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Ships of Germany

Ships of Germany

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Throughout most of European history, Germany's naval prowess had always been eclipsed by its British, French, Dutch and Spanish neighbors. A unified Germany only came into being in the late 19th century, thus it did not play a major role in the European colonial period; while its inherited coastline (largely from the Kingdom of Prussia) was relatively long, Germany's geographical location at the center of the European continent meant that greater preference was given to its army and its navy never went beyond being a coastal defense force. Beginning in the late 19th century, Kaiser Wilhelm II pursued a policy of naval strengthening, believing that a powerful navy was the key to power on the world stage and possibly also wishing to compete with his cousin, King George V of Britain. While the meteoric rise of the Imperial German Navy[1] caught the attention of Europe and brought about a costly naval arms race, it was never able to out-build and out-innovate the Royal Navy, who responded with powerful and revolutionary designs such as HMS Dreadnought and the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships. Nevertheless, the Imperial German Navy was a formidable force in World War I, being the first navy in the world to display the crippling effectiveness of submarines (despite technological limitations) against unescorted merchant shipping and slow, sluggish warships.


After her defeat, Germany once again set about attempting to challenge the Royal Navy with "Plan Z", but the earlier-than-expected outbreak of World War II meant that it could not be fully implemented, leaving her navy — now known as the Kriegsmarine[2] — severely under-equipped to go toe-to-toe with the Royal Navy. This caused her surface fleet to be mostly relegated to operations support (such as Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway and Denmark) and commerce raiding. However, the Kriegsmarine had powerful (but very few) battleships and battlecruisers, scoring victories in sinking HMS Hood and HMS Glorious and putting up valiant, stubborn resistance — a testament to the crews' tenacity — until the superior numbers of British forces wore them down. As in World War I, more feared than her surface combatants were her fleet of U-boats; the largest, most powerful in the world and under the command of Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz — an experienced submariner himself who was instrumental in the buildup of the U-boat fleet after the scrapping of "Plan Z" — they wreaked havoc on British and American fleets and supply lines, sinking 14 million tons of shipping and more enemy warships than any other class throughout the war. Eventually, mounting losses inflicted by the Royal Navy resulted in the Kriegsmarine's surrender along with Germany on 8 May 1945, Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.

Destroyers

Leberecht Maass, Tier VII destroyer

Gameplay

German destroyers offer a mix in playstyles. A captain who enjoys Russian destroyers will enjoy the primary gun handling. Fans of Japanese destroyers will enjoy their fast-reloading torpedoes. And American destroyer captains will find themselves in one of the best capture point destroyers available. The early tiers encourage aggressive play with forward-firing torpedo arcs all the way to Tier IV. Charge an enemy battleship with Engine Boost (While active, increases a ship's speed by a fixed percentage.), change course to fire both front torpedoes, close to point-blank range, turn and unload. Unlike American destroyers, German Smoke Generator (While active, generates a smoke screen that blocks line-of-sight for both enemies and teammates.) consumables do not last as long, so they are mainly used as a defensive measure. The Tier V T-22 loses the forward-facing torpedo arcs and serves as a transition from the low tier destroyers to the high tier. Things get interesting at Tier VI with the Ernst Gaede, as it adds one more tool to the German captain's arsenal: Hydroacoustic Search (While active, detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, without regard of obstacles such as smoke and terrain.). Now the hunted becomes the hunter, as German Destroyers from Tier VI and above are able to charge an enemy smoke cloud, activate Hydroacoustic Search (While active, detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, without regard of obstacles such as smoke and terrain.), and spot incoming torpedoes and the enemy ship itself. Enemy destroyers are no longer safe remaining in their smoke cloud on a capture point. Kill them or drive them off and capture the point! Hydroacoustic Search (While active, detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, without regard of obstacles such as smoke and terrain.) also enables German destroyers to screen ahead of the fleet and locate incoming torpedoes aimed at friendly battleships. To mix things up, both the Tier VI Ernst Gaede and the Tier VIII Z-23 allow for 150mm guns. These guns, coupled with strong armor-piercing shells, enable the experienced German captain to citadel broadside cruisers. This destroyer line does have some drawbacks, however. These ships can be vulnerable to enemy aircraft spotting or attacking them. In addition, their wide hull makes it very easy for enemy cruisers and battleships to penetrate with armor-piercing shells, doing more damage than expected. A German destroyer captain must keep these weaknesses in mind when operating in a battle. Teamwork is of the utmost importance!

Cruisers

Admiral Hipper, Tier VIII cruiser

Gameplay

German cruisers[3] start off as lighter versions of their contemporaries, but as they progress up the tiers (especially past Tier VI), their true prowess is revealed: turrets that turn lightning-fast, housing guns that rapidly fire powerful armor-piercing shells at long ranges, outranging both American and Japanese cruisers and even some battleships. Moreover, they commonly have the highest health values of their tier — allowing them to take a beating before going down — and their shells have reasonable firing arcs (i.e. no rainbow-like arcs such as those found on American destroyers and light cruisers) making gunnery very comfortable. Interestingly, their torpedoes from Tier V onwards are all exactly the same; do not underestimate them, however, for while a 6.0 km range is only marginally better than mid-tier American destroyers, at 64 knots German cruiser torpedoes are the fastest torpedoes mounted by any cruiser in the game until Tier IX Japanese cruiser Ibuki gets her upgraded torpedo module. Mid-tier German cruisers have mediocre anti-aircraft suites at best, but at Tier VIII and above they are loaded with a mix of long-range, high damage 40mm, 55mm, and 105mm guns that provide excellent AA protection for themselves and allied ships — particularly with the Defensive AA Fire (While active, the damage per second of large caliber anti-aircraft guns is increased.) consumable — and are frequently a source of frustration for enemy carrier captains. The downside is that German cruisers overall suffer from below average to average armor, poor concealment values, sub-par HE shell damage, and rather average speed and maneuverability. Starting at Tier IV, German cruisers have access to a superior version of the Hydroacoustic Search (While active, detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, without regard of obstacles such as smoke and terrain.) consumable.

Battleships

Gneisenau, Tier VII battleship

Gameplay

German battleships[4] exemplify their focus on designs and armor schemes capable of absorbing extraordinary amounts punishment and still remain afloat. Their main armament is often slightly smaller than their same-tier counterparts — though they reload quicker — and they frequently have more hit points and better armor, making them some of the most survivable battleships in the game. Their historical "turtleback" armor is modeled accurately in-game; they are more resilient the closer in they get to their enemies, though their armor schemes do leave them more vulnerable to long-range plunging fire. These battleships feature heavy secondary armaments up-and-down the line, further rewarding players who are able to work into close-range brawls with enemy capital ships. Like their cruiser comrades, mid-to-high tier German battleships typically feature excellent long-range anti-aircraft firepower on the backs of their 105mm dual purpose batteries, but their AA doesn't continue to scale up the closer enemy planes get like American battleship anti-aircraft firepower does. Though they feature quicker-than-average rudder shift times, they tend to have very large turning circles that make avoiding both ship and aerial torpedoes difficult. German battleships at Tier VIII and up receive access to the Hydroacoustic Search (While active, detects all enemy ships and torpedoes within the specified radius, without regard of obstacles such as smoke and terrain.) consumable to help alleviate this, but it is a constant threat that captains must keep in mind.

Aircraft Carriers

About German tech-tree carriers
Germany's lone aircraft carrier was never completed. However, in World of Warships that is a minor problem. The aircraft, armor, and armament of Graf Zeppelin make her gameplay very different from other aircraft carriers.

Destroyers

Ship_PGSD102_V_25.png
II V-25
Ship_PGSD103_G_101.png
III G-101
Ship_PGSD104_V_170.png
IV V-170
Ship_PGSD105_T_22.png
V T-22
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VI T-61  Doubloons
Ship_PGSD508_Z_39.png
VII Z-39  Doubloons
Ship_PGSD108_Z_23.png
VIII Z-23
Ship_PGSD518_Z_35.png
VIII Z-35  Doubloons
Ship_PGSD109_Z_46.png
IX Z-46
Ship_PGSD110_Z_52.png
X Z-52

Cruisers

Ship_PGSC502_Emden_1908.png
II Emden  Doubloons
Ship_PGSC103_Kolberg.png
III Kolberg
Ship_PGSC107_Yorck.png
VII Yorck
Ship_PGSC508_Prinz_Eugen.png
VIII Prinz Eugen  Doubloons
Ship_PGSC518_Mainz.png
VIII Mainz  Doubloons
Ship_PGSC109_Roon.png
IX Roon
Ship_PGSC519_Aegir.png
IX Ägir

Battleships

Ship_PGSB103_Nassau.png
III Nassau
Ship_PGSB503_Koenig_Albert.png
III König Albert  Doubloons
Ship_PGSB104_Kaiser.png
IV Kaiser
Ship_PGSB106_Bayern.png
VI Bayern
Ship_PGSB507_Scharnhorst.png
VII Scharnhorst  Doubloons
Ship_PGSB597_Black_Scharnhorst.png
VII Scharnhorst B  Doubloons
Ship_PGSB002_Tirpiz_1942.png
VIII Tirpitz  Doubloons
Ship_PGSB108_Bismarck.png
VIII Bismarck
Ship_PGSB508_Odin.png
VIII Odin  Doubloons
Ship_PGSB598_Black_Tirpitz.png
VIII Tirpitz B  Doubloons
Ship_PGSB509_Pommern.png
IX Pommern  Doubloons

Aircraft Carriers

Ship_PGSA104_Rhein.png
IV Rhein
Ship_PGSA106_Weser.png
VI Weser
Ship_PGSA518_Graf_Zeppelin.png
VIII Graf Zeppelin  Doubloons
Ship_PGSA598_Black_Graf_Zeppelin.png
VIII Graf Zeppelin B  Doubloons

Notes

Division and Destruction of Kriegsmarine Ships - 05/07/2018 - News - World of Warships
German Battleships. Cinematic Trailer - Aug 17, 2016 - World of Warships Official Channel - YouTube
German Cruisers - Oct 1, 2015 - World of Warships Official Channel - YouTube
Squall Line: German Cruisers - 10/14/2015 - News - World of Warships
German Aircraft Carriers Review - 5 Aug 2020 - News - World of Warships

  1. Imperial German Navy (Wikipedia) and Ships of the Imperial German Navy.
  2. The navy was reconstituted as the Reichsmarine (Wikipedia) under the Weimar Republic. In 1935 it was renamed the Kriegsmarine (Wikipedia) or 'War Navy'.
  3. Cruisers of Germany (Wikipedia)
  4. Battleships of Germany (Wikipedia).
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