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Sister ship: FRANKFURT
Notes: These two cruisers belonged to the 1912 Program. Their keels were laid at the end of 1913, but when World War I broke out, their completion was given a higher priority, and they were finished ahead of schedule. They were regarded as good sea boats and fairly maneuverable, but slow into a turn.
Upon completion, WIESBADEN served with the Scouting Forces, and was present at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 as a member of the 2nd Scouting Group. While pursuing the British light cruiser CHESTER, the 2nd SG came under heavy fire from the British 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron. The 2nd SG turned to separate themselves from the enemy, but WIESBADEN was slow to make the turn and she took several hits, which disabled her engines and left her dead in the water. During the next several hours, she was fired on by numerous British ships. An effort by Admiral Scheer with the 1st SG (the battlecruisers) to rescue her crew was driven off under heavy fire, and during the night of 1 June 1916, WIESBADEN quietly rolled over and sank. It is unknown how many rounds from her guns were fired before she sank, but it is known that she fired two torpedoes, one of which hit the British battleship MARLBOROUGH. An accurate accounting of her damage is unknown, but it is believed that WIESBADEN was hit by 15 heavy-caliber shells, six 7.5" and/or 9.2" shells, numerous 4" to 6" shells, and a torpedo fired by the destroyer ONSLOW. 589 of her crew were killed; only a single crewman survived, rescued by a Norwegian steamer on 2 June.