K-class file photo [7903]

K-class Light Cruiser



This article refers to the entire K-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseThe K-class light cruisers were consisted of three ships all named after German cities starting with the letter K. They were designed in the 1920s with adherence to the 6,000-ton limit for cruisers imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. For weight savings, the K-class ships' joints were welded instead of bolted, and this eventually caused problems for sailing in heavy seas; one of the ships' joints were leaking so badly during a voyage that she had to dock in San Diego, California, United States to receive emergency repairs. This problem continued to haunt the ships into WW2, and they were skipped over when the German Navy pressed many ships into merchant raiding missions on the high seas. The design was unique in terms of turret placement in that two out of the three turrets were place in the aft half of the ships; this reflected the design philosophy that these ships were meant to be used as scouting cruisers, and they were likely near enemy task forces, and would need to escape back to their friendly fleets, firing behind them at pursuing ships. Additionally, the two aft turrets were positioned so that one was mounted off the center-line toward the port side and the other starboard side, thus providing aft turrets slightly better firing angle forward. The K-class light cruisers were also unique with power plant design; they were equipped with both steam turbines (for situations demanding greater speed) as well as diesel engines (for cruising with better fuel economy). Lead ship Königsberg and Karlsruhe were sunk during the invasion of Norway in 1940. The third and final ship, Köln, was used as a training ship for most of the war before being sunk in shallow water in Wilhelmshaven harbor in Germany, though her guns remained operational and bombarded advancing Allied troops near the end of the war.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2009


German light cruiser Köln underway in confined waters, circa 1930, photo 1 of 2; note off-centerline positioning of turretsGerman light cruiser Köln underway in confined waters, circa 1930, photo 2 of 2KönigsbergKönigsberg
See all 36 photographs of K-class Light Cruiser

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Andrew Reetz says:
9 Aug 2009 02:29:04 PM

In March 1936, the Karlsruhe was docked in Puget Sound WA. in Tacoma's Commencement Bay. 1st Machinest Mate Karl Lischke recieved a care package from home. He got food poisining from this care package and died a couple of days later. The US government and the City of Tacoma, WA got permission from Adolph Hitler to have him buried in Tacoma's Mountain View Cemetary. He was buried with full military honors in the "Ring of Honor", with veterans as far back as the "Spanish/American war". People came from all around Puget Sound to see the Karlsruhe,and mourn the death of Karl Lischke.

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More on K-class Light Cruiser
Ships of this Class:
» Karlsruhe
» Köln
» Königsberg

K-class Light Cruiser Photo Gallery
German light cruiser Köln underway in confined waters, circa 1930, photo 1 of 2; note off-centerline positioning of turrets
See all 36 photographs of K-class Light Cruiser

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