The SMS Emden, launched in 1908, was a German light cruiser belonging to the Dresden class of two units. As it happened with the largest part of the
German cruisers built after 1900, the ships of the Dresden class had an excellent design. Their best characteristic was the 105-millimeter cannon; as it
happened with the contemporary 150-millimeter cannon, it fired a very heavy projectile for its caliber with a considerable range and penetration power.
Besides, these ships were well armored for their size and they had good naval qualities.
The SMS Dresden was propelled by turbines, which had been tested in the ships of the preceding Konigsberg class, while the SMS Emden was propelled by
conventional triple-expansion engines. These ships were not ideal for commerce raids, due to their scarce operational range and reduced
complement, albeit the SMS Emden raided with success the commercial route of the Indian Ocean during a considerable time.
The SMS Dresden was in China in 1914, assigned to the East Asia Squadron. During the Battle of the Falkland Islands the 8th December 1914, she escaped to
the Chilean archipelago Juan Fernandez, where she was finally spotted by the British cruisers HMS Kent and HMS Glasgow. After an exchange of fire,
the German captain ordered to scuttle the ship, for this one suffered from the attrition caused by the long travel and the long period of isolation in the
remote isles, not being in position to present a balanced fight.
On the other hand, the SMS Emden sank in Penang the Russian cruiser Zhemchug and the French cruiser Mousquet the 20th October 1914. Thereafter she departed
to the Cocos Islands to destroy a wireless station, but the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney had been warned. This one intercepted and left out of action the
German cruiser the 9th November, which was stranded in a beach of the archipelago. The remainings of the wreck were not scrapped until the early 1950s
by a Japanese salvage company.
The illustration shows the SMS Emden painted with the color scheme used before 1914 in the Far East Squadron; when the ship was lost she was entirely painted in grey.
Note the 105-millimeter cannons installed in protruding casemates at each side, in aft and fore position, and also on the deck.
Class: Dresden (2 units - Dresden, Emden)
Type: Light cruiser
Length: 118.8 meters
Beam: 13.4 meters
Draught: 4.9 meters
Displacement (normal): 3710 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x triple-expansion steam engine, 12 x boiler Schulz-Thornycroft, 13500 horsepower
Speed: 25.1 knots (46.3 kilometers/hour)
Range: 3760 nautical miles (6963 kilometers) at 12 knots
Armament: 10 x 105-millimeter 40-caliber cannon, 8 x 52-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 4 x 8-millimeter machine gun,
2 x 450-millimeter torpedo tube
Armor: 80-100 millimeters in belt, 20-51 millimeters in deck, 20-50 millimeters in gun shields, 100 millimeters in conning tower