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A Detailed Look At: De Zeven Provincien (1909)9/20/2016 9:12:12 AM
Published By: Lert
"Oh mighty and handsome Lert, didn't you already write a thread about De Zeven Provincien?"

Yes. About the 1953 light cruiser. This is about the 1909 'armored ship'. You see, 'De Zeven Provincien' (The Seven Provinces) is kind-of an important name in Dutch naval history, on the level of 'Yamato' for the Japanese navy. Not that any of the Dutch ships named De Zeven Provincien ever reached the same level of grandeur and legend as Yamato did, but the term 'the seven provinces' itself refers to the original seven provinces that united under the banner of the Union of Utrecht, and formed the 'Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden', Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, which eventually became the Kingdom of the Netherlands as we know it today. So, weighty name, given only to ships that the Royal Dutch Navy would consider crown pieces.

Over the centuries the name has been given to eight ships, five of which were ships of the line between 1643 and 1782. The seventh ship bearing the name was the 1953 light cruiser, and the eight is a state-of-the-art 6000 ton command-and-control air defense frigate, four of which are serving today. The sixth ship bearing the name however is the subject of today's ADLA.
HNLMS De Zeven Provincien at anchor in 1910. 'HNLMS' stands fer 'His/Her Netherlands Majesty's Ship', as opposed to the Dutch phrase Hr. Ms. which stands for 'Hare Majesteit's schip', meaning basically the same thing.

Laid down in 1908 and commissioned in 1910, De Zeven Provincien was a 'pantserschip', 'armored ship', a type of ship known as coastal defense ships. These were small, cruiser sized vessels sacrificing endurance and speed for armor and firepower. These ships were oftentimes considered a class of ship for 'poor nations' that 'couldn't afford a proper battleship', a description the Dutch people were not fond of. We were a real naval power, damnit! ... Yeah, we were. In the 1600's ~ 1800's. after that? Not so much. She served with distinction in the Dutch east indies, until in 1933 she suffered a high-profile mutiny, the details of which are not a subject for this thread. Suffice it to say that the political repercussions of this mutiny were felt in the Netherlands for years to come.

In 1936 she was taken out of service and converted to a training ship, retaining her armament. Upon this conversion she was renamed 'Soerabaja', after the Dutch name for the capital of East Java, Surabaya. It's telling that she lost her proud Dutch name 'De Zeven Provincien' for a more international one. She remained in service in that area until her sinking in Surabaya port by Japanese bombers in 1942. Still mostly intact, the Japanese raised her and used her as a stationary coastal bombardment platform until Allied aircraft sunk her again in 1943. This time, having learned her lesson, she stayed under.
De Zeven Provincien as built.

Anyways, let's go over the statistics, shall we?


6530 tons. This puts her 1500 tons over Chikuma's displacement, and about 200 over Karlsruhe's full load. In fact, she would be heavier than all low tier cruisers except St Louis, and lighter than all tier 5+ cruisers. Omaha for example displaced 7160 tons, Konigsberg 7800 and Furutaka a weighty 9540 tons full load. She would likely have around 21700 hitpoints.

15cm (5.9") belt
5cm (2") deck
19.7cm (5.5") barbette
20cm (8") conning tower
25cm (9.8") turret face

De Zeven Provincien was armored to withstand just about anything any ship in its weight class would be able to dish out. Not even St Louis, toughest thing afloat below tier 6 (excepting battleships ofcourse) could even begin to touch the level of armor this ship carried.
Battleships however would look at De Zeven Provincien and laugh. Ishizuchi for example has a 5cm (2") thicker belt, and is not even counted as a 'proper' battleship. Still, a healthy hitpoint pool as well as armor between that of a cruiser and a battleship would make De Zeven Provincien a very solid and survivable not-a-battleship.


2x 28cm (11")
4x 15cm (5.9")
10x 75mm (2.95")
4x 1pdr

Armed with two 11" guns mounted in single turrets afore and aft, De Zeven Provincien carried a serious punch for her tonnage. They had a maximum range of 16.100 meters (10 miles) and elevation ranges between -4 and +15 degrees. Their mounts had a traverse angle of +/- 120 degrees off the longitudinal. These guns were 42.5 calibers long and fired a 302kg projectile at 845 mps. We can get a very good idea of their performance by comparing them to guns that are already in the game, on the Nassau. These guns which were 45 calibers long and fired a similar 302kg shell at 855 mps.

The secondaries consisted of 4x 15cm guns in single mounts, 10x 75mm guns in single mounts and 4x 1pdr guns. Unfortunately a cursory search didn't turn up much information about these guns. Moving on.


De Zeven Provincien managed only 16 knots, a pretty bad speed when compared to ships in WoWS. She was, however, very fat for her length, meaning that she would probably have a very good turning circle.


De Zeven Provincien is positively tiny. She measured 101.5m long with a 17m beam and a 6.15m draft. This makes her smaller than many destroyers, especially the high tier ones. Length-wise for example she's on par with the Kamikaze class. Height-wise De Zeven Provincien is also very compact and low to the surface, with her highest point other than her masts being her funnels. This I think would lead to an excellent concealment rating of around 6km by surface and 3.5km by air.
De Zeven Provincien in 1910

Final thoughts:

How to classify coastal defense ships within WoWS terms? They're certainly not destroyers or carriers, so that rules them out. They're not battleships, being too soft, too light and having too low firepower. But they're not cruisers either, being too slow, and very well armored relative to cruisers of their tonnage. De Zeven Provincien's armament also makes her difficult to place. She has very powerful 280mm rifles, but only two of them, and in separate mounts. She wouldn't fit as battleship in this game really, with even Mikasa having more armor, more speed and more than double her firepower. But would she work as a cruiser, at all? Still, however you classify them and however you tier them, they would represent a very unique playstyle in WoWS.

I don't believe this ship would work within World of Warships. Her armor and tonnage would hint at a tiering her armament doesn't really support. Not to mention that her speed would be just too low. Still, it's an interesting ship that deserves discussion.

"But where would you put her in the game if you had to?"

If I had to? Tier 3 cruiser. I'd give her a single cruiser-type healing potion like on Atago and T9+ CA's, to honor her in-between design philosophy, sharing characteristics of both battleships and cruisers. Lower tiers and cruisers would need to treat her as a battleship, battleships could treat her as a cruiser. Maybe give her 10km range, with a 36s turret rotation. Accuracy? ROF? I'll let wiser men than me decide those things.