SMS Bayern

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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
germ_battleship_bayern.png
GarageImage SMS Bayern.jpg
ArtImage SMS Bayern.jpg
SMS Bayern
AB RB SB
7.0 7.0 7.0
Class:
Research:380 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:990 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Bayern-class, SMS Bayern, 1916 was the lead ship of the Bayern-class dreadnoughts of the Kaiserliche Marine. She had one sister, Baden, while the other two ordered ships (Sachsen and Württemberg) were cancelled. She was laid down on 22nd December 1913 and commissioned on 15th July 1916. She saw very limited service during her career. Her most notable action was in September 1917 during Operation Albion where she, together with four König- and five Kaiser-class battleships, participated in seizing the Baltic island of Ösel (Saaremaa). During the operation, Bayern struck a mine and had to withdraw to Kiel to undergo repairs. Meanwhile, König and Kronprinz engaged the Russian pre-dreadnought battleship Slava and sunk it. After the German surrender, Bayern was to be handed over to the British. She was scuttled by her crew and sunk at Scapa Flow together with the majority of the German High Seas Fleet.

The Bayern was introduced in Update "Danger Zone". She boasts powerful 38 cm guns paired with an only 26-second reload which is faster than most dreadnoughts with smaller calibre guns. The ship itself is very well-protected, though caution is advised when the armour plates covering the magazines at the waterline are destroyed as this can lead to fatal magazine explosion. The coal bunkers behind the armour belt also further enhance the magazine protection. As the Bayern is a WWI-era ship, she is vulnerable to air attacks as she possesses very limited anti-air weaponry.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel300 / 350 / 30 mm
Main fire tower350 / 250 / 290 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure16 mm (steel)
Number of section8
Displacement32 200 t
Crew1 276 people

Bayern has a traditional distributed armour scheme, with armour plating protecting nearly the entirety of the ship. Even the layer which houses the secondary 150 mm cannons in casemate mounts has satisfactory horizontal protection against destroyer and light cruiser fire, being covered in 170 mm of rolled cemented armour. Moreover, critical areas of the Bayern such as turret faces, barbettes, and the bridge are all protected by 350 mm of armour.

The most important part of Bayern's horizontal protection is her main belt, which has a maximal thickness of 350 mm and extends both above and below the waterline. The armoured citadel is additionally protected by more than 3 m of coal (effectively above 85 mm of RHA equivalency) and a turtleback of 30 mm. Bayern's side protection is superior to nearly all her tier peers; only her sisters of the Bayern class and the Scharnhorst have equivalent or better side protection, and the belt armour of the Bayern class is the thickest of any 7.0 battleship. That being said, Bayern's side armour can still be penetrated when unangled and/or at close range by other battleships and battlecruisers. Notably, the quite thin turtleback armour is overmatched by any shells exceeding 210 mm in calibre, and therefore does not provide effective protection against any battleship-calibre rounds.

When facing an enemy at an angle, Bayern benefits from her distributed armour scheme, which includes an extended belt of 200 mm of rolled cemented armour, which tapers to 170 mm at the stern and connects to a 30 mm icebreaker at the bow. This complete longitudinal protection ensures that Bayern is fully protected against cruiser fire across the waterline of her entire hull, and her extended belt armour and icebreaker can prematurely fuze incoming battleship-calibre AP rounds when at an angle. Additionally, Bayern's transverse bulkhead armour is competent, with a maximal thickness of 300 mm around the centreline, though the transverse bulkhead armour decreases to a minimum of 170 mm as you move away from the centreline of the ship. In addition to the primary transverse bulkhead armour, there is an additional transverse armour plate of 140 mm at the point where the extended bow belt armour meets the icebreaker that further protects the Bayern from bow-on fire. The horizontal protection of the stern is also capped off by a 170 mm armour plate, though incoming fire directly hitting the stern from the rear is more unusual than bow-on fire.

The vertical protection of the Bayern is significantly worse than her horizontal protection, as her design was created in an era before attack aircraft or plunging fire was a possible military threat. Her deck armour is only 40 mm of RHA around her smokestacks and superstructure, and the rest of her deck armour is even worse, at only 30 mm. The roof of the armoured citadel similarly is only protected by 30 mm. The lack of vertical protection means Bayern cannot resist any aerial attack, particularly if bombs are dropped. Even explosions from high-powered HE rounds, such as those found on British battleships like the Marlborough, can hit the Bayern's superstructure and splash downward, damaging internal components while bypassing the side armour that would otherwise stop those HE shells.

In contrast with her side protection, Bayern's main turret protection is unimpressive compared to peer battleships. The turret face armour of 350 mm, while effective against cruiser-calibre fire, is definitively penetrated by battleships at ranges less than 10 km. This means that it's quite common for turrets to get disabled when combating other battleships unless a long range is maintained. The sides and backs of her turrets are even less protected at 250 mm and 290 mm respectively, though this armour remains solid against light cruisers until they are at point-blank range, and against more powerful heavy cruisers Bayern's side turret armour is effective until 5 km.

A similar pitfall of Bayern's protection is her internal component locations; her 380 mm shell magazines end exactly at the waterline. This unfortunate placement, in addition to the massive size of her magazines, makes ammunition excessively susceptible to detonation by any penetrating shells. Bayern's boilers and transmissions are also located at the waterline and are therefore also very susceptible to damage. Bayern's propulsion system does have a theoretical merit in that it has three propellers and therefore increased redundancy, though in battle it's unlikely that penetrating hits will only damage one of the propeller systems without damaging any adjacent transmissions or ammunition magazines.

Compounding on the magazine issue, Bayern lacks dedicated torpedo protection, and is therefore exceedingly susceptible to any underwater damage. While there is minor protection of underwater portions by more than a metre of coal and 50 mm plating, the enormous size of the magazines and the consequent proximity to the ship's sides means that torpedo hits near her ammunition stowages will likely cause catastrophic ammunition detonation. The Japanese Type 93 Model 3 torpedoes are a particular danger for the Bayern, given the torpedoes' great range and their nearly one ton of explosive filler.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB48 / 34 km/h
RB41 / 29 km/h

Bayern's mobility is generally unimpressive, as is typical for (super-)dreadnoughts. Bayern's top speed of 41 km/h (48 km/h in arcade) isn't great, though it does compare at least somewhat favourably to other nations' battleships; the Bayern is slightly faster than the American Standard-type battleships, the Russian dreadnoughts (and their Soviet modernisations), British battleships, and French dreadnoughts, though in all these cases the speed difference is near 1 km/h. To complete the national comparison, Japanese super-dreadnoughts and Italian battleships are faster than Bayern.

Similarly to her moderate top speed, Bayern has a mediocre turning ability, reducing her ability to dodge incoming fire or torpedoes. Manoeuvres that involve quickly changing course or navigating obstacles are hindered by her slow turn rate, and therefore must be planned out in advance. That being said, Bayern does have good acceleration and deceleration for her displacement, allowing for some amount of evasive manoeuvring. Quickly changing speeds may throw off the enemy’s aim, and obfuscate attempts to torpedo the Bayern.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 48 34
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 41 29

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB27 390 → 34 511 Sl icon.png
RB33 208 → 41 842 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications292 000 Rp icon.png
448 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 300 Ge icon.png
Crew training280 000 Sl icon.png
Experts990 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 000 Ge icon.png
Research Aces830 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
450 / 600 / 100 % Sl icon.png
208 / 208 / 208 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png
Mods ship damage control crew.png
Damage Control Division
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods ship fire control crew.png
Fire Division
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods ship venting.png
Ventilation
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
380-mm Psgr. L/3,5 APCBC
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
150mm_ger_skl45_naval_sap_ammo_pack
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
360 Ge icon.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
150mm_ger_skl45_l_3_7_naval_ap_ammo_pack
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods torpedo.png
Torpedo Mode
Research:
24 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
37 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png

Armament

Primary armament

4 х Turret2 x 38 cm/45 SK L/45 cannon
Ammunition180 rounds
Vertical guidance-5° / 20°
Main article: SK L/45 (380 mm)

Bayern's main armament consists of eight powerful 38 cm/45 SK L/45 cannons in four twin turrets. The 380 mm (roughly 15 inch) guns have several merits against other battleship-calibre guns at the Bayern's battle rating, though there are also significant issues with the guns when considering battleship-on-battleship combat. 

One advantage the 38 cm/45 guns have above-average is their rates of fire: 2.3 rounds per minute, or roughly a 26 second reload. This rate of fire is the highest of any 14 inch (356 mm) or 15 inch (381 mm) guns currently in-game. This also gives the eight guns a collective rate of fire similar to a nine-gun battleship with a rate of fire of 2 rounds per minute, though it should be noted that most 14 inch-armed battleships have more than nine guns.

The shells available for Bayern’s 380 mm guns also carry significant explosive charges. There are two shells available for the 38 cm/45 guns; 38 cm Sprenggranate L/4,1 mit Bodenzünder (Spgr. L/4,1 m BdZ) SAP and 38 cm Panzersprenggranate L/3,5 (Psgr. L/3,5) APCBC. Both rounds have a good muzzle velocity of 800 m/s, and therefore also have favourable ballistics for ease of aiming.

The SAP has an excellent explosive filler of 67.1 kg of TNT and a decent penetration above 450 mm at point blank, though the penetration drops to 221 mm at a distance of 10 km. Therefore the 380 mm SAP is very effective against light and heavy cruisers at any range, and can even be used against unangled battleships at close range (⪅2 km for battleships, ⪅4 km for battlecruisers and Russian dreadnoughts) for great effect, though pursuing close range engagements will come at the expense of the Bayern’s survivability.

The APCBC has a good explosive filler of 25 kg of TNT and a penetration of 595 mm at point blank. The penetration is unfortunately unimpressive; it’s largely comparable to the British 13.5 inch (343 mm) APC, which is not a compliment to the 15 inch Psgr. L/3,5. Even at 10 km, the APCBC may fail to penetrate other battleships’ belt armour, even if they are flat broadside. If enemy battleships are angling at range, the APCBC cannot penetrate their hulls. Similarly to the SAP, at long ranges it becomes necessary for the Bayern to close the gap in order to damage the enemy, but this also increases the Bayern’s vulnerabilities.

In another issue alongside the poor penetration, the turrets that the 38 cm/45 guns are mounted in are not outstanding; the turrets have slow traverse rates, though the rotation speed of 4.2 degrees per second is at least average among its contemporary battleships. The firing angles of the turrets are similarly average, allowing for effective but not extreme angling while maximising damage output. Additionally, the protection of the four turrets, while competent against cruiser fire, is not as effective against other battleship-calibre rounds.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
Spr.gr. L/4,1 Bdz. SAP 458 402 325 266 221 170
Psgr. L/3,5 APCBC APCBC 595 553 492 440 396 332
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(s)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Spr.gr. L/4,1 Bdz. SAP 800 750 0.025 26 67.1 47° 60° 65°
Psgr. L/3,5 APCBC APCBC 800 750 0.025 26 25 48° 63° 71°

Secondary armament

16 х Turret150 mm/45 SK L/45 cannon
Ammunition150 rounds

Bayern's secondary armament consists of 16 casemate-mounted single 150 mm/45 SK L/45 cannons, distributed along the side of the ship’s hull. This is a relatively substantial casemate array when purely considering the number of guns, though the practical performance of the 150 mm guns limits the secondary armament’s effectiveness.

The traverse rates of the casemate mounts are as poor as the rates of the main guns, and therefore cannot perform well against fast or manoeuvring targets. Moreover, the rate of fire for the 150 mm guns is only 7 rounds per minute, which restricts their damage output.

The 150 mm/45 SK L/45 guns have access to three types of ammunition: HE, SAP, and APCBC. All three shell types have a good muzzle velocity of 835 m/s.

The HE has a mediocre explosive filler of 1.6 kg of TNT. While this HE can hull-break light coastal vessels, the awful traverse speed of the casemates limits the effectiveness of the guns in this anti-coastal role. Moreover, the explosive filler is poorer than the filler of 5 inch HE shells found on destroyers, and is even less powerful than the Italian 120 mm HE. 

The SAP has an even worse explosive filler (1.05 kg of TNT) than the HE, and only has a penetration of 95 mm at point blank. This can penetrate unarmoured destroyers, but that is the extent of the SAP’s capabilities.

The AP has an explosive mass of 990 g of TNT, and can penetrate 238 mm at point blank. Since AP is only 15 g of TNT less powerful than the SAP and has significantly more penetration, the 150 mm AP is better able to damage light cruisers while maintaining a similar performance against destroyers. However, it should be noted that the fuze delay on the AP is longer than the SAP, so the AP may overpenetrate destroyers if empty areas are hit.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
Sprgr. L/4.1 Kz HE 21 21 21 21 21 21
Sprgr. L/4.1 Bdz SAPBC 95 80 61 47 37 28
Psgr. L/3.7 APCBC 238 201 153 117 93 71
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(s)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Sprgr. L/4.1 Kz HE 835 45.3 0 0.1 1,600 79° 80° 81°
Sprgr. L/4.1 Bdz SAPBC 835 45.3 0.01 7 1,050 48° 63° 71°
Psgr. L/3.7 APCBC 835 45.3 0.015 7 990 48° 63° 71°

Anti-aircraft armament

2 х Turret88 mm/45 SK L/45 AA-cannon
Ammunition150 rounds

Like many other WWI-era battleships, the anti-aircraft suite on the Bayern is particularly lacking. With only 2 x 88 mm cannons, one on the starboard and port side located near her aft-most funnel, Bayern will struggle to defend herself from enemy aircraft. The reload on these weapons is somewhat decent at 15 rounds per minute, though this is largely insufficient for AA duty. If a shot lands on an enemy aircraft, the 88 mm shell will almost always take it out of the sky, though this is a particularly rare situation given the mediocre traverse rates of the mount.

With such a small amount of anti-aircraft weapons, their effectiveness against enemy ships is also negligible. It is not recommended to repair these if they are damaged while fighting other ships due to their minimal firepower and lack of AA ability.

Overall, the anti-aircraft armament on the Bayern is mediocre and matches the poor effectiveness of most other WWI-era battleships.

Additional armament

Setup 120 x 600 mm H/8 torpedo
Main article: H/8 (600 mm)

The Bayern has access to nine underwater torpedo tubes and 20 600 mm H/8 torpedoes. There are four torpedo tubes pointing out of both of the Bayern's sides, split in two forward of the first main gun, and two aft of the aft-most main gun. There is an additional torpedo tube pointing directly forward, located in the bow of the Bayern.

These torpedoes have a satisfactory top speed of 67 km/h (without the torpedo mode modification) and an explosive filler of 268.8 kg of TNT (which can penetrate the typical 250 kg torpedo protection found on battleships), making them viable for use against cruisers and larger ships, though the lack of turning ability limits the use of torpedoes. 

Usage in battles

The Bayern is best suited to engage enemies at medium to long ranges, taking advantage of her heavy firepower while maximising the effectiveness of her armour scheme. Her eight 380mm guns with their high rate of fire can inflict serious damage on both capital ships and cruisers, and the high explosive filler of both Bayern’s SAP and AP shells ensures that penetrating hits deal significant damage. However, their penetration falls off significantly at longer ranges, which limits Bayern’s anti-battleship performance at long ranges.

While Bayern's armour is thick enough to withstand most cruiser fire even at close ranges, her magazines and internal components are at risk against other capital ships; she should avoid closing to brawling distances with enemy dreadnoughts and battlecruisers if possible. Given her magazine placement near the waterline, close-quarters combat against enemy capital ships is extremely risky, as a single penetrating salvo could prove catastrophic and instantly destroy the Bayern. Therefore the Bayern must balance firing from a distance to preserve her survivability with closing to engage more effectively with her own main guns.

Mobility is less of a defining trait for the Bayern, particularly when compared to battlecruisers and fast battleships, given the generally low manoeuvrability of dreadnoughts. Her good acceleration allows for some evasive manoeuvres if targeted by torpedoes, but while reasonably manoeuvrable for her size, her top speed is not exceptional. Thus the Bayern player must carefully position themselves based on the map and matchup, staying with allied ships while engaging enemies from a distance.

It is advantageous, if possible, for the Bayern to operate near ships that possess strong anti-aircraft armaments, such as cruisers, modern battlecruisers, and modernised American battleships. While the Bayern has very little AA defence of its own, being accompanied by allied ships with heavy calibre AA guns allows their collective fire to keep enemy aircraft at bay and shield the Bayern from air attacks. These allied ships can also help screen for torpedo boats and other small, fast coastal vessels that could sneak up unnoticed and capitalise on the Bayern's weak anti-torpedo defences.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong belt armour
  • Manoeuvrable: good acceleration and deceleration
  • Excellent main gun damage due to high explosive filler for both SAP and AP rounds
  • Above-average rate of fire

Cons:

  • Extremely weak deck armour, only two layers of 30 mm armour plate
  • Mediocre main gun penetration: SAP loses penetration over distance drastically, and APC has less than 600 mm penetration
  • Main gun ammunition is stored together with auxiliary gun ammunition; they are prone to fire hazard and chain detonation
  • Crew compartments and boilers/transmission are not separated by internal structural armour. Fire will spread and cause severe damage

History

SMS Bayern was the lead ship of the Bayern-class dreadnoughts of the Kaiserliche Marine. She had one sister, Baden, while the other two ordered ships were cancelled. She was laid down on 22nd December 1913 and commissioned on 15th July 1916. She saw very limited service during her career. Her most notable action was in September 1917 during Operation Albion where she, together with four König- and five Kaiser-class battleships, participated in seizing the Baltic island of Ösel (Saaremaa). During the operation, Bayern struck a mine and had to withdraw to Kiel to undergo repairs. Meanwhile, König and Kronprinz engaged the Russian pre-dreadnought battleship Slava and sunk it. After the German surrender, Bayern was to be handed over to the British. She was scuttled by her crew and sunk at Scapa Flow together with the majority of the German High Seas Fleet.

Media

Skins

See also

Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft
Minelayer 
R-1-class  Drache(*)**
Battleships 
Helgoland-class  SMS Helgoland*
Bayern-class  SMS Bayern*
  *Previously Howaldtswerke, Kiel
**Previously Deutsche Werft, Hamburg
(*)KB Zmaj before it was captured by Nazi Germany

Germany battleships
Nassau-class  SMS Nassau · SMS Westfalen
Helgoland-class  SMS Helgoland · SMS Ostfriesland
Kaiser-class  SMS Kaiser
Bayern-class  SMS Bayern · SMS Baden · SMS Sachsen