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German Armed Forces Research 1918-1945

WW2 German Heavy Cruiser / Schwere Kreuzer Prinz Eugen

WW2 German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen
WW2 German Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen

WW2 German Heavy Cruisers List | WW2 Baltic Sea Naval War


23 Apr 36: Laid down at Germaniawerft, Kiel, as the Schwere Kreuzer J.

22 Aug 38: Launched and christened as the Schwere Kreuzer Prinz Eugen by the wife of the Hungarian regent, Admiral Nicholas Horthy. Prinz Eugen was a Frenchman in the service of the Austro-Hungarian throne who campaigned very successfully against the Turks in the 18th century.

02 Jul 40: While fitting out at Kiel struck by two small bombs in RAF raid.

01 Aug 40: Commissioned.

Aug-Nov 40: Conducts trials near Kiel

Jan 41: Works up in Baltic.

08 Apr 41: Leaves Kiel for Gotenhafen

22 Apr 41: Strikes a mine and suffers minor damage while en route to Kiel.

02 May 41: Mine damage repaired.

18 May 41: Sails from Gotenhafen to participate in planned Atlantic breakout with battleship Bismarck.

20 May 41: In company with Bismarck.Sighted by Swedish cruiser Gotland passing through Kattegat.

21 May 41: Refuels at Korsfjord near Bergen.

24 May 41: Engagement with Hood and Prince of Wales. Fires 157 203mm and 78 105mm shells. Obtains one hit on Hood and four hits on Prince of Wales, of which only one exploded. Prinz Eugen is undamaged in this battle. She parts company with Bismarck that night to engage in mercantile warfare independently. However, she has only 45% of her fuel remaining. (In some accounts, she is given credit for delivering the fatal hit which sank the Hood.)

26 May 41: Refuels at sea. Shortly thereafter she develops engine problems.

01 Jun 41: Cuts cruise short and returns to Brest

02 Jul 41: Hit by bomb in RAF raid on Brest. Suffers major damage and 61 killed.

Jul-Dec 41: In dock at Brest undergoing repairs.

15 Dec 41: Repairs completed.

07 Feb 42: Completes trials

11-13 Feb 42: Operation Cerberus, the Channel Dash.. Prinz Eugen in company with battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst and escorted by 6xDD and an eventual total of 14xTB relocates from Brest to Germany. Prinz Eugen is undamaged in this operation. She expends considerable AA ammunition in fighting off British air attacks and uses her main and secondary guns in an action with British destroyers on the 12th.

21 Feb 42: Leaves home waters with Admiral Scheer and 5xDD for transfer to Norway. RAF attacks against the force are unsuccessful.

23 Feb 42: Torpedoed by RN SS Trident off Trondheim, Norway and seriously damaged.

16 May 42: After effecting emergency repairs, leaves Trondheim with 2xDD and 2xTB for Kiel. Large RAF attacks are made against this movement, but Prinz Eugen is able to avoid twelve aerial torpedoes fired against her.

18 May 42: Arrives at Kiel.

May-Oct 42: In dock at Kiel.

20 Oct 42: Repairs completed.

Nov-Dec 42: Conducts trials and works up in the Baltic.

09 Jan 43: In company with Scharnhorst and 3xDD attempts passage to Norway. Detected by the British en route and returns to Gotenhafen by 12 Jan 43

23 Jan 43: Makes another attempt to transfer to Norway with Scharnhorst and 5xDD. Same results. She returns to Gotenhafen.

Feb 43-Jun 44: Engaged in training duties in the Baltic.

19 Jun 44: With 2xTB sails from Gotenhafen for the Gulf of Finland to support Finns suffering heavy Soviet attacks.

26 Jun 44: Leaves Aaland Islands without accomplishing any results. Arrives at Gotenhafen 28 Jun.

20-21 Aug 44: In company with 4xDD and 2xTB, deployed against Soviet troops near Tukkums on the Gulf of Riga. Her shore bombardment helps elements of AG North restore land connections with Germany after being cut off by Soviet attacks. This was considered a highly successful mission.

13 Sep 44: With 5xTB departs Gotenhafen to provide distant cover for German landings on Hog Island. Returns to Gotenhafen on 18 Sep following defeat of Germans landing.

21-25 Sep 44: With Lutzow and 2xDD and joined by 2xDD and 3xTB, provides cover for evacuations from the Gulf of Finland and Estonia, especially a convoy from Kemi, Finland.

10-15 Oct 44: With Lutzow 3xDD and 4xTB, shells Soviet positions near Memel. She fires 633 rounds of main battery ammunition on the 11th and 12th, another 246 rounds on the 14th and 368 rounds on the 15th.

15 Oct 44: While returning to Gotenhafen, collides with Leipzig in the fog, nearly cutting the lightly armored cruiser in two. Fourteen hours pass before the two ships are able to disengage.

07 Nov 44: Repairs completed.

20-21 Nov 44: With 3xDD and 4xTB expends 514 203mm rounds against Soviet targets on the Sworbe Peninsula, Estonia.

Dec 44: Enters dock to re-line guns. Work completed by the first week of Jan 45. AA armament upgraded to 17x40mm/70 (17x1); 4x20mm C38 (2x2); 24x20mm C38 (6x4).

29-31 Jan 45: With 2xDD and 5xTB expends 855 rounds in support of German operations in Samland. After this operation, the lack of 203mm ammunition forced Prinz Eugen into inactivity despite the desperate situation along the Baltic coast.

Mar 45: Returns to action. Performs fire support missions around Gotenhafen, Danzig, and Tiegenhoff.

01 Apr 45: Hit by Soviet rocket in an air attack. Nine men are killed. Has only has 40 rounds of 203 ammunition remaining.

04 Apr 45: Engages in final shore bombardment. In March and early April she has fired 4,871 rounds of 203mm and 2,500 rounds of 105mm.

10 April: Departs Baltic.

20 April: Arrives Copenhagen.

13 Apr 45: Attacked at Swinemunde by RAF without results.

09 May 45: With Nurnberg, surrendered at Copenhagen.

24-26 May 45: Transferred to Wilhelmshaven under RN escort.

1945: Ceded to the United States

13 Jan 46: Departs for Boston. Suffers complete machinery breakdown while on passage with KMS trained USN crew. Requires tow. Arrives 22 Jan 46.

01 Jul 46: Bikini Atoll. Survives A-bomb test Able

25 Jul 46: Survives A-bomb test Baker. Following these tests she remained afloat without structural damage. Towed to Kwajalein Atoll.

29 Aug 46: Decommisioned.

21 Dec 46: Takes on a 35 degree list due to minor damage at stern.

22 Dec 46: Towed to Enubuj Reef where she capsized (167 degrees, 41' E 08 degrees, 44' S). The wreak is still in this position, radium contaminated.


Kpt.z.S. Helmuth Brinkmann 8.01.40 - 7.31.42
F.Kpt. Neubauer 6.25.42 - 6.30.42 (temp)
K.Kpt. Beck 7.01.42 - 10.08.42 (temp)
Kpt.z.S. Hans-Eric Voss 10.09.42 - 2.28.43
Kpt.z.S. Werner Ehrhardt 2.29.43 - 1.05.44
Kpt.z.S. Hans-Jürgen Reinicke 1.06.44 - 5.07.45
Capt. A.H. Grauber, USN 1945 - 1946


Displacement, standard/full load (tons) 16,974/19,042
Length, oa, wl 207.7/199.5m
Beam/draught 21.3/7.9m
Machinery: 3 shafts, geared turbines, 12 boilers 132,000shp, 32.5 knots
Max Armor, belt/deck/CT/turrents 80/30/150/105 mm maximum
Main Battery 8x203mm/60 C34 (4x2)
Duel Purpose Battery 12x105mm/65 C33 (6x2);
Anti Air Battery 12x37mm/83 C34 (6x2); 8x20mm C30
Torpedo 12x533mm (4x3)
Aircraft 3
Crew 1,600
Range 6,100 nm at 15 kts.