Besides a much more modern outer appearance then their predecessors (no "ram-bow" anymore), the four small cruisers of the Magdeburg
class introduced a new feature to German small cruisers: An armor belt. This was archived with the cost of a thinner armor deck, despite the fact that the offensive capabilities were not increased. Like on other small cruisers, the 10,5 cm guns were replaced by 15 cm guns after the outbreak of World War I.
The ships were said to be very bad seagoing s and tent to produce huge vibrations at speed above 22 knots. The engine rooms were very cramped, making maintenance difficult.
was used in the Reconnaissance Group and took part in the Battle of Helgoland and the Battle at the Doggerbank. It survived the war and was delivered to France in 1920. Renamed to Mulhouse
it was in service until 1935.