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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Leipzig cruiser

Photos

KMS Leipzig in July 1934 with the KMS Königsberg:
KMS Leipzig in July 1934 with the KMS Königsberg
Imperial War Museum, Q-65776

KMS Leipzig:
KMS Leipzig
Imperial War Museum, HU-1025
KMS Leipzig in July 1934 with the KMS Königsberg:
KMS Leipzig in July 1934 with the KMS Königsberg
Imperial War Museum, Q-65777
KMS Leipzig:
KMS Leipzig
Imperial War Museum, HU-1020
KMS Leipzig:
KMS Leipzig
Imperial War Museum, HU-1022

Design

The order for Kreuzer E was placed on October 25, 1927 / 1928.

Initially the Kreuzer E the Leipzig was a modified K class that had just a single funnel. The aft turrets were also placed along the center line and not offset.

Electric welding was used extensively to save weight.

Aircraft

There were two aircraft that were launched by a single catapult. Initially, the aircraft were the He 60 / He 60C.

Engines

There were four MAN diesels that drove the center shaft. The propeller for the center could be feathered to reduce drag. It could be used in combination with the turbines or by itself.

Ships

Leipzig

  • Cost: 38,000,000 RM
  • Manufacturer: Marinewerft-Wilhelmshaven, Marinewerft at Wilhelmshaven, Wilhelmshaven Dock Yard, Wilhelmshaven Navy Yard
  • April 14, 1928, April 18, 1928, April 28, 1928: Laid down.
  • October 18, 1929: Launched.
  • October 8, 1931, 1931: Completed.
  • 1931: With training and reconnaissance force.
  • September 6 - 16, 1932: Member of Fleet exercises.
  • February 21 - March 15, 1933: Training cruise to Funchal, Madeira and Hangö, Finland.
  • June 19 - July 20, 1933: Training cruise to Aarhus, Denmark. Christian X visit ship.
  • Mary 22, 1934: Gunnery exercises. Visited by Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Vice-Chancellor von Papen, Goering, and Goebbles.
  • July 11 - 15, 1934: Sailed to Portsmouth.
  • July 26 - 29, 1934: Sailed to Reykjavik.
  • May 25 - June 3, 1935: Maneuvers with Schlesien, Köln, Deutschland and 3rd Torpedo Boat Flotilla.
  • 1935, 1936: Refit. Added catapult and crane. 8.8 cm guns upgraded to 8.8 cm L/76 SK C/32 twin mounts.
  • April 23 - May 3, 1936: Sailed to Las Palmas and Lagos.
  • 1936, Summer 1936: Patrolled off Spain during Spanish Civil War in Non Intervention Patrol.
  • August 20 - September 1, 1936: Sailed to San Sebastian to start patrolling off Spain.
  • April 1937: Suffered structural damage in heavy seas.
  • May 19, 1937: Arrived in Kiel.
  • June 1 - 14, 1937: Sailed to Tangiers.
  • June 15 & 18, 1937: Attacked by two torpedos.
  • June 29 - August 4, 1937: At Deutsche Werke, Kiel.
  • Spring 1939: Sailed to Tangier.
  • December 17, 1938 - March 15, 1939: Refit at Deutsche Werke in Kiel.
  • 1939: Refit. Aircraft crane upgraded.
  • August 23 - 25, 1939: Attempted to prevent Polish ships from leaving Baltic.
  • September 2 - 29, 1939, September 3 - 20, 1939: Minelaying in North Sea.
  • November 1939: Hunted merchant ships in Skagerrak.
  • December 1939, December 13, 1939: Hit by torpedoes from HMS Salmon. Forward boiler room destroyed.
  • December 1939: Repairs at Kiel. Boiler room closed off and max speed 24 knots.
  • 1941: Member of Fleet Training Squadron.
  • March 1941: Aft torpedo tubes given to Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
  • September 1941, September 25 - 27, 1941: Bombarded Sworbe.
  • 1944: Torpedo tubes removed. Four 40 mm L/70 Bofors 28 and sixteen 20 mm C38 added.
  • October 1944, October 15, 1944: Collision with Prinz Eugen off Gdynia / Hela Peninsula.
  • November 13, 1944: Reclassed as cadet training hulk.
  • April 1945: Used as floating battery at Götenhafen.

Usage

After being damaged by torpedoes early in World War II the Leipzig was turned into a training ship.

 

Specifications

  Leipzig
Crew 850
Crew - Officers 26
Crew - Men 508
Crew - Flagship +6 officers, +20 men
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 6,000 tons, 6,515 tons, 6,614 tons, 6,710 tons
Displacement - Loaded 8,250 tons, 8,427 tons
Length 580', 580' 9", 581'
177.1 m
Length - Water Line 533' 9", 543' 9"
165.8 m, 168.8 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 544'
Beam 53' 2", 53' 3", 53' 6"
16.2 m, 16.3 m
Draft / Height 15' 9, 16'
4.88 m, 5.05 m
Draft / Height - Maximum 18' 8"
5.69 m
Performance  
Speed 32 knots
Speed - Center Shaft (diesel) 18 knots
Speed - Outer Shafts 31 knots
Range at 14.5 knots - diesels 3,800 nautical miles
Range at 14.5 knots - turbines 3,200 nautical miles
Range at 15 knots 3,780 nautical miles, 3,800 nautical miles
Range at 21 knots 2,980 nautical miles
Range at 27 knots 2,220 nautical miles
Armament 15 cm L/60 C28 triple turrets: 3
5.9" triple turrets: 3
5.9" L/50: 9
Anti-Aircraft 8.8 cm L/45: 2
3.5" twin mounts: 3, 4
3.5": 8
3 pdr: 8
37 mm L/83 C30 twin mounts: 4
3.7 cm twin mounts: 4
2 cm: 4
Machine Guns: 4
Torpedo Tubes 21", 50 cm: 3 mounts 4 tubes each, 12
Aircraft 2
Armor  
Belt - Main 1.5" - 2", 3" - 4"
2 cm - 5 cm
Control Tower 1.25" - 4", 2"
10 cm
Deck 0.75"
2 cm - 2.5 cm
Turrets 0.75" - 1.5", 2"
2 cm - 3 cm
Engines  
Boilers Marine: 6
Navy: 8
Engines Diesel: 1
MAN diesel: 4
MAN 7 cylinder diesel: 4
Shafts 2, 3
Shafts - Diesel 1
Turbines Geared
Navy geared
Parsons SR geared
HP 60,000, 66,000
HP - Diesel 12,000, 12,400
Diesel 348 tons, 378 tons
Oil 1,200 tons, 1,235 tons, 1,253 tons

Sources:

  1. Cruisers of World War Two An International Encyclopedia, M. J. Whitley, 1995
  2. German Warships of World War II, J. C. Taylor, 1966
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. German Light Cruisers of World War II, Gerhard Koop, Klaus-Peter Schmolke, 2002
  5. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site