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Kronshtadt: Shattered Dream

Kronshtadt was an advanced Soviet battlecruiser designed in the mid 1930s. Fans of Soviet warships will soon have the chance to take command of the Kronshtadt battlecruiser as it docks in player ports in the next major update, Danger Zone!

Briefly: A 1930s Soviet battlecruiser, sporting heavy firepower and excellent mobility at the expense of protection.

Kronshtadt, battlecruiser, USSR, Rank V

Features:

  • Excellent mobility
  • Formidable weapons arsenal
  • Scout plane
  • Vulnerable to high-caliber fire
  • Large silhouette
History

During the 1930s Soviet shipbuilders were intensely working on designing new warships for the Soviet Navy. Among the top priorities was the development of a new cruiser design that could counter 10,000-ton cruisers of other nations. Several design proposals were submitted by 1935, of which none passed initial approval. The navy requested a new design, but the signing of a naval agreement with Great Britain in 1937 caused the requirements to collide with another similar project, ultimately resulting in this effort to also be canceled shortly afterwards.

Nonetheless, the Navy still sought to construct a fast and strong counter to other nations’ cruisers, resulting in the development of the Project 69 battlecruiser. However, the already modified requirements for a 26,200-ton vessel proved to be insufficient after the Soviet Navy found out about the specifications of the German Scharnhost class of battleships. This led to yet another update to the requirements in July 1938, now calling for an upgunned and up-armored 31,000-ton battlecruiser (or “heavy cruiser”). After another series of revisions, the design was finally approved for construction in Summer 1939, with two ships being ordered for completion by 1943.

One of the ordered ships - Kronshtadt - was laid down in Leningrad on 30th November, 1939. However, due to severe production delays, the warship was only deemed 10% completed by the time the German army launched its offensive on the USSR in June 1941. Following the invasion, all further construction work was suspended with some part of Kronshtadt being later used for fortifications around Leningrad. After the war, plans were formulated to convert the Kronshtadt into an aircraft carrier, but the design was already seen as outdated leading to the proposal being rejected. In 1947, the ultimate decision was made to dismantle and scrap the partially built hull.

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In War Thunder, Kronshtadt will be a new top rank capital vessel coming to reinforce the Soviet bluewater fleet as part of the next major update; Danger Zone. Combining potent firepower with excellent mobility, captains will soon get the chance to take command of the very first battlecruiser to make its way into the Soviet fleet in the game!

During its complex design history, Soviet shipbuilders made sure that Kronshtadt was capable of successfully facing off comparable nations’ warships. The success of this endeavor truly shows when captains take note of Kronshtadt’s impressive firepower. Namely, the ship sports a heavy primarmy battery of nine 12’’ (305 mm) cannons, spread across three triple turrets. Throughout gun duels, the main battery is supported by a total of eight 6’’ (152 mm) cannons, with two twin turrets nestled below each side of the ship's forward superstructure. As a result, Kronshtadt is ideally equipped to engage virtually all surface threats it can encounter in naval battles.

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This isn’t the end of the story yet, however, as this doesn’t encompass all of Kronshtadt’s weapons. The warship also sports a rather capable anti-air defense too. Namely, Kronshtadt is fitted with four twin 100 mm dual-purpose cannons complemented by another seven quadruple 37 mm short-range automatic cannons. As a result, Kronshtadt can easily hold its own against imminent aerial attacks but captains may encounter some difficulties in effectively intercepting enemy aircraft at longer distances or higher altitudes. For the latter scenario, it’s worth keeping in mind that Kronshtadt is a relatively sizable target and thus perfect prey for high-altitude bombers!

This doesn’t imply that Kronshtadt is an easy target to hit and destroy on the other hand. Quite the contrary is the case as Kronshtadt’s propulsion system can generate up to 210,000 hp resulting in a top speed of 32 kts (59.2 km/h). Why captains will need this mobility is also the reason why the ship has this capability in the first place. Namely, the Kronshtadt’s armor protection sits right between cruiser and battleship standards of protection. Featuring a 230 mm thick belt and 330 mm of armor around its conning tower makes the Kronshtadt adequately protected against cruiser fire but leaves it somewhat vulnerable to incoming fire from heavier vessels, such as battleships. Therefore, captains are well advised to avoid presenting too much of the ship’s surface area to incoming heavy fire and use the excellent mobility to the full extent in order to remain difficult to hit.

Kronshtadt will soon be docking in player ports as it arrives into War Thunder as part of the next major update, Danger Zone, coming soon. In the meantime, keep scanning the horizon for more news as we continue unveiling what other exciting new additions await you in the upcoming update. Until then, calm seas and happy hunting captains!

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