After a very long time waiting, we are finally getting the Italian battleships or at least half of them that were revealed so far. In fact, only 4 of the 7 ships were revealed this time with the tier IV, V and IX still being in development. It is also the first time that we will get a tech-tree line of battleships with no tier III at all as it’s overall a tier that has very low popularity among the playerbase so… you could say that WG decided to not bother with it, at least for now.
The main features of the Italian battleships are:
- Like the Italian cruisers, instead of HE shells, the new ships are armed with SAP shells. They inflict high damage on weakly and moderately protected targets and ship parts, but do not cause fires.
- The “Exhaust smoke generator” is among the consumables of the Italian battleships starting from tier VIII, which will allow you to hide from the enemy without sacrificing speed.
- A large number of guns with a relatively short firing range and poor accuracy. They will basically be close/mid-range SAP sailing shotguns.
- Their secondaries have the same dispersion formula as those of ships like Massachusetts, Georgia or Ohio. The problem is that most of their secondaries are 90 mm peashooters that can’t penetrate anything with the HE and even on the Cristoforo Colombo, they only have 5 km range so… they are basically useless.
- Decent concealment and average maneuverability, quickly turning turrets and rather good armor.
The Andrea Doria was the lead ship of her class, laid down in March 1912 and launched in March 1913. Her initial armament consisted of 13 305 mm guns with 2 turrets on each end of the ship, one twin and a triple, and one triple turret between the 2 funnels.
Overall, the ship had a fairly quiet career. Seeing no action during World War I as she was kept in reserves in case of a possible battle with the Austro-Hungarian fleet.
During the Inter-war period, she operated in the Mediterranean. In 1920, she helped to deal with rebels in Fiume and fired at the destroyer Espero with her 76 mm guns. She would also take part in the Corfu Incident but with the peaceful resolution of it, didn’t see any action.
From 1937 to 1940, she underwent a major modernization with her forecastle deck being extended, the bow and stern being rebuilt, new machinery being installed, allowing her to reach 26 knots instead of the initial 21 knots and of course her armament being also heavily modified. The turret amidship was removed and the remaining guns were bored out to 320 mm. Her 152 mm guns were also replaced with more modern 135 mm guns in 4 triple turrets. The anti-air armament was also reinforced with 10 90 mm guns and a mix of 37 mm and 20 mm guns.
During World War II, she mainly escorted convoys to Libya and in December 1941, she took part in the First Battle of Sirte and potentially damaged the K-class destroyer, HMS Kipling. With the armistice of 1943, the ship was interned by the Allies until 1944. She would survive the rest of the war and was used as a training ship until 1956 when she was removed from the navy register and later scrapped.
In World of Warships, we are getting Andrea Doria as she was after her refit from the 1930s.
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.
The Andrea Doria presents a very good armor scheme with good resistance both against HE and AP.
The bow section
The external plating of the bow is for the most part 26 mm thick. She presents an extended belt with an armor thickness ranging from 130 mm to 90 mm. However, that extended belt is only the visible part of the iceberg.
There is literally a second bow inside and the extended belt is just the visible part of it.
The deck of the internal bow is 38 mm thick for the rear part and then gets thinner with 32 mm and finally 26 mm. There is also, at the tip an 80 mm bulkhead and at the bottom a 22 mm second deck, covering the citadel athwartship. Basically, I wish you good luck to score front citadels on this ship.
As you can see, the citadel’s athwartship is also 80 mm thick.
For the protection of the middle section, there is also a 19 mm thick casemate and just under it, a 130 mm bulkhead.
The middle section
The middle section of the Andrea Doria is very well protected but also a bit of a mess with her sides having many different segments of armor including a small much thicker section right in the middle of the ship.
So… the forecastle deck, around the superstructure, is 38 mm thick while the second deck, exposed around the 3rd and 4h turrets, is 44 mm thick. Between these 2, there is a 70 mm thick upper casemate, except just under the 135 mm secondaries where it’s 120 mm thick. For the rest of the side armor, there is a first 150 mm upper belt and then the main belt with 220 mm, then 230 mm and finally 195 mm of armor except, right in the middle where you have a small, thicker section with 250 mm and then 210 mm of armor.
For the internal protection, the largest part of the 40 mm citadel side armor is behind a turtleback which is also 40 mm thick. There is, however, a part of the citadel that sits above that turtleback and is 70 mm thick, in a layered scheme behind the 220 mm main belt. That means that this ship’s sides aren’t citadel proof and if the shots are aimed properly, she can still get slapped for a pretty good chunk.
When it comes to the horizontal protection, there is frankly not much to protect the citadel. There is the main deck with 44 mm except under the superstructure where it’s only 12 mm thick.
After that, there is the citadel deck which is 100 mm thick under the turrets and 80 mm thick above the engines. Around the citadel deck, there is a 32 mm deck but it isn’t really useful.
The stern section
The stern, just like the rest of the ship, is well protected with a large extended belt that covers even its tip. That extended belt has an armor thickness ranging from 130 mm to 90 mm with, just like the main belt and the internal bow, many different sections of armor. For the rest of the bow, it’s protected by 26 mm of armor.
Inside the stern, there are 2 armored decks but none of them really provides meaningful additional protection as they can both be overmatched by battleship guns. The upper deck is 26 mm thick and the lower one is 22 mm thick.
Finally, for the protection of the middle section, there is the 150 mm upper casemate, then a 130 mm bulkhead and finally the 80 mm citadel athwartship with the 2 casemates around it.
Overall, with the 2 armored decks being overmatchable by battleships, the rear citadel athwartship is fairly vulnerable to direct citadel hits.
Most of the superstructure is 16 mm thick except for the front tower with a 40 mm base, the conning tower with a mix of 200 mm and 250 mm platings and then the upper part with 30 mm of armor.
There are also the barbettes of the 135 mm secondaries with 100 mm platings.
The turrets have relatively poor protection for battleship standards. The face and sides are only 240 mm thick, the back is 220 mm thick and for the roof, the front part is 140 mm thick and the rear part is 110 mm thick. The slope of the face is also only 28° so I expect these turrets to get knocked quite easily.
For the barbettes, they are protected by between 280 mm of armor for the most part and then sections of 260 mm, 220 mm and for the 1st and 4th turret, 70 mm at the bottom.
Right now, it looks like a fairly promising ship with strong armor both against AP and HE, good speed, the SAP shells with high damage and high penetration and also the fast turret traverse. The only things that might drag her down are the Italian/French battleships dispersion formula coupled with low sigma and also the bad firing angles.
Inside the bridge of the Andrea Doria, you can find a table with what I suppose to be a Farinata and also a newspaper.
That newspaper is a reference to the sinking of the SS Andrea Doria, an ocean liner that sank in 1956 after she collided with the liner MS Stockholm near Nantucket.
As you can see, there is also a trident which is a reference to the portrait of Andrea Doria as Neptune, painted by Agnolo Bronzino in 1555.