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An in-depth proposal for Java as T3 premium Dutch CL by Lert on NA

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It was only a matter of time before Lert would write an article about one of the two Dutch cruisers that fought and were lost in the Battle of the Java Sea. Again all credits go to him, I merely copy-paste it with his permission to the EU forum.


With the recent announcement of a pan-european nation in the game, I thought it time to introduce another candidate for inclusion. This time, the Java class of Light cruisers.


Java herself, in 1921

In the early 1910s, the Dutch navy recognized a need to construct several new, up to date, light cruisers to patrol the Pacific ocean, near what was then the Dutch Indies. To this end, the Java class was designed by Germaniawerft in Kiel, Germany, to a design mandate that specified a ship potent enough to take on and out class the then recent Japanese Chikuma class. Three ships of a powerful, modern design were ordered. The first two ships designed and laid down in the Netherlands, a third and slightly larger version - to be named Celebes - was canceled before being laid down. Materials gathered for the construction of Celebes were later used in the construction of de Ruyter.

However, though modern and powerful when they were designed, there were several delays that pushed back their commissioning, and by the time the two ships of the Java class that were completed entered service they were outdated. These ships were:

  • HNLMS Java, laid down May 1916, commissioned May 1925, sunk February 1942
  • HNLMS Sumatra, laid down July 1916, commissioned May 1926, scuttled June 1944

After completion, Java herself sailed from the Netherlands to the Dutch Indies and arrived at Tanjung Priok on December 7th, 1925. She spent most of the years up to WWII patrolling the region, appearing at fleet events and fulfilling general PR functions. She appeared at fleet days in Surabaya, Tanjung Priok and Singapore. In 1937, during the Spanish civil war she undertook convoy escort duties in the straight of Gibraltar. In 1938 she collided with the Admiralenclass destroyer Piet Hein and underwent repairs in Surabaya. During WWII she performed escort duties in conjunction with British forces. She took part in the battle of Badung Strait which she survived unscathed, but during the Battle of the Java Sea she was hit by a torpedo from Nachi that blew off her stern, cut off her electrics and caused major flooding and damage. Fifteen minutes after the torpedo struck she sank, with 512 out of 526 crew not surviving the sinking.

Sumatra meanwhile deployed to Shanghai to attend to the rising tensions between Nationalists and Communists, in 1927. A landing party of 140 men from the ship took up position in Shanghai's business quarter. Afterwards, Sumatra returned to Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies on 12 May 1927. During an unspecified event one of her turbines was damaged, and she spent some time in Surabaya undergoing a refit and repair before returning to duty in 1930. However, a fire in a boiler room during post-refit trials saw her return to Surabaya for further repairs. Later refits saw her four 75mm AA guns replaced by six 40mm ones. She spent the rest of the pre-war years accompanying Java on various PR duties, until sailing for the Netherlands in 1939, just before the war broke out.

It was during WWII that Sumatra met her fate, though she survived longer than her ill-fated sister did. At the outbreak of war she sailed to England along with other remnants of the Dutch fleet still in national waters. There she was outfitted with a degaussing cable to help protect her against magnetic mines. She spent the early years of the war waiting for an extensive refit that never materialized, and in 1942 sailed for Ceylon, being capable of only 15 knots. Later in that same year she made her way back to Portsmouth where she was laid up. Problems with her propulsion prevented her from fulfilling front line duties. In 1944 Sumatra was scuttled off the coast of Normandy, and her 150mm guns were used to replace old, worn guns on Flores class gunboats.


HNLMS Sumatra sunk as block ship.

So what would these ships look like in game? For purposes of this thread I will treat them like tier 3 light cruisers.


  • 8087 tons full load.

This gives us 24.900 hit points rounded. A sizable chunk for tier 3, putting her ahead of most of her competition apart from St Louis, who still has just shy of 5.000 hit points on her.



Though this image shows the armor profile, it lacks the thickness values. For those, we look to Wikipedia, which gives us the following numbers:

  • 75mm belt
  • 25 to 50mm deck
  • 125mm conning tower
  • 100mm shields

Where I assume 'shields' means gun shields, for her main armament. Some values are not mentioned, like any upper belt, or the values of her turtleback armor. However, if we look at the design for de Ruyter, we find values of 13mm for the weather deck and 30mm for the turtleback. I find these values completely reasonable for use in Java. Finally, as a tier 3 light cruiser, she would have 6mm fore- and aft end plating.

This is a very soft armor profile, typical of the tier. Her turtleback would give her a small measure of longevity against cruiser AP, but with an above water citadel she would not be very survivable. Only at close-ish range and against cruiser level AP would her armor profile give her a small measure of resilience. For the rest, fairly typical of the type and tier.

Main armament:

  • 10x Bofors 150mm /50

These are nominally the same guns as found on de Ruyter. However, they use an older mount and are listed with a slightly lower rate of fire of 5rpm, for a 12 second reload. Plus, despite the fact that 10x 150mm sounds pretty potent, the layout of the guns - two superfiring afore, two superfiring aft, six in wing mounts, three a side - means that she could only bring 7 to bear to a broadside.

If we take de Ruyter's values for damage and fire chance and account for the general build of the ship, including the height of the main fire director, we get the following values:

  • 12s reload
  • 22.5s traverse time
  • 900 mps muzzle velocity
  • 2200 HE dmg, 12% fire chance
  • 3100 AP dmg
  • 12.5km range
  • 119m dispersion
  • 77.000 broadside HE DPM
  • 108.500 broadside AP DPM

These are low DPM numbers for tier 3 light cruisers, barely keeping pace with those found on Tenryu, which has torpedoes to supplement her gunnery. However, if we think back to de Ruyter, I gave her improved autobounce angles and a shorter fuse time to increase the effectiveness of her gunnery, based on the fact that she carried British made shells. I believe that it wouldn't be out of place to implement the same values here. After all, they use essentially the same gun, with the same shells. As far as I know, Java and Sumatra also used British made 150mm shells during the second world war.

  • 5ms fuse time (compared to 33ms on normal cruiser AP)
  • 60 ~ 75 degree ricochet angles before normalization (compared to 45 ~ 60 on normal cruiser AP)

This I believe would give her AP a nudge in efficiency, allowing Java to make herself count despite a relatively low DPM.

Auxilliary armament:

  • 8x Bofors 40mm for 61 dps at 3.5km
  • 8x .50 M2 MG for 30 dps at 1.2km

Java received 8x Bofors 40mm during her service, Sumatra 6x. As far as I can tell, both ships carried eight Browning .50. This is a very decent AA suite for tier 3, mostly owing to the ships being in service during WWII while tiered to fight WWI ships.


  • 31 knots

These ships managed 31 knots out of their triple shaft, 73.000 shp drive train. Being larger and considerably heavier than, say, Tenryu class cruisers, I would give them more sluggish agility than their Japanese tier-mates:

  • 580m turn radius
  • 56s rudder shift


A fairly large cruiser for her tier, this would show in her concealment.

  • 9.5km by sea
  • 5.4km by air


Standard tier 3 cruiser Damage Control Party. Nothing else really needed. The historical ship carried planes, but as far as I know, no steam catapult was carried. Instead the planes were lifted overboard and took off from the water. I don't think a plane consumable is needed at the tier, so I wouldn't give Java one.

Upgrade slots:

Tier 3 standard, two slots, the 125k and 250k options.


Play style:

She would play like a fast, flexible light cruiser with broadside alpha rather than DPM. Every other cruiser at tier would fire faster than her, and she'd be lagging a bit in DPM causing her to lose any direct slugging match with a same tiered cruiser, thus relying on range and mobility to keep enemy fire off of her. She'd be an opportunist, staying at range and raining down shells on otherwise pre-occupied targets. Conversely she can close in and stay angled, making her turtleback armor and improved AP performance count against same tier, same type ships. Her consumables wouldn't give her an edge in any engagement. For the most part she'd offer a very straight-forward play style.

Elephant in the room:

I find it funny that in the 20 years between Java's design being finalized and de Ruyter being built, we went from an 8000-ish ton, 30-odd knot, soft, light cruiser with 7x 150mm broadside to a .... 8000-ish ton, 30-odd knot, soft, light cruiser with a 7x 150mm broadside. Realistically if you massage Java's reload to, say, 9 seconds, she'd make a better fit at tier 4 than de Ruyter would, and be more era appropriate, to boot. This really goes to show what a bad design de Ruyter really is, when a ship 20 years her senior is, in most respects, also her equal. And that's with a ship that was considered outdated when she was commissioned, like Java was.


So in short:


  • More competitive design for her era than her more famous counterpart de Ruyter
  • Heavy broadside
  • Fast
  • Has the pedigree / tragic history
  • Good AA
  • Lots of information available on her design
  • Turtleback armor


  • Very low tier
  • Not very flexible in terms of armaments
  • Fairly standard, offers nothing novel
  • Limited use as captain training ship, both due to tier and to nationality

What would she cost, if implemented at tier 3?

Peanuts. About $10 for the bare ship with port slot. Hell, make her a reward ship.

What camouflage would she wear?

Best I can find out, this is what she wore when sunk in 1942:


(click for exceedingly, obnoxiously hyoog version)


I had to squint at the full sized image to find (all the guns). It's like Where's Waldo but with Bofors.

- LittleWhiteMouse, 2018

This camo would have the standard bonuses:

  • -3% detectability by sea
  • +4% dispersion incoming fire
  • -10% post-battle service cost
  • +50% XP

In closing:

Thank you for reading this, thanks to @LittleWhiteMouse for helping me nail down the format for these threads and some details for Java, @Fr05ty for helping me nail down statistics and @Snowyskies for helping me find design schematics.

Sources used:


Maybe not the most interesting ship because of her tier, but it's one of the better known Dutch ships. Besides, she saw action and that's something we don't always see with new releases.

  • Cool 4

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