German Light Cruiser Königsberg

I have written about the German light cruisers previously including the Königsberg. The Königsberg was the first of the three ‘K’ class light cruisers built and so they are also referred to as Königsberg class according to naval tradition.

The K class light cruisers suffered from many design problems since they were designed and built in the late 1920’s and had to adhere to the strict limit’s imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. As the design problems became increasingly apparent, the duties of the ships were limited to compensate and they increasingly failed to serve in the role they were intended to.

The Königsberg served in the Baltic for the majority of the war as a glorified mine layer until being sunk in the Invasion of Norway. Collected below are the photographs of Königsberg from on deck and close up.

At Swinemunde, Germany, with a sentry on guard in the foreground. The original photograph, from Office of Naval Intelligence files, was dated 1938. However it appears to have actually been taken earlier in that decade. Note Königsberg‘s searchlights and torpedo tubes. The light cruiser Leipzig is in the right distance.

Halftone reproduction of a view taken on board in about 1930, looking forward from the foremast. Note the ship’s forward 15cm triple gun turret, anchor chains, and crewmen relaxing on deck.

Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken on board, circa 1930, looking forward from the stern with her after 15cm triple gun turrets trained out on the starboard quarter. Note the marked offset arrangement of these turrets, and the capstan and open hatch in the foreground.

View looking aft from the port side searchlight platform while the ship was underway, circa 1930. Note the gunfire control position in the foreground, 8.8cm anti-aircraft guns, and the after 15 cm triple gun turrets trained to starboard.

View of the ship’s forward superstructure, with visitors on the gangway and on shore in the foreground during an “open house” at a European port, circa 1930.

View on deck amidships, looking forward on the port side, circa 1938. Note details of smokestacks, boat cradles, cranes, and searchlights. A mounting for a 20mm anti-aircraft machine gun is visible in the lower right foreground.

[Images courtesy of the Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center 1 and 2 and Wikimedia.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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