So, the Russians are coming. Again. They’ve got cruisers this time to add to the existing destroyer fleet, and now I’m going to go into detail about what the stats may be like for these new ships, as well as dispel some misinformation. I’m not particularly fond of paper ships, which will make up half of this branch, but I also don’t take much stock in cries of ‘Russian bias’ either – let’s see just what these ships might be like. Make sure you’ve got plenty of time if you’re reading this on your lunch break, by the way; this is going to be a long one.
IX: Dmitry Donskoy
Orlan is already spoken for, of course. She’s in the game, a paper ship at Tier 1.
Novik (Tier 2) was a protected cruiser from 1900, actually built by the Germans. She was later salvaged and captured by the Japanese during the Russo-Japanese War, refloated and renamed Suzuya, and finally scrapped in 1913.
3080t displacement / 25kt speed / 6×1 120mm main guns
She’ll probably have good speed/maneuverability, low health, and fairly good guns. A bit in between the Chester and the Dresden, as far as current in-game cruisers go, no doubt also having a couple upgrades to improve her base performance. Nothing exceptional or unusual though, Novik is just a protected cruiser, after all.
Bogatyr (Tier 3) was the lead ship of a series of protected cruisers built before, after, and at the same time as the Novik above. In terms of technical innovation they’re not much different from Novik, but in game terms she will be necessarily a higher tier due to her guns and displacement. The Bogatyr-class actually had a very long service record, fighting with the Tsarists and the Soviets, all the way into the Second World War.
6645t displacement / 23kt speed / 12×1 152mm or 12x130mm main guns / 80mm belt armour
The Bogatyr will be like a cross between the Kolberg and the St. Louis – again, a bit of a middle ground between the Germans and Americans. With better speed than St. Louis, but not quite as many guns and slightly worse armour, but slower than Kolberg though with much better guns. Her guns will be great, and have an option of 130mm, faster-firing cannons, and will be decently fast (though nothing like the Tenryuu) with health second only to St. Louis herself. Overall, a nice ship with a unique look to her; I’m sure she’ll be popular for her tier, especially if St. Louis is anything to go by.
Svetlana (Tier 4), or Krasnyi Krym as she was known in Soviet service, was a light cruiser almost finished by the Imperial Russians before the Revolution, then completed in 1928. She served throughout WW2, and then in 1959 was scrapped after a few years of working as a training ship.
7999t displacement / 29kt speed / 15×1 130mm main guns / 2×3 450mm torpedoes / 76mm belt armour
High health for her tier, good speed and armour, lots of guns, and torpedoes. Svetlana has it all, and is a well-rounded light cruiser for Tier 4. By being a sort of jack of all trades, she manages to capture the kind of flexibility I feel would work really well, able to fight in any kind of scenario. Her speed might not help her keep pace with a Kuma or Phoenix, but she has health enough to take some punishment, and while her guns are actually the smallest for her tier, she’s got a lot – and if someone gets too close, a pair of torpedo tubes might help a bit, though their range probably will be abysmal, just like her destroyer counterparts. As a sidenote, her AA guns aren’t too bad, either, though not fantastic.
Kirov (Tier 5), not to be confused with the missile-launching Cold War ship of the same name, were the first heavy cruisers built by the Soviets. Two of them fought in the war, and all of them survived, with Kirov being the last of her class to be scrapped, in 1974. They were heavily influenced by Italian designs, and are themselves a pretty interesting ship, if not quite as legendary as other cruisers of the war.
9436t displacement / 36kt speed / 3×3 180mm main guns / 2×3 533mm torpedoes / 50mm belt armour
The fastest cruiser at Tier 5, she’s a heavy cruiser alongside Japan’s Furutaka. About the same health as Furutaka and faster, though with smaller guns, less torpedoes, and less armour. She’s not really a true heavy cruiser, though if you compare her to light cruisers of her tier like Omaha and Konigsberg she’s definitely tough, and will chew those ships up with her 180mm guns; while they aren’t as heavy as Furutaka‘s 8-inchers, they should reload more quickly, and she has nine of them as opposed to her Japanese counterpart’s six. I think her guns and speed will be the most attractive elements of her gameplay, with her torpedoes probably coming in as very situational weapons.
Budyonny (Tier 6) is a paper ship. That’s all I have to say, honestly, because I’m really not sure which Soviet paper cruiser design she’s supposed to be. Her guns look to make her a heavy cruiser, but that’s all I’ve got. Her name comes from a Cossack who fought with the Tsarists and later the Soviets after the Revolution, Semyon Budyonny. Anything other than that is unknown, and we’ll have to just wait until WG releases more information on her.
Shchors (Tier 7) is another made up name, definitely for a paper ship, though I don’t know which design she’s supposed to be. Obviously a Soviet one, as she’s named for the Red Army commander Nikolay Shchors, a common theme with a few of these Soviet cruisers. She looks like she might be a light cruiser, from the picture, with guns mounted in what look to be triples. Other than that, I unfortunately know nothing. We’ll have to wait and see!
Chapayev (Tier 8) is yet another- wait, never mind, this one’s real, don’t worry. The Chapayev light cruisers preceded the Sverdlov-class, of which the premium ship Mikhail Kutuzov is a member. Kind of odd, since Chapayev should be, as a regular ship, superior to her premium counterpart, but we’ll see how exactly she’s implemented. Thankfully though, since she’s real, we have actual stats for her and everything.
14100t displacement / 33.5kt speed / 4×3 152mm main guns / 2×3 533mm torpedoes / 100mm belt armour
Other than the Mogami, which gets off on a technicality, the Chapayev will be the only non-premium light cruiser at Tier 8. Since she was built with no obligation to follow the Washington Naval Treaty, her displacement (and therefore health) is rather high, but still lower than Mikhail Kutuzov, strangely. Her AA probably won’t be as good as Mikhail Kutuzov either, though her speed is quite good – better than Admiral Hipper or New Orleans so perhaps that will be her advantage. Her armour isn’t too bad for a light cruiser, though it isn’t as good as Mogami or New Orleans, so she seems to fit in an odd spot here. She’s not AA-heavy enough to melt planes like her Russian cousin, so will she be a full-on anti-destroyer cruiser? We can only speculate right now, so let’s leave things be with poor Chapayev until we get an idea of what her stats will be like, and how they compare to her Tier 8 rivals.
Dmitry Donskoy (Tier 9), probably a heavy cruiser, definitely taken from some paper, and named for the 14th-century Muscovite ruler and Saint Dmitry Donskoy. From her picture, she definitely looks like a heavy cruiser, and one with big huge guns, to boot. What design is she, then? The Soviets had quite a few heavy cruisers in mind, especially during and after WW2. She might be Project 22, drawn up in 1936 but never taken off the drawing board. Here’s what her (known) stats would be:
23000t+ displacement / 34kt speed / 3×3 254mm main guns
And that’s just about all there is we know about Project 22! I’ll note that Navweaps says 220mm guns were meant to be mounted on her, but I’m not sure how true this is. Stalin’s Ocean-Going Fleet by J. Rohwer and M. Monakov gives her armament as 254mm, which is what I’m going by here. That, plus her displacement, makes her seriously tough at even Tier 9. For the record, that’s nine guns, as many as Des Moines, but even bigger and with higher displacement, meaning higher health and potentially more armour. This brings me to another possible Tier 9 ship: Cruiser X.
Cruiser X? Yes, Cruiser X, the ship so mysterious it doesn’t even have a project name! Luckily, we’ve got a decent bit of information on her, though she was just a design that never went anywhere.
20000t displacement / 38kt speed / 4×3 240mm main guns / 2×3 533mm torpedoes
That’s less health than Des Moines, and probably much less armour; this design clearly has most of the ship’s displacement in the engines and guns, meaning she would be a heavy cruiser in guns only, focusing on avoiding taking fire with her great speed. However, those twelve 240mm guns are really something else, and if anything could disqualify the Cruiser X design, it’s them. But, if Dmitry Donskoy isn’t that or Project 22, what could she be? Thanks to my reading, I have one other alternative: the intermediate light/heavy cruiser, Project 65 from 1950.
13,500t+ displacement / 35kt speed / 3×3 180mm main guns / 2×5 533mm torpedoes
Possibly as heavy as or slightly heavier than Sverdlov or Chapayev, with bigger guns and higher speed, along with a ridiculous suite of dozens of AA guns. If anything, it’s mainly her armament that’s underwhelming, though I suppose it would reload faster than the 203mm guns and have good penetration/projectile speed. Project 65 isn’t exception save for her AA, but she could be feasible at Tier 9, and her guns aren’t completely out there like the 254mm or 240mm ones on the above projects. So, it’s a bit of a long shot, but if Dmitry Donskoy is indeed based on a genuine design, I’d put my money, for what it’s worth, on Project 65. Honestly, this one could go just about anywhere, nothing would really surprise me at this point in the Soviet paper cruiser tree.
Moskva (Tier 10) is a breath of fresh air. We know from the World of Warships in 2016 video that she is indeed the Project 66 heavy cruiser design of 1953, and not anything else. That is a definite fact. So, I suppose I’ll just copy down the notes for Project 66, which is a real design and was purely paper, though the ships did come fairly close to actually being laid down.
30750t displacement / 34.5kt speed / 3×3 220mm main guns
I said nothing would surprise me, didn’t I? Well, Project 66 – or Moskva, or whatever you want to call her – is quite a funny thing all on her own, and she’s one of the paper ships in this line we know the most about. She’s almost a full 10000 tons heavier than Des Moines, putting her health way up there, though she’ll be not very maneuverable despite her decent speed. Her guns are something else, too, but the case of the made-up Yorck at Tier 7 in the German cruiser line, with her 210mm guns, sets the precedent for heavy cruisers having bigger than 203mm guns, and 220mm isn’t that big of a step up, is it?
Her guns would hit hard, though wouldn’t necessarily reload all that quickly, and she also has no torpedoes. However, her armour most likely would be excellent, as that’s probably where much of her weight would go to; her AA armament is also very good according to design notes. At least 150mm of belt armour, if not even more than that, but she’s still not quite a battlecruiser. Now, if you were to ask me if this was a bit excessive, I’d say yes, without hesitating.
However, we don’t know how Moskva/Project 66 exactly will be implemented. Maybe her speed will be increased or decreased, or her armour won’t be that great. Don’t shout Russian bias yet, because we don’t know much about her beyond what we can speculate from design notes – but if she’s overpowered, I’ll definitely complain about that myself.
30000t is just huge for a cruiser.
Anyhow, I hope you liked this look into the upcoming Russian cruisers. The higher tiers are iffy, but the low-mid tiers definitely look like they’ll be a good bit of fun. I’m especially looking forward to Kirov, myself, I think those 180mms ought to be lovely.
Sources: Wikipedia, World of Warships in 2016, Stalin’s Ocean-Going Fleet by Jurgen Rohwer and Mikhail Monakov, RU Server News Portal