HMNZS Leander

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Leander.
HMS Leander.jpg
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Leander
Ordered: 18 february 1930
Builder: HMNB Devonport
Laid down: 8 september 1930
Launched: 24 septembre 1931
Commissioned: 24 march 1933
Recommissioned: 27 August 1945
Decommissioned: February 1948
Out of service: loaned to Royal New Zealand Navy 30 April 1937
Identification: Pennant number: 75
Fate: Sold for scrapping 15 December 1949
Scrapped 15 January 1950
Career (New Zealand)
Name: HMNZS Leander
Commissioned: 30 April 1937
Out of service: Repair and refit at Boston 8 May 1944
Identification: Pennant number: 75
Fate: Returned to Royal Navy 27 August 1945
General characteristics
Class and type: Leander-class light cruiser
Displacement: 7,270 tons standard
9,740 tons full load
Length: 554.9 ft (169.1 m)
Beam: 56 ft (17 m)
Draught: 19.1 ft (5.8 m)
Installed power: 72,000 shaft horsepower (54,000 kW)
Propulsion: Four Parsons geared steam turbines
Six boilers
Four shafts
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
Range: 5,730 nmi (10,610 km; 6,590 mi) at 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement: 570 officers and enlisted
Armament: Original configuration:

8[1] × BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval guns[2]
4 × 4 in guns
12 × 0.5 in machine guns

8 × 21 in torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: One catapult-launched aircraft
Original type was a Fairey Seafox
catpult and aircraft later replaced with Supermarine Walrus

HMNZS Leander was a light cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy during World War II. She was the lead ship of a class of eight ships, the Leander-class light cruiser and was initially named HMS Leander.


Leander was launched at Devonport on 24 September 1931. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Leander on 24 March 1933. Along with Achilles she served in the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy.

In 1941 the New Zealand Division became the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and she was commissioned as HMNZS Leander in September 1941.

In World War II, Leander served initially in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Commander Stephen Roskill was posted as the ship's captain in 1941. In action on 27 February 1941, she sank the Italian armed merchantman Ramb I near the Maldives, rescuing 113 of her crew. On 23 March 1941, Leander intercepted and captured the Vichy French merchant Charles L.D. in the Indian Ocean between Mauritius and Madagascar. On 14 April, Leander deployed for support of military operations in Persian Gulf and, on 18 April, joined the aircraft carrier Hermes and the light cruiser Emerald. On 22 April, Leander was released from support duties in the Persian Gulf and took part in search for German raider Pinguin south of the Maldives.

In June 1941, Leander was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet and was active against the Vichy French during the Syria-Lebanon Campaign. After serving in the Mediterranean, Leander returned to the Pacific Ocean in 1943.

On 13 July 1943, Leander was with Rear Admiral Walden Lee Ainsworth's Task Group 36.1 of three light cruisers: Leander and the US ships Honolulu and St. Louis. The task group also included ten destroyers. At 01:00 the Allied ships established radar contact with the Japanese cruiser Jintsu, which was accompanied by five destroyers near Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands. In the ensuing Battle of Kolombangara, Jintsu was sunk and all three Allied cruisers were hit by torpedoes and severely damaged. Leander was so badly damaged that she took no further part in the war. She was repaired, first in Auckland and then proceeded to a full refit in Boston.

She returned to the Royal Navy on 27 August 1945. In 1946 she was involved in the Corfu Channel Incident. She was scrapped in 1950.


  1. ^ Lenton & Colledge 1968 p.39
  2. ^ Campbell 1985 p.34


See also[edit]