S.M.S. Konigsberg

9th February 2009, 23:48
I have been looking at the models and there are some superb examples of craftsmen in the group and thought you might like a look at something different. The only known model 1/100 scale of this famous cruiser. I have always had a hankering for a model of this ship having read about it as a boy and visited the river delta in Tanzania where it was sunk in a muddy backwater in 1915.. jointly built by self and friend (who did the hard parts) it is now a fully working r/c with smoke units..

9th February 2009, 23:56
What an excellent model! Congratulations on putting your "dream" into reality.

10th February 2009, 12:01
very very professional looking.
what did you build her from and what length is she?

11th February 2009, 01:38
Further to your request for details on the ship - Herewith the first part of an intriguing story and how it was built

Konigsberg was a sister ship to the well known raider Emden of the First World War, and while maybe not quite as famous she certainly deserves her place in naval history. She was the first of a new class of elegantly proportioned 3,000 ton cruisers named after famous cities in Germany. In this case the former capital of Prussia now known as Kaliningrad. Laid down at the Imperial Shipyard, Kiel she was launched in December 1905, as the updated version of a number of earlier 19th century designs. Commissioned in 1907 after acceptance sea trials, having a length of 376 feet, a beam of 43 feet and a draft of 17 feet. Power was provided by eleven Schulz Thorneycroft coal fired boilers in three boiler rooms supplying steam to a pair of triple expansion engines. These reciprocating engines developed 12,000 indicated horsepower and drove a pair of fifteen foot diameter four bladed propellers giving a trial speed of 24.1 knots. Her main armament consisted of ten 4.1 inch Krupp high velocity guns with a range of seven miles, arranged around the ship so that five guns could be used for a broadside. Additional small calibre armament consisted of eight 2.1 inch deck guns. After trials she became escort to the Kaiser’s yacht Hohenzollern and spent some time with the Baltic fleet before being refitted for tropical service and laid up. In 1913 the colonial government of German East Africa, now Tanzania approached the German Admiralty in Berlin for a suitable warship to symbolise German prowess in the region. Königsberg was recommissioned under the command of Fregattenkäpitan Max Looff and arrived in Dar es Salaam in June 1914. Within a matter of weeks the world was at war and the cruiser became a raider on the East African coast. Her first victim was the British cargo ship City of Winchester sunk off the Oman coast on 12 August 1914, followed by the Royal Navy cruiser H.M.S. Pegasus at Zanzibar on 20 September.

A major failure of one engine within hours of the Pegasus incident saw her take refuge in the Rufiji river delta, a hundred miles south of Dar es Salaam. Before repairs could be completed she was located by the Royal Navy and blockaded in the delta from October 1914 to July 1915 when she was destroyed by the combined efforts of two shallow draft river monitors H.M.S. Severn and Mersey and spotter aircraft of the Royal Naval Air Service. The ten guns went on to see service in the East African land campaign and three survive to this day. Looff was captured and became a prisoner of war but returned to Germany in 1919 a hero, and was particularly well remembered on his death at the age of 80 in 1954. The wreck lay in the river for fifty years and finally disappeared into the mud in 1965. Her story prompted C.S. Forrester to write the novel ‘The African Queen’ which was later rewritten into the film script we all know so well. The story was also turned into another novel ’Shout at the Devil’ that also became a film.

It had been my idea to build a model of the ship some years ago having had an interest in the story since boyhood. In later years I met Max Looff’s grandson Hans, and together we journeyed up the Rufiji to the wreck site but there was little to see other than bits of scrap metal and debris in the bushes. Obtaining accurate drawings for the construction had been a major stumbling block. The Emden drawings on the other hand were readily obtainable and the ship had been professionally modelled by Gunter Huff in Germany who turned out two stunning 1/100 scale models using his own spectacularly detailed drawings. It was only in the late 1990s that the original Königsberg general arrangement drawings came to light in the German archives having recently been returned from Russia where they had been since 1945 following the fall of Berlin. The drawings were nearly eight feet long in coloured inks and showed the entire ship by frame and deck. Obtaining copies was impossible at the time as there were no reproduction facilities available. Eventually some photographs of the drawings arrived and a chance encounter with Tony Ferguson, a well known local marine model builder, led to a meeting to discuss building the cruiser.

At the time a 1/96 scale model kit of the Emden was available and it was now a matter of comparison. The outlines of the Emden and Königsberg showed a number of major differences between the two ships. The hull was similar and would serve as the base. The superstructure however was completely different with the three funnels further forward and wider apart and a larger bridge. A large collection of photographs of the Königsberg from 1905 to 1965 were sourced to provide the best views of the bridge and deck to carry out the conversion. The Deans Marine kit of the Emden was ordered and laid out to check what was usable in the conversion. The hull was set aside but it was apparent that the drawings supplied in the kit were somewhat inaccurate compared to Gunter Huff’s eleven sheets of plans. However the guns and shields and various deck fittings were put to one side and prepared, while holes were cut in the hull for the two 300mm stern tubes and shafts and their 30mm diameter four bladed propellers purchased locally. The hull was then trimmed and the inside edge fitted with the deck support frames and painted internally with white enamel. Two 400 motors were tested and fitted followed by the waterproof box for the receiver, 25 amp MTronic speed controller and switches. For the colour scheme there were two choices, either the pre war white hull with buff superstructure and funnels or naval grey. It was decided to depict her as she would have been in 1914 in grey.

11th February 2009, 18:10
Excellent model,well done guys!


11th February 2009, 19:03
in which SMS KONIGSBERG played a part.. entitled GHOSTS OF AFRICA by William Stevenson ... great novel.