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Des Moines
Cruiser | U.S.A. | Tier X
Tech Tree Position
Research price237500 exp
Purchase price19,800,000 Credits
Hit Points50,600 
Main Battery
203 mm/55 Mk163 х 3 pcs.
Rate of Fire10.91 shots/min.
Reload Time5.5 sec.
Rotation Speeddeg./sec.
180 Degree Turn Time30 sec.
Firing Range15.83 km.
Maximum Dispersion142 m.
HE Shell203 mm HE/HC Mk25 
Maximum HE Shell Damage2,800 
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell14 %
Initial HE Shell Velocity823 m./s.
HE Shell Weight118 kg.
AP Shell203 mm AP Mk21 
Maximum AP Shell Damage5,000 
Initial AP Shell Velocity762 m./s.
AP Shell Weight152 kg.
Secondary Armament #1
127 mm/38 Mk326 х 2 pcs.
Firing Rangekm.
Rate of Fire10 shots/min.
Reload Timesec.
HE Shell127 mm HE Mk32 
Maximum HE Shell Damage1,800 
Initial HE Shell Velocity792 m./s.
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shel%
AA Defense
76.2 mm/50 Mk3310 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second279 
. . . Firing Range5.01 km.
20 mm Oerlikon Mk412 х 1 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second43.2 
. . . Firing Range2.01 km.
76.2 mm/50 Mk332 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second55.8 
. . . Firing Range5.01 km.
127 mm/38 Mk326 х 2 pcs.
. . . Average Damage per Second90.6 
. . . Firing Range5.01 km.
Maximum Speed33 knot
Turning Circle Radius770 m.
Rudder Shift Time8.6 sec.
Surface Detectability Range13.86 km.
Air Detectability Range9.87 km.
Battle Levels

Des Moines — American Tier X cruiser.

One of the best heavy cruisers in the world. The ship was designed using the experience gained in World War II, resulting in excellent protection and very powerful AA armament. The key distinctive feature of cruisers of this type was auto-loading main guns that had a very high rate of fire.


Main Battery Rate of Fire
180 Degree Turn Time
Maximum Dispersion
Maximum HE Shell Damage
Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell
Maximum AP Shell Damage
Research price
Purchase price
203 mm/55 Mk1610.9301422,800145,000 02,000,000
Hull Hit Points
Main Turrets
Secondary Gun Turrets
AA Mounts
Torpedo Tubes
Hangar Capacity
Research price
Purchase price
Des Moines (A)50,60062033612/12/60 02,900,000
Gun Fire Control System Firing Range Increase
Maximum Firing Range
Research price
Purchase price
Mk10 mod. 1015.8 01,800,000
Engine Maximum Speed
Research price
Purchase price
Propulsion: 120,000 hp33 01,600,000

Compatible Upgrades

 Slot 1  Main Armaments Modification 1 Auxiliary Armaments Modification 1 Magazine Modification 1
 Slot 2  Damage Control System Modification 1 Propulsion Modification 1 Steering Gears Modification 1
 Slot 3  Main Battery Modification 2 AA Guns Modification 2 Secondary Battery Modification 2 Aiming Systems Modification 1
 Slot 4  Damage Control System Modification 2 Propulsion Modification 2 Steering Gears Modification 2
 Slot 5  Target Acquisition System Modification 1 Concealment System Modification 1 Steering Gears Modification 3
 Slot 6  Main Battery Modification 3 Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 AA Guns Modification 3 Secondary Battery Modification 3

Player Opinion


Only a handful of high tier cruisers are known to have absurd firing rates: the Neptune, Minotaur and this heavy cruiser. It is no surprise that due to her being the last all-gun cruiser made, she has all the lessons learned from her cruiser predecessors in the Second World War incorporated in her design. A very noticeable trait on Des Moines is her absurd rate of fire for a heavy cruiser with each turret loading rounds at 5.5 seconds which can quickly deal with destroyers, harm or outright destroy other cruisers with extreme fusillades of fire, force battleships to be wary of her as well as nervously check their hit points when they are subjected by her withering blows and frustrate carriers to no end due to her impressive AA suite which, with proper upgrades and skills, have their potency increase even further. With her ergonomics and good handling, one can say this heavy cruiser does it all; serving as both an AA and anti-ship screen, joining a cruiser squadron for rapid action as she can keep up thanks to her good speed and provide additional firepower, and functioning as a reasonable cruiser leader for a small destroyer group. In addition, her having radar equipped can be hazardous not only for destroyers, but also other ships that hide behind smoke screen, behind island cover, or under visual limitation within cyclone.

The cruiser's high shell arc and gun layout gives her a unique advantage that her cruiser colleagues at her tier lack and as such she is capable of sitting behind an island and using her high shell arc to lob shells over the island at distant targets with relative safety. One can also park the ship around the corner of an island while bow on to act as a deterrent to advancing enemy ships, while presenting a relatively small target profile. Exploiting this technique allows one to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Also, firing AP shells at bigger targets such as battleships can deal a surprising amount of damage in such a short time, however only do so when she is close enough to have the rounds deal maximum penetration or if the target is broadsiding.

Unlike every other Tier 10 cruiser, Des Moines cannot effectively fight as an anti-surface combatant on open water and her shell speed prevents her from faring well in ranged firefights. Instead, one should look to play defensively during the initial stages of the game such as hiding behind islands to protect yourself while you lob shells over them to harass enemies, and choose areas of the map that allow you to fight enemies at your terms in close to medium range. The closer Des Moines gets, the more dangerous and potentially devastating she becomes. It should not come as a surprise that if played right, the cruiser can practically dictate the flow of battle and at the mid-game to late game stages where the strongest ships have likely killed each other off, the opportunity to become hyper aggressive and quickly mop up the enemy team with the withering rate of fire is now open to the player. This isn't the only way to play Des Moines as she can serve the player well with whatever tactics they bring to the field. Shift your play style depending on the situation to give your team the best chance of winning. Knowing when to go defensive or aggressive is key to doing well in this ship.


  • Quick reload.
  • Highest cruiser DPM in the game.
  • Surprising AP shell potency; the cruiser can basically fire her AP shells even against a battleship when the situation calls for it.
  • Very effective against destroyers and cruisers at close to medium range, can give battleships something to be wary of, and fend off aerial assaults.
  • Fully upgraded AA can reach out to 7.2 km.
  • The best cruiser AA in the game.
  • Reasonably protected when bow on towards enemies, however battleships can still injure you greatly if their shells hit you with good accuracy.
  • Gun layout and high shell arc allows one to sit behind an island and lob shells over it to harass far away enemies, while being partially covered by the island.
  • High shell arc allows for consistent citadel hits on other cruisers from long range due to plunging fire.
  • High shell arc also allows firing behind island cover.
  • High rate of fire can made up her low fire chance, which can turn into one of the best HE spamming cruiser.
  • Having radar with 9.9 km range and long activation time, in addition of high rate of fire means she is a destroyer nightmare.


  • Vulnerable to long-range HE spam.
  • Main guns are very vulnerable when bow on towards your enemies.
  • Slower shell velocity means arc is rather high which makes shells take a bit long to reach the target point.
  • Quite large citadel.
  • HE shells fire chance are not as good as Japanese/French/Russian cruiser, and did not have good penetration like German cruiser.
  • Her AA advantage is not permanent, as these AA guns can be destroyed by enemy fire especially Royal Navy battleship HE.
  • Her AA advantage is only useful when there is a carrier in the matchmaking, therefore her AA guns is practically useless if there is no carrier in game.
  • Overly rely on terrain advantage such as island to hide her presence.
  • Her radar have lower range than Russian cruiser radar with 11.7 km range.


None. As the ship is elite when purchased, Des Moines has no additional modules to research.

Optimal Configuration


The recommended upgrades for Des Moines are as follows:

Anti-air Build: Currently the most popular build for this ship. Captain wishing to focus their Des Moines to have better AA will opt for AA Guns Modification 2 (+20% to AA mounts maximum firing range.) for the Slot 3 to add more range for her AA up to 6.0km (7.2km with Advanced Firing Training skill) and AA Guns Modification 3 (+25% to average damage per second of AA mounts.) for the Slot 6 to add more AA DPS. Although her AA is completely scary, her usefulness is depends whether there is a carrier in the game. This build, however, is great on divisioning with a Tier 9 or Tier 10 carrier to make sure that the carrier division has AA as a cover. If not for divisioning, the lack of high-tier carriers make players tend to replace AA Guns Modification 3 for Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 (+16% to main battery maximum firing range.) or Main Battery Modification 3 (-12% to main battery loading time. / -13% to the main battery traverse speed.) as it has more in-game impact compared to AA Guns Modification 3.

Gun Build: Captain wishing to focus their Des Moines to have better guns will opt for Aiming Systems Modification 1 (-7% to maximum dispersion of main battery shells. / +20% to torpedo tubes traverse speed. / +5% to secondary battery maximum firing range. / -5% to maximum dispersion of secondary shells.) for the Slot 3 to add more accuracy and Main Battery Modification 3 (-12% to main battery loading time. / -13% to the main battery traverse speed.) for the Slot 6 to shorten her reload up to 4.8s or even lower with Adrenaline Rush skill. Gun Fire Control System Modification 2 (+16% to main battery maximum firing range.) for the Slot 6 can also works to add more range up to 18.4km. Again, this is depends on captain's choice whether better reload or better range is what he pursue. This build also removes her AA usefulness, although her AA is still scary even without AA build.

Keep in mind that Des Moines can also be equipped with Surveillance Radar Modification 1 (+40% to duration of Surveillance Radar.) in the Slot 2 to extend her radar activation time up to 56s.

Commander Skills


Des Moines can equip the following consumables:

As she is a high-tier cruiser, it is recommended to equip all consumables with the premium one, which can be bought with CreditsCredits or Doubloons Doubloons.

Captain focusing Des Moines on AA build will equip Defensive AA Fire II (While active, damage per second of large caliber anti-aircraft guns increased.) for the Slot 2, especially when divisioning with carrier. Although for solo playing, Hydroacoustic Search II (Detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, regardless of obstacles (such as smoke screens or islands).) is more recommended if there is no carrier around.

Obviously, every Des Moines captain would use Surveillance Radar II (While active, detects all enemy ships within the specified radius, regardless of obstacles (such as smoke screens or islands).) more than anything on the Slot 3.


Type 1, 2, or 5 camouflage can be equipped for CreditsCredits; Types 1 or 5 are recommended at a minimum to reduce detection range.

Captains can also equip Des Moines with Type 20 camouflage for 5000 Doubloons that lowers her detection range, reduces the accuracy of incoming shells, reduces her repair costs, increases her credit earnings, and increases the amount of experience she earns.


Historical Info

Historical Gallery


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Aircraft Carriers  IV Langley • V Bogue • VI Independence • VII Ranger • VII Saipan Doubloons • VIII Lexington • VIII Enterprise Doubloons • IX Essex • X Midway
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Germany  I Hermelin • II Dresden • II Emden Doubloons • III Kolberg • IV Karlsruhe • V Königsberg • VI Nürnberg • VI Admiral Graf Spee Doubloons • VI HSF Admiral Graf Spee Doubloons • VII Yorck • VIII Admiral Hipper • VIII Prinz Eugen Doubloons • IX Roon • X Hindenburg 
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Pan-Asia  I Chengan • VI Huanghe Doubloons 
Italy  VI Duca d'Aosta Doubloons • VII Duca degli Abruzzi Doubloons 
France  I Bougainville • II Jurien de la Gravière • III Friant • IV Duguay-Trouin • V Émile Bertin • VI La Galissonnière • VI De Grasse Doubloons • VII Algérie • VIII Charles Martel • IX Saint-Louis • X Henri IV 
Commonwealth  VI Perth Doubloons