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USS Helena (CL-50)

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Super Tester
1,683 posts

Well with the US cruiser split being announced and all, I was quite surprised that of the St. Louis twins, it had to be Helena who will represent her sister because NAMES, HURR (we actually have two names for Saint Louis here: the armored cruiser St. Louis, the light cruiser St. Louis which was basically the Brooklyn light cruiser on bullshit levels of hax, and the French Saint-Louis. sooo name redundance is somefin we dont need right now). TAYM 2 BADPOAST.





I wish it were this Helena but alas, no...








This is the Brooklyn. Now take tech hax, engine improvements that dont let you be dead in the water after a lolpen into the engine rooms and more AA guns crammed aboard her into a new 'repeat' but improved hull and you have yourself a St. Lo light cruiser.


Normally, her and her sister St. Louis as well as their Brooklyn predecessors are observing the WNT's amendment in the London Naval Treaty 1 because some signatories were bitching about the cruiser being as constricted as the capital ships and that would simply not do. Because politiscumbaggery, the US could technically get away with making decent ships like heavy cruisers (as much as you hate the Pensacola in-game and how lol she was in real life, she served, got hurt bad, but served to her capacity) and light cruisers, and this is where the needs were asked for their future light cruisers. They should have glorious cruising range, guns to fight their contemporaries and armor to stay in the fight longer... and the Omaha wasn't exactly fitted for that... "scouting" cruiser sure, but something the Board had asked for she was ill suited for. Its also not helping that Japan suddenly had chucked the Mogami with FIFTEEN 155mm guns and decided to base the raw, balls out offense of the light cruisers early on with the Myoko's ABC-XY and then behold, the Brooklyns got keeled in the 30's because dakka scare (honestly, I believe you skubs would do the same when you hear reports of a light cruiser having THAT MUCH GUNS although to be fair, the Japanese sort of skirted the damn rules on how to cruiser with the Mogami and the US didnt know 'bout that) and tried to improve stuff from there basing on the decently good Brooklyn that was suited for their needs: the result being the St. Louis cruisers. Call her a 'repeat' or 'pointless' but those two got tech that inspired quite a lot of US cruisers like the Cleveland and the Baltimore.




How to screw over the aim of the enemy in a St. Louis


Just like her predecessor, Helena has fifteen 6" guns improved from the guns of the Omaha, some 127mm guns, some M2HB's when she came out although this got changed when she got several sets of 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons and she was protected with a max of 152mm of belt, 2 inches of deck, nearly 6 inches of turret and 5 inches of conning tower and could run at nearly 33 kts which is damn impressive for a weighty light cruiser like her.


About the ABC-XY layout tho... you can imagine the problems with aggressive combat with the C turret facing aft and this is saying Mogami's own ABC-XY with turret C superfiring was the most superb and weight distributed layout you could observe since B turret way up there means the barbette needs to be longer and more weight is getting in the forward section instead of the midships thanks to the superstructure. But no matter, she was built and she got a lot for her buck.


Had her shakedown and commission then went over to where Graf Spee scuttled herself and had a little peacetime at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese paid a surprise visit with bombs and torpedoes and her crew had to scramble to battlestations when the alarm and klaxons were raring around... only to eat ordnance herself.




you can thank navsource for this.


She was struggling to join in the fight and her AA guns started humming hours after the base was ringing for air raids and if anything, she was enduring the stress and damage dealt to her all the while her AA guns were humming flak bursts in the air, and she lost her DP guns due to the initial strikes that messed with her wiring as well as generators for power and she practically sailed slowly due to the counterflooding to keep her from keeling over and the damage control teams literally saying "problem solved, sir!" when containing the problems aboard. She got a turn in the dry dock and they assessed whatever the hell happened to her and found she was hurting bad and needed a shipyard that had the latest facilities to fix her despite being sort of seaworthy. Ran back to such and had a boring time sitting idly while she got repaired and refitted with hax like one of the first surface radar stuff that fed crunch data into the rangekeeper.


And then off to Guadalcanal.


Helena had some routine escort runs operated as screen, saw Wasp die and fire mission battery when she was nearby to assist when Guadalcanal was getting rather intense and she was peeled off to try and interdict the 'Tokyo Express' and, fortunately for her, she was right smack in the middle of a night run when they were skulking off Cape Esperence. As I've said in my badpost regarding that battle, because of the levels of miscommunication, Helena, who at the time was calling contact due to her radar hax (interestingly, Helena was one of the most advanced tech ships there and the CO of that squadron didnt use her as flagship), wanted to open fire at the unknown contacts because they were damn sure those dots weren't friends and the lookouts were also increasing the likelihood they weren't friends as well and as per SOP, asked "Interrogatory, roger" and the CO had replied "roger" which he meant the message was received and Helena took this as an order to unload and when she did, all the other ships followed suit, her role in the matter blasting the living hell out of Fubuki and Furutaka which earned her the moniker of "machine gun ship" due to the fact she unloaded really fast which, with fifteen of her guns, gave her the impression she fired really fast after that encounter. Helena OP plz nerf


She was also present in that messed up brawl off Guadalcanal where she, with her glorious radar hax, could call contacts long before visual contact was reported and this means something in the night... although her radar basically is a whole "I know where you are, I know how far you are, but I don't know who you are" if we summarize it which means oldschool captains needed to know who the hell they were blasting at, and the messed up battle in the night off Guadalcanal was an anathema to them which made the confusion way worse. She also beaded Akatsuki when she opened her searchlights although Atlanta plastered her a lot more because she fired faster. Tailed San Francisco who ate a buckload of damage and suddenly encountered Amatsukaze which she promptly blasted and then maneuvered the hell away from other destroyers appearing to help the ship she was busy shooting at... and then she withdrew just like that despite being one of the still combat effective ships alongside one destroyer. She also saw one of her light cruiser colleagues die horribly as Juneau was torpedoed and, while the group she was in could not play pin the depth charge on the submarine because the ships at the group were too heavily damaged to drop depth charges or they had little to no anti-sub ordnance in hand which culminated in the ragequit removal of her seasoned captain, he had to save the ships at hand and come back for the survivors later (here's the thing: had the ships loitered around trying to fry that sub or collect survivors... assuming there were after that horrible mag det from Juneau in their standpoint, the sub that was stalking the area would have a lot more targets to sink and that would simply not do).




Fire like hell. its also one of the last pics of her in the fateful night where she fighting


Was issued with the new VT fuzes where the gunners themselves dont need to fuze the shells to explode at a specific height because the VT will fuze itself at the nearest target to pepper the aircraft with flak, was busy with fire missions and screening duties and one of her planes had a hand in sinking a sub when her last night of guns-a-blazin happened at Kula Gulf. After bombardment, she was assailed with destroyers and while she did respond by shooting back at the dots in her scope that resulted with several hits from her connecting to an Akizuki destroyer Niizuki, her muzzle flashes completely gave her away and adding to the fact she fired really fast, it was fairly easy to see her silhouette as she constantly let her guns sing while using non-flashless powder since the flashless powder she had was already spent from bombardment as you can see in the image... and that fact alone had her focused by torpedo attacks from the Japanese...




... and you can pretty much guess where it ended for her as her prow was the last to go under. Her survivors had ordeals of their own but this takes the cake.




Assessment on how she was totaled so bad. And you think Boise back at Cape Esperance was nearly mag detted by Kinugasa when one of her AP shells lolpenned the ship under water which resulted in turret C's magazine flooded in order to prevent such a thing from happening.




I'm sure you skubs will fexp your way to Helena either way.


Derp.exe has now crashed

Edited by EvyL

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Super Tester
1,683 posts
20 minutes ago, MatterCore said:

Helena <= Myoko +/- Mogami


That moment when she was damaged during Pearl Harbor and still kept fighting like mad~

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3,399 battles
On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 6:39 PM, BanditSE1977 said:

I wants General Belgrano prem version for paddling the poms!



not too sure of the outcome of that comment :cap_horn::Smile_honoring:

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Beta Tester
14 posts
1,117 battles

One of my favorite ships. Her gun crew were excellent. So much so that the Japanese actually reported that apparently USN cruisers were armed with a new "6-inch machine gun" main battery. Absolutely amazing crew on board a doubtlessly great ship.

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1,102 posts
4,217 battles

Having recently got her,she kicks butt alright!

I struggled to get more than 30k average damage with the Dallas,but first battle in the stock Helena with only half the modules on ( as I wasn't sure how I wanted to fit it out ) got me 45k.

Weird thing is I always hated playing the Cleveland,but Helena is actually fun!

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