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SMS Gneisenau

SMS Gneisenau was an armoured cruiser of the German navy. Launched on 14 June 1906, together with her sister ship SMS Scharnhorst she formed the core of the German East Asia cruiser squadron based at Qingdao (then Romanised as Tsingtao) in China under Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee. On the outbreak of the First World War the flotilla left Qingdao after Japan entered the war on the Allied side and engaged in a period of commerce raiding before encountering and defeating a weaker British force at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November.

On 8 December the squadron launched an attack on the Falkland Islands but encountered a much more powerful British force which proceeded to destroy its opponents in the Battle of the Falkland Islands. Gneisenau was lost with all hands.

Technical data

  • Length: 145 metres.
  • Beam: 21.6 metres.
  • Draught: 8.4 metres.
  • Displacement: 12,985 tons.
  • Maximum speed: 22.5 knots.
  • Range: 5120 nautical miles at 12 knots, or 4800 nm at 14 knots.
  • Fuel capacity: 2000 tons of coal, 800 tons of oil.
  • Crew: 760 men.
  • Armament:
  • 8 x 8.27" (210mm) guns
  • 6 x 150 mm guns, plus 18 x 88 mm.
  • Armour: Belt - 80 - 150mm; Deck - 41 - 61mm; Tower 150mm.
  • Torpedoes: 4 x 450mm submerged tubes.



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