It is time to have a look at the upcoming British heavy cruisers that will enter live testing next month. I will not lie, I never thought that we would actually see an entire line of heavy cruisers in the Royal Navy tech tree but then again, I also believed that Wargaming would never ever bring submarines…
Some might point out that I still didn’t cover the stats of Gorizia aaaand… after playing it, I just don’t want to do it. If you want a quick summarize, the ship is simply a worse (PRE-BUFF) Zara that exchanges torpedoes for a hydroacoustic Search.
Now, enough talk about the Gorizia, let’s talk about HMS London.
HMS London, pennant number C69, was part of the second group of the County-class of heavy cruisers from the Royal Navy. The ship was launched in September 1927 and commissioned in January 1929.
London started her career as part of the 1st cruiser squadron and in 1937, she and her sister ship Shropshire helped to evacuate civilians from the city of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.
From March 1939 until March 1941, London underwent a reconstruction that modified the ship significantly, may it be the superstructure, the secondary armament or the protection.
When she returned in active service, HMS London took part in the Hunt of the Bismarck in May 1941. During this period, her upper deck and hull were damaged because of the weight of the new superstructure. The ship had to be repaired from October 1941 until February 1942. Her return to active service didn’t last long though. She spent 9 months in the North Atlantic, escorting convoys and took a serious beating from the heavy seas with cracks forming on the hull and rivet popping out. The damage she suffered lead to the ship being dry-docked in December 1942. These repairs were the occasion to make a proper refit to the ship: new radars, more anti-air weapons, rectification of the hull, etc. The refit was completed in May 1943 and after sea trials, the ship served off the South African coasts and later on with the Eastern Fleet until the end of the war.
After the war, she was implicated in the Amethyst Incident in early 1949 with Communist Chinese forces and was badly damaged while fighting them. She returned to Hong Kong for repairs and remained in Chinese waters until August 1949. HMS London was sold for scrapping in 1950 after more than 20 years of service.
In World of Warships, despite being the Premium ship used to go with the introduction of the new Heavy Cruiser line, the London is a “One of a kind” ship because unlike the others, she has the same Smoke Generator as the Leander
As you can see, this article signs the return of the 3D models available in our previews so take the time to explore the model of HMS London!
The London might have the firepower of a heavy cruiser but her armor protection is quite light, even for her turrets.
The bow section
The bow is covered with 16 mm of armor. This means that she will be protected from the AP from other cruisers with the exception of the soon to arrive Cheshire at tier VIII that is actually carrying 234 mm guns.
The frontal protection of the middle section is… quite thin to say the least. The upper casemate is 19 mm thick so anything that went through the bow will go through that without issue.
For the citadel’s athwartship, the upper part is 25 mm and the lower part is 16 mm. Basically, do not stay bow-in in front of a battleship. unless you want to be nuked.
The middle section
The middle section is decently protected for a tier VI cruiser but far from great.
The deck and the sides are 19 mm thick while the main belt is 114 mm thick. It also goes half-way above the waterline which will lead to AP shells from battleship bouncing on it if it’s angled properly (even though it can also mean that the same AP shells will just be able to punch through without issue).
There is an interesting thing about that citadel though. It is very short and only covers the engine space so that will at least help the ship a bit.
The citadel deck is only 35 mm thick. If a CV with AP bombs wants to citadel the ship, it will have absolutely no issue at scoring citadel hits.
The stern section
The stern is protected the same way as the bow with 16 mm of armor.
Once again, the upper casemate is 19 mm thick and the citadel athwartship is 25 mm thick for the upper part and 16 mm thick for the lower part. The armor on this ship is simply made of paper and the fact that you have a smoke generator will be very useful, to say the least.
The superstructure on the London is 13 mm thick and is actually fairly big, going even past the X turret.
The turrets are entirely covered with 25 mm of armor. Anyone who already played the Japanese cruisers that also had thinly armored turrets to compensate for their top-heavy nature knows that it is really not good. HE shells from cruisers will be able to cripple these turrets.
For now, I will wait to see how are the guns on this ship but they better be packing a very nice punch to compensate for the armor protection and lack of range.
The Smoke Generator and good concealment will definitely be useful to get close but that range really bothers me, especially if you land in a Tier VIII match.