USS Alaska

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us_battlecruiser_alaska_class.png
GarageImage USS Alaska.jpg
USS Alaska
AB RB SB
7.0 7.0 7.0
Research:380 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:990 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Alaska-class, USS Alaska (CB-1), 1944 is a rank V American battlecruiser with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Drone Age".

The Alaska-class were major warships envisioned as a counter to the rumours of super-/battlecruisers under construction by the Imperial Japanese Navy, and so the Alaska-class was designed to be able to eliminate any possible cruiser and the rumoured small battlecruisers in a gunfight whilst having the speed to evade all but the fastest of battleships. As it turned out, the speculated Japanese warships were never even built and the Alaska-class never saw surface action against other warships, only taking part in escort and shore bombardment missions.

There has long been debate over whether the vessels should be classed as large cruisers or battlecruisers. People in favour of calling them large cruisers point to the fact that the ship is essentially an upscaled Baltimore class cruiser, that the ship has always been officially classed by the USN as large cruisers and that, typically, battlecruisers have the same calibre main armament as on contemporary battleships, which the Alaska-class does not.

People in favour of calling them battlecruisers argue that the origin of the design as a cruiser has no relevance on its combat capability, which far exceeds any conventional cruiser and is more in line with other capital ships. They argue that the large cruiser classification was invented purely for the Alaska-class and no other navy has used it because there is no need for it when the battlecruiser classification already exists, and that warships can often have misleading official classifications, such as the modern Japanese Izumo-class destroyers. They postulate that the theme of battlecruisers having contemporary battleship guns is just a trend, not a rule, as displayed by the in-game Kronshtadt, an extremely similar vessel to Alaska and yet everyone agrees that the Kronshtadt-class were battlecruisers.

Post war, and like the battlecruiser concept in general, they were viewed as obsolete due to being too combat ineffective compared to and against modern battleships while being seen as too resource and cost inefficient compared to cruisers. There was some thought given to converting them to missile ships but these plans fell through and, by the early 1960s, they were broken up for scrap.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel260 / 228 / 108 mm
Main fire tower325 / 152 / 133 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure16 mm (steel)
Number of section9
Displacement34 253 t
Crew1 979 people
Armour and internal layout of USS Alaska
Armour Front Side Rear Roof/Deck
Main calibre turret 325 mm 152.4 mm (front, cheeks)
133.35 mm (rear)
133.35 mm 127 mm
Auxiliary calibre turret 25.4 mm 19.05 mm 19.05 mm 25.4 mm
Barbette 279.4 mm (upper)
38.1 mm (lower)
330.2 mm (front, upper)
304.8 mm (rear, upper)
38.1 mm (lower)
279.4 mm (upper)
38.1 mm (lower)
48.26 mm
Citadel 15.87 mm (upper)
260.35 mm (middle)
50.8 mm (lower)
28.56 mm (upper)
228.6 mm (middle)
127 - 177.8 mm (lower)
19.05 mm (inner)
15.87 mm (upper)
260.35 mm (middle)
50.8 mm (lower)
36.195 mm (upper)
107.95 mm (middle, magazine)
96.52 mm (middle, machinery)
19.05 mm (lower, magazines only)
Bridge 269.99 mm 127 mm

Notes:

  • The entire superstructure except for the funnel has 19.05 mm of anti-fragmentation armour

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB71 / 21 km/h
RB61 / 18 km/h

Write about the ship's mobility. Evaluate its power and manoeuvrability, rudder rerouting speed, stopping speed at full tilt, with its maximum forward and reverse speed.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 71 21
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 61 18

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB22 620 → 29 451 Sl icon.png
RB32 750 → 42 640 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications283 000 Rp icon.png
841 000 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
320 / 360 / 100 % Sl icon.png
208 / 208 / 208 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
33 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
36 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
68 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png
Mods ship tool kit.png
Tool Set
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
33 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods manual ship extinguisher.png
Fire Protection System
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
36 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods ship venting.png
Ventilation
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
36 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
68 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
68 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
127mm_usa_mk32_common_sap_ammo_pack
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
33 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
33 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank ammo.png
305mm_us_mk8_navy_ap_ammo_pack
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
33 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
127mm_usa_mk46_special_common_sap_ammo_pack
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png
127mm_usa_mk31_aavt_radio_fuse_ammo_pack
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
36 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
36 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
36 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods shipSupportPlane.png
Hydroplane
Research:
23 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
68 000 Sl icon.png
560 Ge icon.png

Armament

Primary armament

3 х Turret3 x 12-inch/50 Mark 8 cannon
Ammunition480 rounds
Vertical guidance-3° / 45°
The main armament of the Alaska is composed of a total of 9x 305mm 50-calibre cannons, arranged in three triple turrets with two superfiring fore and one aft. The gun handling is not slow, but not especially fast for the size of the turrets. The maximum reload speed is quite competitive at 20 seconds, though most players of the ship won't have a top level crew and thus will have a somewhat slower reload.

The Alaska has access to two shell types for the main guns.

The armour-piercing shell is the main one you'll use for opposing capital ships and occasionally on cruisers that may have a lot of armour or are angled. The AP shell of the Alaska was designed as a so called 'super-heavy' shell, which means that it has a lot bit more mass than a normal AP shell. This means the shell has less muzzle velocity, intended to give the shells a sharper descent angle when coming down on an opposing vessel, a little like a mortar, with the hopes of going through deck armour, which tends to be relatively thin.

The problem with this is that the US didn't realise that the range needed to have the shells drop at a flat enough angle on the deck to effectively penetrate most deck armour was quite a bit further than you could physically aim with any real accuracy. Even ignoring that, warships in naval battles tend to always want to close the range anyway in order to be able to aim accurately and/or use torpedoes, which would rapidly diminish the possibility of penetrating deck armour. What this means is that you simply cannot use the shells for their intended purpose of hitting deck armour, meanwhile the lower muzzle velocity makes aiming your AP shells more difficult and shells hitting the side of an enemy vessel are at a sharper angle than they would otherwise have been, which makes it unnecessarily harder to penetrate enemy side armour. Not only that but, as is typical for US warships, the AP shell has a relatively poor bursting charge of less than 8kg. The only thing that saves the shell from being completely useless is the relatively high penetration statistics with it retaining a more than moderate level of penetration at range due to the heavy shells momentum.

The HE shell of the Alaska is a more normal naval shell and the 35kg of explosive power is fairly decent for its calibre. Although it's not too competitive compared to the real hard hitting HE shells at top tier naval, this shell will still enable you effectively dispatch lightly armoured vessels such as destroyers and small cruisers without difficulty, as well as being able to harass anything on the deck of opposing capital ships.

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
12-inch Mk.17 HC HE 68 68 68 68 68 68
12-inch Mk.18 AP APCBC 621 582 524 475 434 374
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%
12-inch Mk.17 HC HE 808 426.38 0 0.1 35.31 79° 80° 81°
12-inch Mk.18 AP APCBC 762 517 0.035 17 7.73 48° 63° 71°

Secondary armament

6 х Turret2 x 5 inch/38 Mk.12 cannon, mount Mk.32
Ammunition720 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
AAC Mk.34 HE 36 36 36 36 36 36
Common Mk.32 Common 124 103 77 58 46 37
SP Common Mk.46 SP Common 150 125 93 71 56 45
AAVT Mk.31 HE-VT 36 36 36 36 36 36
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%
AAC Mk.34 HE 792 25 0 0.1 3,220 79° 80° 81°
Common Mk.32 Common 792 24.49 0.01 6 1,150 47° 60° 65°
SP Common Mk.46 SP Common 792 25 0.01 6 906.5 48° 63° 71°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Arming distance
(m)
Trigger radius
(m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
AAVT Mk.31 HE-VT 792 25 0 0.1 457 23 3,220 79° 80° 81°

Anti-aircraft armament

14 х Turret4 x 40 mm Bofors L/60 Mark 2 gun
Ammunition8000 rounds
Belt capacity4 rounds
Fire rate156 shots/min
34 х Turret20 mm/70 Oerlikon Mk.II autocannon
Ammunition1800 rounds
Belt capacity60 rounds
Fire rate450 shots/min

An important part of the ship's armament responsible for air defence. Anti-aircraft armament is defined by the weapon chosen with the control Select anti-aircraft weapons. Talk about the ship's anti-air cannons and machine guns, the number of guns and their positions, their effective range, and about their overall effectiveness – including against surface targets. If there are no anti-aircraft armaments, remove this section.

Scout plane

Main article: OS2U-1

Located midships are two catapults with one OS2U-1 scout plane each which provide unique offensive and defensive abilities, expanding tactical options. Ship-launched scout planes fly just like regular tree units but lack munition choices and cockpit views. Alongside the typical abilities of strafing, dropping 2 x 100 lb bombs, and capping zones, the OS2U-1 and other scout planes have the added ability to lay down smoke cover (up to 3 times). Captains will be wise to remember to utilize the aircraft and consider when best to use it, for example to cap a point early or late in the match, to create a smoke screen to stymie enemy bombardment and repair, to attack enemy units directly, or perhaps something completely new! With two scout planes one can risk a cap attempt at the beginning of the match, saving the second for any opportunity that presents itself.

Usage in battles

Alaska is a versatile warrior capable of achieving multiple objectives. However, its generally unwise to spawn Alaska as your first ship (unless you are in a tight squad) and here are the main reasons: First, you have to face the most intense early-game combat and may not spare focus to do multi-tasking. Second, Alaska's low damage output won't help you and your teammate win the early fight. Third, Alaska is tanky indeed but to absorb damage in this ship is the least optimal use and Arizona suits this role much better than her.

After securing the early game, you may spawn Alaska as your second ship and pursue for the mid-late game. Depending on the situation, you may chase down weakened opposing capital ships; sail straight towards one objective and secure the others with your floatplane; repel air raid and deny irregular motorboat tactics with your powerful autocannon arrays. Eventually, you will claim a victory in this ship.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good survivability
  • Excellent top speed and manoeuvrable
  • Massive amount of AA defenses
  • Two scout seaplanes

Cons:

  • Full potential is locked behind high tier modifications (max top speed and floatplanes), stock ship is hardship
  • Low damage output, she has difficulties in securing kills
  • One deadly weak spot above waterline

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ship in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the ship and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Ship-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the ship's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Media

Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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


New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Gun Destroyers (DD) 
Porter-class  USS Porter
Cruiser, Light (CL) 
Cleveland-class  USS Cleveland
Large Cruiser (CB) 
Alaska-class  USS Alaska

USA battlecruisers
USS Alaska