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Final Review: German Tier IX Premium German Destroyer Z-44

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So… the Z-44 is getting released today for the price of 228 000 coal or 19 300 doubloons. Is she worth that amount of resources? Does she bring anything interesting to the table? Here is my opinion on it.

Historical Background

The Z-44 was a never-completed Type 1936B destroyer from the Kriegsmarine.

In total, 8 ships were planned but only 3 served during the war even though they had fairly short careers. Z-35 and Z-36 were commissioned in September 1943 and February 1944 respectively. The ships were used for mine-laying operations, escorting convoys and bombarding Soviet positions. In December 1944, due to bad weather, they entered ironically a friendly minefield and both struck mines with Z-36 sinking almost immediately and Z-35 a bit later.

Z-43, the last survivor of the class was commissioned in May 1944 and followed her sisterships’ steps. She was assigned to convoy escort and artillery support for troops on land until she struck a mine in April 1945. After emergency repairs, she continued providing fire support in the Warnenmünde harbor until she exhausted all her ammunition. She was sent to Kiel on the 2nd of May where she was scuttled the next day.

When it comes to the rest of the class, Z-40, Z-41 and Z-42 were canceled. Z-44 was launched in January 1944 and her uncompleted hull was sunk by the Royal Airforce in July 1944. Finally, the uncompleted hull of Z-45 was scrapped in 1946.

The Z-44 that we get in World of Warships is a bit different from the actual plans for the Type 1936B destroyer as she is armed with quintuple launchers instead of quadruple launchers. She is also armed with 30 mm AA guns.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • 32 mm HE penetration to damage enemy cruisers and battleships
  • Short torpedo reload
  • 12 km torpedo range
  • Good HP pool for a torpedo focused destroyer
  • No long-range AA (Yes, I count it as a good point as it will avoid that situation with your random teammate, forgetting to turn their AA off, get dunked by the enemy carrier 2 minutes in because they got spotted from 6 km.)

The Bad

  • Low damage output due to low HE damage combined with only 5 guns and a longer reload than on Z-46
  • Slow turret traverse speed meaning that you can’t keep guns on target when doing a turn at close range
  • Horrible firing angles forcing you to give full broadside if you want to use more than 4 guns
  • Low torpedo damage
  • Low flooding chance
  • Below-average speed
  • Poor concealment (Slightly worse than Kitakaze)
  • No Hydroacoustic Search
  • German destroyers’ Smoke Generator
  • Long story short, it’s a worse Fletcher

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Z-44 provides the classic bonuses for tier IX ships:

  • -3% to surface detectability range
  • +4% to maximum dispersion of shells fired by the enemy at your ship
  • -20% to the cost of the ship’s post-battle service
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle

Gun Fire Control System
Main battery




Propulsion: 70 000 hp


FKS Typ 9 Mod. 1


128 mm/45 SK C/34 on an MPLC/34 mount


G7a T1

General Characteristics and playstyle

Health19 400 HP
Displacement3 542 tons
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range11.110 km
128 mm/45 SK C/34 on an MPLC/34 mount5 x 1 128 mm
Torpedo Armament
Maximum Firing Range12.000 km
533 mm Fünfling2 x 5 533 mm
Maximum speed36.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius670 m
Rudder Shift Time8.3 s
Surface Detectability7.78 km
Air Detectability3.5 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke3.06 km

Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Smoke Generator
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 20 s
Cooldown: 160 s
Smoke radius: 450 m
Smoke duration: 77 s
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 120 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Effect: +8% speed

So basically, the playstyle of the Z-44 can be summarized the following way: Spam torpedoes as much as you can to maybe get some impact while trying to not get gunned down by enemy destroyers or literally anything else.
Sounds like fun right?

Honestly, there isn’t much to add to this. Her firepower blocks her from doing any real gunfights against enemy destroyers unless they are already crippled and she isn’t much better at farming cruisers and battleships.

The combination of bad firepower, poor concealment and the lack of Hydroacoustic Search also limits the ship in her capacity to contest capture points. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid the capture points like the plague but… you don’t want to enter a cap at the same time as a Jutland or Kitakaze…

At least, the HP pool of the Z-44 is pretty good so unless you really screw up, you have HP to spare if an enemy destroyer catches you.

Main Battery

Main Battery
5 x 1 128 mm/45 SK C/34 on an MPLC/34 mount
 Maximum Firing Range11.110 km
 Reloading Time4.2 s
180 Degree Turn Time22.5 s
Optimal firing angles at the front53°
Optimal firing angles at the rear54°
Sigma2.00 sigma
Maximum Dispersion99 m
Type of Projectile HE – 128 mm Spr.Gr.
Alpha Damage1 500 HP
Damage460 HP
Penetration capacity 32 mm
Explosion size0.41
Fire chance6 %
Projectile Speed830 m/s
Air Drag0.345
Projectile Mass28 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 128 mm P.Spr.Gr.
Alpha Damage3000 HP
Projectile Speed830 m/s
Air Drag0.345
Projectile Mass28 kg
Projectile Krupp1 640
Projectile Detonator0.01 s
Detonator threshold21 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

When it comes to her firepower, Z-44 is really lacking punch. The only saving grace is the German special HE penetration that allows her HE to penetrate 32 mm platings.

For the rest… the biggest stinker is the horrible firing angles. If you want to use all 5 guns, you will need to basically be full broadside. This even further limits her firepower, especially if you are forced to fight another destroyer which brings us to the next problem.

The turret traverse is very slow for destroyer guns. It’s in fact too slow to keep the guns on target when doing sharp turns so one more reason to avoid fights with destroyers when you can.
Last nail in the coffin, the damage output itself. Unless you find something on which you can use AP, the damage you will get with the infamous German HE will be miles away from stellar, especially since you have 1 less gun than Z-46 with a slightly longer reload. If you want to compare her to another destroyer when it comes to firepower, it would be with a Fletcher-class due to the similar gun layout. The problem is that a Fletcher would badly outgun this ship.

Torpedo Armament

Torpedo Tubes
2 x 5 533 mm Fünfling
G7a T1
Reloading Time85 s
Maximum Distance12.000 km
Optimal firing angles at the front45°
Optimal firing angles at the rear60°
Damage13 700
Flooding Chance227 %
Speed64 kt
Surface Detectability1.3 km

The torpedo armament is the main “strength” of the Z-44. The ship is equipped with 2 quintuple launchers and with 12 km range torpedoes. While this is on paper a good armament, in action, it’s frankly nothing crazy.

The torpedoes only deal 13 700 damage which is just 3 000 damage more than the torpedoes of the Ostergotland and the flooding chance is also one of the lowest for destroyer torpedoes in high tier. Fletcher’s upgraded torpedoes for example have a 323% flooding chance on top of dealing almost 6 000 more damage.

This low damage per hit is compensated by the fast reload of her torpedo launchers. Without counting Adrenaline Rush, if you use Torpedo Armament Expertise and Torpedo Tube Modification 2, the reload goes down to 65 seconds.

I think that at this point, you understand that the only way for the Z-44 to get something down is to just spam torpedoes because it’s literally the only thing she is good at.

Anti-air Armament

Air Defense
7 x 4 30 mm/45 Flak 103/38 on a quadruple mount 
Sector range0.1 km – 3.0 km
Hit chance95 %
Sector’s damage73
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second256

Unlike the Z-46 with her dual-purpose main battery, the Z-44 can only count on her close-range AA to shoot down planes (or at least try). In action, it’s a good DPS for the standard of destroyers so you will get rid of fighters fast but for attack planes, dive bombers and torpedo bombers… it will be a bit more problematic.

The armor

The Z-44 presents the classic armor protection of a high-tier destroyer. The hull is protected by 19 mm of armor while the superstructure is 13 mm thick. The gun shields are 8 mm thick.

Final Opinion

I think that you understood at this point, I REALLY don’t recommend the Z-44. Its only purpose is to spam torpedoes and even for that, Östergotland would be better because her torpedoes are easier to land due to their high speed and the loss of damage and reload isn’t the end of the world.

Save your coal (or money) on that one unless you are a good old Wehraboo called 88PanzerKruppstahl88 collecting every possible German ship.

P.S.: Sorry in advance if someone here is actually called like that in-game, it’s not targeted towards you.

Recommended build

During the testing of the Z-44, I used the following captain build and upgrades:

Captain build:

  • Preventive Maintenance: You want to reduce the chance for your modules to be incapacitated, especially your torpedo tubes and engines.
  • Last Stand: As a destroyer, mobility is the key. A destroyer that can’t move or maneuver is a dead one.
  • Torpedo Armament Expertise: Z-44 exists to spam torpedoes so make sure that she can spam as much of them as she can.
  • Concealment Expert: Generally speaking, a no-brainer on destroyers, especially on destroyers. With the upgrade as well, you can get the concealment down to 6.11 km. It’s still not great but it’s better than nothing.
  • Survivability Expert: The more you can keep your torpedo boat afloat, the more torpedoes you will be able to launch at the enemy.
  • Adrenaline Rush: The lower your HP is, the more torpedoes you will be able to launch.
  • Radio Location: Considering that Z-44 isn’t good at dealing with destroyers, it would be better to know in advance from where they might come.


  • Icon_modernization_PCM030_MainWeapon_Mod_I.png Main Armaments Modification 1: There is literally nothing else worth taking in this slot. You want to keep your armaments working.
  • Icon_modernization_PCM069_Movement_Mod_I.png Engine Room Protection or  :  Here, it’s up to you. Either you prefer to make sure that your engines and steering gears survive as much as possible or you prefer to have a longer Engine Boost.
  • Torpedo Tube Modification 1: It’s a torpedo boat so let’s make sure that the torpedoes are more likely to hit thanks to the higher speed.
  • Wows_icon_modernization_PCM024_Engine_Mod_II.png Propulsion Modification 1: The rudder shift time is already fast enough and without hydro, you want engines as reactive as possible if you have to dodge torpedoes coming in your smoke cloud.
  • Concealment System Modification 1: Absolute no brainer, you need to make that ship as stealthy as possible.
  • Torpedo Tube Modification 2: Let’s make it short. MOAR torpedoes!

Thank you for reading this article!
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15,466 thoughts on “Final Review: German Tier IX Premium German Destroyer Z-44

  1. When I read your “final opinion” paragraph I almost barked out laughing and spat coffee on my computer…

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