Z20 Karl Galster was the fourth of six ships of the 1936 class destroyers laid down in the DeSchiMAG shipyard in Bremen. She was laid down on 14 September 1937 and completed in March 1939. Being part of the final German destroyer class to receive names after WWI sailors, captains, and admirals, the Z20 was also named in honour of Captain Karl Galster. Captain Karl Galster was the commander of the S22 torpedo boat in WWI, who went down with his ship after striking a mine while intercepting a squadron of British ships, including HMS Vindex, near the island of Sylt. During WWII, Z20 Karl Galster took part in various mine-laying operations in the English channel and Baltic sea as well as taking part in the invasion of Denmark and Norway as part of the Operation “Weserübung”. Although the war had claimed her other five sister ships, Karl Galster survived right up until the very end of the war, helping in evacuating German soldiers from coastline ports scattered around the Baltic during the last few days of WWII.
After the German surrender on 8 May 1945, Z20 returned to her homeport of Kiel and surrendered to the British. However, her career was not over just yet. In 1946, Z20 Karl Galster was given to the Soviet Union as a warprize and was subsequently renamed to Prochny. She would serve under Soviet command for another decade, until 1956, before being decommissioned ultimately scrapped in the 1950s.