German Light Cruiser Karlsruhe

I have written about the German light cruisers previously including the Karlsruhe. The Karlsruhe was the second of the three ‘K’ class light cruisers built.

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 Karlsruhe took part in a few world tours during the 1930’s which highlighted some of the design problems inherent in her class. She patrolled the coasts of Spain and Portugal during the Spanish Civil War in 1937 and then spent the remainder of her life in the Baltic before being sunk in the Invasion of Norway. Collected below are photographs of the Karlsruhe in the Pacific including her time in San Diego when she was forced to undertake structural repairs and refitting.

At Honolulu, Hawaii Territory, on 2 May 1932.

Underway off San Diego, California, 27 March 1934. Photographed by Naval Air Station San Diego.

Underway off San Diego, California, 27 March 1934. Photographed by Naval Air Station San Diego.

Firing gun salutes, off San Diego, California, 27 March 1934. Photographed by Naval Air Station San Diego.

Anchored in San Diego harbor, California, 28 March 1934. Photographed from USS Langley (CV-1).

Anchored in San Diego harbor, California, 28 March 1934. Note the heraldic shield mounted on her bow. Photographed from USS Langley (CV-1).

[Images courtesy of the Department of the Navy – Naval History & Heritage Command.]

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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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