SMS Magdeburg

SMS Magdeburg was the name class of the Magdeburg class of light cruisers. In August 1914, while laying mines in the Baltic, she ran aground, and was destroyed by Russian cruisers. Not of great significance in itself, when the Russians boarded the ship they discovered the main German codebook was still intact.

This was the codebook used for the majority of German naval signals (a second code was used for communications between warships and merchant ships, and a third code was used by flag officers). On 13 October the Russians handed the codebook over to the British, and Naval Intelligence was soon reading German signals. As the German navy was a heavy user of radio, this gave the British a great advantage. The code compromised by the Magdeburg remained in use until May 1917, and for most of this time it was being read by the British.

Displacement (loaded)

5,587t

Top Speed

27.6kts

Armour – deck

1.5in-2.25in

 - belt

2.25in-0.75in

 - conning tower

4in

 - gunshields

2in

 - collision bulkhead

1.5in

Length

455ft

Armaments as built

Twelve 4.1in guns
Two 19.7in submerged torpedo tubes (beam)
120 mines

Crew complement

354

Launched

13 May 1911

Completed

20 August 1912

Sunk

26 August 1914

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 September 2007), SMS Magdeburg , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_SMS_Magdeburg.html

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