USS Northampton

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USS Northampton
us_cruiser_northampton_class.png
GarageImage USS Northampton.jpg
USS Northampton
AB RB SB
5.3 5.3 5.3
Research:61 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:230 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Northampton-class, USS Northampton (CA-26), 1941 is a rank IV American heavy cruiser with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Raining Fire".

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel25 / 76 / 25 mm
Main fire tower64 / 19 / 19 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure8 mm (steel)
Number of section9
Displacement12 050 t
Crew872 people

USS Northampton's survivability is rather mediocre for an American heavy cruiser, and rather weak compared to the enemies it often faces in battle. Northampton has a main armour belt of just 3 inches (76 mm) of RHA, which can be easily penetrated by SAP and AP shells above 127 mm calibre. The magazines are protected by 95 mm of armour and sit below the waterline, meaning that they are relatively survivable. However, Northampton's ready-use shell rooms are directly below the turrets and thinly-protected, meaning that they can be detonated by enemy shells and cause severe damage. The turrets themselves only have 63mm in the front and even worse on the sides, meaning that even destroyers can penetrate and disable them. Finally, Northampton only has 872 crew members, which severely limits its effectiveness in battle.

Armour Front Side Rear Deck/Roof
Turret (8"/55) 63.5 mm
63.5 mm (gun mantlet)
38.1 mm 19.1 mm 38.1 mm
Barbette 38.1 mm N/A
Magazine (Front) 63.5 mm + 19.1mm (elevator) 95.25 mm 38.1 mm 50.8 mm
Magazine (Rear) 50.8 mm 95.25 mm 38.1 mm 50.8 mm
Citadel 38.1 mm 31.75 mm (upper)
76.2 mm (lower)
38.1 mm 25.4 mm
Bridge 31.8 mm

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB70 / 21 km/h
RB60 / 18 km/h

Northampton has decidedly average mobility for a cruiser, with a top speed of 60 km/h in Realistic battles and 70 km/h in Arcade - this is on par with most cruisers of other navies. The ship's turning circle and acceleration are nothing special, either.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 70 21
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 60 18

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB9 100 → 12 284 Sl icon.png
RB9 800 → 13 229 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications57 800 Rp icon.png
111 400 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 400 Ge icon.png
Crew training65 000 Sl icon.png
Experts230 000 Sl icon.png
Aces820 Ge icon.png
Research Aces440 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
310 / 490 / 100 % Sl icon.png
160 / 160 / 160 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
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Propeller Replacement
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Research:
3 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods ship tool kit.png
Tool Set
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods manual ship extinguisher.png
Fire Protection System
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Smokescreen
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods ship venting.png
Ventilation
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Research:
3 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Research:
3 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
203mm_us_mk19_navy_ap_ammo_pack
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
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Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Research:
2 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
5 400 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank ammo.png
203mm_us_mk25_navy_hc_ammo_pack
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Research:
2 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 800 Sl icon.png
190 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
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127mm_usa_mk36_navy_radio_fuse_ammo_pack
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png
127mm_usa_mk36_navy_radio_fuse_ammo_pack
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods shipSupportPlane.png
Hydroplane
Research:
3 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods he frag base fuse tank.png
203mm_us_mk17_navy_special_common_ammo_pack
Research:
3 600 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png

Armament

Primary armament

3 х Turret3 x 8 inch/55 Mark 9 cannon
Ammunition450 rounds
Vertical guidance-10° / 41°

Northampton carries a main armament of nine 8"/55 Mk.9 guns in three triple mounts, two fore and one aft. These guns are the standard armament for American heavy cruisers, and pack an impressive punch. The guns have good ballistics, and can access four shell types: Mk.14 Common, Mk.19 APCBC, Mk.25 HC and Mk.17 SP Common. Of these shells, the Mk.17 Special Common shell is most effective against cruisers, as it has a great explosive mass and enough penetration for most cruiser main armour belts. The Mk.19 APCBC shell can be used against heavily-armoured targets, but has a relatively small explosive mass of 1.65 kg. Finally, the HC shell, with almost 10 kg of explosive filler, is highly effective against destroyers and unarmoured vessels.

However, the guns have two main drawbacks. Firstly, they have the slowest reload speed of any 8-inch gun, with a fire rate of just three rounds per minute (20-second gun reload). This means that they fire much slower than their contemporaries, which typically have a fire rate of five rounds per minute (12-second reload). As well, the guns have the slowest horizontal turret rotation speed of any heavy cruiser, at just 3.1 degrees/second (comparatively, the Admiral Hipper's guns rotate at 6.8 degrees/second).

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
Mk.14 Common Common 116 102 83 69 57 43
Mk.19 APCBC APCBC 383 339 277 228 190 143
Mk.25 HC HE 61 61 61 61 61 61
Mk.17 SP Common SP Common 137 121 99 81 68 51
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%
Mk.14 Common Common 853 117.9 0.035 9 4.84 47° 60° 65°
Mk.19 APCBC APCBC 853 117.9 0.035 9 1.62 48° 63° 71°
Mk.25 HC HE 853 117.9 0 0.1 9.5 79° 80° 81°
Mk.17 SP Common SP Common 853 117.9 0.035 9 4.61 48° 63° 71°

Secondary armament

8 х Turret5 inch/25 Mk.13 AA cannon
Ammunition200 rounds

USS Northampton carries a secondary battery of 8 x single mount 5-inch/25 Mk.13 AA guns. Four of these are mounted abreast of the second funnel, two port and two starboard. The other four are mounted on a lower deck aft of the second funnel before the rear turret, once again two per side. The 5-inch/25 is a purpose-built AA weapon, and therefore has no rounds intended for anti-ship duties, leaving captains with HE-TF and HE-VT shells. The HE-TF are heavily reliant on crew skills, so captains are recommended to upgrade the "Distance fuze set accuracy" crew skill to improve chances of a hit. The HE-VT is a much better overall shell, automatically exploding within 23 m of the target. This shell can also be used against lightly armoured ships and boats, as they will not explode midair before hitting the enemy ship. The shells will only be effective against destroyers and small watercraft, as any armoured vessel will simply shrug off the shells. They will destroy AA mounts and set fires to heavier ships but will do no appreciable damage to crew.

The guns of course have less range than the 5 inch/38 Mk.12 (127 mm) developed later, but due to the shorter barrel it has a faster traverse rate allowing it to track enemy targets more efficiently, and with a 3 s reload the guns have a quick rate of fire as well. Captains should be mindful of the lower velocity of the rounds compared to the 38 calibre variant that may be more familiar. The gun mounts also have minimum shielding, so it is recommended to avoid repairing them until needed to avoid draining USS Northampton of vital crew.

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
Mk.36 AAC HE-TF 35 35 35 35 35 35
Mk.28 AAC-VT HE-VT 36 36 36 36 36 36
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mk.36 AAC HE-TF 657 24.42 0 0.1 3.16 79° 80° 81°
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) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mk.28 AAC-VT HE-VT 657 23.45 0 0.1 457 23 3.25 79° 80° 81°

Anti-aircraft armament

4 х Turret4 x 1.1 inch/75 Mk.1 automatic gun
Ammunition7800 rounds
Belt capacity65 rounds
Fire rate150 shots/min
8 х Turret12.7 mm AN-M2 machine gun
Ammunition2000 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Fire rate577 shots/min

Northampton carries four quadruple 1.1 inch "Chicago Pianos". The 1.1 inch/75 Mk.1 gun, otherwise known as the "Chicago Piano" (because it was the size of a baby grand-piano), was the standard anti-aircraft armament for most American ships prior to the introduction of the 40 mm Bofors cannon. These guns are mediocre at best; though they have a good fire rate (similar to the AN-M2 Browning), they aren't too effective at dealing damage, and also jam rather quickly. As well, take note that the gun doesn't have ammunition options.

Northampton also carries eight single 12.7 mm AN-M2 machine guns. The AN-M2 is a navalised anti-aircraft version of the popular Browning machine gun. This gun is rather ineffective at dealing significant damage to enemy aircraft, and is only effective within ~1.5-2 kilometres at most. As well, keep in mind that these guns have a long 12-second reload after the gun's magazine has been used.

Scout plane

Main article: SOC-1

Located amidships are two catapults with one SOC-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 SOC-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 utilise 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

USS Northampton isn't the easiest ship to play, especially given that it faces battleships often (which completely outclass it in every aspect except anti-aircraft protection) and many cruisers too (such as USS Brooklyn and USS Helena) which outclass it in terms of firepower. As such, the ship needs to be played carefully in order to succeed in battle.

Firstly, Northampton's main battery is quite mediocre. The nine 203 mm guns, placed in triple turrets (the same arrangement as the USS Portland), have an extremely weak reload speed of 17.1 seconds with a completely spaded crew, and 20+ seconds with a stock crew. This reload speed is not competitive against most other cruisers at the Northampton's BR, and severely limits the ship's damage potential. Furthermore, Northampton's guns are inaccurate - and that is, very inaccurate. These weapons have a lot of trouble hitting things reliably beyond ranges of 8 km, making the ship hard to play at longer ranges. These constraints mean that Northampton does a lot better at closer ranges, where its main battery can hit targets reliably.

Secondly, Northampton is not that survivable. Though it does have a relatively large crew size for a heavy cruiser, Northampton lacks heavy armour, especially on its citadel, which houses the massive engine block - this trait is shared by other American pre-war heavy cruisers including USS Pensacola and USS Portland. The ship also has little protection on its first stage shell rooms (38 mm of RHA), which can be detonated by stray shells. Because of these constraints, you should try to use ground cover as much as possible to preserve survivability. In maps such as South Kvarken, with plenty of island covers, stay behind islands wherever possible. In open maps such as the conquest maps, your only hope will be to stay behind the front lines, and hope that enemies don't target you.

Finally, note that Northampton does not have great anti-aircraft defence. As the next class of American heavy cruiser after the USS Pensacola, Northampton gets sixteen 28 mm "Chicago Piano" guns in four quadruple mounts as well as eight 12.7 mm AN-M2 Browning HMGs. These weapons lack range and power, limiting their effectiveness to ranges of less than 2.5 kilometres. Indeed, the ship does carry eight 127 mm Mk 25 guns, capable of firing AA-VT (proximity fuse) ammunition, but these weapons are not capable of firing fast enough to be able to destroy faster incoming aircraft. Because of this, you should try to stay with allied ships, particularly ships with great anti-aircraft protection. This will help ensure that your ship will stay safe from enemy aircraft.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Hard-hitting broadside of nine 203 mm (8 inch) guns in triple turrets
    • Guns fire powerful ammunition at relatively high muzzle velocities
    • Guns have great firing angles with one superfiring pair and one lone turret at the rear
  • Better anti-aircraft armament than its historical predecessor, USS Pensacola
  • Two scout seaplanes.

Cons:

  • Main gun effectiveness is heavily diminished by an extremely slow reload speed (20+ seconds) and poor accuracy
  • Anti-aircraft defence is still terrible and fails to hit targets reliably at longer ranges
  • Not very survivable, with weak armour protection and just 621 crew members
  • No access to auxiliary armaments such as torpedoes

History

The USS Northampton (CA-26) was the lead ship of the Northampton-class of heavy cruisers. Originally classified as a light cruiser due to her small size, she was later reclassified as a heavy cruiser because of her 8-inch armament. She served in the Pacific prior to the Second World War, and was escorting the USS Enterprise when the Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbour. She later served in the Guadalcanal campaign, participating in the Battle of Santa Cruz. However, she was sunk at the Battle of Tassafaronga, having been struck by Japanese torpedoes.[1][2]

Design and construction

The USS Northampton was the lead ship of the Northampton-class, the second American 'Treaty' heavy cruiser class following the Pensacola-class. Due to the limitations of the Washington naval treaty, they were very light at just 9,000 tons standard - even lighter than their predecessors, the Pensacolas.[1] The armament scheme was revised to feature nine 8-inch (203 mm) guns in three triple turrets, which would be featured on every subsequent American heavy cruiser.[1] Their anti-aircraft armament was initially sparse but would be refitted later on. As with all American heavy cruiser designs, they did not carry any torpedo armament. The Northampton-class were capable of making 32.7 knots (60 km/h).[1]

The USS Northampton was laid down on April 12th of 1928, and launched on September 5th 1929. She was sponsored by Grace Coolidge, former first lady of the United states. After construction was completed, she was formally commissioned on May 17th 1930.[1]

Northampton attempting to save the Crippled USS Hornet at the battle of Guadalcanal.

Service history

After her commissioning, the Northampton embarked on a shakedown cruise into the Mediterranean as part of the US Atlantic Fleet. Following the London Naval Treaty, the ship was reclassified as CA-26. In 1932, she moved to the Pacific fleet and was homeported at San Pedro; she would remain there until the start of the Second World War.[2]

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, the Northampton was out at sea escorting the USS Enterprise with Admiral William 'Bull' Halsey on board. She subsequently escorted the aircraft carrier Hornet on the Doolittle raid and the carrier Enterprise during the Battle of Midway.[2] She escorted the Hornet during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, and attempted to keep her afloat after the carrier was severely damaged by Japanese aircraft. Her attempts were unsuccessful, and the Hornet was finished off by torpedoes and gunfire.[2]

The Northampton engaged in her final action, the Battle of Tassafaronga on November 30th 1942. A force of several American heavy cruisers and destroyers encountered a group of eight Japanese destroyers, tasked with delivering food to the forces at Guadalcanal.[2] Taken by surprise, the Japanese force lost one of the destroyers with heavy damage to others. However, they retaliated with a torpedo attack and hit several of the American heavy cruisers. Northampton was hit by two Japanese Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes, which tore large gashes in her hull. Crippled and sinking, the ship was abandoned. Northampton received a total of six battle stars for her service during the Second World War.[2]

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

References

Citations
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rickard, J. (2004)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 US Navy Heritage Command. (2015)
Bibliograhphy
  • Rickard, J. (2004, March 10). USS Northampton CA-26. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Northampton_CA26.html
  • US Navy Heritage Command. (2015, August 13). Northampton II (CL-26). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/n/northampton-ii.html


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Gun Destroyers (DD) 
Porter-class  USS Phelps · USS Moffett
Fletcher-class  USS Cowell
Destroyer Leaders (DL) 
Mitscher-class  USS Wilkinson
Cruiser, Light (CL) 
Omaha-class  USS Raleigh · USS Detroit
Heavy Cruisers (CA) 
Northampton-class  USS Northampton
Portland-class  USS Portland
Baltimore-class  USS Baltimore · USS Pittsburgh

USA heavy cruisers
Pensacola-class  USS Pensacola
Northampton-class  USS Northampton
Portland-class  USS Portland
New Orleans-class  USS New Orleans
Baltimore-class  USS Baltimore · USS Pittsburgh