The two small cruisers Dresden
were the most famous german ships of this kind in World War I. Technically, they did not differ much from their predecessors, but both ships had a different engine system. While the Emden
still had triple expansion engines, the Dresden
was used as a testbed for geared turbines.
were stationed in overseas stations at the outbreak at the war, Emden
was part of the East Asian Squadron while Dresden
was operating in the Caribbean.
was operating in the Caribbean before the war and transported the Mexican President to his exile on Jamaica on 17.07.1914. From there the ship sailed down the South American coast, into the Pacific where it meet with the East Asian Squadron on 18.10.1914. The Dresden
took part in the Battle of Coronel and was the only ship of the Squadron which survived the Battle of the Falkland Island. From there, the ship again sailed into the Pacific and was hiding at the Chilean coast the next three months, always hunted by British forces. On 14.03.1915 the Dresden
was finally caught by the cruisers Glasgow
near the Island Mas a Tierra, badly damaging the German ship. The cruiser surrendered and was blown up by its own crew.