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SMS Nymphe

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SMS Nymphe
German Empire
Name: Nymphe
Laid down: 1898
Launched: 21 November 1899
Commissioned: 20 September 1900
Struck: 31 August 1931
Fate: Scrapped, 1932
General characteristics
Class & type: Gazelle-class light cruiser
Displacement: 3,017 tonnes (2,969 long tons)
Length: 105.1 m (344.8 ft) overall
Beam: 12.2 m (40.0 ft)
Draft: 4.11 m (13.5 ft)
Installed power: 8,000 ihp (6,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 Triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph)
Range: 3,570 nmi (6,610 km; 4,110 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
  • 14 officers
  • 243 enlisted men
Armor: Deck: 20 to 25 mm (0.79 to 0.98 in)

SMS Nymphe was the third member of the ten-ship Gazelle class, built by the Imperial German Navy. She was built by the Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel, laid down in 1898, launched in November 1899, and commissioned into the High Seas Fleet in September 1900. Armed with a main battery of ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two 45 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes, Nymphe was capable of a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph). The ship had a long, if uneventful, career that spanned over thirty years and saw service in both the Imperial Navy and the Reichsmarine. She served as a coastal defense ship during the first two years of World War I before being reduced to a barracks ship. She returned to active duty with the Reichsmarine in 1924 and served until 1929. She was stricken in August 1931 and broken up for scrap the following year.


Main article: Gazelle class cruiser

Nymphe was ordered under the contract name "A" and was laid down at the Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel in 1898 and launched on 21 November 1899, after which fitting-out work commenced. She was commissioned into the High Seas Fleet on 20 September 1900.[1] The ship was 105.1 meters (345 ft) long overall and had a beam of 12.2 m (40 ft) and a draft of 4.11 m (13.5 ft) forward. She displaced 3,017 t (2,969 long tons; 3,326 short tons) at full combat load.[2] Her propulsion system consisted of two triple-expansion engines manufactured by AG-Germania. They were designed to give 8,000 shaft horsepower (6,000 kW), for a top speed of 21.5 knots (39.8 km/h; 24.7 mph). The engines were powered by ten coal-fired Marine-type water-tube boilers. Nymphe carried 500 tonnes (490 long tons) of coal, which gave her a range of 3,570 nautical miles (6,610 km; 4,110 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). She had a crew of 14 officers and 243 enlisted men.[1]

The ship was armed with ten 10.5 cm SK L/40 guns in single mounts. Two were placed side by side forward on the forecastle, six were located amidships, three on either side, and two were placed side by side aft. The guns could engage targets out to 12,200 m (40,000 ft). They were supplied with 1,000 rounds of ammunition, for 100 shells per gun. She was also equipped with two 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes with five torpedoes. They were submerged in the hull on the broadside.[3] The ship was protected by an armored deck that was 20 to 25 mm (0.79 to 0.98 in) thick. The conning tower had 80 mm (3.1 in) thick sides, and the guns were protected by 50 mm (2.0 in) thick shields.[4]

Service history[edit]

After her commissioning in 1900, Nymphe served with the High Seas Fleet in home waters. She also served as a training ship for naval cadets. At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, she was reduced to a coastal defense ship, a role she served in up to 1916. She was then withdrawn from active service and used as a barracks ship and training vessel, based in Kiel. She was among the six cruisers permitted to the newly reorganized Reichsmarine by the Treaty of Versailles. In 1924, the ship was significantly modernized at the Deutsche Werke in Wilhelmshaven. Her ram bow was rebuilt into a clipper bow, which increased her overall length to 108.7 m (357 ft). Her old 10.5 cm SK L/40 guns were replaced with newer SK L/45 guns in U-boat mountings and two 50 cm (20 in) torpedo tubes in deck-mounted launchers were installed.Nymphe served on active duty with the Reichsmarine from 1925 to 1929, when she was withdrawn from service a second time. She was formally stricken from the naval register on 31 March 1931, and she was sold for scrapping on 29 August, for 61,500 Reichsmarks. She was broken up the following year in Hamburg.[3][5]


  1. ^ a b Gröner, pp. 99–101
  2. ^ Gröner, p. 100
  3. ^ a b Gröner, p. 101
  4. ^ Gröner, p. 99
  5. ^ Gardiner & Chesneau, p. 222


  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0870219138. 
  • Gröner, Erich (1990). German Warships: 1815–1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-790-9.