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Final Review: Tier IX French Premium Cruiser Carnot

8 min read

Camarades, Compagnons! The day has come! The first French high-tier battlecruiser is now available to purchase. You will find Carnot in the Armory for 228 000 Coal or 19 300 doubloons as well as in the Premium Shop.

Is she worth it? Is it a tier IX Henri IV? Is the 25 seconds reload time compensated by the rest of her characteristics? Here is my opinion on it.

Historical background

The Carnot is based on two preliminary designs for the Dunkerque-class battleships of the French Marine Nationale.

In 1926, in an effort to counter the Italian Trento-class heavy cruisers, the Chief of the Naval General Staff, Admiral Henri Salaun requested a new series of capital ships. The initial design was calling for a 17 500 tons battlecruiser armed with a main battery consisting of two quadruple turrets with 305 mm guns and with both turrets at the front.

With the potential future threat of the German Deutschland-class Panzerschiffe, the 17 500 tons design was abandoned in favor of a much larger one. The new “Croiseur de Bataille de 37 000 tonnes” was a massive battlecruiser armed with twelve 305 mm guns in three quadruple turrets for the A design and six 406 mm guns in three twin turrets for the B1 design. In essence, these designs were pretty much an enlarged version of the Suffren-class.

There was, however, a tiny issue. No shipyard in France was able to build such massive ships and so the idea was abandoned.

A follow-on design, much smaller, was then proposed called “Croiseur protégé de 23 690 tonnes”. This design was armed with ten 305 mm guns in two triple and one quadruple turret. However, the level of protection it would offer wasn’t enough against the 283 mm guns of the Deutschland-class which were considered as the main threat at the time.

With some pressure from the French Parliament, a new set of requirements was issued, calling for a ship with an armor protection able to resist 283 mm guns as well as a main battery of eight 330 mm guns. This would lead to the construction of the Dunkerque-class as we know it today.

In World of Warships, Carnot is taking the armament of the later “Croiseur protégé de 23 690 tonnes” with a main battery of ten 305 mm and a secondary battery of eight 139 mm guns as well as sixteen 100 mm guns. When it comes to the hull, she is actually using the “Croiseur de Bataille de 37 000 tonnes” and most likely the A2 variant considering the position of the funnels.

Considering that Wargaming are using the 37 000 tons design for the hull, I bet you without much doubt that we will see the twelve guns design at tier X later with a simple turret swap being needed.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Great ballistics
  • 10 guns broadside
  • Hard-hitting AP shells
  • 36 mm deck armor and 30 mm side armor
  • Well protected citadel
  • Very high amount of HP
  • 20% Engine Boost consumable allowing the ship to reach more than 43 knots
  • Capacity to speed dodge similar to Henri IV before her engine’s nerf
  • The freaking aesthetic of the razzle-dazzle camo!

The Bad

  • Underwhelming HE damage output
  • Very long main battery reload time of 25 seconds
  • Bad firing angles at the rear
  • High freeboard and as a whole, large target
  • Poor concealment
  • Spotting aircraft consumable in the same slot as the Engine Boost

The camouflage

The permanent camouflage of the Carnot 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 ship’s post-battle service
  • +100% to experience earned in the battle


Gun Fire Control System
Main battery




Propulsion: 160 000 hp


‎PCA n° 9 Mle 1


305 mm/50 Mle 1930

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Tier IX
Health 66 450 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 19 %
Displacement 38 270 tons
Overall length 254.5 m
Beam 30.52 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 34.0 m
Freeboard 10.3 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 18.560 km
305 mm/50 Mle 1930 2 x 3 305 mm
1 x 4 305 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
139 mm/50 Mle 1929
100 mm/55 CAD Mle 1945
4 x 2 139 mm
8 x 2 100 mm
Maximum speed 34.5 knots
Turning Circle Radius 870 m
Rudder Shift Time 14.4 s
Surface Detectability 15.3 km
Air Detectability 10.62 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 11.9 km
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Slot 4
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Defensive AA Fire
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Continuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%
Engine Boost
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 180 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Speed bonus: +20%
Repair Party
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration: 0.5%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 30%
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of planes in a squadron: 4
Spotting Aircraft
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 240 s
Maximum firing range: +20%

Overall, the Carnot stays relatively in line with what you could expect from a French cruiser. A very mobile kiting cruiser blazing guns at everything in range. However, unlike the rest of the French cruisers that heavily rely on HE, the Carnot is a lot more focused on the AP, able to slap very hard anything giving her broadside.

Another thing that makes her stand apart from the other French cruisers is her great armor protection. While the ship stands high on the water, she is well protected for a tier IX cruiser with 30 mm sides to be able to resist battleship salvos and even a 36 mm deck to provide her with some form of protection against HE from cruisers and AP from everything bigger than 420 mm.

While the Carnot is a kiting cruiser, there is one thing that messes up with the kiting part and it’s the firing angles. When firing at the rear, you need the ship to be angled at 39° if you want to fire all guns. This means that AP shells will be able to penetrate your sides without too many troubles. As such, you ALWAYS need to be careful and think about reangling the ship after firing unless your target doesn’t pay attention to you.

Except that, you will generally see yourself working on catching enemy ships broadside to get that AP in action. This can be done quite easily thanks to the great mobility of the Carnot. I don’t recommend running a full lighthouse build as it ends up giving you very little to no room at all for getting to position unnoticed.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a replay from one of my games:

Main Battery

2 x 3 305 mm/50 Mle 1930
1 x 4 305 mm/50 Mle 1930
 Maximum Firing Range 18.560 km
 Reloading Time 25.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 30.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 28°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 39°
Sigma 2.05 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 204 m
Type of Projectile  HE – 305 mm HE OEA Mle 1910
Alpha Damage 4 250 HP
Damage 2 700 HP
Penetration capacity  51 mm
Explosion size 1.6
Fire chance 25 %
Projectile Speed 905 m/s
Air Drag 0.27
Projectile Mass 426 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 305 mm AP OPf Mle 1910
Alpha Damage 8 700 HP
Projectile Speed 870 m/s
Air Drag 0.265
Projectile Mass 442 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 225
Projectile Detonator 0.033 s
Detonator threshold 51 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°

The main armament of the Carnot represents a certain oddity among French cruisers as… well let’s be honest, her HE is fairly lackluster. The fire chances are low and so is the damage output as a whole.

As a result, you will find yourself relying on the AP a lot more but thankfully, that AP doesn’t disappoint with fast shells and pretty good penetration (slightly superior to Alaska at all ranges). I won’t lie though, I miss the short AP fuse the ship had at the start.

Because of the long reload time, the ammo choice is crucial and Expert Loader is a high priority skill. If you want you can take it before Grease the Gears which is also very important as otherwise, your turrets won’t be able to stay on target when turning at full speed.

Secondary Armament

4 x 2 139 mm/50 Mle 1929
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
Reloading Time 10.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Type of Projectile HE – 139 mm HE OEA Mle 1910
Alpha Damage 2 000 HP
Damage 530 HP
HE penetration 23 mm
Explosion Size 0.47
Chance to Cause Fire 8 %
Projectile Speed 840 m/s
Air Drag 0.376
Projectile Mass 31.5 kg
8 x 2 100 mm/55 CAD Mle 1945
Maximum Firing Range 7.950 km
Reloading Time 3.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Type of Projectile HE – 100 mm HE OEA Mle 1945
Alpha Damage 1 400 HP
Damage 300 HP
HE penetration 17 mm
Explosion Size 0.29
Chance to Cause Fire 5 %
Projectile Speed 855 m/s
Air Drag 0.314
Projectile Mass 13.32 kg

The secondaries are surprisingly not useless.

The Carnot has a heavy broadside of 12 guns including fast-firing 100 mm secondaries which are very nice to start random fires or as a whole, getting some extra damage on superstructures.

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 100 mm/55 CAD Mle 1945
Sector range 0.1 km – 5.8 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 40
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 140
Flak clouds number 6
Flak cloud damage 1 400
12 x 4 40 mm/56 Bofors Mk2
Sector range 0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 93
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 326
13 x 1 20 mm/70 Mk4
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 93
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 326

The anti-air on Carnot definitely isn’t bad. While she only has 6 flaks per salvo, the DPS on all ranges is reasonably high and with Defensive AA fire, you will be able to defend yourself fairly reliably.

The Armor

Carnot presents a very nice armor protection. While the ship sits high on the water, the sides and deck will allow you to easily bounce shells from enemy battleships and the deck will give you some protection against HE from cruisers.

The only real weakness is the part between the upper and lower deck that can turn into a shell magnet when kiting.

As for the turtleback, it’s very effective against AP from cruisers. Battleships sadly overmatch it but at least, the citadel sits just at the waterline.

External armor protection:


Front and rear armor protection of the middle section:


Hidden main armor deck:



Citadel armor protection:


Turrets armor protection:


Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Final Opinion

Overall, I quite enjoyed the Carnot. It’s not as strong or impactful as an Alaska but for a guy like me who likes kiting cruisers, it’s definitely a nice experience.

The HE might not be very good but the AP slaps hard at all ranges and generally speaking, the firepower is compensated by the capacity the ship has to stay alive.

In the end, it’s a nice, well-balanced premium that I can recommend.

Recommended Build

For the Carnot, I recommend the following commander build:

  • Grease the Gears
  • Priority Target
  • Superintendent
  • Concealment Expert
  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Expert Loader
  • Heavy AP Shells
  • Heavy HE and SAP Shells
  • Incoming Fire Alert

I really recommend one of the Honoré brothers because of their buffed Grease the Gears and Adrenaline Rush.

This concludes my review of the Carnot. Thank you for reading this article!

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