The two small cruisers Graudenz
were quite similar to other German small cruisers build earlier. With those ships, the design returned to three funnels which would be a typical sign for all following ships. They were the last cruisers with 10,5 cm guns, their British counterparts had gone to bigger guns at that time already, but the Germans preferred more smaller guns instead of a smaller number of more powerful ones. When it got obvious that the bigger British guns had an significant advantage, the 10,5 cm guns were replaced by seven 15cm guns during the war.
was used for fleet operations on the North and Baltic Sea. During the Battle of Jutland, the ship was flagship of the torpedo boat flotillas. In this role, the small cruiser supported the torpedo boats during their attacks, shelling its British counterpart the CL Champion
. After the war, the ship was delivered to France in 1920. There it was in active service until 14.06.1936 and used as a barrack ship in Lorient until 1944. It was then scuttled and used as a protection for the Uboat pens against air launched torpedoes and the wreck is probably still there today.