Cruiser SMS Gefion. This beautiful model of the „Gefion“ on a scale of 1:100 (model builder unknown) is part of our exhibition on modern naval warfare on deck 5.
The SMS „Gefion“ was commissioned by the German Imperial Navy in 1895 after two years of trials. She was the last unprotected cruiser built by the Germans and her design can be seen as a forerunner of the light cruisers that the Imperial Navy deployed after her. The original idea was to build a ship that could be used for reconnaissance missions and fleet service as well as for overseas operations. She was also the first ship of the Imperial Navy of her size to be designed without auxiliary sails. However, crucial deficiencies in the design were already apparent during her trials. For example, her engines vibrated too much at full power and insufficient ventilation made work in the engine rooms considerably more difficult during continuous operation. Unfortunately, due to the design of the ship, these deficiencies could only be slightly mitigated. Therefore, the „Gefion“ spent most of her time in service with representative tasks.
She was built at the F. Schichau shipyard in Danzig (today´s Gdansk in Poland), was 110.4 m long and 13.2 m wide and her main armament was ten 10.5 cm L/35 guns.
The „Gefion“ accompanied the imperial yacht „Hohenzollern“ on several diplomatic missions. In 1897, she was finally detached to the East Asian Cruiser Squadron and took part in the Battle of Taku Forts (1900) during the Boxer War – the conflict between the colonial powers and the nationalist Yihetuan movement in China. She was then sent to Germany for a much-needed overhaul, which was completed in 1904. Nevertheless, it was never really fit for combat. As she was hopelessly outdated, she was not mobilized during the First World War, but used as a barracks ship in Danzig. In 1920 she was converted into a cargo ship named „Adolf Sommerfeld“ and used for civilian purposes by the Danziger Hoch- und Tiefbau GmbH. She was finally demolished in 1923.
This beautiful model of the „Gefion“ on a scale of 1:100 (model builder unknown) is part of our exhibition on modern naval warfare on deck 5.