SMS Gefion
SMS Gefion was a 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...

 of the Kaiserliche Marine
Kaiserliche Marine
The Imperial German Navy was the German Navy created at the time of the formation of the German Empire. It existed between 1871 and 1919, growing out of the small Prussian Navy and Norddeutsche Bundesmarine, which primarily had the mission of coastal defense. Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly expanded...

 (German Imperial Navy) launched in 1893. The cruiser was named after Gefjon
In Norse mythology, Gefjon or Gefjun is a goddess associated with ploughing, the Danish island of Zealand, the legendary Swedish king Gylfi, the legendary Danish king Skjöldr, foreknowledge, and virginity...

 of Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

. Under the 1891 naval regulations she was classified as a corvette-cruiser, but in 1899 was reclassified to light cruiser. She was the only ship of her class and the first ship of this size of the Imperial Navy which by design did not have any auxiliary sails.


The keel laying was held on 28 March 1892 at the shipyard in Danzig (Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

), and she was launched on 31 March 1893. After sea trials she was on 2 October 1894 commissioned to active duty. She proved to have several design flaws (poor ventilation) which could only be partly alleviated.
In June 1895, she took part in the opening ceremony of the Kiel Canal
Kiel Canal
The Kiel Canal , known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal until 1948, is a long canal in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.The canal links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. An average of is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula....

 (Kaiser Wilhelm Canal) . Subsequently, she served as a companion ship of the Imperial yacht SMY Hohenzollern
SMY Hohenzollern
SMY Hohenzollern was the name of several Yachts used by the German Emperors between 1878 and 1918, named after their House of Hohenzollern.- SMY Hohenzollern I :...

 on her usual summer trips. From September to December 1897 Gefion was overhauled and then on 16 December sailed for the Orient to join the German East Asia Squadron
German East Asia Squadron
The German East Asia Squadron was a German Navy cruiser squadron which operated mainly in the Pacific Ocean between the 1870s and 1914...

 in Tsingtao, China. There they carried out the usual ceremonial duties of a major vessel and visited several Russian and Japanese ports.

Boxer Rebellion

As part of the German East Asia Squadron
German East Asia Squadron
The German East Asia Squadron was a German Navy cruiser squadron which operated mainly in the Pacific Ocean between the 1870s and 1914...

 commanded by Admiral Felix von Bendemann
Felix von Bendemann
Felix von Bendemann was an Admiral of the German Imperial Navy .Bendemann was born in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony. He was the son of the painter Eduard Julius Friedrich Bendemann and Lida Schadow, who was the daughter of the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow...

 during the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 she made a noteworthy contribution in the Battle of Taku Forts in 1900. Starting on 8 June 1900, along with the large cruisers , and the small cruiser , she came before the Taku Forts
Taku Forts
The Dagu Forts , also called the Peiho Forts are forts located by the Hai River estuary, in Tanggu District, Tianjin municipality, in northeastern China. They are located 60 km southeast of the Tianjin urban center.-History:The first fort was built during the reign of the Ming Jiajing...

 (together with warships of other nations) to land detachments of Seebatallione
The Seebatallione [sea battalions] were naval infantry troops or marines serving in the Prussian navy, the navy of the North German Confederation, the Imperial German Navy, the Wehrmacht, and briefly in the modern Federal German Navy, the Bundesmarine....

 (marines) for the protection of their citizens in Tientsin. Her captain, Lieutenant Otto Weniger, then became commander of a landing corps of 500 Seebatallione, which took part in the failed Seymour Relief Expedition for the relief of the Peking delegations later in June.

Afterwards, she returned home, arriving at 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:...

 on 22 September 1901. SMS Gefion was then taken out of service for basic repairs. From 1904 she served mostly on Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 service. On 10 August 1914 she was mobilized for the First World War but staff shortages kept her from active service and by 1916 she was being used as an accommodation barge in Danzig.
On 5 November 1919 she was stricken from the list of ships of war and renamed the Adolf Sommerfeld, after a well known Jewish architect. She was scrapped in 1923.

External links

  • :de:SMS Gefion (1893).com
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