The Sleipner class was a class of six destroyers built for the Royal Norwegian Navy from 1936 until the German invasion in 1940. The design was considered advanced for its time, and it was the first class of vessels for the Norwegian Navy that used aluminum in the construction of the bridge, the mast and the outer funnel. Extra strength special steel was used in the construction of the hull. Unlike the earlier Draug class the Sleipner class had comparatively good capabilities in both main guns, anti-aircraft artillery and anti-submarine weapons.
Gyller and Odin were returned to the Royal Norwegian Navy after the war and kept in service until 1959. Balder and Tor were finished by the Germans, and used by them until returned in 1949. Balder was scrapped in 1952, Tor in 1959.
The Germans reclassed the ships as Torpedoboot Ausland and renamed them: Gyller to Löwe, Odin to Panther, Balder to Leopard, and Tor to Tiger.
In 1945 Löwe was one of the escorts to the Wilhelm Gustloff on her last voyage. The Wilhelm Gustloff was torpedoed and sank with a great loss of life. During the sinking, Löwe came alongside and rescued 472 of her passengers and crew.