For the upcoming 0.8.9., only 2 ships are joining the supertest. The first of the 2 is the Tier VIII German cruiser Mainz.
The Mainz is based on the initial design planned for the Admiral Hipper-class cruisers Seydlitz and Lützow. These 2 ships were meant to present a different main armament from the 3 first ships of the class. The ships were supposed to be armed with 4 triple turrets with 150 mm guns which would have designated them as light cruisers. However, in the end, the idea was abandoned.
Seydlitz and Lützow were then planned to be completed the same way as the other ships but as war broke out, priorities shifted and in 1942 the 95% completed Seydlitz was then chosen to be completed as an auxiliary aircraft carrier. The newly named Weser was never completed due to a lack of resources and was towed to Königsberg where she was later scuttled in 1945.
Lützow was sold to the Soviet Union and renamed Petropavlovsk in 1940 uncompleted with only 2 turrets installed and a major part of the superstructure missing. By the time Operation Barbarossa started, the ship was still far from complete. She provided artillery support during the defense of Leningrad before being heavily damaged in September 1941 and then sunk in April 1942. In September of the same year, the ship was raised. After repairs, she was renamed (again) Tallinn and was used for the counter-offensive that relieved Leningrad in 1944.
After the war, the ship used as a floating barrack was scrapped between 1953 and 1960.
When it comes to Mainz, the ship will represent what the initially designed Seydlitz and Lützow would have looked like.
You would expect the Mainz to have an armor similar to the Admiral Hipper or Prinz Eugen. Well yes but actually no. She is less armored and on top of that, due to her smaller displacement sits higher on the water. No need to tell you that it is not a good thing at all.
The bow section
Even though the Mainz is categorized as a light cruiser because of her guns, she at least keeps the bow and stern armor of a heavy cruiser. Her bow is 27 mm thick except for the extended belt of 40 mm that goes all the way to the tip of the bow.
Inside the bow, there is a 20 mm armored deck. It doesn’t help much since cruisers will pretty much never citadel you through the bow. Battleship can just overmatch this plate.
The upper casemate protecting the middle section as well as the lower part of the citadel athwartship are 25 mm. Battleship AP shells will just go through that like it was butter.
For the upper part of the citadel and the casemate around it, they are 80 mm thick. So far, it is relatively similar to the Hipper and the Prinz Eugen except for the underwater part of the citadel on the Mainz that is 25 mm thick against 80 mm on the other 2 ships.
Here is a view from the inside the citadel to be able to properly see its shape.
The middle section
The deck and the sides are 27 m thick. So far, nothing strange. The strange part is that her torpedo bulge is 13 mm thick compared to 27 mm on the 2 others. The main belt is 80 mm thick and the ship presents, like any respectable German ship, a turtleback.
She is actually gaining something compared to the Hipper and the Eugen because the turtleback is 40 mm thick while on the others, it’s 30 mm thick.
When it comes to the citadel deck, it is 30 mm thick so battleships with 431 mm guns and above will be able to overmatch that.
Overall, the ship is the same as Hipper and Eugen but she sits much higher on the water meaning that citadels will definitely be easier to score. Considering the terrible firing angles, this is actually pretty bad.
The stern section
The stern is 27 mm thick except for an extended belt of 70 mm. Considering how high it is above the water, it will be pretty effective at bouncing battleship AP shells or even AP shells in general.
Inside the stern, there is the classic German armored deck with the middle part being 30 mm thick and the sloped sides 40 mm thick. This will protect the citadel effectively except for the battleships able to overmatch 30 mm.
For the protection of the middle section, it’s the same as the one at the front. 25 mm of armor for the upper casemate and lower part of the citadel’s athwartship and for the upper part of the athwartship, 80 mm of armor.
In the end, for kiting, the armor of the Mainz is not bad.
The superstructure is fairly big and is protected by 16 mm of armor except for the conning tower with 150 mm of armor on the sides and 30 on the roof.
This is where we have a big problem. The turrets of the Mainz are the same as on the Konigsberg. This means that their armor protection is simply terrible. Except for the face and barbette with 30 mm, the entire turret is covered by 20 mm of armor. This laughably bad. Destroyer HE can incapacitate these turrets.
This ship is supposed to hold her ground against the other light cruisers at tier VIII.
The Chapayev, Kutuzov and Irian have the speed and the ballistic. The Bayard has the DPM, especially with her reload booster and has great agility. Cleveland has the radar and also the DPM.
The Mainz has terrible firing angles, terrible ballistic while having the same reload as Chapayev, Kutuzov and Irian, is sluggish and her armor is also nothing amazing.
She has only one good characteristic and it’s the 37 mm penetration. So far, I’m concerned about the effectiveness of this ship in combat and I don’t understand why she doesn’t get Nurnberg turrets that have a faster reload on the guns, better turret traverse and have actual armor.
LAST MINUTE CHANGE:
It turns out that Wargaming decided to nerf the Mainz and gave it 25 mm bow and stern. This ship is now even more worrying than before and it looks like I will have “””fun””” testing it.