Class: Köln Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg #247
Length: 155.5m Launched: 5 Oct. 1916
Beam: 14.2m Commissioned: 17 Jan. 1918
Draft: 6.43m Speed: 29.3 kts
Displacement: 7 486 t Power: 48 708 shp

Service Record

Photograph of the Köln, Orkney Library archive.

Magnifying glass. A Photograph of the Köln from the Orkney Library archive.

Present Condition

Multibeam image of the Köln as she is today.

Magnifying glass. A multibeam image of the SMS Köln as she is today.

Laying on her starboard side the seabed is 33m below chart datum at the bow and 34m and stern with the shallowest part of the hull at 20m. The Cöln II is the most intact of the German wrecks. Some deterioration is taking place on the port side plates and two areas have corroded away giving a view of the inside. These are along the edge with the main deck and extend from just in front of the bridge and half way to the bow. The forward guns were removed during salvage work but a gun shield sits on the hull.

The bridge has lost most of it's sheeting, exposing the conning tower. Behind the bridge, the hull where the three funnels were is largely intact. However, there is no evidence of these other than a large debris field on the seabed.

Going astern there is extensive damage around the area of the engine room area from previous salvage work. Once passed this area the stern section is recognisable with its guns.

3D interactive models

The interactive models below are based on acoustic surveys carried out by the ScapaMAP project. The Z (vertical) axis is emphasised in these models.

To use these models you will need to download iView3D (a free 3D viewer, you need to register to get this download) and the .sd file of interest from the links above.

Survey geotiffs

Arrow to computer. Köln 2001 survey (zip format 279kB).

Arrow to computer. Köln 2006 survey (zip format 356kB).

The 2001 and 2006 surveys are available above as .zip's containing the geotiff and .tfw world information files. The geotiff is in EPSG Projection 32630 - WGS 84 / UTM zone 30N.

Because the site of the Köln is of national importance it has been protected as a scheduled monument. Visitors are welcome to enjoy and respect this wreck but removal of artefacts from it is illegal. You can find out more about what scheduling means through the link below:
Protecting Scotland's nationally important monuments