The Leningrad-class destroyers were the first large warships designed and built by the Soviet Union after the Russian revolution and subsequent civil war. Inspired by the French Vauquelin-class destroyers, Soviet shipbuilders designed the Project 1 destroyer, which was expected to surpass any existing destroyer type in Soviet service at the time.
The Project 1 destroyer was approved for construction in February 1930, with the first ships being laid down in 1932. Leningrad, as the lead ship of the class, was laid down in November 1932 and was launched after just one year of construction. During her sea trials, Leningrad surpassed expectations by being able to achieve much higher speeds than initially designed. However, sea trials also reveal several problems, which led to the Leningrad’s commissioning being delayed while the ship underwent modifications in the drydock.
At last, Leningrad was commissioned into service in December 1936 and was assigned to the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. After the German Invasion of the Soviet Union, Leningrad was tasked with protecting minelayers and later helped lay minefields herself. The ship was primarily operating in the waters around Kronstadt and Leningrad itself, often shelling enemy positions on the shoreline or covering allied troops. Leningrad continued doing so until the siege of Leningrad was lifted in 1944.
After WW2, Leningrad continued serving with the Baltic Fleet, undergoing major modernization in the early 1950s. However, the ship would soon be converted into a target vessel, being used as such into the early 1960s before an anti-ship missile sealed the fate of the Leningrad once and for all in May 1963.