The original Cormoran was an unprotected cruiser 335 feet long, 1,600 tons, with a speed of 16 knots and an armament of eight 105-mm guns. Her guns and crew were transferred to the captured Russian merchant steamship Riasan. The original Cormoran was anchored in the harbor of the German colony at Tsingtao, China until she was scuttled on November 4, 1914.
Riasan was a German built, Russian owned steamer, 290 feet long, 3,522 tons, with a speed of 14 knots. She was captured by the German cruiser Emden near island of Tsushima, Japan, 100 miles north of Nagasaki, on the morning of August 3, 1914. Renamed Cormoran she sailed as an armed merchant cruiser under command of Korvettenkapitan Adalbert Zuckschwerdt. Due to a lack of coal, she sailed to the neutral port of Guam and interned there on December 14, 1914. Captain and crew remained aboard until April 7, 1917 when they learned the United States had entered the war. Then the new Cormoran was scuttled with the loss of seven souls. The survivors were interned on Guam, later transferred to San Francisco and then to the War Prison Barracks at Fort Douglas, Utah arriving June 10, 1917.
Adalbert Zuckschwerdt(1874-1945) was the later Konteradmiral commanding the Loire/French South Coast command in 1943.
Zuckschweredt also served on SMS Roon as an Artillerieoffizier when it visited Australia in 1913.