The small cruisers of the Kolberg
class were significant bigger than their predecessor, enabling to add two additional 10,5 cm guns to the ships. All four ships had different kind of turbines to find the best of them for later cruiser designs: Melms & Pfenninger (Kolberg
), Parsons (Augsburg
), Schneider-Zoelly (Cöln
) and AEG-Curtis (Mainz
). Those installed in the Cöln
proofed to be very unreliable therefore they were exchanged with Germania-turbines after trials.
Like many other small cruisers, their main armament was replaced during the war, the twelve 10,5 cm guns were replaced with six 15 cm guns. They were good seagoing ships, but had a bad maneuverability.
had a very uneventful life in the Hochseeflotte. Before the war it was used for torpedo trials and served as an artillery training ship from 1912 on. In the war it was used for fleet operations in the Baltic Sea and took part in the operations at the Baltic Island. In September 1920 it was delivered to Japan but as Japan had no use for the ship, it was scrapped in the Netherlands in 1922.