fighting ships of the world



KARLSRUHE light cruisers (1914)

Strassburg 1912

Name Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Karlsruhe 181 Germaniawerft, Kiel 1911 11/11/1912 15/1/1914 sunk 4/11/1914
Rostock 560 Howaldtswerke, Kiel 1911 12/11/1912 5/2/1914 sunk 1/6/1916


Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

142.2 oa 139.0 wl

Breadth, m


Draught, m

6.20 deep load

No of shafts



Marine steam turbines, 14 Marine boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 1300 + oil 200

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

belt: 60 - 18, deck: 40 - 20, slopes: 60 - 40, glacises: 100, CT: 100, shields: 50


12 x 1 - 105/42 SK L/45 C/11, 2 - 500 TT (beam), 120 mines



Ship project history: These two cruisers were built under the 1910 programme. Trials performances were: Karlsruhe 37,885shp = 28.5kts; Rostock 43,628shp = 29.3kts.

Ship protection: Main belt was 60mm thick abreast machinery and 18mm at ship ends, it was closed fwd by 40mm bulkhead. 40mm protective deck above machinery was connected with the belt by 60mm slopes, ship ends were protected by 20mm deck with 40mm slopes. CT had 100mm sides and 20mm roof, guns had 50mm shields and 20mm protection of ammunition hoists.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: Karlsruhe was earmarked to replace the Dresden on the Caribbean Station and to take part in the opening ceremonies of the Panama Canal; but war broke out and she immediately began commerce raiding, sinking 17 merchant vessels totalling 76,609grt. On 4 November 1914 she sank at position 1107' N 05525' W after an accidental internal explosion. The survivors were saved by two German supply ships and managed to reach Germany on board the blockade runner Rio Negro.

    Rostock served with the Scouting Group of the High Seas Fleet, and took part in the Battle of Jutland where she received a torpedo hit, and was finally sunk by the German torpedo boats V71 and V73 on 1 June 1916.

Rostock 1914

Ivan Gogin, 2014