With the outbreak of World War I, the German Naval command decided to build a group of small torpedo boats which would be able to operate in the shallow waters off the Coast of Flanders.
Although all boats were ordered at Hamburgs Vulcan shipyard, several hulls were build by other shipyards and delivered to Hamburg for completion, 16 of the boats were even transported to antwerp by train and assembled there.
Armed with two torpedo tubes and only one 5 cm gun for self defence, the small boats proved not to be very useful for combat operations. When engaging enemy destroyers or torpedo boats, their very limited artillery power made them an easy target for enemy boats.
Several boats were lost by mines and combat actions in World War I, many for them were taken over by the Belgian Navy after the war and used until the 1930. The rest remained in Germany and was used for several different tasks until the mid 1920s when they were scrapped.