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 throughout her career culminating in her sinking.

Königsberg (German Light Cruiser, 1929-1940) – Image date unknown.

Königsberg (German Light Cruiser, 1929-1940) – Image date unknown.

Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken while the ship was transiting the Kiel Canal, about 1935.

Moored in a German harbor, circa 1936.
Note the ship’s crest on her bow, and what appear to be old torpedo boats tied up in the right distance.

In European Waters, circa 1936.

Artwork by Adolf Bock, 1941, published in a book on the German Navy published by Erich Klinghammer, Berlin, during World War II.
It depicts the light cruisers Köln and Königsberg landing troops at Bergen, Norway, on 9 April 1940.

Vertical aerial photograph, probably taken while the ship was under attack by British aircraft at Bergen, Norway, on 9 April 1940. Note the prominent swastika identification markings on her deck, fore and aft.

The Königsberg on fire and sinking.

[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:

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