Hochseeflotte Ships
Coast Defence Ships
Armored Cruiser
Small Cruiser
Avisos/Old Cruiser
Torpedoboot 1885
Torpedoboot 1892
Torpedoboot 1897
Großes TB 1898
Großes TB 1906
Großes TB 1911
Großes TB 1913
Torpedoboot 1914
Torpedoboot 1915
Torpedoboot 1916
Großes TB 1916
Großes TB 1916Mob
Großes TB 1918Mob
Mine Layers
Gun Boats
Auxiliary Cruiser
Misc Ships
Ship Index


The concept of the German Torpedo Boats in World War I was to execute torpedo attacks on bigger warships. While other nations like Britain started to increase the size and gun armament of their torpedo boats - or torpedo boat destroyers - and designed a ship that would later just be called "destroyer", the German Navy stayed with the idea of small crafts that were focus on their torpedo weapons.

Compared to the 1000t ships with 10,2 cm guns that were used in the Royal Navy at the outbreak of World War I, the biggest German torpedo boats were only about half the size and equipped with 8,8 cm guns as a secondary armamment to defend themselves against the British torpedo boat destroyers.

During the war, it got obvious that the artillery component of those boats had to be increased, therefore all torpedo boat classes laid down during wartime got more and larger guns - the climax were the large torpedo boats ("Große Torpedoboote") of the Design 1916 - with their four 15 cm guns and over 2000t in size they were the biggest and most powerful ships of their kind at the end of the war.

Its quite interesting that even those late designs officially never were called "destroyers", they were still labeled with the name "Torpedoboot".

Germany built over 300 torpedo boats until the end of World War I, and several of them were lost because of enemy actions. 50 of the most  modern ones were interned in Scapa Flow and scuttled there in June of 1919, only a few of them were not sunk.
Of the 114 boats left in Germany, only 24 were allowed to be kept after the Treaty of Versailles, but most of the remaining boats were of such a bad condition that it was difficult to keep even 24 of them running. Most of those boats were later reconstructed and several of them were even used for auxiliary duties during World War II.

Torpedoboot 1885
The first large class of torpedo boats in the German Navy.

Torpedoboot 1892
Small older torpedoboats, used as mineswepers during WW1

Torpedoboot 1897
The last pre-WWI small toprpedo boat design in Germany.

Großes Torpedoboot 1898
The first larger, ocean going torpedo boats in the Hochseeflotte.

Großes Torpedoboot 1906
Second largest torpedo boat class ordered by the Hochseeflotte.

Großes Torpedoboot 1911
Modified, enhanced versions of the GTB 1906

Großes Torpedoboot 1913
Largest class of torpedo boats build by the German Hochseeflotte

Torpedoboot 1914
Small costal torpedo boats for the Coast of Flanders.

Torpedoboot 1915
Improved small costal torpedo boats.

Destroyers based on plans for ships ordered by Russia

Torpedoboot 1916
Small, twin turbine powered costal torpedo boats.

Großes Torpedoboot 1916
They were the most powerful torpedoboats build by the German Navy at their time - the first German "Destroyers"

Großes Torpedoboot 1916Mob
Improved design of the Grosses Torpedoboot 1913

Großes Torpedoboot 1918Mob
The last class of Grosse Torpedoboote designed in WW1