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Settsu: Serving Through the Ages

Settsu was the second of two Kawachi-class dreadnoughts built for the Imperial Japanese Navy after the Russo-Japanese War of the early 1900’s. Being the first true dreadnought built by Japan, this formidable warship will also soon become the first battleship to arrive in the ranks of the IJN in War Thunder as part of the next major update “New Power”!

Briefly: The first dreadnought type warship built by Japan, boasting excellent protection and firepower, but lackluster mobility and anti-air defence.

Settsu, battleship, Japan, V rank.


  • Numerous large-calibre cannons
  • Strong armor protection
  • Torpedoes


  • Lacking AA protection

Following the end of the Russo-Japanese War in the early 1900’s, the state of the IJN was generally perceived to be unsatisfactory by high ranking Japanese officials. Furthermore, in terms of quantity and quality, the Japanese navy was lagging behind other naval powers such as Great Britain or the United States. In addition to all this, a severe economic recession following the war greatly reduced Japan’s ability to build new warships and expand its naval power.

Nonetheless, a new fleet expansion strategy was adopted and whose first steps were the construction of two new dreadnought-type battleships. This resulted in the creation of the Kawachi-class, made up from the battleships Kawachi and Settsu. These two warships became the first two dreadnought-type battleships to be built by Japan.

Settsu was laid down in January 1908 at the Kure Naval Arsenal, launched in March 1911 and completed in July 1912. During WWI, Settsu served alongside her sistership, but seeing only limited action. In 1919, Settsu was put in reserve, receiving an overhaul before being disarmed in 1922 under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.

Shortly after, Settsu was converted into a target ship, keeping this role throughout the interwar period as well as WWII. In the end, Settsu was badly damaged by an Allied air raid on Kure in July 1945, leaving the ship beached. The ship’s hulk was subsequently raised and broken up for scrap in the immediate postwar years.


In War Thunder, Settsu will be the first battleship to arrive to the ranks of the Imperial Japanese Navy in War Thunder, following the release of the next major update. Similarly to other ships of this class, Settsu features extremely good protection and devastating firepower with the tradeoff being lackluster mobility.

Settsu’s primary armament consists of twelve 12’’ (305 mm) cannons, split between six twin turrets, spread out in a hexagonal arrangement over the ship’s main deck. 

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In addition to the primary guns, Settsu also boasts a respectable secondary arsenal. The former consists of a total of ten 6’’ (152 mm) casemate guns on either side of the hull as well as eight 4.7’’ (120 mm) guns, of which half are situated in fore and aft casemates while the other half is located on the main deck. Lastly, Settsu is also outfitted with four 3’’ (80 mm) cannons comprising its anti-air battery as well as three 457 mm torpedo launchers; one on either side of the hull as well as one mounted on the ship’s stern.

Being a battleship, it should come as no surprise that the Settsu is extremely well protected. In fact, Settsu’s armored belt goes up to 305 mm in thickness, while the turrets and conning tower are encased in 279 and 254 mm of steel, respectively. This brings Settsu’s protection in line with other ships of this type, meaning that captains will be well-protected from incoming enemy fire from all but the largest of calibers.

Naturally, in order to include all this tremendous firepower and armor on Settsu’s design, Japanese shipbuilders had to make some concessions in mobility. As a result, despite being powered by a 25,000 horsepower propulsion system, Settsu can only reach a rather modest top speed of 21 kts (39 km/h). This, coupled with the lacking anti-air protection leaves Settsu largely vulnerable against air attack and smaller vessels, performing a torpedo attack. Consequently, aspiring captains of this warship will need to plan their movements in advance and seek the company of allies if they wish to avoid being turned into an expensive man-made coral reef.

Settsu will be arriving as part of the next major update coming to War Thunder and will become one of the first battleships available to captains in naval battles. In the meantime, keep a close watch on the news to stay updated on all the latest developments on the upcoming “New Power” update. Until then, calm seas captains!

The War Thunder Team

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