70525 - German Light Cruiser SMS Konigsberg, 1905 (early fit), 1/700


SMS Königsberg was the lead ship of her class of light cruisers built by the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy). Named after Königsberg, the capital of East Prussia, she was laid down in January 1905, launched in December of that year and completed by June 1906. Her class included three other ships: Stettin, Stuttgart, and Nürnberg. Königsberg was armed with a main battery of ten 10.5-centimeter (4.1 in) guns and had a top speed of 24.1 knots (44.6 km/h; 27.7 mph).

After her commissioning, Königsberg served with the High Seas Fleet's reconnaissance force. During this period, she frequently escorted Kaiser Wilhelm II's yacht on visits to foreign countries. In April 1914, the ship was sent on what was to have been a two-year deployment to German East Africa, but this was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I in August of that year. Königsberg initially attempted to raid British and French commercial traffic in the region, but only destroyed one merchant ship in the course of her career. Coal shortages hampered her ability to attack shipping. On 20 September 1914, she surprised and sank the British protected cruiser HMS Pegasus in the Battle of Zanzibar.

Königsberg then retreated into the Rufiji River to repair her engines. Before the repairs could be completed, British cruisers located Königsberg, and, unable to steam into the river to destroy her, set up a blockade. After several attempts to sink the ship during the Battle of Rufiji Delta, the British sent two monitors, Mersey and Severn, to destroy the German cruiser. On 11 July 1915, the two monitors got close enough to severely damage Königsberg, forcing her crew to scuttle the ship. The surviving crew salvaged all ten of her main guns and joined Lieutenant Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck's guerrilla campaign in East Africa. Königsberg was partially broken up in 1963–1965 for scrap, and the remains sank into the riverbed.

From Wikipedia

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