German cruiser Emden
Overview
 
The German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 light cruiser
Light cruiser
A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck...

 Emden was the only ship of its class. The third cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 to bear the name Emden was the first new warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

 built in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Ordered in 1921, construction was delayed first by Allied objections to the design and then by the German hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 in 1923. The original design envisaged the eight 6 inches (152 mm) guns being installed in four twin-turrets and would have made Emden one of the most advanced cruisers of her time.
Encyclopedia
The German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 light cruiser
Light cruiser
A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck...

 Emden was the only ship of its class. The third cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 to bear the name Emden was the first new warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

 built in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Ordered in 1921, construction was delayed first by Allied objections to the design and then by the German hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 in 1923. The original design envisaged the eight 6 inches (152 mm) guns being installed in four twin-turrets and would have made Emden one of the most advanced cruisers of her time. But the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 forbade Germany the development of new weapons, including new turrets. Like most navies, the German navy had never before used twin-turrets for such small guns. All previous designs were for 8 inch or larger guns and were too heavy for a 6000-ton cruiser as allowed by the Treaty. This forced a redesign of the ship with the guns placed in 8 less effective single-gun turrets, making Emden look very similar to her World War I predecessors.

The ship was finally launched on 6 January 1925 and commissioned on 15 October 1925.

Used primarily as a training vessel, Emden made several cruises into the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean between 1926 and 1939. For a time, until his promotion to Captain and transfer to the 1st U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 flotilla in 1935, Emden was commanded by future Großadmiral
Grand Admiral
Grand admiral is a historic naval rank, generally being the highest such rank present in any particular country. Its most notable use was in Germany — the German word is Großadmiral.-France:...

Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz
Karl Dönitz was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy during World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of , the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner...

, who recalled the cruises in his autobiography, Memoirs: Ten Years and Twenty Days.

On 4 September 1939, following the outbreak of World War II, the ship was damaged in a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 air raid on Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of the Jade Bight, a bay of the North Sea.-History:...

: a Bristol Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

 bomber
Bomber
A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground and sea targets, by dropping bombs on them, or – in recent years – by launching cruise missiles at them.-Classifications of bombers:...

 was hit by AA-fire and crashed into the foreship of Emden, killing 9 of the crew. By a strange coincidence the British pilot's name was Flying Officer H. L. Emden. http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/facts.html

After repairs Emden participated in laying minefields
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

 in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 for much of 1939. During the invasion of Norway (Operation Weserübung)
Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

 Emden was part of the ill-fated Kriegsschiffgruppe 5, tasked with taking Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

. The group's flagship, the heavy cruiser Blücher
German cruiser Blücher
Blücher was the second of five heavy cruisers of the German Kriegsmarine, built after the rise of the Nazi Party and the repudiation of the Treaty of Versailles. Named for Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the victor of the Battle of Waterloo, the ship was laid down in August 1936 and launched in...

, was sunk by the Oscarsborg
Oscarsborg Fortress
Oscarsborg Fortress is a coastal fortress in the Oslofjord, close to the small town of Drøbak. The fortress is situated on two small islets, and on the mainland to the west and east, in the fjord and was military territory until 2003 when it was made a publicly available resort island...

 coastal fortress inside Oslofjord
Oslofjord
The Oslofjord is a bay in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north....

 and the heavy cruiser Lützow (ex pocket battleship Deutschland
German pocket battleship Deutschland
Deutschland was the lead ship of her class of heavy cruisers which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. Ordered by the Weimar government for the Reichsmarine, she was laid down at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel in February 1929 and completed by April 1933...

) was severely damaged by a torpedo hit from a British submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 off the Danish coast on her way back to Germany.

Emden spent the rest of the war in the Baltic Sea, mostly on training cruises. From January 1945 on she helped evacuate German troops and civilians from East Prussia
East Prussia
East Prussia is the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast from the 13th century to the end of World War II in May 1945. From 1772–1829 and 1878–1945, the Province of East Prussia was part of the German state of Prussia. The capital city was Königsberg.East Prussia...

 to northern Germany and Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. On one of these trips, she also brought back the coffins of former German President Paul von Hindenburg
Paul von Hindenburg
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg , known universally as Paul von Hindenburg was a Prussian-German field marshal, statesman, and politician, and served as the second President of Germany from 1925 to 1934....

 and his wife.

In the night from 9 April to 10 April 1945 Emden was severely damaged in an air attack at Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

. She was towed with a 15° list into the Heikendorfer Bucht and beached there on 14 April. The ship was decommissioned on 26 April 1945, scuttled on 3 May and scrapped after the war.

Commanding officers

  • Kapitän zur See Richard Foerster, 15 October 1925 – 23 September 1928
  • Fregattenkapitän/Kapitän zur See Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, 24 September 1928 – 10 October 1930
  • Fregattenkapitän/Kapitän zur See Robert Witthoeft-Emden, 11 October 1930 – 21 March 1932
  • Fregattenkapitän Werner Grassmann, 22 March 1932 – 1 April 1933
  • Fregattenkapitän Karl Dönitz
    Karl Dönitz
    Karl Dönitz was a German naval commander during World War II. He started his career in the German Navy during World War I. In 1918, while he was in command of , the submarine was sunk by British forces and Dönitz was taken prisoner...

    , 29 September 1934 – 21 September 1935
  • Kapitän zur See Johannes Bachmann, 21 September 1935 – 25 August 1936
  • Kapitän zur See Walter Georg Lohmann, 26 August 1936 – 19 June 1937
  • Fregattenkapitän Bernhard Liebetanz, 20 June – 27 July 1937
  • Fregattenkapitän/Kapitän zur See Leopold Bürkner, 28 July 1937 – 15 June 1938
  • Kapitän zur See Werner Lange
    Werner Lange
    Werner Lange was a Vizeadmiral with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross...

    , 8 May 1939 – 28 August 1940
  • Kapitän zur See Hans Mirow, 29 August 1940 – 19.July 1942
  • Kapitän zur See Friedrich Traugott Schmidt, 20 July 1942 – 9 September 1943
  • Kapitän zur See Hans Henigst, 10 September 1943 – March 1944

External links

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