70400 - Minelaying cruiser SMS Albatross, 1904, 1/700


SMS Albatross was a German minelaying cruiser built for the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), the second and final member of the Nautilus class. Her keel was laid down in May 1907 at the AG Weser shipyard; she was launched in October and commissioned into the fleet in May 1908. Her armament consisted of eight 8.8 cm (3.5 in) guns and 288 naval mines.

Her peacetime career consisted of conducting fleet training exercises and serving as a mine warfare training ship. After the outbreak of World War I in July 1914, Albatross laid several offensive and defensive minefields in the North Sea. She was assigned to the Baltic Sea in 1915, and began a series of operations to block Russian naval operations in the eastern Baltic. These culminated in the Battle of Åland Islands on 2 July, where a group of Russian armored cruisers surprised Albatross and the light cruiser Augsburg after they had laid a minefield off the Åland Islands. Albatross was badly damaged in the battle and forced to beach off the island of Gotland in neutral Sweden. The ship was refloated by the Swedes later that month and interned for the remainder of the war, along with her crew. She was returned to Germany in January 1919, was sold for scrap, and broken up in Hamburg.

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