SMS Seeadler

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SMS Kaiserin Augusta and SMS Seeadler at New York, 1893
Career Kaiserliche Marine Ensign
Name: Seeadler
Builder: Kaiserliche Werft Danzig
Laid down: 1890
Launched: 2 February 1892
Commissioned: 15 March 1893
Struck: Retired from active service January 1914
Fate: Exploded at Wilhelmshaven 19 April 1917 while being used as a mine hulk
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,630 tons
1,864 tons fully loaded
Length: 82.6 m (271 ft 0 in)
Beam: 12.7 m (41 ft 8 in)
Draught: 4.42 m (14 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 3-cylinder triple expansion engines, 2,888 shp, 2 screws
Speed: 16.9 knots (31.3 km/h)
Range: 3,040 miles (4,890 km) at 9 knots (17 km/h)
Complement: 166
Armament: 8 × rapid-fire 10.5 cm (4.1 in) 35 calibre guns
5 × 3.7 cm (1.5 in) revolver guns
2 × 35 cm (14 in) torpedo tubes
This page is about the long range cruiser. For the World War I commerce raider windjammer see SMS Seeadler (Windjammer).

SMS Seeadler ("Sea Eagle") was a German cruiser, part of a new breed of warships created by the new Imperial Navy. To protect the Empire's growing overseas possessions and colonies, the navy needed ships seaworthy enough to venture out into far off oceans and have the coal supply to reach far off destinations. The result was the new class of small cruisers, or Avisos, of the Bussard class, rated Class IV cruisers.

The Kreuzer IV class was an entirely new concept. Although termed cruisers, these ships were built for the specific purpose of service abroad. They had a large coal storage capacity as well as masts and sails to assist the steam engines on long-range voyages. They also had an extensive electrical system, unusual for the time, and a large searchlight located above the bridge.

SMS Seeadler was the third ship of her class. She had originally been named Kaiseradler, but this was changed to Seeadler when it was decided that the new Imperial Yacht would have this name. The ship was commissioned for trials in 1892 which were completed by 1893. On 25 March 1893 Seeadler, along with SMS Kaiserin Augusta, set sail for the United States to take part in the 400th Anniversary Discovery of America Celebrations. During the crossing she ran out of coal and had to be towed the rest of the way by Kaiserin Augusta.

Seeadler was then sent to the East Africa Station and arrived in the port of Adan on 20 June 1893. She remained in the region until 1898, taking part in several military actions and operations as well as the typical colonial duties. After four years in Africa, Seeadler was ordered home in May 1898.

On arrival in Kiel in June 1898, the ship was decommissioned and overhauled. Modifications were completed in October 1899 and the ship was recommissioned. Seeadler was sent to South East Asia where she arrived in November, spending the next five years visiting various ports and taking part in various operations.

In August 1905, SMS Seeadler was ordered back to East Africa to help suppress a rebellion in the colony. Arriving in Dar es Salaam in October 1905, Seeadler was used in various operations against the rebels. After the rebellion was suppressed in February 1906, the ship sailed for Cape Town for repairs. These were completed by mid March 1906 and Seeadler returned to Dar es Salaam. Seeadler remained in the region until January 1914. By this time she had served thirteen and a half years overseas. The ship left East Africa on 9 January 1914 and arrived in Kiel on 18 January. At the end of that month it was decided to strike Seeadler from the active list and she was decommissioned in Danzig. When World War I broke out in August 1914, Seeadler was moved to Wilhelmshaven to be used as a mine hulk. The end came in 1917 when a mine exploded on board and destroyed the ship.


1: *Hochseeflotte History Page at

External links

1: *Seeadler History and Info Page

de:SMS Seeadler (1892)