|Leipzig. German cruiser Leipzig launched 1929 and scuttled 1946. History of the Leipzig from its launch to its participation in the Second World War, including photographs.|
|Leipzig||18th October 1929||Scuttled 16th December 1946.|
was an improved version of the earlier K-Class cruiser, being laid down in
1928 and completed in October 1931. Her
propulsion system was also a modified and a much more efficient variant of
the K-types steam/diesel propulsion system (in today?s terms, COSAD or
combination of steam and diesel). It comprised three shafts, the two outer
being driven by admiralty-pattern steam turbines, while eight M.A.N.
diesels were coupled via a common gearbox to drive the central shaft. The
diesels drove the ship at cruising speed, the outer shafts at this point
being turned over by small electric motors. To achieve maximum speed both
steam and diesel were coupled. The inner propeller had variable pitch blades,
which could be set to the most efficient angle according to the speed of
the engines. After
commissioning these engines were trialed in the Baltic. Leipzig's secondary
armament was altered between 1931 and 1934, with a further six 3.5in guns
being added and her torpedo tubes being enlarged to more the favorable
21in. In early 1936 she
conducted radar trials with the Koln and her new half sister Nurnberg (and
accompanying aircraft) in the North Atlantic.
Later in the year she carried out her first Operation in Spain,
before refitting. She then
returned to Spain twice in 1937 before carrying out fleet Operations in
coastal waters. She spent the
next year on extensive training exercises with other ships from the
Kriegsmarine, followed by a refit. At
the out break of war she was stationed in the Baltic, colliding with the
gunnery training ship Bremse on the 7th Nov 1939, but causing
no major damage to herself. On
the 12/13th December 1939 Leipzig along with the Nurnberg, Koln
and five Destroyers embarked on a mining mission in the North Sea.
The Leipzig and Nurnberg were both hit from torpedoes from HM
Submarine Salmon (Leipzig was hit amidships, killing 15).
She went to Blohm & Voss yards at Hamburg for initial repairs
followed by a move and further repairs/modifications (the destroyed boiler
rooms were turned into cadet rooms) at Kiel, being de-activated in
February 1940. In September
she was re-commissioned and used as a training ship for the gunnery and
torpedo schools from Danzig. In
September 1941 Leipzig and the cruiser Emden bombarded Russian shore
batteries and sank the MTB 83. After
some brief repairs in Kiel she became a training ship, mostly operating
from the Baltic until becoming de-activated in late 1943 on Hitler?s
orders. She later returned to
sea with a reduced crew. On
the evening of 15th October 1944, Leipzig left Gotenhafen for
Swinemunde with a cargo of mines in poor visibility.
During the complex diesel to steam turbine engine change over, she
was rammed by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen (rammed amidships between the
bridge structure and the funnel). The
ship was so badly damaged it was feared she might break in two.
She was taken back to Gotenhafen for temporary repairs.
With the land battle now encroaching her on 24th March
1945, Leipzig expends 896 rounds during the battle for Gotenhafen before
moving onto Apenrade (Denmark) with 500 refugees aboard.
This is where she remained until the German surrender.
She was then moved to Swinemunde and on the 16 December 1946 she
was scuttled in the North Sea (there is some question to believe that she
was scuttled with gas shells aboard?)
to Carl Proctor for the history of Leipzig)
A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available. Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder. A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price ?25. Order photograph here Order Code XMP5535
A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available. Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder. A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price ?25. Order photograph here Order Code XMP5536