SMS Mainz

SMS Mainz

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SMS Mainz

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SMS Mainz was a light cruiser of the Kolberg class in the Imperial German Navy, launched in 1909, with 4,400 tons displacement. She was armed with twelve 10.5 cm guns and had a top speed of 27 knots. Within weeks of the outbreak of World War I, she was sunk, along with her sistership Köln and the light cruiser Ariadne, in the first Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914.

Battle of Heligoland Bight

The British Harwich Force of two light cruisers and 31 destroyers under Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt made a raid upon the German patrols west of the German naval base on the island of Heligoland. Providing cover was the First Battle Cruiser Squadron under Vice Admiral David Beatty with five battlecruisers.

In the early morning hours on 28 August, the Harwich Force encountered the first German destroyers west of Heligoland. Not entirely surprised by the attack, the Germans hastily deployed the two light cruisers SMS Frauenlob and SMS Stettin, joined shortly afterwards by four more light cruisers steaming from Wilhelmshaven and Emden, including SMS Mainz. Due to low water, the German battlecruisers in Wilhelmshaven were unable to leave harbour in time to provide support.

Outgunned and with his flagship, the light cruiser HMS Arethusa, heavily damaged by Frauenlob, Tyrwhitt received initial support from Commodore William Goodenough's squadron of six modern light cruisers of the Southampton-class. Frauenlob suffered severe damage herself and retreated to...
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