Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
You need to play a total of 10 battles to post in this section.
EvyL

the Zara cruiser

8 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

Super Tester
1,677 posts

I've been eyeing these cruisers for a long while and I'm surprised they came out on the other side first. Frankly, they're one of the most interesting cruisers Italy fielded.

 

I PRESENT TO YOU THE ZARA.

 

I_CA_Zara_Class1932.png

How to Zara.

 

Seriously Ansaldo and OTO, do you have connections with the entire flippin' Italian mafia or something that you churned out ships and hardware for the Italians and had a monopoly or oligopoly for some of the most gritty things in materiel?

 

In the 20's and 30's, the restrictions on how to cruiser by the Washington Naval Treaty was in full effect and no ship of the type should have more than 8 inch guns and 10,000 long tonnes. The signatories and those that are under it when it is ratified tried to make theirs such by stretching design studies to the brink as the US fielding their Pensacolas or the Japanese chucking in their Myokos, however it ain't easy asking for a heavy cruiser that can stay well within 10k tonnes, lug around 203's with a competitive broadside potential and armor all at the same time so the designers knew they had to sacrifice many aspects so that designs stay in line with restrictions and that was the endurance (it also ain't helping that the Regia Marina were usually skulking around the Mediterranean Sea because lol Gibraltar turning the sea into a giant pond) because their sworn rivals in the water, the French Marine Nationale, which also treated them the same, were contesting on how to ship better, much like Germany and the United Kingdom contesting on how to ship because of sworn rivalry. There were the Trento cruisers at that thought and then came the Zara class which, if you look at it in another standpoint, scored way beyond as all four were really heavy at nearly 15k tonnes because full load. There were four of these ships: Zara, Gorizia, Fiume and Pola. 

 

Wait, those don't sound like Italian places. Lessee:

 

Zara - Croatian city Zadar

Fiume - Croatian city Rijeka

Pola - Croation city Pula

Gorizia - Slovenian city Gorizia

 

Now the names sound like Italian areas "lost" back when Italy was still the Kingdom of Italy without the whole callous waving of a bunch of faggots (sticks ya offensive gits) tied together with an axe poking out on top of each bundle and playing pretend Lictors waving around the symbol of Fascism in the large peninsula.

 

Did I forget to mention that they had three designations? First as light cruisers, second as armored cruisers which was the mainstay until they were finally reclassified as heavy cruisers.

 

zybHQ2W.png

With ships like these, who needs endurance?

 

The ships had an 'all-or-nothing' scheme where most of it is concentrated on the midships had 6 inches of belt, 3 inches of deck which was double layered to have fuzes of either the AP shell or bomb arm at the first layer before attempting to punch through the second layer as was a norm for some contemporary heavy cruisers, 6 inches of turret and 3 inches of conning tower. The business end of the ships, the Ansaldo made 203's could lob a round at 34km at 45 degrees and could unload four in under a minute with the same insane muzzle velocity that their colleague 15 inch guns on the Littorios also had at the expense of barrel wear and the dispersion not really, secondary 100mm guns, an AA suite comprised of 40mm, 37mm, and 13.2mm guns*. The ships could run at 32 knots although both Zara and Gorizia could run at 33 with the extra knot from squeezing the engines for more (note that destroyers can do this without any ill effects. If any ship bigger and its gonna be a bit of an issue) which is impressive for a cruiser of her rating and her slingshot/catapult is located in the forward section just in front of turret A which I absolutely have no idea why they'd put that THERE of all places but thankfully, Zara and Gorizia didn't have em... "yet".

 

Regarding her main battery... those guns could unload 4 rounds per minute but you can't really chuck both barrels at the same time in a turret because of the cramped space and the fact that the loading array pops out a single round and propellant charge and not two because "build a cruiser they said, save space for weight they said". They COULD, however, perform "stagger fire" where port side barrel of all turrets fire a salvo then the starboard barrel of all turrets fires the second. Ingenious, but it kinda limited their shots. I also will take this time to express that lugging star shells is rather strange to boot because not only will it give you sight in the night, it also gives the enemy sight to blast you.

 

*Note that the secondaries and the AA suite changed amounts several times but I won't touch that because this is the class as a whole, and I'm lazy to boot.

 

LXxYOkk.jpgThe features of the funnels and aft mast is funny.

 

After their commissioning, WW2 broke out and some of the stranger things had happened to these ships. Zara, Fiume and Pola were bunched up and had participated in the inconclusive slugfest at Cape Spartivento and got decked in a night battle during the Cape Matapan brawl because one does not simply night battle together with an Italian ship. To be fair, they lacked radar and scanners and to add the notion, they were lugging star shells to illuminate the area. Gorizia was reserve at that time and survived till the Germans seized her when Italy went belly up, suffered bombs from US bombers yet still was relatively intact, messed up but intact, and sunk at La Spezia by manned torpedoes by the Italians themselves on the side of the Allies.

 

Well that was strange. A shame they didn't really get to show their grit although Gorizia proved how resilient she was.

 

Pola_3.jpg

Dat canopy on one of her sisters in the background though.

 

In-game wise, I'm expecting Zara to be tier 8, be a facemelt of all four sisters with Baltimore and Des Moines level protection with likely big citadels, railgun pen due to muzzle velocity with near-shotgun like dispersion, 13 seconds reload, relatively fast turret traverse, literal "lol-tastic" secondaries because the max one had ever had were 14 of em 100mm guns, gun range of 18km, cannot mount range increase mod and have subpar hydroacoustics seeing as the Italians had a hard time fitting them with advanced scanners and hydroacoustics. And the notion that this heavy cruiser, due to its impressive armor and surprising secondaries, will be deemed as a "pocket battleship".

 

Derp.exe has encountered a serious error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beta Tester
760 posts
6,922 battles

YASSSSS!!!! waiting for these beauties with even more hype than the RN

 

Thanks Evyl!

 

And finally a Cruiser that does not mount torpedoes for the Americans to play ball with

With such good protection, speed and main guns, the only things these ships lack is AA and torpedoes, kinda like a well armoured Admiral Hipper in shape and layout

Edited by Blitzkreig95

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[IMSDF]
Beta Tester
218 posts
4,648 battles

Oh, I wonder what inspired you to do a write up about the Zara :hiding::hmm:

 

well.....the "other game"....*coughs coughs*....Kanta----*slapped*.........has it as an event reward going on as of now........

 

 

 

:honoring:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Tester
1,677 posts

Oh, I wonder what inspired you to do a write up about the Zara :hiding::hmm:

 

I was actually finding data for them a long while now since after I found the history run of Littorio and the blueprints for one of the Condottieri light cruisers. I made it clear on the other side getting her first, did I not?

 

@Blitzkrieg but I doubt she can outmatch a Hipper in raw stats although she can't ninja like Mogami I'll tell you that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Member
40 posts

As Zara doesn't carrying torpedoes because the weight issues, i expect she would perform somewhere close to USN all-gun cruiser roles like that. Those 203/53 are powerful, fire heavier shells and powerful velocity but the dispersion (although i know cruisers dispersion in-game quite small than RL) probably terrible giving how these barrels were mounted too close.

 

Armor wise are excellent, she weight around 14K tons (HP compare to Hipper and higher than N.O).

 

Great write Evyl +1 for you. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×