands on 8th December 1914.

Displacement: 11,600 tons.  Speed: 22.5 knots.  Complement: 764.  Armament: eight 8.2 inch guns, six 5.9 inch guns, 18 3.4 inch guns, four 18 inch torpedo tubes.

Sister ship Scharnhorst.

SMS Gneisenau

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  ? Walker Archive. Order Code PGC016

SMS Gneisenau

At the outbreak of World War I, Germany's East Asiatic squadron, consisting of two large armoured cruisers and three light cruisers under the command of Vice Admiral Graf Spee, travelled from their base at Tsingtao in northern China, across the western Pacific to the coast of Chile. On 1st November they were intercepted off the Chilean port of Coronel by a British squadron where, enjoying a large advantage in firepower, the encounter ended with a resounding victory for Admiral Graf Spee. The British Admiralty reacted swiftly, despatching a powerful naval force to the South Atlantic to confront the German squadron, and on 9th December battle commenced some 120 miles south west of the Falkland Islands. Outnumbered, outgunned, and outpaced by the British force, the Battle of the Falklands was over by nightfall. Von Spee and the entire crew of his flagship Scharnhorst perished, and with Leipzig, Nurnberg and Gneisenau also sunk, the East Asiatic Squadron was routed. Only Dresden escaped and when she was scuttled in Chilean waters four months later, the East Asiatic Squadron ceased to exist.

The British squadron under Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock consisted of two armoured cruisers HMS Goodhope and HMS Monmouth, light cruiser HMS Glasgow and an armed merchant cruiser. Both HMS Goodhope and HMS Monmouth were sunk, Admiral Cradock went down with his ship HMS Goodhope.