SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich (1904)
|Name:||Prinz Eitel Friedrich|
|Commissioned:||5 August 1914 |
|Fate:||Interned 1915, seized 1917|
|Length:||153.3 m (503 ft)|
|Beam:||16.9 m (55 ft)|
|Draught:||7.1 m (23 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 x 4 cylinder expansion|
|Speed:||15 kn (28 km/h)|
SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich was a German passenger liner which saw service in the First World War as an auxiliary cruiser of the Imperial German Navy. Though largely overlooked, Prinz Eitel Friedrich was, after SS Kronprinz Wilhelm, the most successful of Germany’s first wave of auxiliary cruisers. She was able to remain at large for seven months, from August 1914 to March 1915, and sank 11 ships, for a total tonnage of 33,000 GRT.
Prinz Eitel Friedrich was built for the Norddeutscher Lloyd, a former shipping company of the Hapag-Lloyd, by the AG Vulcan shipyard in Stettin, in 1904. For the ten years prior to the First World War she served on NDL routes in the Far East. On the eve of war in August 1914 she was at Shanghai, with orders to proceed to the German naval base at Tsingtao for conversion as an auxiliary cruiser (hilfkreuzer).
At Tsingtao Prinz Eitel Friedrich was equipped for her role as a commerce raider, transferring the armaments and crews of the aging gunboats Luchs, and Tiger. KK Max Therichens, of Luchs, took command.
She was commissioned on 5 August 1914 and sailed from Tsingtao the same day to join company with Admiral Graf von Spee and the German Far East squadron. These were at Pagan in the Caroline Islands, and Prinz Eitel Friedrich arrived there on 12 August.
In March 1915, with her bunkers nearly empty and her engines worn out, Prinz Eitel Friedrich headed for the neutral United States, and on 11 March 1915 sailed into Newport News harbour, to be interned.
In April 1917, on US entry into the war, Prinz Eitel Friedrich was seized by the US Navy and put in hand for conversion as a troopship. She was commissioned on 7 April 1917. as USS DeKalb (ID-3010) and served for the remainder of the war as a troopship on the trans Atlantic route. After the war she was returned to civilian service, as Mount Clay, before being scrapped and broken up in 1927.
Four 10.5 cm SK L/40 cannons. Two each mounted fore and aft. The port aft gun pictured here: 
|11.12.1914||Jean||Sailing ship||French||2,207||Retained as collier
|26.1.1915||Isabel Browne||Sailing ship||Russian||1,315||Sunk|
|27.1.1915||Pierre Lott||Sailing ship||French||2,196||Sunk|
|27.1.1915||William P Frye *||Sailing ship||American||3,374||Sunk|
|18.2.1915||Mary Ada Short||Sailing ship||British||3,605||Sunk|
- William P Frye was the first U.S. ship sunk during World War I. Its sinking urged the neutral U.S. to enter the war.
- The German Sinking of the William P. Frye.
- Schmalenbach p46
- Schmalenbach p48
- Schmalenbach p24
- Schmalenbach p 70
- Halpern p72
- Halpern p72
- Halpern p82
- Macina Ch.6
- Halpern, Paul (1994) A Naval History of World War I ISBN 1-85728-295-7 HB
- Schmalenbach, Paul (1977) German Raiders ISBN 0-85059-351-4
- Costello, Michael (2008) Photographs of actual SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich 10.5 cm/40 SK L/40 cannon.
- Macina, Mark A. (1995) The United States Versus Great Britain and Germany: American Diplomatic Correspondence and Efforts to Remain Neutral, 1914-1915.