KMS Prinz Eugen

KMS Prinz Eugen was regarded as the German navy's "lucky ship" during the Second World War. Originally the battleship Bismarck's escort she escaped the Royal Navy's concerted efforts to sink that ship in May 1941 to join the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Brest. She then escaped with them back to German waters, in a run through the English Channel, on 12 February 1942. Just two weeks later she was torpedoed off Norway but managed to make it back to port for repairs. Prinz Eugen returned to service in October 1942 and after patrol duties in German waters and another foray off Norway, she was dispatched to the Baltic in May 1942. After a stint as a training ship, she spent the rest of the war primarily providing gunfire support to German forces ashore during which time she survived a collision with the light crusier Leipzig. She was the only major German warship still afloat at end of the war and surrendered to the Allies at Copenhagen on 9 May 1945. Allocated to the United States, she was used as a test target for the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll on 17 June 1946 and sunk, after capsizing due to leaks, in Kwajalein lagoon on 22 December 1946.


Class:   Blucher Class Heavy Cruiser
Launched:   22 August 1938
Commissioned:   1 August 1940
Complement:   up to 1600
Length:   207.7 (later 212) m
Beam:   21.7 m
Draught:   5.9 m
Displacement:   14,680 tons
Speed:   32.2 knots
Armament:   8 x 20.3 cm guns
12 x 10.5 cm anti-aircraft guns
12 x 3.7 cm anti-aircraft guns 8 x 2 cm anti-aircraft guns (later increased to 28 x 2 cm anti-aircraft guns. In 1945 Prinz Eugen was armed with 20 x 4 cm and 18 x 2 cm anti-aircraft guns)
12 x 53.3 cm torpedo tubes 3 x Arado 196 seaplanes
Armour:   5 cm deck
8 cm hull belt