Z20 Karl Galster
The Type 1936-class, Z20 Karl Galster, 1945 is a premium rank III German destroyer with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced as a premium pack in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test. It was removed from the store after the 2019 Winter sale, but was shortly reintroduced for the 2020 May Sale purchasable in-game for 6,090 Golden Eagles . It was once again made unavailable for purchase after the naval tech tree split in Update "New Power".
Survivability and armour
The Z20 Karl Galster is not a very well protected destroyer. Unlike for example the Cowell (DD-547) (which possesses some armour) the Z20 has nothing to protect herself from enemy fire. The gun turrets are not fully shut (they are open at the back) which means that enemy HE fire will very easily knock out these turrets. However, armour doesn't really matter too much for a DD because they are too small to have effective armour anyway, but the Z20 feels very weak in terms of armour overall. If you play a Tashkent (leader) you will experience far more survivability because the crew members are better protected.
The bridge of the Z20 is poorly protected. You will often get hit because it's a tempting target for the enemy, and it will prevent you from steering the ship. Your ammo magazines have no armour at all but is under the waterline. This will prevent HE shells from detonating these magazines which gives the Z20 more survivability. Cruisers with their 155/203 mm AP shells are able to travel to these magazines and will result in a citadel detonation.
So what does make the Z20 a good destroyer? It's the speed and agility which makes her a great ship to play. Because you have good mobility you can move quickly and support the smaller ships. You are a good escort for cruisers as well but make sure you are not first in line! The mobility allows you to take effective evasive manoeuvres which makes you a hard target to shoot at. In combination with your main guns, you can be a pain for the enemy team.
The crew size of the Z20 consists of 323 people which is more than most of the other destroyers. However, this number can be deceiving. Again the Z20 has some weak protected parts where a lot of crew members can be knocked out if they are hit in that certain spot.
So the primary armament is quite weak in terms of protection and this should be noted. When your enemy lands an HE shot at the turret, a lot of crew members will be incapacitated and the gun will almost certainly be knocked out. The secondary armaments aren't better protected but there are less crew members so they will be knocked out, but the armaments themselves aren't knocked out very often.
The powerplant of the Z20 consists of Six Wagner boilers to produce steam. This steam goes through two Wagner steam turbine sets, each driving one propeller shaft. This gives the Z20 69,000 shaft horsepower driving the ship through the seas with a speed of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) forward. The rudder is very good as well and gives you the ability to turn the ship quickly. The mobility is one of the things that make the Z20 a great destroyer.
Modifications and economy
The Z20 has 5 x 12.7 cm (5.0 in) SK C/34 guns, two each superimposed, fore and aft of the superstructure. The fifth mount is positioned on top of the rear deckhouse, so there are 2 guns facing forward and 3 facing backward. This is a disadvantage in comparison to other destroyers. The Haida (G63) and Tashkent (leader) have two dual-mounted gun turrets at the front of the ship. This gives them the ability to go nose in and fire 4 shells in one salvo, so they don't suffer too much when they protect their broadside. The Z20 has to give some broadside to fire all 5 guns. You can compensate this problem by using the tactic of "kiting". Fire a salvo and go nose in. When your guns are almost done reloading, turn the ship again to fire all 5 guns and repeat. The rudder allows you to do this but it only works when you are actively sailing your ship.
Another disadvantage is that you only have 5 guns. The Haida (G63), Tashkent (leader), IJN Akizuki, Sumner (DD-692) and others all have 6 or 8 guns. You only have 5 guns which puts you in a difficult position when knife fighting these destroyers. So the best thing you can do is to make sure you pick the fight, not the enemy. This is quite hard but use the terrain and your teammates to fight the enemies. Do not ever try to destroy a cruiser with your guns. There is no hope you can take a cruiser on your own with your guns. You will do minimal damage and the cruiser will destroy you quite easily. Only when you can perform a torpedo strike, go for the cruisers. But make sure it will have success. If you are sailing with another cruiser, you can support him by shooting at the enemy cruiser but make sure you are second or third in line.
The guns don't have the best firing arcs. You can only hit targets effectively under the range of 8 km. If the distance becomes greater than 8 km the shell will take 16 seconds to reach the target. You will have a minimal chance of getting a hit and you will waste ammo.
As for ammo, you can take 600 pieces maximum. The Z20 comes with 3 types of ammo: Sprgr. L/4.4 Kpf.Z, Sprgr. L/4.4 Bd.Z and the Sprgr. L/4.4 Zt.Z. So the Kpf.Z shell is the high-explosive shell and will do the most damage to most of the ships. It is recommended to take about 400 shells of the Kpf.Z because this is the shell you will be firing most of the time, and about 200 shells of the Bd.Z because these can penetrate cruisers more effectively if needed. The Zt.Z shell is only useful against planes but the main guns of the Z20 don't allow you to fire effectively against planes, and it is almost completely useless against ships.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|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/4.4 Kpf.Z||HE||24||24||24||24||24||24|
|Sprgr. L/4.4 Bd.Z||HE||59||50||38||30||24||18|
|Sprgr. L/4.4 Zt.Z||HE-TF||24||24||24||24||24||24|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|Sprgr. L/4.4 Kpf.Z||HE||830||28||0||0.1||1.91||79°||80°||81°|
|Sprgr. L/4.4 Bd.Z||HE||830||28||0.015||5||1.4||79°||80°||81°|
|Sprgr. L/4.4 Zt.Z||HE-TF||830||28||0||0.1||1.91||79°||80°||81°|
The secondary armament consists of 4 x 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30. These guns are very good at shredding patrol boats and are a great addition to the Z20. They fire quickly for 3.7 cm guns. They can also act as AA guns very effectively. Because they can fire both at boats and planes, it's recommended to use the Universal belt. This belt consists of both HE shells (for the planes) and AP shells (for the patrol boats and other destroyers). You can also select the AP belt (3 times AP and 1 HE) or the HE belt (3 times HE and 1 AP). There is no need to take manual control of the secondaries because the AI does the job quite well, and if you let the AI fire the main guns, you will lose effectiveness.
- Universal: AP-T · HEF-I
- 37 mm HE clips: HEF-I · HEF-I · HEF-I · HEF-I · AP-T
- 37 mm APT clips: AP-T · AP-T · AP-T · AP-T · HEF-I
|Ammunition||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Unlike other ships of the Type 1936 class (which the Z20 belongs to), the Z20 has reinforced AA armament. So the 4 x 3.7 cm (1.5 in) SK C/30 guns act as AA, but the Z20 also has: 8 x 2 cm (0.8 in) Flakzwilling 38, a single-mount 2 cm C/38 cannon, and a quadruple 2 cm Flak 30/Flakvierling. This gives the Z20 some solid AA so you have the ability to shoot down planes very effectively. You can either select a Universal belt (2 HE, 2 AP), AP belt (1 HE, 3 AP) or an HE belt (3 HE, 1 AP), although only the HE belt will see much use because these guns will typically only be used to shoot down planes.
The Z20 is equipped with 2 x quadruple 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes which carry the G7a torpedo. This torpedo has a speed of 81 km/h and a maximum range of 6 km. It takes 50 m to arm the torpedo. On-board is 358.4 kg TNT which causes a significant blow.
Usage in battles
Describe the technique of using this ship, the characteristics of her use in a team and tips on strategy. Abstain from writing an entire guide – don't try to provide a single point of view, but give the reader food for thought. Talk about the most dangerous opponents for this vehicle and provide recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of playing with this vehicle in various modes (AB, RB, SB).
Pros and cons
- Very fast for a destroyer (86 km/h or 46 knots AB, 71 km/h or 38 knots RB)
- Quick reload speed with on-board guns
- Good self defence anti-aircraft capability
- 37 mm AA guns are of the fully automatic type, not the semi-automatic type you'd find on other German ships
- Has a slim profile
- Strong secondaries against smaller ships
- Main guns lack AP rounds (only HE, HE Base Fuse, HE-DF)
- Shells don't have much filler for their calibre
- Torpedoes are slow and have sub-par warheads
- Quite a squishy ship
- Only has 5 main guns
- Gun turrets are exposed to HE shrapnel
Z20 Karl Galster was the fourth of six ships of the 1936 class destroyers laid down in the DeSchiMAG shipyard in Bremen. She was laid down on 14 September 1937 and completed in March 1939. Being part of the final German destroyer class to receive names after WWI sailors, captains, and admirals, the Z20 was also named in honour of Captain Karl Galster. Captain Karl Galster was the commander of the S22 torpedo boat in WWI, who went down with his ship after striking a mine while intercepting a squadron of British ships, including HMS Vindex, near the island of Sylt. During WWII, Z20 Karl Galster took part in various mine-laying operations in the English channel and Baltic sea as well as taking part in the invasion of Denmark and Norway as part of the Operation "Weserübung". Although the war had claimed her other five sister ships, Karl Galster survived right up until the very end of the war, helping in evacuating German soldiers from coastline ports scattered around the Baltic during the last few days of WWII.
After the German surrender on 8 May 1945, Z20 returned to her homeport of Kiel and surrendered to the British. However, her career was not over just yet. In 1946, Z20 Karl Galster was given to the Soviet Union as a war prize and was subsequently renamed to Prochny. She would serve under Soviet command for another decade, until 1956, before being decommissioned ultimately scrapped in the 1950s.
- From Devblog
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;
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|Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau Aktiengesellschaft|
|Type 1936||Z20 Karl Galster · Z22 Anton Schmitt|
|Type 1936A||Z25 · Z32|
|*Previously Aktien-Gesellschaft „Weser"|
|Type 1924||Jaguar · Leopard · Luchs|
|Type 1939||T22 · T31|
|Type 1934A||Z12 Erich Giese · Z15 Erich Steinbrinck|
|Type 1936||Z20 Karl Galster · Z22 Anton Schmitt · Z25 · Z32 · Z43 · Z47|
|Germany premium ships|
|Motor torpedo boats||LS 4 Esau · KM-5 · S-204 Lang|
|Destroyers||Jaguar · Luchs · T31 · Z20 Karl Galster · Z25 · Z47|
|Heavy cruisers||Prinz Eugen|