The Bussard class cruisers were some of the oldest warships still to be in service with the German navy at the start of the First World War.
The German Gazelle class was the first large class of modern light cruisers. This type of ship was designed to operate with the battle fleet, acting as scouts, leading torpedo attacks and defending the fleet against enemy torpedo boats and destroyers.
The Breman class light cruisers set a pattern for German cruiser design before the First World War in that they were slightly larger versions of the previous class, in this case the Gazelle Class
The two Wiesbaden class light cruisers were larger versions of the pervious Magdeburg Class, and were under construction at the start of the First World War
The second Königsberg class light cruisers were from the last pre-war German naval programme.
The Cöln class light cruisers were the last such ships built for the German navy during the First World War.