The München is based on the M-class of light cruisers that were designed by the Kriegsmarine as part of Plan Z, starting from 1936. In total, 6 ships were planned for construction but all were canceled in September 1939 with the keel laying of the first 2 units having already been started.
The M-class light cruisers were meant to work as scouts in the Atlantic for commerce raiding. As such, these ships were trading armor protection in exchange for a 36 knots top speed. When it comes to the armament, the design was calling for the German standard 4 twin turrets with 2 superfiring at the front and 2 superfiring at the rear with 150 mm guns.
As mentioned before, the armor was thin with the main belt being only 50 mm thick.
The design also had a major flaw with all turbines being located in the same room. This means that a single hit could have disabled them, rendering the ship incapable of escaping. This issue would have been fixed with the last 2 ships that were supposed to be larger than the first 4.
In World of Warships, the München represents what the class would have looked like once completed with some changes to the AA armament. She presents the classic features of German cruisers but also gets the nice bonus of having high top speed.
For the classic reminder, this is a ship in testing, anything can change so don’t look at her like she would already be released.
While the München has fairly good firepower, high speed and great concealment, her armor is definitely on the weaker side and even though her citadel has additional protection, it remains vulnerable.
The bow section
Due to her nature as a light cruiser, the external protection of the bow is only 16 mm thick. This means that anything with gun bigger than 228 mm will be able to overmatch it.
The citadel’s athwartship is also thinly protected with the part above water and the casemate around it being 30 mm thick and the part below the water, 13 mm thick. I don’t think that I need to tell you how easy it is to penetrate.
For the upper casemate, it’s 16 mm thick, just like the external bow armor so I can’t really show it here.
The middle section
When it comes to the middle section, the deck is 25 mm thick and the sides are 20 mm thick. For the main belt, it’s a bit complex. The biggest part is actually a casemate protecting the sloped citadel deck. However, deep below the waterline, the citadel is exposed so some battleship AP might be able to reach this part.
The torpedo bulge is 16 mm thick.
For the internal part of the citadel, the 35 mm deck is sloped at 44° to 45° which should make it harder for enemy AP to penetrate it.
Finally, when talking about the horizontal protection, outside of the 25 mm weather deck, the middle part of the citadel deck is only 20 mm thick. With some luck and considering the small profile of the ship, AP bombs for the most part will just go through the ship completely.
The stern section
On the stern, the München at least has some extra protection. The most part is 16 mm thick but she gets a 30 mm extended belt that will prove itself to be useful when kiting the enemy.
Inside her bow, she also has a 20 mm armored deck. This will effectively only come into play when facing a Graf Spee or Scharnhorst with their 283 mm or Cheshire and Drake with their 234 mm guns. It will block them from getting citadels through your stern.
Finally, her rear citadel athwartship and the casemates around it are only protected by 13 mm of armor. The way I see it, when battleships will be shooting at this ship, it will be either an overpenetration fiesta or a guaranteed devastating strike.
The superstructure is the classic 10 mm thick on tier VII light cruisers.
Compared to the rest, the turrets are decently protected for the standards of tier VII. The face is 100 mm thick, the sides are 60 mm thick and the roof, as well as the back, are 40 mm thick.
For the barbette, it’s a uniform 60 mm plating except for the 40 mm roof.
When looking at her firepower, München definitely looks interesting with her fast-firing 150 mm guns coupled with the German HE penetration. She also has the amazing stealth and mobility to reach the flanks.
The big issue is her terrible armor protection. It will really depend on how effective her sloped citadel roof is but I can already expect that ship to randomly explode when a battleship will look in her general direction.