70258 - Armored Cruiser SMS Gneisenau, 1908, 1/700
SMS Gneisenau was an armoured cruiser of the German navy. She was named after August von Gneisenau, a Prussian general of the Napoleonic Wars.
Launched on 14 June 1906, together with her sister ship SMS Scharnhorst, they were improvements on the previous Roon class. After commissioning, these 2 ships 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 squadron left Qingdao after Japan entered the war on the Allied side. At the Battle of Papeete, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst sank the old French gunboat Zélée and a captured German merchant, the Walküre, and shelled the colony. The ships successfully traversed the Pacific before having encountered and defeated a weaker British force. The British armoured cruisers HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth, under Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock, were sunk at the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on 1 November 1914.
On 8 December 1914, after passing into the South Atlantic through the Straits of Magellan, the squadron launched an attack on the Falkland Islands in an attempt to get coal for the ship's bunkers. However, they encountered a much more powerful British force, which included the battlecruisers HMS Invincible and HMS Inflexible, which proceeded to destroy the German ships in the first Battle of the Falkland Islands. Gneisenau was lost with most of its crew, although 176 survivors were picked up by the British.
Photos of the kit parts soon to come
Reviews and Build Articles