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Ordered: 1912
Laid down: 1911
Launched: July 1, 1911
Commissioned: 1912
Decommissioned: 1941
Fate: sunk at Souda Bay, Crete
Current position:
General Characteristics
Displacement: standard displacement 880 tonnes tons
Length: 89.4 m
Beam: 8.3 m
Draft: 3 m
Speed: Maximum Speed 31 kts., 32 after 1925 knots
Complement: 58
Armament: (1912) 4 Bethlehem 10.2 cm guns, one 75 mm A/A gun, six 21 inch T/T and 3 electric search lights.In 1925 the 75 mm gun was removed and a 37 mm A/A gun was installed, along with a four barrel 40 mm gun and 2 mortars.She was modified for laying 40 mines.In 1942 the 3rd and 4th guns of the stern torpedo tubes were removed and one 3-inch A/A gun, one 20 mm Oerlikon gun and an A/S type 123A detection device were added.
Powerplant: Foster Wheeler 4 coal burning and 1 fuel boiler, 5 funnels combined Parsons and Curtis turbines.In 1925 they were replaced by a Yarrow oil fired ones.
Armour: unknown

Leon (Greek: Α/Τ Λέον "Lion") served in the Hellenic Royal Navy from 1912 - 1941.

The ship, along with her three sister ships of Wild Beast Class destroyers Aetos, Ierax and Panthir was ordered from England. They were purchased ready for delivery, each for the sum of 148,000 pounds, from the English shipyards Camell Laird in Liverpool, when the Balkan Wars seemed likely. These ships had originally been ordered by Argentina; Panthir was originally named Tucuman.

During the Balkan Wars, only the essential ammunitions were purchased (3,000 rounds). Torpedoes were not available and for this reason these ships were initially named 'scouts' rather than 'destroyers'. Leon was in action during the Balkan Wars under Lieutenant Commander J. Razikotsikas, RHN, also on board was Squadron Commander Lieutenant Commander D. Papachristos, RHN.

During World War I, Greece belatedly entered the war on the side of the Triple Entente and, due to Greece's neutrality the four Beast Class ships were seized by the Allies in October, 1916, taken over by the French in November and served in the French Navy from 1917-18. By 1918, they were back on escort duty under Greek colors, and was in action blockading the coasts of the Black Sea from Bosphorus up to Trebizond.

On December 22, 1921, while moored with Ierax in Piraeus harbour they were both severely damaged by the explosion of a depth charge bomb which the crew of Leon was transporting. Two officers, one petty officer and two sailors were killed on Leon and two sailors on Ierax. Leon completely lost her aft section up to her stern gun. [1]

After the war, Leon was refurbished from 1925-1927. She also participated in the Second World War, On April 18, 1941, during a convoy escort, she collided with passenger ship Ardena followed by the explosion of two depth charges. As a result, her stern section was cut off and two officers were killed. She was finally sunk by German bombers on May 15, 1941, in Souda Bay (Crete) where she had been towed from Salamis Naval Base.

Leon D 50 , Source http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/leon12_41.asp.


  1. ^ http://www.hellenicnavy.gr/leon12_41_en.asp

    See also

Hellenic Navy Ships

History of the Hellenic Navy

Ancient Greece

Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

Modern Greece

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