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greifer

Regia Marine - Zara Class

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One of the strongest armoured cruisers around at her time, the Zara class cruiser was an excellent vessel in several ways, but deficient in others. Four vessels were built in this class.

The Zara class of cruisers was built due to the arms race with France at the time. The preceding cruiser class, Trento, was built for speed with light armour. Analysis showed that these vessels when pitted against the French equivalent, Algerie for example, would be extremely damaged even if the vessel won the encounter.

 

Zara Class

 

With the Zara class, the Regia Marina, decided that they needed more armour. In fact the total displacement of the vessel was 12,000t, which violated the Washington treaty. What made the armour for this vessel unique you may wonder? For a cruiser she had 150 mm (6 inch) for the main belt, and 70 mm (3 inch) for the main deck. Turrets also featured this heavy armour. But wait, there is more. In a unique feature, the Zara class has a second layer of armour, reminiscent of battleships. The upper deck was 20mm of armour and the flank hull was 30 mm (1.2 inch).

 

No other cruiser at the time had this feature. Only the Des Moines when introduced fared better in the armour category. Coupled with the class’s 203 mm guns (4x2 turrets), they fired a high muzzle, high velocity AP shell. Decent AA guns also protected the class.

 

iEbSUMI.jpg

 

On paper and design this vessel appeared titanic, yet in reality due to poor luck and leadership, the vessels did not perform well.

 

After a moderate victory early in the Med, three zara class cruisers went down. The Pola which was immobile due to a torpedo strike, had her sister ships sit with her as protection. A British battleship squadron used radar to point them and take down all three ships.

 

X7O8XcT.jpg

 

In terms of in game levels, I am leaning towards the tier VI to VII for this vessel. Besides adequate speed, its guns are standard for that level. Only its armour sets it apart from the rest, its tonnage is a lot less than other vessels represented in game at those tiers or at tier VIII event.

 

Plenty of vessels for premiums as well, Pola, Zara, from the four classes.

 

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