SMS Augusta (1864)

Drawing of Augusta, published in Scientific American, 1885. Original in the public domain.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

SMS Augusta was laid down in 1863 in France, and launched the following year. Originally ordered by the Confederacy as CSS Mississippi, Napoleon III blocked the sale, and instead sold her to the Prussians. She missed the Second Schleswig War against Denmark, and saw no action during the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. In December, 1867, Augusta was sent to Costa Rica, to attempt to secure a Central American base for Prussia, but the US intervened. She was used as a commerce raider in the Franco-Prussian War, and captured three ships before she was blockaded into Spain by the French Navy. Augusta visited Central America again in 1874-76, and journeyed to the Pacific in 1876-78, where her crew negotiated a trade deal in Samoa, and helped to enforce treaties in China. Augusta was deployed to the Pacific again in 1885, bringing relief crews to several German ships stationed in Australia, but was lost en route, probably during a cyclone in the Gulf of Aden.