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USS Wichita (CA-45)

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Super Tester_
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Thought I might try to make a 'proper' writeup this time since honestly, I'm rather uncomfortable with it as I'm more at home with the "badass of the week" type badposting since I hoped that it might pique the interest of potential shipskubs into digging their own bits~


Cue tl;dr




In regards to cruiser designs and concepts, there had been many what-if's that were placed within the design board, never-were's that hid within the nation's archives to be found by information raiders, and compromises on ship designs about to appear, whether they are still in the slipway or paper. Two of such known design compromises within the heavy cruiser branches are of the Italian cruiser Bolzano that had began her keel as a full Trento class cruiser but eventually incorporated some of her successor the Zara's design prospect into herself, and the Wichita.



Wichita as she looked like per line drawing



The Brooklyn which most of her appearance and silhouette was heavily based



New Orleans which she was supposed to become as presented by Astoria


As per the Cruiser Act passed by the US Congress, the need was made for both light and heavy cruisers to be four things: stronger, faster, better, tougher. And while the first heavy cruiser they made, Pensacola, didn't match up to what they wanted due to the treaty constraints on cruiser building that was only alleviated during the London 1 amendment to the Washington Naval Treaty, it didnt stop designers to push through which resulted in the Northamptons, Portlands, and the most modern iteration of the US heavy cruiser, the New Orleans. Wichita was supposed to be part of the New Orleans but as internal arguments intensified, the Navy chose the Brooklyn's template, and if bits are to be believed,  the St. Louis variant of the light cruiser specifically as the latter is pretty much the refined 'repeat' of the former. However, the elephant in the room is very evident: the Brooklyn is a light cruiser and you'd need to address several aspects of the design to make it into a heavy cruiser. They needed to change that since they weren't fully satisfied with the New Orleans as well although to be fair, as far as treaty cruisers went, the New Orleans was their serving heavy cruiser that was the modern iteration under the treaty rules. After several design tweaks and modifications, they came out with a heavy cruiser under hull CA-45 that was supposed to be a New Orleans yet silhouette and appearance wise, had the air of a Brooklyn aboard her, thus making her a half-sister to both cruisers and pretty much the only "hybrid" cruiser the Americans had.



As per 1943


The Wichita was armed with nine newer 203mm barrels which she shared with the upcoming Baltimores in new turrets that allowed individual elevation on each gun, a bunch of DP and SP 127mm guns which is complemented by an AA suite of the DP 127mm guns and M2HB's for close-in fire which was enhance later on with the addition of 40mm Bofors and replacing most of their M2HB's with 20mm Oerlikons. She was protected with about 160mm of belt, arguably the thickest belt on a heavy cruiser that superseded the Zara and the later Baltimores and could run at roughly 33 kts




After her shakedown, she was caught in the winds of the opening hostilities of war when Germany attacked Poland and was sent as part of the neutrality patrol, also one of her then-neutral voyages was sailing into neutral ports for a goodwill visit, eventually locating her area of operations to the Atlantic and Europe when she was one of the ships to see Iceland occupied as well as more patrols and convoy runs that intensified when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, one of the convoy runs she was sent to protect was the ill-fated PQ-17 that dispersed in the middle of the journey as there were intelligence reports that the Germans were forming a task force centered on the battleship Tirpitz operating in Nordic waters which failed to materialized and instead sent U-boat wolfpacks and Luftwaffe aircraft to prey on the near-defenseless cargo ships. She also was present during Torch where she also opened fire at the incomplete battleship Jean Bart as well as the Casablanca shore defenses that responded back, combined with a skirmish against French cruisers that were struggling to exit the harbor, had scored a hit aboard her causing light damage.



Wichita firing and taking fire during Casablanca


After her stint in the Atlantic, she was reassigned to the Pacific operations where she took a torpedo hit that failed to explode and saw heavy cruiser colleague Chicago sink during Rennell Island, was a shore bombardier in Kiska during the Alutiens Islands campaign where she had a momentary embarrassment of 'phantom targets' pinging in her sensors in the night wich resulted in her and her colleagues promptly blasting empty waters in the night when they found out via recon plane near Kiska. Afterwards she was reassigned to several task forces as heavy AA screen and/or shore bombardier that also saw her join the raid at Truk during Hailstone, shell targets off the Caroline Islands and Saipan, also took her aircraft kills during the Battle of the Philippine Sea as a heavy AA screen and plastered Guam and also had her duties within the Philippines as an AA screen as well as screening badly damaged cruisers Canberra and Houston, the latter taking a second torpedo strike. Wichita also holds the moment of a heavy cruiser in WW2 that shelled an aircraft carrier along with her colleagues during the Leyte Campaign, most notably at Cape Engaño where she shelled the light carrier Chiyoda and plastered destroyer Hatsuzuki and took damage that caused a fire that needed intensive repair soon after, and afterwards participated as a heavy AA screen and bombardier during the Okinawa campaign, had a short duration in Japan and some escort runs and finally ended her career with 13 stars and serving as one of the hybrid cruisers in the war.



Wichita bombarding Okinawa


in-game wise, Wichita is going to stand in tier 8 as mentioned by the devblog and even back then, fanta-stat guys were crawling all over her as a tier 8... and honestly, she's one heavy cruiser I would really REALLY love to get due to her records as well as the fact she's a hybrid cruiser... assuming if WG paints her gold


Derp.exe is over


Man this feels awkward....



AL Wichita because reason


Wichita and Wasp at Scapa Flow


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Wichita as per 1945

Edited by EvyL
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