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World of Warships Supertest: U.S. Tier VII Premium Battleship West Virginia ’44

6 min read

Historical background

USS West Virginia BB-48 was the fourth and final unit of the Colorado-class of battleships from the U.S. Navy. The ship was laid down in April 1920, launched in November 1921, and commissioned in December 1923. As the last ship of the Colorado-class, West Virginia represents the end of the “Standard-type battleship” era during which battleships were designed with characteristics as close as possible in terms of mobility so that the various classes could operate together as part of a battleship division.

 The first 18 years of her service proved to be quite uneventful outside of the usual fleet exercises. In the mid-1930s, the ship was supposed to be refitted, notably with the addition of anti-torpedo bulges but the work was not carried over as at this point, the far more modern North Carolina and South Dakota-class were taking the spotlight. This would prove to be a fairly big mistake a few years later, on the 7th of December 1941 at Pearl Harbor.
West Virginia was moored at Battleship Row, alongside the USS Tennesse when the attack happened. She received a serious beating, being hit by two 410 mm armor-piercing bombs and seven torpedoes. The ship nearly capsized but ended up sinking evenly thanks to the hard work of damage-control parties. Because of oil leaking both from her and from the destroyed USS Arizona, fires raged all around West Virginia until they were finally put out the next day. In total, 106 men from her crew were killed.

This would, however, not be the end for the ship. She was refloated on the 17th of May 1942 and after repairs, she was on her way to the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton where she would be reconstructed anew. Due to the extent of the damage she received, it wouldn’t be until July 1944 that she would begin sea trials. During the reconstruction, her superstructure was completely redesigned, she (finally) received anti-torpedo bulges, had her deck armor improved and her armament also received a major overhaul. Her secondary battery then consisted of eight dual-purpose twin turrets with 127 mm guns, brand new radar systems, and about as many AA mounts as possible that could be fitted on her. The Navy also took the opportunity to use her as a test bed for a new model of 20 mm Oerlikon mount, the quadruple Mark 15 “Thunderbolt”.

Returning to the Pacific in October, the ship would get quite a few opportunities to get her revenge on the Japanese empire. This started with the Battle of Leyte during which she was assigned to shore bombardment and helped ground forces that were invading the island as well as provided AA defense for the fleet against enemy aircraft.
Later, the ship took part in the Battle of the Leyte Gulf during which she opened fire on the battleship Yamashiro and the heavy cruiser Mogami alongside the battleships Tennesse and California. She managed to score hits on both of the ships and they were forced to retreat after suffering heavy damage. This proved to be the last battle between battleships. It is quite interesting when you think about it as it involved a ship that already represented the end of a battle doctrine as the last standard-type battleship.
Afterward, she would resume her shore bombardment and AA coverage duty, including during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa against the then sadly common kamikaze attacks. On one occasion, in April 1945, she was hit by one of them on her superstructure, killing four and wounding seven in the explosion. By an incredible strike of luck, the bomb that the plane carried did not detonate and was promptly defused. She continued to operate there before being relieved for repairs.

West Virginia was present in Tokyo Bay for the formal surrender ceremonies aboard the battleship USS Missouri and would help during the initial occupation effort. The ship then returned to the US with 270 extra passengers to bring back home. In total, she received five Battle Stars for her service during the war.

After the war, she would later be employed during Operation Magic Carpet to bring troups and personnel back to the US. She was decommissioned in January 1947 and remained in the Navy’s inventory until March 1959. West Virginia was sold for scrap in August and scraping operations began in 1961.

If you want to learn more about West Virginia, here is a video from Drachinifel covering the ship’s history:

In World of Warships, we are getting West Virginia as she was in 1944 after her return to active duty. She is intended as a secondary-focused ship in a similar way to Massachusetts with improved secondary firing range and the same dispersion as on Massachusetts and the German battlecruisers.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

Ship’s permanent camouflage

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.


Gun Fire Control System
Main battery


West Virginia ’44


Propulsion: 30 900 hp


Mk7 mod. 1


406 mm/45 Mk.5 in a turret

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Health59 100 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction37 %
Displacement40 990 tons
Overall length190.34 m
Beam34.89 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)30.0 m
Freeboard8.0 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range17.510 km
406 mm/45 Mk.5 in a turret4 x 2 406 mm
Secondary Armament
Maximum Firing Range6.300 km
127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount8 x 2 127 mm
Maximum speed21.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius670 m
Rudder Shift Time14.84 s
Surface Detectability15.19 km
Air Detectability9.54 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke15.1 km
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 20 s
Cooldown: 80 s
Repair Party
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 28 s
Cooldown: 80 s
HP regeneration speed: +0.66%/s
Casemate damage regeneration: 50%
Citadel damage regeneration: 10%
Spotting Aircraft
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 240 s
Maximum firing range: +20%
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Number of planes in a squadron: 3
Patrol radius: 3.0 km

Main Armament

4 x 2 406 mm/45 Mk.5 in a turret
 Maximum Firing Range17.510 km
 Reloading Time30.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time45.0 s
Optimal firing angles at the front35°
Optimal firing angles at the rear37°
Sigma1.7 sigma
Maximum Dispersion235 m
Type of Projectile HE – 406 mm HE/HC Mk13
Alpha Damage5 700
Penetration capacity 68 mm
Explosion size36.9 m
Fire chance36 %
Projectile Speed803 m/s
Air Drag0.346
Projectile Mass861.8 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 406 mm AP Mk5
Alpha Damage12 400
Projectile Speed768 m/s
Air Drag0.336
Projectile Mass1 016.0 kg
Projectile Krupp2 636
Projectile Detonator0.033 s
Detonator threshold68 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

Secondary Armament

8 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Maximum Firing Range6.300 km
Reloading Time4.0 s
Sigma1.0 sigma
Type of ProjectileHE – 127 mm HE Mk32
Alpha Damage1 800
HE penetration21 mm
Explosion Size5.7 m
Chance to Cause Fire5 %
Projectile Speed792 m/s
Air Drag0.347
Projectile Mass24.5 kg

Anti-air Armament

8 x 2 127 mm/38 Mk.12 on a Mk.32 mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 6.6 km
Hit chance75 %
Sector’s damage40
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second140
Flak clouds number5
Flak cloud damage1 400
10 x 4 40 mm/56 Bofors on a Mk.2 mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 3.5 km
Hit chance75 %
Sector’s damage75
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second263
58 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.4 mount
1 x 2 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.24 mount
1 x 4 20 mm Oerlikon on a Mk.15 mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 2.0 km
Hit chance75 %
Sector’s damage127
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second445

ASW Airstrike

PBY Catalina – Depth charge airstrike
350-pound Depth Bomb

Reloading Time30 s
Number of charges2
HP per plane2 000
Attack range0.5 km – 8.0 km
Number of planes in the squadron1
Number of bombs in payload2
Damage3 400
Detonation timer3.5 s – 4.5 s
Sink speed7.5-11.3 m/s
Explosion radius375 m
Fire chances19%
Flooding chances300%
Damage distribution

The Armor

External armor protection:

Main armor deck protection:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the middle section and stern:

Personal Opinion

Right now, even though it’s a ship we have been waiting for… quite a while now, West Virginia ’44 doesn’t exactly appear to be anything impressive. While she gets a 9.53 km secondary firing range, she has to deal with the horrible top speed and less-than-ideal concealment. Getting the secondaries in action might prove to be a challenge and I could already see her getting an Engine Boost consumable to help with the problem.

Other than that, her main battery performances will definitely be worse than those of Colorado as her sigma is only 1.7 compared to 2.0.

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