The German Navy of World War II was small in number, but contained some of the most technologically advanced capital ships in the world. This meant that although the Kriegsmarine never felt capable of encountering the might of the British Navy in a fleet action, her ships were individually more than a match for the outdated vessels of the Royal Navy. Nowhere was this more the case than in Germany's fleet of light cruisers. There were only six vessels in this fleet: the Emden, Leipzig, Köln, Königsberg, Karlsruhe and Nurnberg. This book describes their design, development and varied operational history throughout the course of the Second World War.