Tag Archives: Operation Weserübung

KMS Karlsruhe found

The German Königsberg-class light cruisers were some of the first “modern” ships of the Weimar-era Reichsmarine. These Versailles-compliant 7,000-ton warships replaced downright ancient Gazelle-class cruisers leftover from the 1900s, vessels that were obsolete even by Great War standards.

Lightly armed (9×6-inch C/25s) and lightly armored (2-inch belt), they fundamentally served as training ships for the nascent Kriegsmarine.

The German light cruiser KARLSRUHE on the Kiel Canal.1930s (IWM)

After waving the flag in the 1930s, two of the three Königsbergs were lost back-to-back in the invasion of Norway while the last member of the class, KMS Koln, managed to make it to 1945 before she was lost largely due to the fact that she spent most of WWII in the comparatively low-risk waters of the Baltic.

The two lost in Operation Weserübung were class leader, KMS Königsberg— badly damaged by Norwegian coastal artillery on 9 April and sunk by British bombers the following day at Bergen– and KMS Karlsruhe, who survived heavy fire from the Norwegian coastal guns at Odderøya only to be sent to the bottom on 9 April by the Royal Navy T-class submarine HMS Truant (N68).

Karlsruhe’s wreck has been identified at a depth of 1,610 feet some 11nm southeast off Kristiansand.

One of these things is not like the other

IF you know what these are, we can be friends.

Just kidding, we are always friends. With that being cleared up, note all the little differences between these “GI .45s”

To check your knowledge: On the left is a Union Switch & Signal company-produced M1911A1 from 1943, made for the U.S. Army in Swissvale, Pennsylvania. On the right, a Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk-made M/1914 from 1925, made for the Royal Norwegian Army in Oslo.

Don’t let the slide markings fool you, both are in .45ACP, and both likely saw service in WWII.

I recently got to handle a few of each in our vault and put together a little article on these more uncommon Government Issue .45s. Check it out in my column at Guns.com