SMS Bussard was an unprotected cruiser of the Kaiserliche Marine launched on 23 January 1890 and commissioned on 7 October 1890.
Early in her career, SMS Bussard was assigned to the Ostasiatische Station in Kiautschou, and made frequent voyages through Germany’s Pacific colonies. Notably, she and her sister ship, SMS Falke, assisted in the suppression of a revolt in German Samoa in July 1893.
In 1late 1898, SMS Bussard returned to Germany for a refit. She would briefly return to East Asia in 1900-1901 during the Boxer Rebellion, but in 1901 departed for assignment to the Ostafrikanische Station in Deutsch-Ostafrika.
She remained in East Africa until 1910, when she returned to Germany for decommissioning. She was stricken from the naval register on 25 October 1912 and was scrapped in 1913.