After all the complaints regarding the particular development of the Azuma, Wargaming decided to bring a second version that would according to them fit better at tier 10.
Yoshino, just like the Azuma is based on the B-65 design of “Super Cruiser”. So the back story will, of course, be the same.
In 1936, the Japanese navy started to discuss a possible replacement for the Kongo-class of fast Battleships. This replacement had to be able to effectively engage enemy cruisers with the night battle force that the Navy wanted to use. This replacement ended up as the B-65 class of “Super Cruiser”.
At the start, 6 units were planned and a main battery of 3 triple turrets of 310 mm guns was supposed to equip the ships. However, in 1940, the Japanese intelligence discovered the project of the Alaska-class of “Large Cruisers” of the United-States Navy. Thus, the B-65 were then not only planned to counter enemy cruisers but also the potential threat of the Alaska-class. The main armament was then changed to 3 twin turrets of 356 mm guns.
In the end, not a single ship was ever built due to the greater need of aircraft carriers and also later the lack of resources.
Compared to Azuma, the Yoshino is carrying quite a strong torpedo armament to complete the already solid set of tools to sink enemy ships.
The torpedoes have similar firing angles to the Atago/Takao.
Also, when it comes to the HP pool of the ship, people complained that it is much lower than what the Azuma used to have but this is due to the fact that they got the value wrong ending up with an HP pool that wasn’t fitting to the Azuma.
The armor analysis
The armor of Yoshino is, as you would guess, almost identical to the one of the Azuma with only the deck and side armor being better with 30 mm so that the ship can bounce battleship AP in general with the exception of the very big guns.
The bow section
The bow is just like on any tier X cruiser protected by 25 mm of armor (or well…. except Des Moines, Salem and Hindenburg). so any battleship you will face (unless some fail division happens) will be able to overmatch it.
For the protection of the middle section, the casemate around the citadel’s athwartship is 21 mm thick for the upper part and 37 mm thick for the lower part. If a battleship penetrates the bow, the shell will have no issue to go through that casemate and you might end up with a nice little cheek citadel because it’s just like Azuma an octagonal citadel.
For the citadel’s athwartship, the upper part is 195 mm thick and the lower part is 101 mm thick. Also, the upper part is for partially above the waterline so…. well you might eat some front citadels but then again, most cruisers suffer from that issue unless it’s called Stalingrad.
The middle section
For the external protection of the middle section, the deck and the sides are 30 mm thick so at least, here it’s possible to bounce the shells of most battleships except Yamato, Musashi, République, Conqueror with 457 mm guns, Kreml and Georgia. the main belt is covered by the 25 mm torpedo bulge
A brief stop on the citadel’s shape, as I was saying earlier, it has a very weird shape so you can expect weird citadels to happen (especially with the 2 little cheeks at the front a bit like mommy Yamato).
For the citadel’s side protection, it is divided into 3 part. First, almost entirely above the waterline, there is 178 mm thick belt then it goes down to 144 mm and finally 96 mm.
It’s decent for a super-cruiser but don’t go sailing full broadside with that ship.
Finally, the citadel deck is 125 mm so…. well CVs equipped with AP bombs, if they are really motivated will be able to score citadel. Thankfully, the anti-air of the ship is pretty good so you are not completely defenseless.
The stern section
Just like the bow, the stern armor is 25 mm with the exception of a bit of armor (in orange with 175 mm and yellow with 120 mm).
For the protection of the middle section, the casemate around the citadel’s rear athwartship is 21 mm thick for the upper part and 37 mm thick for the lower part.
For the citadel athwartship, it’s pretty much identical to the front with 198 mm thick for the upper part and 101 mm thick for the lower part.
The superstructure is 16 mm thick just like the other cruisers at tier X.
The face and the back of the turret are 305 mm thick. The sides are 152 mm thick and then 127 mm thick. The roof is 102 mm thick Finally, the barbette armor is 210 mm thick.
Personal opinion on the ship
Right now, it already looks more promising than Azuma. The armor gives you some protection against battleships. The gun power remains the same so that’s also a good point but now, you have on top of that a very strong torpedo armament and with good firing angles.
Overall, I am looking forward to the Yoshino and it seems worth the coal.