In many respects, the Aviso Hela
was the predecessor of the small cruisers which were developed in the final years of the 19th century. With a speed of over 20 knots, the Hela was a fast ship for its time. Although it was only armed with 8,8 cm guns as main artillery component, the ship showed several construction details that were typical for the early classes of small cruisers build in Germany.
entered fleet service in 1896 and was in active combat duty until 1910 - with a two year use for overseas service in 1900 and 1901. In 1910 it was reclassified to a fleet tender, and its main armament was reduced by half. Despite of its age, the ship was even used in World War 1 as part of the coastal defenses. The Hela
was an early loss of the war, it was sunk on 13.09.1914 after a torpedo hit fired form the British submarine E9
in the North Sea.