The two small cruisers Wiesbaden
were build under the 1912 naval construction program. They were the first German small cruisers equipped with 15 cm guns, a step to close the gap with the heavier armed British cruisers. In all other respects they were only slightly improved to their predecessors.
entered fleet service in the reconnaissance forces of the Hochseeflotte and took part in the Battle of Jutland. There the ship was heavily shelled by British battlecruisers disabling the engines of the ship. Although hit by intensive fire of the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron, the destroyer Onlsow
, the armored cruisers Defence
, the Wiesbaden
was still able to torpedo the British battleship Marlborough. The Wiesbaden
was sunk shortly after that, with the German poet Gorch Fock on board.