|SMS CÖLN – SHIP DETAILS|
|Type||Steel, Cöln class light cruiser|
|Shipyard||Blohm and Voss, Hamburg|
|Dimensions (LOA)||511.5’x47.0’x21.0’ (IMP) 155.9×14.3×6.4 metres|
|Engines||2 x 31,000 shp steam turbines|
|Armament||8 x 15 cm SK L/45 quick firing guns, 2 x 8.8 cm anti-aircraft guns, 4 x 60 cm torpedo tubes|
|SMS CÖLN – WRECK DETAILS|
|Position||58° 53.836’N, 003° 08.525’W|
|Seabed depth||35 metres|
|Least depth on wreck||21 metres|
|Lying||Lies on starboard side with bow pointing northwest|
|Description||Lying on its starboard side the Cöln is one of the more complete light cruiser wrecks. Salvage work has removed her two bow 5.9” guns and blew a large breech in her main turbine room. Apart from that her hull is mainly intact although sections of hull plating are showing signs of separating here and there. Numbers in brackets throughout text refer to pictures of the wreck in the gallery above.
Commencing at the bow, the key points of interest are as follows. The bow sits off the seabed and the stem is parallel to the seabed. The main fairlead (1) is prominent and the outline of shields from the city of Cöln are just visible either side of the stem. On the foredeck both capstans are in place, as are two-gun mounts and moving aft the main control tower with one rangefinder arm (2,3,4) the other arm is below on the seabed (5). The bridge area sits behind the control tower. The foremast and platform extend out onto the seabed and below a searchlight housing (6) can be found on the seabed.
Aft of the bridge are the boiler rooms below deck level, large davits hang off the port side over the debris cascading onto the seabed. Along the port rail are two torpedo storage housings (7) that hang precariously over the debris, these are just forward of an above deck torpedo tube (8,9) that sits parallel to the deck, but vertical to the diver pointing down into the debris. Just below the torpedo tube is one of the anti-aircraft guns that has fallen to the seabed.
The turbine salvage area is a confusing mass of torn and bent metal (10,11) where the hull has been breached by salvage works and key parts of value removed. Continuing towards the stern at seabed level is the aft mast, again reaching off into the void and down to the seabed. Behind this lies the stern armament of two 5.9” guns (12-15), both aligned one above the other above the Officers accommodation and look out for the small triangular base plate (16) for machine gun placement on the deckhouse roof. At the stern it is possible to see the main capstan and kedge anchor (17), and on port side the pockets in the deck which are believed to be holders for chemical smoke cannisters.
Finally, a quick tour round the stern to the rudder. Just in front of and above the rudder stock on the port side is an opening, look inside to the left and you will see into the aft auxiliary helm position (18) with steel wheels and gearing.