SMS Emden Light Cruiser

  • Scale:                            1:96
  • Release:                        2005
  • Limited Edition:              50
  • Model Size:                   49”L x 9”W x 19”H
  • Base Type:                    Black Walnut
  • Base/Case Size:           53”L x 11.5”Wx 21.5”H
  • Availability:                    Sold Out

Named for the Ems River city, the light cruiser Emden was commissioned in 1910 and assigned to the East Asia Cruiser Squadron stationed at Tsingtao. In August 1913, Emden was part of a four-power fleet dispatched to protect U.S., British, German, and Japanese interests on the Yangtze River.  As the European crisis approached in 1914, Captain Karl von Müller took Emden out of Tsingtao on July 31; World War I began the next day. In the Strait of Tsushima, Emden captured the Russian mail boat Rjasan on August 4, and returned to Tsingtao two days later. The East Asia Squadron then quit Tsingtao, and on August 12 Vice Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee steamed east for home waters with Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Nürnberg.

Emden and her supply vessel Markomannia threaded their way through the Dutch East Indies and into the Indian Ocean. In the shipping lanes between Burma and India, Emden began capturing Allied shipping, sometimes at the rate of two ships a day. On September 21, Emden stood about a half mile offshore and shelled the Burma Oil Company gas tanks in Madras. After a quick visit to Diego Garcia on October 9, where she narrowly missed an encounter with the armored cruiser HMS Hampshire and the armed merchant cruiser Empress of Britain, she resumed raiding.

On October 21, Emden ran into Penang and torpedoed the Russian cruiser Yemtschuk; later that day she also sank the French destroyer Mousquet. Next von Müller decided to cut the transoceanic cable at the Cocos Keeling Island northwest of Australia. On November 9, a detachment of about 50 men under Hellmuth von Mücke landed at Direction Island. As they destroyed the radio shack, the radio operators informed them that the Kaiser had honored Emden’s crew with Iron Crosses; the operators did not mention that they had reported the news of Emden’s arrival.

By this time, Emden had seized or sunk 16 merchant ships and was the object of a search by more than 75 Allied ships. At 0930, the arrival of the cruiser HMAS Sydney forced Emden to depart without the landing party. Emden opened fire at 0940 at a range of 5,600 yards. Sydney was able to keep out of Emden’s range, and at about 1115 the helpless German cruiser was intentionally run aground on North Keeling Island. Emden’s casualties included 141 dead and 65 wounded; Sydney suffered 4 dead and 12 wounded. Von Mücke and his landing party managed to steal the 97-ton copra schooner Ayesha and sailed to Pedang. From here they made their way to Istanbul.