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Leipzig - Light Cruiser


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 Special thanks to Michael Emmerich of for the use of images and information in this section.

Leichter Kreuzer Leipzig in 1945


The Leipzig class was the last class of CLs built in Germany. Basically an improved K-Class the Leipzig (Kreuzer E ) had a more powerful and easier to maintain engine system, but still had the same structural weaknesses as its predecessor. In difference to the K-Class, the gun turrets were all mounted on the center-line again.

After the construction of the Leipzig between 1928 and 1931, it took several years to plan a new class of CLs which were comparable to the newest foreign designs. In the end no decision was made about a new CL design, and therefore a second ship of the Leipzig class was built.


Construction Data Dimensions Commanders
Laid down:     Marinewerft Wilhelmshaven, 18.04.1928
Launched:     18.10.1929
Commissioned:     08.10.1931
Fate:     scuttled with gas ammo 16.12.1946 (North Sea)
Costs:     38 Mio Reichsmark
Size (Max):     8382 t
Length (Total):     177,1 m
Length (Waterline):     165,8 m
Beam:     16,2 m
Draft:     5,69 m
Crew:     524-850
KzS H.-H Stobwasser:     08.10.31 - Sep 1933                       
FK/KzS Otto Hormel:     Okt 1933 - Set 1935
FK/KzS Otto Schenk:     Sep 1935 - Okt 1937
KzS Werner Löwisch:     Okt 1937 - Apr 1939
KzS Heinz Nordman:     Apr 1939 - Feb 1940
KzS Werner Stichling:     01.12.1940 - Aug 1942
KzS Friedrich Schmitt:     Aug 1942 - Sep 1942
KzS Waldemar Winther:     25.09.1942 - 18.2.1943
FK Joachim Asmus:     Feb 1943 - Mar 1943
KzS Walter Hulsemann:     01.08.1943 - 25.08.1944
KzS Heinrich Spörel:     6.08.1944 - Nov 1944

KK Hagen Kusfer:

  Nov 1944 - Jan 1945
KK Walter Bach:     Jan 1945 - Dec 1945



Armour and Aircraft

Engines & Performance

15 cm  C/25 (5.9"):     9
8.8 cm C/32:     6
3,7 cm L/83:     8
2 cm MG L/64:     4
53,3 cm Torpedoes:     12
Mines:     120
Deck:     20 mm
Belt:     20-50 mm
Command Tower:     100 mm
Turrets:     20-30 mm
Arado Ar 196:     2
Shafts:     3
Engines:     4
Type:     MAN 7-cyl. diesel
Turbines:     2
Type:     Germania
Total Performance:     72400 shp (12400 shp engines, 60000 shp turbines)
Speed:     32,0 kn
Range:     5700 miles at 19 kn

Operational History

08.10.1931:   Commissioned, followed by tests and trials in the North and Baltic Sea.
Spring - Summer 1932:   Artillery and engine tests in the Baltic Sea.
Autumn 1932:   Fleet operations, used for training in the torpedo trial commando.
21.02 - March 1933:   Battle training in the North Atlantic.
1934:   Fleet operation, visits to Portsmouth. Training in the North Atlantic, Irish Sea, Hebrides and North Sea.
1935:   Fleet operations.
-February 1936:   Together with CL Köln tests and trials of the new radar equipment.
15.04 - 08.05.1936:   Together with CL Köln and Nürnberg battle and radar training in the North Atlantic.
20.08 - 10.10.1936:   First Spain operation.
Oct 1936 - Jan 1937:   Repairs and refits.
09.03 - 19.05.1937:   Second Spain operation.
01.06 - 29.06.1937:   Third Spain operation, followed by fleet operations in coastal waters.
1938:   Several combined training operations with other Kriegsmarine ships: Battle and refueling with destroyer Georg Thiele , Navigation with CL Karlsruhe , towing with CL  Nürnberg .
17.12.1938-15.03.1939:   Repairs and refits.
24.08 - 02.09.1939:   Patrols in the Baltic Sea.
07.11.1939:   Collision with training ship Bremse .
12-13.12.1939:   A squadron of the B.d.A (=Befehlshaber der Aufklärungskräfte, Reconnaissance Forces) consisting of the CLs Nürnberg , Leipzig and Köln covers a mining mission of 5 DDs. After joined by the DDs, the British submarine Salomon torpedoes both, Nürnberg and Leipzig . The damaged CLs escaped while the DDs hunted the submarine for 5 hours.
15.12.1939:   On its return to the German coast, the British submarine Ursula attacks the damaged Leipzig, but the torpedoes hit and sink the escort ship F9 .
Dec 1939 - Nov 1940:   Repairs in dock. The ship never got fully operational again and was only used for training purposes. The destroyed boiler rooms are converted into cadet quarters.
February 1940:   Withdrawn from service.
01.12.1940:   Recommissioned.
September 1941:   Part of the Baltic Fleet at Ösel and Dagö.
27.09.1941:   Together with the CL Emden , the Leipzig sinks the Soviet MTB 83 in the Lyu Beight off Sworbe.
Nov 1941 - Sep 1943:   Part of the Training Section of the fleet.
01.08.1943-05.09.1943:   Returned to service with reduced crew.
15.10.1944:   During the evening, the Leipzig left Gotenhafen during poor visible condition for taking a load of mines in Swinemünde. Outside of Hela the cruiser stopped to change engines, from diesel (central shaft) to turbines (two outer shafts). Since the power plants were quite complicated this maneuver took about 15 minutes. At 8:04 pm the cruiser was rammed by the CA Prinz Eugen , returning to Gotenhafen at 20 knots. The ships were jammed for 14 hours until it was possible to separate them. The heavy damaged Leipzig was in danger to break up and was towed back to Gotenhafen for temporary repairs.
March 1945:   The Leipzig fires her guns in the land battle for Gotenhafen.
25-29.03.1945:   Moved to Apenrade.
16.12.1946:   After the war the ship was taken to Wilhelmshaven, loaded with gas shells and sunk in the North Sea.