SMS Westfalen: Into a New Era

SMS Westfalen was one of the first four German dreadnought-type battleships of the Nassau class, built for the Imperial Navy in the late 1900’s. Soon, seasoned captains in War Thunder will have the chance to take the helm of SMS Westfalen as it arrives to the game as one of the first German battleships with the incoming update “New Power”!

Briefly: One of the first German dreadnought-type battleships built in the late 1900s, sporting heavy armor and numerous high-caliber weapons.

SMS Westfalen, battleship, Germany, rank V

Pros

  • Well-protected
  • Excellent firepower

Cons

  • Low mobility
History

After the incredible HMS Dreadnought appeared, German shipbuilders began working on a new battleship design to succeed the British flagship.

Several new designs were created and considered as a result, but eventually the “G7b” design was approved by the Kaiser in March 1906, officially becoming the Nassau class. Shortly after, two of the new Nassau battleships were ordered with two further ships being added to the construction queue of German shipyards later.

SMS Westfalen was the last of the Nassau-class battleships to be laid down in August 1907, but the second to be commissioned into service with the Imperial Navy in November 1909. In the years leading up to WWI, Westfalen actively took part in routine fleet exercises and training courses with other elements of the Imperial Navy.

During the war, Westfalen, along with other ships of its type, actively participated in combat. The 2nd division (all ships of the Nassau type) of the 1st Hochseeflot squadron fought in the Baltic, and then in full force at Jutland, where they were especially active during the night phase of the battle. Initially, Westfalen, Nassau and Rheinland shot the destroyer Tipperary, and after that, a collision between Nassau and the destroyer Spitfire occurred where due to the extremely short distance between ships, the destroyer was below the sector of fire of the main battery guns, but was damaged by muzzle gases and barely escaped. Westfalen rammed and sank the destroyer Turbulent, and also participated in the sinking of the destroyers Ardent and Fortune. After Jutland, she took part in Operation Albion. Following the end of WWI, Westfalen was ceded to Great Britain as a replacement for some of the German ships lost to scuttling at Scapa Flow and shortly afterwards sold for scrap, being broken up between 1920 - 1924.

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In War Thunder, SMS Westfalen will be among the first battleships to join the ranks of the German naval tree in the game after the release of the major update. Being a true lumbering teutonic beast, SMS Westfalen possesses characteristics much akin to other nation’s dreadnoughts, best described as ‘slow, but very deadly’. Let’s take a closer look!

SMS Westfalen sports an impressive primary battery, consisting of 12 28 cm SK L/45 cannons, split into six twin turrets spread across the ship in an unusual hexagonal arrangement. Although SMS Westfalen’s primary guns are of a lower caliber than some other battleships of the era, they do make up in a better rate of fire compared to larger calibers. On the other hand, the ship’s hexagonal turret arrangement also brings with it the caveat of not being able to bring all guns to bear on a single target. Then again, it also opens up the opportunity to potentially engage multiple targets on both sides of the ship, depending on the individual captain’s skill.

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Apart from the impressive primary battery, SMS Westfalen also sports a wide array of auxiliary weapon systems. These most notably consist of the ship’s 12 secondary battery guns of 15 cm caliber mounted in casemates above the belt armor as well as another 14 8.8 cm tertiary cannons scattered across the ship, mainly for defense against destroyers.

SMS Westfalen wouldn’t be a true battleship if it didn’t possess extremely thick armor in addition to all this firepower, right? Of course not! Which is why SMS Westfalen, being a dreadnought, sports slightly better protection compared to similar warships of other nations. The highlights of the ship’s armor protection consist of its 300 mm main belt, 400 mm conning tower as well as 280 mm thick main battery turrets. The battleship’s combat endurance is further bolstered by its rather sizable crew consisting of 1,087 sailors and officers.

However, as with most battleships and dreadnoughts in particular, the price to pay for excellent firepower and protection comes in the form of lackluster mobility. Being powered by a steam propulsion system generating 22,000 horsepower, SMS Westfalen is only able to achieve a top speed just over 20 kts (approximately 35 km/h). 

SMS Westfalen is soon joining War Thunder naval battles and will be one of the first battleships to appear in the ranks of the German navy with the release of the “New Power” upcoming update. In the meantime, stay tuned to the news as we continue sharing more information on what the next major update has in store for you. Until then, calm seas and happy hunting captains!


The War Thunder Team

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