German cruiser Emden — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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German cruiser Emden

Belt. 50 mm (2.0 in)

Deck: 40 mm (1.6 in)

Conning tower. 100 mm (3.9 in)

Emden was a light cruiser built by the Reichsmarine in the early 1920s. She was the only ship of her class and was the first large warship built in Germany after the end of World War I. She was built at the Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven ; her keel was laid in December 1921 and her completed hull was launched in January 1925. Emden was commissioned into the German fleet in October 1925. Her design was heavily informed by the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles and the dictates of the Allied disarmament commission. She was armed with a main battery of surplus 15 cm (5.9 in) guns left over from World War I, mounted in single gun turrets. as mandated by the Allied powers. She had a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph).


Design [ edit ]

According to Article 181 of the Treaty of Versailles. the treaty that ended World War I. the German Navy was permitted only six light cruisers. Article 190 limited new cruiser designs to 6,000 long tons (6,100 t) and prohibited new construction until the vessel to be replaced was at least twenty years old. [ 1 ] Design work on the first new light cruiser, ordered as Ersatz Niobe , began in 1921. [ 2 ] The ship was intended for long-range overseas service, so the designers placed emphasis on a large cruising radius and capacious crew accommodation spaces. [ 3 ] The designers wanted to use a main battery of eight 15-centimeter (5.9 in) guns in four dual mounts, but the Allied powers insisted on single gun turrets. This arrangement placed four guns amidships. which reduced the power of her broadside, as only six guns could fire on either side, as opposed to eight. [ 4 ]

The ship was based on cruiser designs from late in World War I, primarily due to personnel shortages in the design staff and the closure of the Navy’s experimental institute. Nevertheless, the ship incorporated major advances over the earlier designs, including large-scale use of welding in her construction and a significantly more efficient propulsion system that gave her a cruising radius fifty percent larger than that of the older ships. [ 2 ] Emden was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven on 8 December 1921 and launched on 7 January 1925. She was commissioned into the fleet nine months later, on 15 October 1925. [ 5 ]

General characteristics [ edit ]

Emden was 150.5 meters (494 ft) long at the waterline and 155.1 m (509 ft) long overall. She had a beam of 14.2 m (47 ft) and a designed draft of 5.3 m (17 ft); at standard load. the draft was 5.15 m (16.9 ft), and at combat load the draft increased to 5.93 m (19.5 ft). Her designed displacement was 5,960 long tons (6,060 t), with 5,300 long tons (5,400 t) standard and 6,990 long tons (7,100 t) combat displacements. Her hull was constructed with longitudinal steel frames and incorporated seventeen watertight compartments and a double bottom that extended for 56 percent of the length of the keel. [ 2 ] She had a waterline armored belt that was 50 mm (2.0 in) thick; her armored deck was 20 to 40 mm (0.79 to 1.6 in) thick, and her conning tower had 100 mm (3.9 in) thick sides. [ 4 ]

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The ship had a standard crew of nineteen officers and 464 enlisted men. While serving on cadet training cruises, her crew numbered twenty-nine officers and 445 enlisted, with 162 cadets. After 1940, her standard crew was increased to twenty-six officers and 556 enlisted, and after being reduced to a training ship. her crew numbered thirty officers and 653 enlisted men. Emden carried six boats. The German Navy regarded the ship as a good sea boat, with slight lee helm and gentle motion in a swell. The cruiser was maneuverable, but was slow going into a turn. Steering was controlled by a single large rudder. She lost speed only slightly in a head sea, but lost up to sixty percent in hard turns. She had a metacentric height of .79 m (2 ft 7 in). [ 2 ]

Machinery [ edit ]

A replacement engine built for Emden

Emden was powered by two sets of Brown, Boverie Co. geared steam turbines ; they drove a pair of three-bladed screws that were 3.75 m (12.3 ft) in diameter. Steam was provided by four coal-fired Marine-type boilers and six oil-fired Marine boilers divided into four boiler rooms. The engines were rated at 46,500 shaft horsepower (34,700 kW) and a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph). On speed trials, her engines reached 45,900 shp (34,200 kW) and a maximum of 29.4 kn (54.4 km/h; 33.8 mph). The ship was designed to carry 300 metric tons (295 long tons) of coal, though additional space could accommodate up to 875 metric tons (861 long tons). Oil capacity was 200 metric tons (197 long tons) as designed, and up to 1,170 metric tons (1,150 long tons) in additional fuel bunkers. This gave the ship a cruising radius of 6,700 nautical miles (12,400 km; 7,700 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph). At 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph), her range fell to 5,200 nmi (9,600 km; 6,000 mi). Electrical power was supplied by two systems of three generators each, with a total combined output of 420 kilowatts (560 hp) at 220 Volts. [ 2 ]

Armament [ edit ]

In 1938, the ship’s anti-aircraft battery was strengthened. She received two and later four 3.7 cm SK C/30 guns and up to eighteen 2 cm Flak guns. The capacity to carry 120 mines was also added. In 1942, two of the four torpedo launchers were removed, and she was rearmed with a new model of 15 cm gun. [ 2 ] This gun was the Tbts KC/36 model, and was designed for use on destroyers. It fired a slightly smaller 40 kg (88 lb) shell at a higher muzzle velocity—875 m/s (2,870 ft/s). The gun could elevate to 47 degrees for a maximum range of 23,500 m (77,100 ft). [ 7 ] By 1945, the ship’s anti-aircraft battery consisted of nine 3.7 cm guns and six 2 cm guns. [ 2 ]

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