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DKM Karlsruhe - Scuttled Not Saved


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  1. 1. DKM Karlsruhe

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DKM Karlsruhe




Background & History


DKM Karlsruhe was second of the Konigsberg or 'K' class of light cruisers built for the German Reichsmarine and later Kriegsmarine in the mid to late 1920's. Three ships of the class were built with Koln (currently playable in Warthunder), all of which would see some service during the Second World War. The building contract for Light Cruiser 'C' (Replacement Medusa) was placed and she would be laid down in Kiel in July 1926 and would be commissioned three years later in November 1929. 


Following working up in the Baltic Karlsruhe would serve from the onset as a training vessel for cadets, as per the fate of the rest of her sisters. Her relatively weak construction on her last training cruise was almost her demise, being badly damaged during a tropical storm in 1936 she was forced to head for San Diego in the USA for repairs. Following this she would return to Germany later the same year to undergo further repairs and refits at a cost of around 5.7m marks. Here the single 8.8cm guns would be replaced with dual 10.5cm weapons, with a single 10.5cm fitted on the aft superspructure. Other noted alterations included a taller tripod main mast, installation of anti-mine gear, relocation/raising of search light platforms and the after funnel shortened.


At the outbreak of the Second World War she would still be undertaking her refit and would be deemed unready for active combat in the forthcoming Operation Weserubung. Despite this whilst assigned as a troop transport she would later be engaged by a Norwegian coastal fort and would later force it's surrender. Whilst en route back from Kristiansand a British submarine had positioned itself outside the fjord and upon detection fired a spread of torpedoes. Two would find their mark, one hitting close to the bow and the second amidships which knocked out power and disabled her engines. This particular moment in her life is something of a debate because despite being effectively dead in the water and with only her forward pumps in operation, Karlsruhe was still afloat for the following two hours. One of her escorting torpedo boats was ordered to fire a further two torpedoes to finish the job, if that was the case surely she could have been towed back for repairs?




Karlsruhe pre refit in the configuration in which she launched and served as a training ship during the 1930's.




Karlsruhe pictured here following her refit - With lowered rear funnel and altered main mast.


Armour & Armament


The Königsberg class of Light Cruisers were built at a cost of around 38m marks each and were designed under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. They would all feature large amounts of welding instead of riveting in an attempt to reduce overall weight, this arguably made there overall construction weaker than contemporary designs. Main belt armour was respectable for her displacement at 2 inches, with bulkheads capping at 2.8 inches and deck armour up to 1.6 inches. Torpedo bulkheads were 0.59 inches with turret faces and barbettes 30mm each. Overall armour weight accounts for around 11% of total displacement.


Her main guns were 9x 15cm SK/L60-25 guns (SK translating to quick loading) capable of firing a 45.5kg projectile at 960m/s for a maximum range of 25,700m with a maximum elevation of 40 degrees. These were situated in three tripple mounts, one forward and two off set aft in a superfiring configuration. Secondary armament comprised 8x 3.7cm L/83 flak on C/30 double chassis and 8x 2cm L/65 C38 on C/20 single mountings. These 8.8cm guns would be replaced during a refit in the late 1930's with 10.5cm guns, the Kriegsmarine at the time favouring larger guns over smaller quicker firing ones against air targets.  All K class ships were built with 12x 50cm torpedo tubes in four tripple sets, two pairs aside and were also capable of carrying up to 120 naval mines.






Length - 571ft

Beam - 50ft

Draught - 20ft 6in

Displacement -  8,350 long tons at 'deep load'

Speed - 4x steam turbines for 65,000shp and 32kts, range 5,700nm at 19kn

Main Belt - 2 inches (50mm)

Deck Belt - 1.6 inches (40mm)

Turret Amour - 30mm

Barbettes - 30mm

Armament - 9x 15cm SK/L60-25 guns (3x3)

Secondary/AA - 8x 3.7cm L/83 flak on C/30 double chassis and 8x 2cm L/65 C38 on C/20 single mountings. (Later refitted with 10.5cm)

Torpedoes - 12x 50cm torpedo tubes (4x3)

Aircraft - 2 Arado 196 Floatplanes








Gerhard Koop & Klaus-Peter Shmolke; German Light Cruiser of WWII, Seaforth Publishing (ISBN - 9781848321946)

Gordon Williamson; German Light Cruisers 1939-45, Osprey Publishing (ISBN - 9781841765037)







Edited by ItssLuBu

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  • Senior Suggestion Moderator

Open for discussion. :salute:

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  • Senior Suggestion Moderator

As the Königsberg class Light Cruiser, Karlsruhe has been implemented with update 2.9 Direct Hit,


Moved to Implemented Suggestions. :salute:

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