Leberecht Maass
Leberecht Maass (24 November 1863 – 28 August 1914) was the rear admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

  who commanded the German naval forces at the first Battle of Heligoland Bight. He lost his life when his flagship, the light cruiser SMS Köln, was sunk by British battlecruisers commanded by Vice Admiral David Beatty
David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty
Admiral of the Fleet David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO was an admiral in the Royal Navy...


Maass was born in Korkenhagen
Budzieszowce is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Maszewo, within Goleniów County, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-western Poland. It lies approximately north-west of Maszewo, east of Goleniów, and north-east of the regional capital Szczecin.Before 1945 the area was part...

, Province of Pomerania.

The (British) Royal Navy's Harwich Force
Harwich Force
The Harwich Force was a squadron of the Royal Navy, formed during the First World War, that went on to play a significant role in the war.-History:...

 of two 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...

s, Arethusa
HMS Arethusa (1913)
HMS Arethusa was the name ship of the Arethusa class of light cruisers. She was laid down at Chatham Dockyard in October 1912, launched on 25 October 1913, and commissioned in August 1914 as flotilla leader for the Harwich Destroyer flotillas....

 and Fearless
HMS Fearless (1912)
HMS Fearless was an Active-class scout cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built at Pembroke Dockyard and launched on 12 June 1912.On commissioning she was assigned to the Harwich Force with her sisters, and was the leader of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla...

, and 31 destroyers and commanded by Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt
Reginald Tyrwhitt
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Reginald Yorke Tyrwhitt, 1st Baronet, GCB, DSO was a senior officer of the Royal Navy in World War I who commanded light forces stationed at Harwich on the east coast of England during the first part of the war.-Naval career:Tyrwhitt entered the Navy as a cadet in July, 1885...

, made a raid on German ships near the German naval base at Heligoland
Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea.Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands are located in the Heligoland Bight in the south-eastern corner of the North Sea...

. Providing distant cover were the battlecruisers New Zealand
HMS New Zealand (1911)
HMS New Zealand was one of three s built for the defence of the British Empire. Launched in 1911, the ship's construction was funded by the government of New Zealand as a gift to Britain, and she was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1912...

 and Invincible
HMS Invincible (1907)
HMS Invincible was a battlecruiser of the British Royal Navy, the lead ship of her class of three, and the first battlecruiser to be built by any country in the world. She participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in a minor role as she was the oldest and slowest of the British battlecruisers...

 of Cruiser Force K under Rear-Admiral Moore.

In the early morning hours the Harwich Force encountered German torpedo boats on patrol west of Heligoland. The Germans quickly dispatched the light cruisers Frauenlob
SMS Frauenlob
SMS Frauenlob was a Gazelle-class light cruiser in the German Imperial Navy. She was the second ship of that name, after a schooner launched in 1853.-History:Frauenlob was built at A.G. Weser in Bremen...

 and Stettin
SMS Stettin
SMS Stettin was a Königsberg class light cruiser of the Kaiserliche Marine. Laid down at AG Vulcan Stettin shipyard in 1906, she was launched on 7 March 1907, and commissioned on 29 July 1907. The ship served in European waters during World War I, participating in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in...

 to the scene, joined shortly afterwards by three more light cruisers out of 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:...

, including Rear Admiral Maass's flagship, Köln, as well as Ariadne
SMS Ariadne
SMS Ariadne was a light cruiser of the Gazelle class in the Imperial German Navy, with 2,700 tons displacement and 10 × 10.5 cm guns...

 and Strassburg
SMS Strassburg
SMS Strassburg was a light cruiser of the in the Imperial German navy, launched in October 1912, with 4,362 tonnes displacement. She was armed with twelve 105 mm guns and had a top speed of 28 knots...

. They were subsequently joined by yet another light cruiser, Mainz
SMS Mainz
SMS Mainz was a light cruiser of the Kolberg class in the Imperial German Navy, launched in 1909, with 4,400 tons displacement. She was armed with twelve 10.5 cm guns and had a top speed of 27 knots...

 out of Emden
Emden is a city and seaport in the northwest of Germany, on the river Ems. It is the main city of the region of East Frisia; in 2006, the city had a total population of 51,692.-History:...

. Tyrwhitt's Arethusa was severely damaged by Frauenlob, but the German cruiser also suffered heavy hits and retreated to Heligoland. Tyrwhitt soon received support from Commodore Goodenough's squadron of six modern Town class light cruisers
Town class cruiser (1910)
The Town class was a group of twenty-one light cruisers built for the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy . These vessels were long-range cruisers, suitable for patrolling the vast expanse covered by the British Empire...

: Southampton
HMS Southampton (1912)
HMS Southampton was a Royal Navy warship that served in the First World War.Southampton was one of the third batch of "Town" class light cruisers, her sister ships were Dublin and Chatham...

, Birmingham
HMS Birmingham (1913)
HMS Birmingham was lead ship of the Birmingham group of three ships of the "Town" class of light cruisers built by the Royal Navy. Her sister ships were and...

, Falmouth
HMS Falmouth (1910)
HMS Falmouth was a Town-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy launched on 20 September 1910 from the yards of William Beardmore and Company. She was part of the Weymouth subgroup.She saw action in a number of major naval engagements of the war...

, Liverpool
HMS Liverpool (1909)
HMS Liverpool was a 4,800 ton Town-class light cruiser of the British Royal Navy commissioned in 1909. Named for the port city of Liverpool, the cruiser served continuously in home waters subordinated to the Home Fleet from 1909 through the initial stages of the First World War.During the war,...

, Lowestoft
HMS Lowestoft (1913)
HMS Lowestoft was a Town-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy launched on 23 April 1913 from Chatham Dockyard. She was part of the Birmingham subgroup....

 and Nottingham
HMS Nottingham (1913)
The fifth HMS Nottingham was launched in 1913 and commissioned in 1914. A light Town class light cruiser of , in length and a complement of 401 men, she had thick armour plating and was armed with nine guns, one 13-pounder anti-aircraft gun and two torpedo tubes...

. In the fog and smoke, Mainz found herself between Tyrwhitt's and Goodenough's forces and was sunk by them after a prolonged battle.

Called for assistance by Tyrwhitt, Admiral Beatty, whose First Battlecruiser Squadron of Lion
HMS Lion (1910)
HMS Lion was a battlecruiser of the Royal Navy, the lead ship of her class, which were nicknamed the "Splendid Cats". They were significant improvements over their predecessors of the in terms of speed, armament and armour...

, Queen Mary
HMS Queen Mary
HMS Queen Mary was a battlecruiser built by the British Royal Navy before World War I, the sole member of her class. She was similar to the s, though she differed in details from her half-sisters. She was the last battlecruiser completed before the war and participated in the Battle of Heligoland...

 and Princess Royal
HMS Princess Royal (1911)
HMS Princess Royal was the second of two s built for the Royal Navy before World War I. Designed in response to the s of the German Navy, the ships significantly improved on the speed, armament, and armour of the preceding...

 had by then joined Moore's New Zealand and Invincible, arrived within little more than an hour at 12.40 p.m. and sank the hopelessly outgunned but desperately resisting light cruisers Köln and Ariadne.

The German navy named a World War II destroyer
Leberecht Maass (Z-1)
The German destroyer Z1 Leberecht Maass was a Type 1934 destroyer built for the German Kriegsmarine. The ship was named after Rear Admiral Leberecht Maass who commanded German forces in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in August 1914...

after Maass.

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