Just like the Kansas, the Minnesota is based on the never-built South Dakota-class from 1920.
I didn’t link it for the Kansas but if you want to learn more about the South Dakota-class from 1920, here is a video from Drachinifel that covers it:
However, unlike the previous ship that gets a refit similar to the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, the Minnesota gets a full rebuild like the U.S.S. California with a modernized superstructure and shiploads of AA guns.
She also gets a substantial upgrade in terms of the main battery since she is equipped with the same guns as the Iowa-class ships.
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 sad truth about the Minnesota is that since she is based on the same design as the Kansas, she really doesn’t gain much in terms of armor. You might even call it a downgrade since the superstructure is just massive and will be catching a lot of shells.
The bow section
The bow is, just like on the Kansas, almost entirely covered with 32 mm of armor. The only exception is a tiny bit of the 273 mm extended belt below the waterline.
Since the Minnesota is following a what-if rebuild of a South Dakota-class, she has a much bigger anti-torpedo bulge that covers entirely the first half of her bow.
At the end of the extended belt, there is a 298 mm bulkhead and just above a small 152 mm armored deck. I guess that it will be able to deflect some shells going for the citadel athwartship if a Yamato-class overmatches the bow but it would really be lucky/unlucky.
For the protection of the middle section, just like on the Kansas, you have a first 25 mm casemate then the 343 mm bulkhead and finally, the citadel athwartship below the waterline with 38 mm of armor and surrounded by 2 bulkheads on each side.
The middle section
Do you want some additional 32 mm plating with your 32 mm plating? Because that’s what this ship gives.
Behind the anti-torpedo bulge that covers the entire sides, there is a 32 mm upper belt at first and then, right below, the main belt. The said main belt is 343 mm thick for the upper part and 273 mm thick for the lower part.
When it comes to the citadel itself, just like on the Kansas, it is below water and its sides are 86 mm thick. It’s gonna be extremely hard to get citadel hits on that ship thanks to the spaced armor and underwater citadel.
Finally, for the vertical protection, I’m almost certain that she is immune to AP bombs. In total, there are 4 decks with 3 being 32 mm thick and the last one is 140 mm thick. With the depth of the citadel and that quantity of armor, I don’t see AP bombs being able to go through.
The stern section
The stern is entirely covered with 32 mm of armor.
Inside it, there is a large armored deck covering the lower part of the citadel athwartship. This armored deck is 152 mm thick except for the sloped sides that are 241 mm thick.
For the protection of the middle section, it’s the exact same as at the front with the only difference being the fact that the citadel athwartship starts with the lower part of the 343 mm bulkhead.
As I said at the start, the superstructure is just massive and is very high. It’s gonna be an absolute shell magnet.
This superstructure is 19 mm thick except for the conning tower with a mix of 203 mm and 406 mm platings. The secondary turrets are also armored with uniform 54 mm platings.
The turret face is 457 mm thick with a slope of 42° which will make it very hard to damage by battleship AP shells. The sides are, for the front part, 254 mm thick and for the rear one, 229 mm thick. Finally, the back is 305 mm thick and the roof is 152 mm thick.
For the barbette, the upper part is 343 mm thick and the lower part 76 mm thick.
I wasn’t impressed by the Kansas at tier VIII and I’m even less impressed by the Minnesota that only gets stronger guns and for what it’s worth, a stronger anti-air. I feel like unless it is played with a very passive playstyle, that ship will just melt.