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Were these Royal Navy Cruisers squishy in reality?

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Just curious if the very weak survivability is actually something that is historically true, that these Royal Navy cruisers we have in the game were really squishy in reality aswell?

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I am not an expert on RN, but I have read quite a few books on WW2 naval warfare over the years (and decades :bajan:). From what I can tell, RN cruisers were on the squishy side, yes.

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In game they are not more squishy than other cruisers.

 

I dunno, Leander sure does feel alot more squishy than Cleveland...

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I dunno, Leander sure does feel alot more squishy than Cleveland...

 

Cleveland is a well armoured cruiser from the 1940s. Leander is a treaty cruiser from 1931. Cleveland is going to have a lot more armour, but she should be moved to tier 8 when a USN CL line gets into the game. 

Leander, Fiji and Edinburgh are roughly well armoured for their tiers, though the bow overpens negate their armour. Weymouth is alright, and Caledon, Danae and Emerald don't benefit from having the fore and aft magazines removed from the citadel hit box like Kuma and Tenryu do. 

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Just curious if the very weak survivability is actually something that is historically true, that these Royal Navy cruisers we have in the game were really squishy in reality aswell?

 

If I remember correctly RN cruiser in real life had the lowest hitpoints.

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Survivability and damage models are amongst the least realistic elements of this game. Don't worry too much about it...

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Just curious if the very weak survivability is actually something that is historically true, that these Royal Navy cruisers we have in the game were really squishy in reality aswell?

 

No, they were not - they were actually rather sturdy compared to many of their contemporaries.  Consider the fearsome pounding HMS Exeter suffered at the hands of the Admiral Graf Spee.

 

First of all, it should be noted that all the RN cruisers were Washington treaty compliant, so they couldn't displace more than 10,000 tons (and the Crown Colony class were 2nd London Treaty compliant, which restricted them to 8000 tons).  Most of the well armoured cruisers of other nations were either deliberately in breach of the treaty restrictions (for example the Hippers, Zaras and Takaos) or built after the treaties had lapsed (for example the Clevelands and Baltimores).  When you have more tonnage to play with, it's easier to build a well protected ship however, there's only so much you can do with a treaty restricted design and the Town class (represented by Edinburgh in the game) were realistically as tough a 10,000 ton cruiser could be while still carrying an effective armament at a useful speed.

 

The German light cruisers were structurally weak and very fragile, the Japanese cruisers proved to be particularly vulnerable thanks to highly explosive nature of their torpedoes and the French and Italian light cruisers were notoriously thin skinned.  I don't know much about the Russian cruisers because they were utterly irrelevant to the naval war and never achieved anything of note.  On the other hand the US built pretty durable cruisers, even when restricted to 10,000 tons,

 

The RN lost a fair number of cruisers in WWII, but that was because they put them to hard work rather than because they were fragile.  If you frequently expose your ships to danger, you will inevitably loose some.  However, generally speaking RN cruisers did not go down quickly or easily.

Edited by Getzamatic
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British navy were also concerned with numbers, so they built the 6-inch cruisers which were smaller, cheaper but adequate for the job. Also bear in mind that the f.e. Italian early light cruisers were also small.


 

The later French (f.e. La Galissonniere) and Italian light crutsers (f.e.Luigi Di Savoia) were better armored and larger


 

IJN/USN never bothered with smaller cruisers after WNTin the 20's and 30's, although later Japan built Agano-class to replace the Kuma and relatives. Mogami and Brooklyn were more a test of building 6-inch guns (15) on a Heavy cruiser hull and was an entirely different concept. USN later built Atlanta.


 

So it is about cost and one other thing is how expendable they are. If you build 10.000 tons cruisers instead of 6000 tons they are both more expensive and may be more difficult to risk. Also they are too big to work with destroyer flotillas.


 

So Leander would better be placed as a tier 5.


 

Recommend you read Jordan: Warships after Washington


 

One thing is that RN cruisers was designed to protect the vast empire in contrast with for example IJN and RM so other qualities were relevant than is useful in WOWS or in direct combat. Seaworthiness, reliabilty, habitability etc.

Crew training etc.

Edited by Gnirf
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The later French (f.e. La Galissonniere) and Italian light crutsers (f.e.Luigi Di Savoia) were better armored and larger

 

So Leander would better be placed as a tier 5.

 

 

Ehhh, No. La Galissoniere and the Italian d'Aostas (Except Abruzzi) are not especially better armoured. And they are not bigger either. As well as this, they are from roughly the same time period as well. 

 

Leander is a tier 6, you need to get that Leander is a tier 5 out of your head. The only reason you would think she is a tier 5 is because of the power creep with the two Russian cruisers sitting at tier 6. And to a lesser extent Konigsberg at tier 5. 

 

Leander, La Galissoniere, and D'Aosta ideally would all be at tier 6, though if that were to happen, then WG would need to reverse the power creep, and nerf Budyonny. 

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No, they were not - they were actually rather sturdy compared to many of their contemporaries.  Consider the fearsome pounding HMS Exeter suffered at the hands of the Admiral Graf Spee.

 

First of all, it should be noted that all the RN cruisers were Washington treaty compliant, so they couldn't displace more than 10,000 tons (and the Crown Colony class were 2nd London Treaty compliant, which restricted them to 8000 tons).  Most of the well armoured cruisers of other nations were either deliberately in breach of the treaty restrictions (for example the Hippers, Zaras and Takaos) or built after the treaties had lapsed (for example the Clevelands and Baltimores).  When you have more tonnage to play with, it's easier to build a well protected ship however, there's only so much you can do with a treaty restricted design and the Town class (represented by Edinburgh in the game) were realistically as tough a 10,000 ton cruiser could be while still carrying an effective armament at a useful speed.

 

The German light cruisers were structurally weak and very fragile, the Japanese cruisers proved to be particularly vulnerable thanks to highly explosive nature of their torpedoes and the French and Italian light cruisers were notoriously thin skinned.  I don't know much about the Russian cruisers because they were utterly irrelevant to the naval war and never achieved anything of note.  On the other hand the US built pretty durable cruisers, even when restricted to 10,000 tons,

 

The RN lost a fair number of cruisers in WWII, but that was because they put them to hard work rather than because they were fragile.  If you frequently expose your ships to danger, you will inevitably loose some.  However, generally speaking RN cruisers did not go down quickly or easily.

 

View PostGnirf, on 23 October 2016 - 12:18 AM, said:

British navy were also concerned with numbers, so they built the 6-inch cruisers which were smaller, cheaper but adequate for the job. Also bear in mind that the f.e. Italian early light cruisers were also small.


 

The later French (f.e. La Galissonniere) and Italian light crutsers (f.e.Luigi Di Savoia) were better armored and larger


 

IJN/USN never bothered with smaller cruisers after WNTin the 20's and 30's, although later Japan built Agano-class to replace the Kuma and relatives. Mogami and Brooklyn were more a test of building 6-inch guns (15) on a Heavy cruiser hull and was an entirely different concept. USN later built Atlanta.


 

So it is about cost and one other thing is how expendable they are. If you build 10.000 tons cruisers instead of 6000 tons they are both more expensive and may be more difficult to risk. Also they are too big to work with destroyer flotillas.


 

So Leander would better be placed as a tier 5.


 

Recommend you read Jordan: Warships after Washington


 

One thing is that RN cruisers was designed to protect the vast empire in contrast with for example IJN and RM so other qualities were relevant than is useful in WOWS or in direct combat. Seaworthiness, reliabilty, habitability etc.

Crew training etc.

 

 

Ehhh, No. La Galissoniere and the Italian d'Aostas (Except Abruzzi) are not especially better armoured. And they are not bigger either. As well as this, they are from roughly the same time period as well. 

 

Leander is a tier 6, you need to get that Leander is a tier 5 out of your head. The only reason you would think she is a tier 5 is because of the power creep with the two Russian cruisers sitting at tier 6. And to a lesser extent Konigsberg at tier 5. 

 

Leander, La Galissoniere, and D'Aosta ideally would all be at tier 6, though if that were to happen, then WG would need to reverse the power creep, and nerf Budyonny. 

 

 

 

That is the kind of reply I wanted, very detailed and informative thank you. I might have forgotten to quote one of the more informative responses from higher up in the post, sorry if that is the case :)

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I think there's a fundamental problem with the game in that it's trying to place ships with completely different roles IRL into an arcade game where they all fight each other and we pretend that the world manufactured as many if not more BB than DD.  

 

In reality cruisers were scouts, AA support, maybe DD hunters and shore bombardment ships that got involved in surface combat when all else failed, discussions about how strong they were compared to each other I think largely miss the point, there are so many abstractions from reality in the game that arguing for particular ships to be squishy because they were IRL is a bit of a nonsense. 

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I have also heard it said that British steel armour at this time was very good Professor Andrew Lambert described a British 8 inch plate as good as a US 10 inch plate in the link below at about the 1 hour mark.

 

 

the whole talk about the Battle of Jutland is very interesting.

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No, they were not - they were actually rather sturdy compared to many of their contemporaries.  Consider the fearsome pounding HMS Exeter suffered at the hands of the Admiral Graf Spee.

 

First of all, it should be noted that all the RN cruisers were Washington treaty compliant, so they couldn't displace more than 10,000 tons (and the Crown Colony class were 2nd London Treaty compliant, which restricted them to 8000 tons).  Most of the well armoured cruisers of other nations were either deliberately in breach of the treaty restrictions (for example the Hippers, Zaras and Takaos) or built after the treaties had lapsed (for example the Clevelands and Baltimores).  When you have more tonnage to play with, it's easier to build a well protected ship however, there's only so much you can do with a treaty restricted design and the Town class (represented by Edinburgh in the game) were realistically as tough a 10,000 ton cruiser could be while still carrying an effective armament at a useful speed.

 

The German light cruisers were structurally weak and very fragile, the Japanese cruisers proved to be particularly vulnerable thanks to highly explosive nature of their torpedoes and the French and Italian light cruisers were notoriously thin skinned.  I don't know much about the Russian cruisers because they were utterly irrelevant to the naval war and never achieved anything of note.  On the other hand the US built pretty durable cruisers, even when restricted to 10,000 tons,

 

The RN lost a fair number of cruisers in WWII, but that was because they put them to hard work rather than because they were fragile.  If you frequently expose your ships to danger, you will inevitably loose some.  However, generally speaking RN cruisers did not go down quickly or easily.

 

Thoroughly  agree....post-Jutland  ships  had  'box citadels'  which worked,  there is  very little to choose  between a Cleveland  and a Town  class.  The  Counties  come in for  a  lot  of  criticism  but were very strong  and could  take  a  fearful bashing,  use Canberra as an example,  and she wasn't reconstructed  like most  of the others.  At Barent's  Sea  Hipper  was badly  damaged  by 3  ^"  SAP hits  which  is  not a good reference to her armour.  I did see in a  study  made after WW2  that it was stated  that  only on one occasion was a  cruiser saved by it's belt  armour..food  for  thought.
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No, they were not - they were actually rather sturdy compared to many of their contemporaries.  Consider the fearsome pounding HMS Exeter suffered at the hands of the Admiral Graf Spee.

 

First of all, it should be noted that all the RN cruisers were Washington treaty compliant, so they couldn't displace more than 10,000 tons (and the Crown Colony class were 2nd London Treaty compliant, which restricted them to 8000 tons).  Most of the well armoured cruisers of other nations were either deliberately in breach of the treaty restrictions (for example the Hippers, Zaras and Takaos) or built after the treaties had lapsed (for example the Clevelands and Baltimores).  When you have more tonnage to play with, it's easier to build a well protected ship however, there's only so much you can do with a treaty restricted design and the Town class (represented by Edinburgh in the game) were realistically as tough a 10,000 ton cruiser could be while still carrying an effective armament at a useful speed.

 

The German light cruisers were structurally weak and very fragile, the Japanese cruisers proved to be particularly vulnerable thanks to highly explosive nature of their torpedoes and the French and Italian light cruisers were notoriously thin skinned.  I don't know much about the Russian cruisers because they were utterly irrelevant to the naval war and never achieved anything of note.  On the other hand the US built pretty durable cruisers, even when restricted to 10,000 tons,

 

The RN lost a fair number of cruisers in WWII, but that was because they put them to hard work rather than because they were fragile.  If you frequently expose your ships to danger, you will inevitably loose some.  However, generally speaking RN cruisers did not go down quickly or easily.

 

Wellll Exeter was a Heavy cruiser (hint hint) so you cant compare.

Neptune (Leanda Class)took 3 Mine hits to go down.

Galanta was sunk by a Sub Torp.

Penelope was sunk by a Sub Torp

Coventry was hit by 4 Bombs to be sunk

Curcacoa was split in half by Queen Marry raming her

Calypso sunk by a Sub. ( i stoop with Subs here seems to be the main reason they sunk )

Cairo subk by 2 Bombs from a Ju 88

Fiji subk by Bombs

Trinidad sunk was rendered powerless by one Bombfrom a Ju88  then sunk with 3 Torps from her own side after evacuating.

Southhampton was reduced to a Burning Wreck by 2 500kg bombs and sunk by her own side after evak.

Gloucester sunk after 4 heavy Bomb Hits

Manchester was sunk by a single Torps of a Italian Motor Torpedo boat.

Charybdis​ sunk by 2 Torps from German Torpedo Boat.

Spartan sunk by a Glide Bomb.

 

You can clearly see a patern here that some weapons were far more devasting in realyty than in game but thats mostly Balance.

 

 

 

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Ehhh, No. La Galissoniere and the Italian d'Aostas (Except Abruzzi) are not especially better armoured. And they are not bigger either. As well as this, they are from roughly the same time period as well.

 

Leander is a tier 6, you need to get that Leander is a tier 5 out of your head. The only reason you would think she is a tier 5 is because of the power creep with the two Russian cruisers sitting at tier 6. And to a lesser extent Konigsberg at tier 5.

 

Leander, La Galissoniere, and D'Aosta ideally would all be at tier 6, though if that were to happen, then WG would need to reverse the power creep, and nerf Budyonny.

 

Were I undistinct in my post or did you read it carelessly?

 

The name Luigi Di Savoia was  in the 5 th Condiotteri Group and its full name was Luigi Di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi (from Fracarolli, Italian Warships of World war II) They had 130 mm side armour and also the earlier 4 th Group had at 105 mm side armour.  Huge difference from the first Group.

 

 

La Galissonaire were to be fair build in the 30's but they were also armoured on a vastly different scale than the first generation of French cruisers Duguay-Trouin from the 20´s.

I thought these early French and the early Groups of Italian light cruisers you were referring to.

 

 

Besides the early Italian cruisers were more designed as a counter to French large destroyers and were classified as scouts in the beginning. Light cruiser is something that comes with the LNT.

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Wellll Exeter was a Heavy cruiser (hint hint) so you cant compare.

Neptune (Leanda Class)took 3 Mine hits to go down.

Galanta was sunk by a Sub Torp.

Penelope was sunk by a Sub Torp

Coventry was hit by 4 Bombs to be sunk

Curcacoa was split in half by Queen Marry raming her

Calypso sunk by a Sub. ( i stoop with Subs here seems to be the main reason they sunk )

Cairo subk by 2 Bombs from a Ju 88

Fiji subk by Bombs

Trinidad sunk was rendered powerless by one Bombfrom a Ju88  then sunk with 3 Torps from her own side after evacuating.

Southhampton was reduced to a Burning Wreck by 2 500kg bombs and sunk by her own side after evak.

Gloucester sunk after 4 heavy Bomb Hits

Manchester was sunk by a single Torps of a Italian Motor Torpedo boat.

Charybdis​ sunk by 2 Torps from German Torpedo Boat.

Spartan sunk by a Glide Bomb.

 

You can clearly see a patern here that some weapons were far more devasting in realyty than in game but thats mostly Balance.

 

 

 

 

Heavy cruiser ONLY means the gun are bigger than 6" inches. Nothing to do with armour.

I don't even know what your point is, plus stuff that you said is incomplete, like Trinidad had already eaten a torpedo before the bomb hit. Neglected to mention.

Edited by BuccaneerBill

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Interestingly the first torpedo which hit Trinidad was it's own torpedo :P And Neptune was 4 sea mines I believe not 3. Other ones of note, HMNZS Leander was struck directly in the engine room by a type 93 torpedo and due to lack of dock yard space was unable to be repaired before the wars end. HMAS Perth (a modified Leander) was struck by 4 torpedoes, presumably Type 93's as well as shell fire before she went down.

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Interestingly the first torpedo hit which hit Trinidad was it's own torpedo :P And Neptune was 4 sea mines I believe not 3. Other ones of note, HMNZS Leander was struck directly in the engine room by a type 93 torpedo and due to lack of dock yard space was unable to be repaired before the wars end. HMAS Perth (a modified Leander) was struck by 4 torpedoes, presumably Type 93's as well as shell fire before she went down.

 

Was  watching JIngle's  vid  on his interview  with  WG....WG  said  that  because  RN  boiler/engine  room  higher than in  US cruisers...equals  squishy...I thought they did that   for  mine/torpedo  protection

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Were I undistinct in my post or did you read it carelessly?

 

The name Luigi Di Savoia was  in the 5 th Condiotteri Group and its full name was Luigi Di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi (from Fracarolli, Italian Warships of World war II) They had 130 mm side armour and also the earlier 4 th Group had at 105 mm side armour.  Huge difference from the first Group.

 

 

La Galissonaire were to be fair build in the 30's but they were also armoured on a vastly different scale than the first generation of French cruisers Duguay-Trouin from the 20´s.

I thought these early French and the early Groups of Italian light cruisers you were referring to.

 

 

Besides the early Italian cruisers were more designed as a counter to French large destroyers and were classified as scouts in the beginning. Light cruiser is something that comes with the LNT.

 

Use the name Abruzzi then, since I am not going to remember the full name of the ship, and WG will probably just use Abruzzi for game purposes (or in port, Duca delgi Abruzzi). And to be fair, I even mentioned Abruzzi being separate from the rest of the Italian Condottieris, or D'Aosta, which is the nearest equivalent to Leander from that class. 

 

La Galissoniere however, is only really significantly better than Leander in armour on the turrets, everywhere else is comparatively equal. As I said, the comparatives of Leander are D'Aosta and La Galissoniere. 

 

 

 

 

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I think, if the RN cruisers are squishier in game then other nations, really the issue is that the others aren't squishy enough. The fundamental unrealistic game mechanic is the autobounce/overmatch. The actual armor of the ships is modelled accurately but the structural steel around the bow/stern is treated as "armor" even when it wasn't on the real ships, and can either bounce shells if the angle is enough (autobounce) or not do anything if it's too thin against the caliber of shell (overmatch). Firstly, this steel should not be able to bounce shells, it is soft structure and should more or less be "invisible" to incoming shells. The other problem is that the thickness of it, well... WG does what they want to make a ship squishy or not, they basically decide what ships can bow-tank what shells and tweak as necessary. Needless to say as far as realism is concerned this is all BS.

 

As far as squishyness IRL is concerned, most treaty cruisers had some theoretical immunity zone against their counterparts but it was really just that, theoretical. Often it was narrow and relied on angle. In reality most cruiser fights took place way outside these theoretical immunity zones anyway (usually much closer than planners expected!). In fact, contrary to popular belief, cruisers were not a "pure support class" IRL. Given that BBs were few and valuable, cruisers were sent to do BB missions and bore the brunt of the fighting, especially early in the war. The majority of "conventional" surface actions in WWII were cruiser vs. cruiser or at least involved cruisers very heavily. Now, you can argue until the cows come home about theoretical box magazine there, theoretical 0.5 inches of armor here, but the reality was that all cruisers that actually served in WWII (only possible exception being Baltimore) were squishy and glass cannons to the point that the only things that would guarantee you winning a fight without much return damage were either overwhelming numerical superiority or a huge element of surprise. Basically first hit usually wins, the rest was dumb luck.

 

Besides, things like safety procedures and damage control experience play a much bigger role than armor in the survivability of a ship IRL (never mind that they don't actually have "HP").

 

This is why I made my somewhat brief and uninformative comment earlier. The thing is, historical anecdotes aren't always helpful because they are clouded by so many other factors. Some ships took a beating, others sank quickly, most of the time the reasons for this were more or less disconnected from their design/construction and "theoretical" survivability.

 

P.S. Germany was never a signatory to the Washington Naval Treaty as they were limited by the (much stricter) Versailles treaty. By the late 1930s the RN had more or less by themselves decided to relax the rules and let the Germans build up to 30% of their tonnage, but other treaties didn't suddenly apply. The Hipper class were much bigger than treaty cuisers but they can't be cheating a treaty they were never part of in the first place...

 

P.P.S. Cleveland, while built during the war and on the surface heavier than other treaty cruisers, was fundamentally a treaty design, which was finalised when the treaties were in force. The extra weight isn't really in the citadel armor, more in extra AA and some topside splinter protection. In fact the class was considered overweight, cramped and on the limits of stability, but was mass-produced because the design was available anyway. She is very strong for her tonnage, but she is NOT a post-treaty design.

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Heavy cruiser ONLY means the gun are bigger than 6" inches. Nothing to do with armour.

I don't even know what your point is, plus stuff that you said is incomplete, like Trinidad had already eaten a torpedo before the bomb hit. Neglected to mention.

 

​Well it means real ordanace had devastating efects that isnt dublicated in the game. And Exeter had between 40 to 140mm of armor were Leander had 24ish mm  everywere but her Magazine But if you consider what in real life happened to ther better protected CL:

Tromp was badly damaged off Bali on 18 February 1942 during the Battle of Badung Strait, when she was hit by eleven 5-inch (127 mm) shells from the Japanese destroyer Asashio.

 

Light cruisers didnt took damage too well in real life not that you can conclude anything from that to the game becasue its not balanced on real life.

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Tromp is a little bit on the light side for a cruiser in comparison to the say Leander, its barely bigger than a destroyer. 4 inches of belt armour on leander or 3 inches of belt armour on Exeter can't really be compared with the 1.5 inches of armour on Tromp :P

 

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Wellll Exeter was a Heavy cruiser (hint hint) so you cant compare.

Neptune (Leanda Class)took 3 Mine hits to go down.

Galanta was sunk by a Sub Torp.

Penelope was sunk by a Sub Torp

Coventry was hit by 4 Bombs to be sunk

Curcacoa was split in half by Queen Marry raming her

Calypso sunk by a Sub. ( i stoop with Subs here seems to be the main reason they sunk )

Cairo subk by 2 Bombs from a Ju 88

Fiji subk by Bombs

Trinidad sunk was rendered powerless by one Bombfrom a Ju88  then sunk with 3 Torps from her own side after evacuating.

Southhampton was reduced to a Burning Wreck by 2 500kg bombs and sunk by her own side after evak.

Gloucester sunk after 4 heavy Bomb Hits

Manchester was sunk by a single Torps of a Italian Motor Torpedo boat.

Charybdis​ sunk by 2 Torps from German Torpedo Boat.

Spartan sunk by a Glide Bomb.

 

You can clearly see a patern here that some weapons were far more devasting in realyty than in game but thats mostly Balance.

 

 

 

 

I'm not really disputing any of this, but I think there are a few points worth expanding on.

 

HMS Exeter was an 8,500 ton cruiser with armour about equivalent to the Towns and Crown Colonies, so she does bear some relevance to this discussion.  As has already been noted, the only real difference between a "light" and "heavy" cruiser was the gun caliber, not the armour protection.

 

Three mine strikes is really significant amount of damage, but was not enough to sink HMS Neptune - It actually took a fourth mine to finish her.  For the record, WWII mines had much larger warheads than period torpedoes.

 

HMS Galatea and Penelope were both of the comparatively tiny 6,000 ton Arethusa class.  It actually took two torpedoes to sink HMS Penelope which is impressive considering how small she was.  She also survived a mine hit during the incident when Neptune sank.

 

HMS Curacoa and Calypso were WWI era C class cruisers.  No cruiser would likely survive being rammed by a Ocean liner and the ships were simply too old to resist modern torpedoes.

 

HMS Trinidad had already been torpedoed (by herself, as has already been mentioned) when she recieved the bomb damage that crippled her.

 

It took five torpedo hits to sink HMS Southampton after she was evacuated.

 

HMS Manchester had shot her magazines empty after three days of continuous action and was unable to defend herself.

 

The glide bomb that sank HMS Spartan was a very powerful weapon which simply did not exist as a threat when she was designed.  She still took over an hour to sink.

 

Like I said, these were not fragile ships - in fact they often endured considerable damage before sinking - but if you operate your ships at a high tempo in dangerous waters you will loose some.  Also, notice how none of them were lost to enemy gunfire.

 

If you take a look at what was responsible for the majority of US cruiser losses and you'll find the same major culprits.  Torpedo hits and air attack.

Edited by Getzamatic
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P.S. Germany was never a signatory to the Washington Naval Treaty as they were limited by the (much stricter) Versailles treaty. By the late 1930s the RN had more or less by themselves decided to relax the rules and let the Germans build up to 30% of their tonnage, but other treaties didn't suddenly apply. The Hipper class were much bigger than treaty cuisers but they can't be cheating a treaty they were never part of in the first place...

 

The Anglo-German naval agreement obliged the German navy to adhere to whatever treaty restriction the Royal Navy were operating under, so whilst the Germans were not signatories to the Washington or London Treaties they were still bound by their restrictions.

 

Therefore, the Hippers were still Treaty-cheaty ships - but the Germans were in breach of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement rather than the Washington or London treaty.

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