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Fr05ty's attempt at divination: Italian Cruiser Tech Tree!1/23/2018 12:18:21 PM
Published By: Fr05ty
Hello there! Welcome to a post where I decide to stop doing single ADLAs on ships and instead try my best at guessing what a tech-tree line might look like. Here's my proposal for the Italian Cruisers tech-tree line (I'll do another article with the premiums). This line holds particular significance to me as my family's Italian and the Tier 10 is my favourite cruiser design so far.

Italian Regia Marina

 

Cruisers

Flavour

Italian Cruisers have several defining features that should make them stand out:

  • High velocity AP shells & SAP HE shells with poor fire chance but improved penetration

  • High speed

  • Spaced armour (internal armour belts)

  • Lightly armoured at low tiers transitioning to very heavily armoured at higher tiers

  • Excellent concealment (2nd best in class)

  • Low rate of fire

  • Poor AA

  • Mediocre torpedoes

  • Lower HE than AP shell weight (~10-15%) providing different ballistic properties

  • Defensive AA Fire and Hydroacoustic Search in separate slots


Tier

CL

CA

Prem.

1

Eritrea Colonial Sloop


2

Nino Bixio


Quarto (CL)

3

Esploratori


San Giorgio (CA)

4

Giussano / Luigi Cadorna


Etna (CL) / OTO Scout Cruiser (CL)

5

Raimundo Montecuccoli


Trento (CA)

6

Giuseppe Garibaldi


Duca d’Aosta (CL)

7


Zara

Bolzano (CA)

8


Super Zara

Ansaldo for Spain (CL)

9


Pordenone


10


Udine


Tech-Tree Cruisers

Eritrea class Colonial Sloop (T1)

A sloop meant for colonial duties in North Africa, the Eritrea featured a novel diesel-electric machinery outfit. It an extensive engineering workshop on board to provide repair support to Italian submarines.

Survivability

Displacement: 2,200t standard; 3,117t full (6,950hp standard; 7,800p full)

Armour: 25-32mm, 100mm conning tower

Weaponry

Main Battery: 2x2 120mm/45 Schneider-Canet-Armstrong M1918 (ROF: 5-6, AP: 2000)

Reload: 8.57s (7)

HE Shell: 22kg @750m/s (800 damage, 7% fire)

Traverse: ? degrees per second (?s per 180 degrees)

AA Battery: 2x1 40mm Vickers M1917 (11dps @2km), 4x1 13.2mm/76 Breda 1931 (11dps @1.2km)

Mobility

Speed: 20kts - 9,100hp

Size: 96.9m long, 13.3m wide, 4.7m deep

Consumables

Consumables: Standard

Notes:

  • HE shell damage is estimated, there’s no information on shell bursting charge

  • ROF will probably have to be buffed

Analysis

The Eritrea is only going to be used for only a couple of battles and it won’t blow anybody away, however it will have a few pros. It has some decent armour which means that HE at the tier will have some issues causing damage if it hits armour and it also has a very good health pool. The downsides to the Eritrea are its meager firepower and middling speed. Being strictly middle of the pack in terms of speed at 20 knots but with the slowest firing guns and not a particularly remarkable damage per shell or fire chance, the Eritrea will surely have to take advantage of its large hitpoint pool and armour to outlast its foes.


Nino Bixio class Protected Cruiser (T2)

Designed as a fleet scout for the navy, they were built for speed and to engage other lightly armoured ships. They had a high top speed for the time due to their turbine engines but were lightly armed and armoured.

Survivability

Displacement: 3,575t standard; 4,141t full (16,500hp standard; 17,500hp full)

Armour: 40mm deck, 100mm conning tower

Weaponry

Main Battery: 6x1 120mm/50 Ansaldo M1909

Reload: 10s (6)

AP Shell: 22.75kg @840m/s (2100 damage)

HE Shell: 22.75kg @840m/s (1600 damage, 6% fire)

Secondary Battery: 6x1 76mm/50 Vickers M1909

Reload: 6s (10)

HE Shell: 6kg @815m/s (1000 damage, 3% fire)

AA Battery: 2x1 40mm Vickers M1917 (11dps @2km)

Mobility

Speed: 27.5kts - 22,500hp

Size: 140.3m long, 13m wide, 4.1m deep

Consumables

Consumables: Standard

Notes:

  • Only improvements in B hull are rudder shift, HP and the addition of the AA battery

Analysis

A rather unremarkable vessel beyond its speed, the Nino Bixio will have to make use of it to excel. This ship outpaces any of the other cruisers at the tier by at least 1.5 knots which should allow it to dictate which engagements to get into and disengage if it comes under heavy fire. The protection that the Nino has is adequate, though not spectacular and it has a very average amount of hitpoints for a tier 2 cruiser. A key area for any ship is its firepower and though it would seem that the Nino is terribly under armed, it has the advantage of having a rather good gun placement which allows at least 3 guns to fire to the front or rear and a full broadside of 5 guns to be unleashed. This gun placement means that although the guns individually aren’t fast-firing or heavy-hitting, you’ll always have enough guns available to make yourself a nuisance and keep firing back while weaving and dodging. Don’t expect the Nino Bixio to be a great tier 2 cruiser, but it will be decent enough that you won’t mind too much the few games you’ll spend in it.


Esploratori class Scout Cruiser (T3)

A light cruiser project incorporating the lessons learnt from the First World War. It was comparable to contemporary designs of foreign navies but with a heavy reliance on its torpedo armament. The inclusion of single torpedo tubes in the bow was unique to this light cruiser design.


Survivability

Displacement: t standard; 4,750t full (18,700hp full)

Armour: 50mm belt, 50mm bulkheads, 25mm deck

Weaponry

Main Battery: 6x1 150mm/47 Skoda

Reload: 10s (6)

AP Shell: 45.5kg @880m/s (3000 damage)

HE Shell: 45.5kg @880m/s (2000 damage, 8% fire)

Torpedo Battery: 2x3 450mm & 4x1 450mm torpedoes

Model: 450mm Mk7

Warhead: 145kg (8433 damage, 134% flooding)

Speed: 55kts @4.6km

AA Battery: 5x1 40mm Vickers M1917 (29dps @2km)

Mobility

Speed: 29kts - 42,070hp

Size: 130m long, 14.6m wide, 4.8m deep

Consumables

Consumables: Standard

Notes:

  1. http://imgur.com/a/R7S4E Variant 2

  2. Module to allow changing 450mm torpedoes for 533mm torpedoes (No information on Italian 533mm torpedoes of the time)

Analysis

The Esploratori keeps the trait of speed that is shared by all Italian cruisers, being tied for 3rd fastest cruiser at the tier and having a good reason to use this speed. The presence of superfiring guns to the front and the rear means that running away or chasing down enemies, you’ll have a couple of pretty good guns ready to fire. Your most important feature is that you have four single torpedo tubes pointing to the bow which means that charging headlong to enemies and bouncing their shots off of your 50mm armour belt and then unleashing a hail of torpedoes at short range is actually a viable tactic. If those 4 torpedoes didn’t do the job, you can wiggle a bit more and fire another triple launcher to finish the job. The Esploratori is going to be a blast to play for anybody who enjoys a gung-ho style of play where it rushes in, delivers a bunch of torpedoes and retreats to do this again, though you’ll have to be very careful in using your armour to survive repeated engagements like these as you have below average hitpoints.


Condottieri class Light Cruiser (T4)

A set of light cruisers with extremely high speed but little protection to counter destroyers of foreign navies. They formed the basis of all Italian light cruisers to come, featuring superfiring turrets and a small torpedo suite. Minor improvements over the first batch featured improved hull strength and more modern artillery.

Survivability

Displacement: 5,232t standard; 7,080t full (19,600hp standard; 23,000hp full)

Armour: 24+18mm belt, 20mm bulkheads, 40mm turrets, 20mm barbettes, 20mm deck, 70-25mm conning tower

Weaponry

Main Battery: 4x2 152mm/53 Ansaldo M1929

Reload: 11s (5.5)

AP Shell: 47.5kg @850m/s (3000 damage)

HE Shell: 44.3kg @950m/s (2100 damage, 7%)

Traverse: 6 degrees per second (30s per 180 degrees)

Secondary Battery: 3x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns

Reload: 6s (10)

HE Shell: 13.8kg @850m/s (1500 damage, 6% fire)

Torpedo Battery: 2x2 533mm torpedoes

Model: 533mm Si 270

Warhead: 270kg (13367 damage, 220% flooding)

Speed: 66kts @4km

AA Battery: 3x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns (19.8dps @4km), 4x2 37mm/54 M1932 AA guns (46.4dps @3.5km), 4x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935 AA guns (13.6dps @2km), 4x2 13.2mm/76 Breda M1931 Machineguns (16.4dps @1.2km)

Mobility

Speed: 37kts - 95,000hp

Size: 169.3m long, 15.5m wide, 5.5m deep

Consumables

Consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party

  • Standard Hydroacoustic Search

  • 2 Seaplanes (Catapult Fighter / Spotter Aircraft)

Notes:

  • This is a mashup of the Alberto da Giussano and the Luigi Cadorna groups of the Condottieri class

  • Modules:

    • Alberto da Giussano is the A hull

    • Luigi Cadorna is the B hull (Improves HP, turret & CT armour, rudder shift, AA & changes Catapult Fighter for Spotter Aircraft consumable)

    • Stock guns are the M26 (ROF: 4, AP: Duca’s)

    • Upgraded guns are the M29 (ROF: 5-8, AP: 3000, improved Krupp)

Analysis

The Condottieri is the first ship in the line to use spaced armour and it’s just thick enough that it can bounce up to 343mm shells in its belt. It combines incredible speed at 37kts with spaced armour that might end up bouncing almost anything that you might encounter in your matchmaking bracket if you angle properly and get lucky; though HE and anything that doesn’t auto-bounce will definitely penetrate and hurt. Offensively, the Condottieri has decent gunnery for its tier, with a good arrangement of guns in twin superfiring turrets which means that it can bring all its guns to bear to its broadside and at least half of its firepower to any angle. The weak spot for its guns are the slow speed and low damage of its AP shells and the poor fire chance of its HE shells which mean it will struggle against targets which angle against it. The torpedoes it carries are powerful and quick, but short-ranged and few in number, though the high speed of the Condottieri might mean you get to use them often in the confined spaces of low-tier battles. Defensively, the Condottieri has a rather small hitpoint pool and armour incapable of stopping any shells except those which auto-bounce, so the use of speed to weave and dodge incoming shells will be paramount to surviving. The one thing that the Condottieri will excel at is its AA suite, which is more than capable of punishing tier 4 and 5 aircraft that get close to it. Overall, it’s a very fragile, but very fast ship that sets the tone for the Italian light cruisers.


Raimondo Montecuccoli class Light Cruiser (T5)

Survivability

Displacement: 7,523t standard; 8,994t full (23,900hp standard; 26,600hp full)

Armour: 60+25mm belt, 40-20mm bulkheads, 70mm turrets, 50-30mm barbettes, 30mm deck, 100mm conning tower

Weaponry

Main Battery: 4x2 152mm/53 Ansaldo M1929

Reload: 8s (7.5)

AP Shell: 47.5kg @850m/s (3000 damage)

HE Shell: 44.3kg @950m/s (2100 damage, 7%)

Traverse: 6 degrees per second (30s per 180 degrees)

Secondary Battery: 3x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns

Reload: 6s (10)

HE Shell: 13.8kg @850m/s (1500 damage, 6% fire)

Torpedo Battery: 2x2 533mm torpedoes

Model: 533mm Si 270

Warhead: 270kg (13367 damage, 220% flooding)

Speed: 66kts @4km

AA Battery: 3x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns (19.8dps @4km), 4x2 37mm/54 M1932 AA guns (46.4dps @3.5km), 10x1 20mm/70 Oerlikon autocannons (36dps @2km)

Mobility

Speed: 37kts - 106,000hp

Size: 182.2m long, 16.6m wide, 5.6m deep

Consumables

Consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party

  • Standard Hydroacoustic Search

  • 2 Seaplanes (Spotter Aircraft)

Notes:

Analysis

The Raimondo Montecuccoli is not going to be the best cruiser at its tier due to several shortcomings in its offensive capabilities. The Montecuccoli has an HE shell which has a very low fire chance and sub-par damage which means that it will struggle to damage anything that angles against her or that she can’t penetrate with her AP shells. Furthermore, the low muzzle velocity and weight of her shells means that their arcs will be harsh and penetration will be quite poor for the AP shells. The torpedoes themselves will not offer much solace, being rather short ranged and a couple on each broadside, being mostly a weapon of last resort. The Montecuccoli’s redeeming features are its spaced armour layout which strongly resembles the Duca d’Aosta’s (if only slightly weaker), its great speed, maneuverability and decent AA suite. The armour should ensure that any enemy cruiser firing at you should bounce if properly angled, and even battleship shells might bounce if they strike your main armour belt or your inner belt; as always, the weakest and most unreliable part of the armour scheme are the extremities as they will be overmatched by any shells larger than 170mm. The combination of the amazing 37kts speed, a decent armour belt and good maneuverability should ensure that so long as the Montecuccoli stays at range weaving and dodging, she should make her hitpoint pool (which is rather average) last for quite a while. As far as AA is concerned, it is a decent AA suite, though it doesn’t mean you’ll shoot down many airplanes as all AA suites are rather poor at tier 5. The Montecuccoli is going to be a rather average ship and might be a hard grind for some, but it sure is better than the Emerald.


Duca degli Abruzzi class Light Cruiser (T6)

Survivability

Displacement: 9,440t standard; 11,575t full (27,500hp standard; 31,500hp full)

Armour: 100+30mm belt, 100+30mm bulkheads, 135mm turrets, 100-30mm barbettes, 40+15-10mm deck, 140mm conning tower

Weaponry

Main Battery: 2x3 152mm/55 Ansaldo M1934, 2x2 152mm/55 Ansaldo M1934

Reload: 12s (5)

AP Shell: 50kg @910m/s (3100 damage)

HE Shell: 44.4kg @945m/s (2100 damage, 7% fire)

Secondary Battery: 4x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns

Reload: 6s (10)

HE Shell: 13.8kg @850m/s (1500 damage, 6% fire)

Torpedo Battery: 2x3 533mm torpedoes

Model: 533mm Si 270

Warhead: 270kg (13367 damage, 220% flooding)

Speed: 56kts @8km

AA Battery: 4x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns (26.4dps @4km), 4x2 37mm/54 M1932 AA guns (46.4dps @3.5km), 4x2 20mm/65 autocannons (13.6dps @2km), 2x1 20mm/65 autocannons (4.8dps @2km)

Mobility

Speed: 34kts - 100,000hp

Size: 187m long, 18.9 wide, 6.8m deep

Consumables

Consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party

  • Standard Hydroacoustic Search

  • Defensive AA Fire

  • 4 Seaplanes (Spotter Aircraft)

Notes:

  • There’s a C hull that’s a sidegrade:

    • Removes: Torpedo tubes, 2x2 100mm/47, 4x2 37mm/54, 4x2 20mm/65, 2x1 20mm/65

    • AA suite: 2x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns (13.2dps @4km), 4x4 40mm/56 Bofors Mk2 (63.6dps @3.5km), 4x2 40mm/56 Bofors Mk1 (45.2dps @3.5km)

Analysis

The Duca degli Abruzzi offers a marked improvement ballistics-wise over the previous ships in the line. The improved 152mm guns of the Duca degli Abruzzi fire a heavier shell with a higher muzzle velocity that makes hitting targets easier and their penetration is very good for the shell type. The improved shells however still don’t improve the HE performance so a masterful use of the HE and AP shells for each situation will be required to get the best out of the Duca degli Abruzzi. The cost for the improvement in penetration, ballistics and reliability however is a slightly lower DPM capability than its tier 5 counterpart, the Raimondo Montecuccoli. The Duca degli Abruzzi also gets an extra torpedo tube per launcher and double the torpedo range, albeit at a lower torpedo speed, that should enable their use as offensive weapons instead of a last-ditch option. The best quality of the Duca degli Abruzzi is most likely to be its robust armour scheme, with a 100mm external belt backed by a 30mm internal belt providing a decent torpedo damage reduction, it’s unlikely that cruisers will be able to citadel it unless a full broadside is shown and it will repel any battleship fire so long as it’s angled. The Duca degli Abruzzi’s armour, which includes a 40mm armoured deck, and its 31,500 hitpoint pool means that if it is played cautiously or against single enemies, it will be extremely tough to hurt and will get enough time to deliver pain to its enemies. Overall, the Duca degli Abruzzi starts to show the best qualities of the Italian cruiser line, with decent guns, exceptionally tough armour and good speed. It might need an ahistorical rate of fire buff to be competitive though.


Zara class Heavy Cruiser (T7)

Survivability

Displacement: 11,900t standard; 14,560t full (32,100hp standard; 37,100hp full)

Armour: 150-100mm belt, 150-120mm turrets, 150-140mm barbettes, 70mm deck

Weaponry

Main Battery: 4x2 203mm/53 M1927

Reload: 15.8-30s (2-3.8)

AP Shell: 125.3kg @900m/s (4900 damage)

HE Shell: 110.57kg @940m/s (2900 damage, 13% fire)

Traverse: 6 degrees per second (30s per 180 degrees)

Secondary Battery: 6x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns

Reload: 6s (10)

HE Shell: 13.8kg @850m/s (1500 damage, 6% fire)

AA Battery: 6x2 100mm/47 M1927 DP guns (39.6dps @4km), 6x2 37mm/54 M1932 AA guns (69.6dps @3.5km), 4x2 20mm/65 autocannons (20.4dps @2km), 2x1 20mm/65 autocannons (4.8dps @2km), 4x2 13.2mm/76 Breda M1931 Machineguns (16.4dps @1.2km)

Mobility

Speed: 33.5kts - 95,000hp

Size: 182.2m long, 20.6m wide, 7.2m deep

Consumables

Consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party

  • Standard Hydroacoustic Search

  • Defensive AA Fire

  • 2 Seaplanes (Spotter Aircraft)

Notes:

Analysis

The Zara class was the contemporary rival of the French Algerie class and it is a mighty contender. The Zara class is probably going to be the most durable cruiser of its tier with superb defensive qualities; it has the second largest hitpoint pool of a tier 7 cruiser, 2100 hitpoints behind the Myoko and 1400 hitpoints ahead of the Belfast, the thickest belt armour, a 30mm upper belt, a 70mm armoured deck, a 20mm upper deck and an overall battleship-style armour layout. Offensively, the Zara has the all too common four twin turrets housing 203mm guns, but it does not have any torpedoes to supplement them. The guns themselves have excellent ballistics, firing a relatively heavy shell at a high muzzle velocity should make gunnery comfortable even at long ranges, their AP damage is only second to the Yorck, their HE damage is only second to the Myoko. The downside for these guns is the below average chance of causing a fire with their HE shells and their low rate of fire, standing at only 3.8 rounds per minute historically; this is obviously something that can be buffed if needed. The Zara’s speed is pretty good, being the third best at its tier with a decent 33.5 knots and it should be pretty nimble. As all high-tier Italian ships, the Zara’s AA suite was not modernized past Italy’s capitulation in World War II and thus she’ll need an artificial refit to make sure she’s competitive. The Zara is hampered by her lack of torpedoes, but it should be capable of compensating for this with all her other tools, especially if the guns receive a rate of fire buff.


Super Zara class Heavy Cruiser (T8)

This is mostly the Zara class cruiser design before they started reducing its weight to make it fit with Washington Treaty requirements. Amongst the differences between the Zara that was built and its original designs were a thicker armour belt (200mm instead of 150mm), triple torpedo tubes (2x3 533mm torpedoes as usual), 2500t larger displacement and a more seaworthy hull.

Analysis

The Super Zara class takes what the Zara did and pumps it up to eleven! The 150mm thick belt is now 200mm thick, which is only 54mm thinner than the battleship Amagi’s! It now gets several thousand more hp, the torpedoes it was missing and a larger hull capable of carrying more AA weaponry. The 200mm belt means that no tier 8 cruiser can penetrate it at ranges over 15km even while showing a perfect broadside, and no 6” armed cruiser can penetrate that belt at ranges of 8km or greater; in fact, if the ship is angled, you are nearly immune to any sort of cruiser fire from ranges greater than 8km. The offensive capabilities are the same as the Zara’s, but are now supplemented by triple torpedo launchers on each side with torpedoes that reach to 8 or 12km. This is essentially an improved Zara in every defensive and offensive capability, and what worked with the Zara will work even better with this. Angling will let you bounce battleship shells, cruisers will dread to shoot AP at you, and even the shots that do penetrate will be absorbed by your large hitpoint pool. These great defensive capabilities are essential because offensively you will not be able to outgun many foes, despite the improvements over the Zara, your firepower is lower than the notoriously weak Admiral Hipper’s. Yet another cruiser that shows the resilience of Italian cruisers, their great capabilities and flaws.


Pordenone (Ansaldo for Spain) class Heavy Cruiser (T9)

This design was a proposal for the Spanish Navy for a new class of heavy cruiser. It was not bound by the limitations of the Washington Treaty and incorporated an improved main battery arrangement. Its large dimensions and offensive capabilities would have made it one of the most powerful cruisers of its era.

Survivability

Displacement: 16,000t standard; 19,500?t full (39,800hp standard; 46,300hp full)

Armour: 150mm belt, 150-140mm barbettes, 70mm deck, 25mm upper deck, 120-90mm bulkheads, 150mm conning tower, 50mm extremities, 30mm side plating

Weaponry

Main Battery: 3x3 203mm/55 M1940 (Supercharged)

Reload: 13.3s (4.5)

AP Shell: 125.3kg @930m/s (5000 damage)

HE Shell: 110.57kg @960m/s (2900 damage, 13% fire)

Traverse: 6 degrees per second (30s per 180 degrees)

Secondary Battery: 6x2 90mm/50 OTO M1939 guns

Reload: 5s (12)

HE Shell: 10.1kg @860m/s (1200 damage, 4% fire)

Torpedo Battery: 2x4 533mm torpedoes

Model: 533mm Si 270 (Improved)

Warhead: 270kg (13367 damage, 220% flooding)

Speed: 52kts @12km / 59kts @8km

AA Battery: 6x2 90mm/50 OTO M1939 AA guns (80.6dps @4km), 8x2 37mm/54 M1932 AA guns (92.8dps @3.5km), 4x2 20mm/65 autocannons (13.6dps @2km), 2x1 20mm/65 autocannons (4.8dps @2km)

Mobility

Speed: 37kts - 200,000hp

Size: 213.9m long, 22m wide, 6.65m deep

Consumables

Consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party

  • Standard Cruiser Repair Party

  • Standard Hydroacoustic Search

  • Defensive AA Fire

  • 2 Seaplanes (Catapult Fighter / Spotter Aircraft)

Notes:

Analysis

The Pordenone improves upon its predecessor in every single metric bar one, its belt armour. The Pordenone reduces the armour belt to the same thickness as the Zara which is 50mm thinner than the tier 8, although still a very good 150mm thick, but improves on protection elsewhere mostly by including 30mm plating on all the side of the ship and 50mm plating on the extremities. The 30mm plating on its sides can only be overmatched by Yamato’s 460mm guns and the Conqueror’s 457mm guns, meaning that you can bounce almost any kind of shellfire that comes your way if it strikes your sides at a ricochet angle, and you might even bounce them if it hits your main belt. This capability of bouncing enemy shells becomes even more pronounced at short ranges and when bow-on, as the 50mm plating on the extremities means that almost anything can be bounced and shells won’t hit the 25mm upper deck which could be penetrated by battleship-caliber AP rounds. Defensively, the Pordenone would be one of the toughest cruisers owing to its tough all-around armour scheme and a hit point pool which is only behind the Roon’s at the tier. Offensively, the Pordenone has improved over its predecessor by having an extra gun, their placement for an aggressive pursuit and their individual quality. The new model of guns didn’t have any specifications defined, but their longer barrel length would give them higher muzzle velocities, damage and most likely an increase in the rate of fire. The gunnery improvements are not enough to move the Pordenone from being the lowest DPM cruiser, but it is something compensated by the endurance of the ship. Other offensive improvements include the addition of a single torpedo to the torpedo launchers, making them into quadruple mounts, and the improvement in the ship’s speed to a best-in-tier 37knots. It is worth noting that the Pordenone will require an AA refit like all high-tier Italian cruisers, but she has plenty of deck space to accommodate quite a large AA suite to tailor the ship to the power level that Wargaming may find suitable; her main battery also elevates up to 70 degrees, so maybe it can be used as part of the AA suite... Overall, like its predecessors, the Pordenone is meant to outlast its opponents rather than destroying them in a series of quick punches; where other cruisers are lightweight boxers, the Pordenone is a heavyweight champion able to both take and dish out the pain.


Udine (Ansaldo for Russia) class Heavy Cruiser (T10)

A ship designed to be a super-cruiser unrestricted by treaty limitations and capable of defeating all other cruisers of its time. It featured larger guns than any other cruisers and an extremely powerful powerplant that enabled it to have a very high speed. Udine (Ansaldo’s 1936 project for a Russian cruiser) featured the best features of Italian engineering at the time.

Survivability

Displacement: 22,000t standard; 26,700t full (51,000hp standard; 59,800hp full)

Armour: 175mm belt, 50mm extremities, 40mm side plating, 125-100mm bulkheads, 45mm torpedo bulkhead, 190-120mm turrets, 70mm deck, 140mm conning tower, 20mm torpedo bulge

Weaponry

Main Battery: 3x3 254mm/55 M1942

Reload: 14.3s (4.2)

AP Shell: 245kg @920m/s (6800 damage)

HE Shell: 215kg @945m/s (3300 damage, 16% fire)

Traverse: 6 degrees per second (30s per 180 degrees)

Secondary Battery: 6x2 135mm/45 M1938 DP guns, 6x2 90mm/50 OTO M1939 DP guns

Reload: 8.57-10s (6-7) / 5s (12)

HE Shell: 32.7kg @825m/s (1700 damage, 7% fire) / 10.1kg @860m/s (1200 damage, 4% fire)

Torpedo Battery: 2x3 533mm torpedoes

Model: 533mm Si 270 (Improved)

Warhead: 270kg (13367 damage, 220% flooding)

Speed: 52kts @12km / 59kts @8km

AA Battery: 6x2 135mm/45 M1938 DP guns (48.6dps @5km), 6x2 90mm/50 OTO M1939 DP guns (80.6dps @4km), 14x2 37mm/54 M1938 AA guns (162.4dps @3.5km), 24x2 20mm/65 Breda M1935 autocannons (81.6 @2km)

Mobility

Speed: 37kts - 240,000hp

Size: 241.5m long, 28m wide, 7.45m deep

Consumables

Consumables:

  • Standard Damage Control Party

  • Standard Cruiser Repair Party

  • Standard Hydroacoustic Search

  • Defensive AA Fire

  • 4 Seaplanes (Catapult Fighter / Spotter Aircraft)

Notes:

Analysis

The Udine is the final development of the Italian cruiser line and it’s almost a mini battleship. Its massive dimensions, large caliber of main battery, large displacement and mixed caliber secondary battery are all features of contemporary Italian battleship designs and help make the Udine a proto-battleship. The Udine is slightly shorter than the notoriously massive Moskva (11m shorter), but it is wider than it (2.3m wider) and lighter (4,050t lighter at full load). In terms of the armour scheme, it’s unknown, however it would not surprise me if WG gave the Udine an armour scheme that was more reminiscent of an Italian battleship. This would mean an internal armour belt as one of the weight-saving measures and an exterior decapping plate, providing spaced armour. I would expect a maximum belt thickness between 175mm and 150mm with a ~30mm decapping plate in front of it and a ~40mm armour strake covering the extremities. Since this was a project for export it wouldn’t use the Pugliese torpedo protection system, instead relying on a more conventional system of bulkheads, void and liquid spaces. The large beam of the ship would mean that such a torpedo protection scheme would be very powerful indeed, possibly even stronger than the Moskva’s. All this and a very healthy hit point pool of almost 60k will make the Udine a rather tough cruiser to take down and would draw parallels with a battleship, or more appropriately a battlecruiser.

Offensively, the Udine has the largest guns carried by a cruiser, one of the largest secondary batteries and a bonus of triple torpedo tubes on each side. The main battery guns would be updated 254mm guns with the trademark features of Italian guns; great gunnery courtesy of a heavy shell and a high muzzle velocity, powerful AP shells, below average HE shells and a rather low rate of fire. These guns would be absolutely great for long-range attacks as not much lead would be needed to hit targets and enemies won’t have much time to react to the incoming shells; the only disadvantage is that against angled targets it’ll be hard-pressed to damage the enemy as the HE shells aren’t too powerful with a low fire chance and the low rate of fire limiting the number of fires you can set; British cruisers should be afraid of your guns as their caliber allows them to overmatch the 16mm plating that covers their extremities. Your weapons of last resort are your torpedoes, which reach a rather good 12km but are hampered by only having a single triple torpedo launcher per side, their low speed of 52kts and their low damage of 13,367, and your secondary battery which has a rather interesting mix of rapid-firing 90mm guns with low fire chance and which need IFHE to be able to damage even destroyers, and slower firing 135mm guns which still feature a rather low fire chance. You should be able to get out of most close range engagements though by simply fleeing as the Udine has a best-in-class speed of 37kts, though I suspect it might not be too agile.

All of these features seem to encourage the Udine to be played as a mid-to-long range fighter to get the best out of its great guns, using its speed to dictate the engagement distances, using its armour to bounce incoming shells that have lost penetration or to simply flee if overwhelmed. The AA suite is much better than previous ships in the line, though it could still use a refit by WG. Overall, the Udine is the reward for all the time spent on this line and it should be a unique experience to command it, having a proto-battlecruiser with so much firepower will mean that you should effectively outlast anything you can’t outrun.

 
 
Well, that's it for now! I'll add the premiums soon enough in another article. 
All images are property of their respective owners. Many thanks to: 
- The Shipbucket guys for all of their linear
- Stefano Sappino for his art on the Tier 9 Pordenone and his help with researching all this. I highly recommend that you check out his blog at Battleships and Knights as it has many great articles on both built and never-were ships.
-  Takács Zoltán (aka. Tzoli) for his glorious rendition of the Ansaldo for Russia design. Check out his Deviantart where he produces loads of great drawings on historical designs. You won't regret it!
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Fr05ty's Last 3 Articles and/or Reviews
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