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KPLeipzig

Germany’s Leipzig


Displacement

3,278 tons

Launched

March 1905

Overall Length

111.1 meters

Commissioned

April 1906

Beam

13.3 meters

Armor Max

30mm-100mm

Engines

Two Three-Cylinder Triple Expansion

Guns

10-10.5cm SK L/40,
10-3.7cm revolver-cannons

Speed

22 knots

Torpedo Tubes

2-45cm

Crew

301

Mines

None


The Leipzig was one of seven ships of the German Bremen or ‘Town’ class of light cruisers. She was laid down in 1904 and commissioned in 1906. She was typical of the German light cruisers of the day with triple-expansion steam engines and 10-10.5cm guns.

The Leipzig was posted off the western coast of Mexico as part of the German Far East Squadron, replacing the Nürnberg which had been posted to that station before war was declared. Leipzig was dispatched to disrupt merchant shipping bound for Central America. She found her first victim less than a month later when she intercepted the Elsinore southwest of Cabo Corrientes.

In October, she rejoined the Kreuzergeschwader off Easter Island under the command of Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee and subsequently took part in the Battle of Coronel on 26 October. In that action the superior German force overwhelmed a British squadron and sank the armored cruisers HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth. The two remaining ships in the British force were able to flee under the cover of darkness.

Shortly after the battle Leipzig took her third and last merchantman in the Pacific Ocean with the capture of the French sailing ship Valentine. In early December the Leipzig and the other members of the Kreuzergeschwader transferred to the Atlantic Ocean.

Leipzig took her fourth and final victim just six days before she and three other ships of the Kreuzergeschwader were sunk during the Battle of the Falkland Islands. Admiral Spee made the decision to give battle with his two largest ships, the armored cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, hoping to enable the three smaller ships to break off action. Only the Dresden managed to make her escape. The Leipzig was not so fortunate. She put up a gallant three hour fight against the superior HMS Cornnwall (14-6in and 9-12pdr guns), but once her 10.5cm ammunition was expended, her end was quick in coming.

Ships captured (c), sunk (s), or mined (m): 4 totaling 15,269 tons

 

Ship

Displacement

Date

Elsinore (s)

6,542 tons

11/9/1914

Banksfield (s)

3,763 tons

25/9/1914

Valentine (c)(s)

3,120 tons

2/11/1914

Drummuir (c)(s)

1,844 tons

2/12/1914