RN Zara

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RN Zara
AB RB SB
5.7 5.7 5.7
Research:270 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:690 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Zara-class, RN Zara, 1941 is a rank V Italian heavy cruiser with a battle rating of 5.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Raining Fire". Zara is the second and most powerful heavy cruiser available for Italy.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel120 / 150 / 70 mm
Main fire tower203 / 150 / 150 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure8 mm (steel)
Number of section9
Displacement14 530 t
Crew1 155 people

Zara breaks from Italian tradition by actually having armour - and has one of the best armour layouts of any heavy cruiser in the game. Zara has 150 mm armour covering the entire citadel of the ship, while most comparable cruisers have 80 mm or less. These unrivaled levels of protection allow the Zara to avoid critical damage to the magazines and engines from destroyer calibre armaments and, when angled, can easily repulse light and heavy cruiser gunfire too. In addition, the magazines are protected by 120 mm thick citadel plates athwartships, which when combined with her enormous bow section, makes her impervious to cruiser gunfire through the bow.

Also of note is Zara's turret armour, as each main turret has a 200 mm thick faceplate, while the sides, rear, and roof are all 150 mm. Having such thick armour, when compared to similar foreign cruisers with a third of the thickness, and especially British/Japanese cruisers with mere 25 mm turret armour, is an enormous blessing, as it means Zara's turrets will almost never be knocked out in combat. The only things capable of destroying the turrets are heavy cruiser AP from close range, battleships, and bombs.

Despite Zara's impressive armour, it should always be noted that no ship is invincible. While critical components are well-protected behind the main belt, the upper belt responsible for protecting the majority of crew compartments is only 30 mm thick, and can easily be chipped away after constant fire, and while the turrets are immensely hard to destroy, the exposed gun barrels will still take damage. Thus, the protection should always be treated as a second line of defense - it's better to not get shot in the first place.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB69 / 34 km/h
RB59 / 29 km/h

Zara also deviates from the Italian standard by being quite slow - she is only capable of 59 km/h, which is not only 10 km/h slower than the Condottieri-class cruisers Italian captains might be used to, but is even slower than foreign cruisers, which are typically capable of around 60 km/h. However, the loss of 1 km/h over her foreign counterparts isn't world-ending, and Zara can still get around at a reasonable pace. Her rudder and turning circle are unexceptional for similar heavy cruisers.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 69 34
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 59 29

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB14 000 → 18 899 Sl icon.png
RB23 000 → 31 049 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications235 800 Rp icon.png
336 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 100 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 000 Sl icon.png
Experts690 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 700 Ge icon.png
Research Aces720 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
450 / 600 / 100 % Sl icon.png
196 / 196 / 196 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Research:
8 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods ship tool kit.png
Tool Set
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mods manual ship extinguisher.png
Fire Protection System
Research:
8 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Smokescreen
Research:
8 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
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Ventilation
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
440 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank ammo.png
203mm_ansaldo_50_53_navy_aphebc_ammo_pack
Research:
8 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
100mm_it_perforante_navy_ap_ammo_pack
Research:
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Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
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Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Research:
8 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
13 000 Sl icon.png
250 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
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100mm_it_dirompente_contro_aerea_navy_he_df_ammo_pack
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
270 Ge icon.png
Mods he frag dist fuse ship.png
203mm_ansaldo_50_53_navy_he_df_ammo_pack
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods shipSupportPlane.png
Hydroplane
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
21 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png

Armament

Primary armament

4 х Turret2 x 203 mm/53 Ansaldo mod.1927 cannon
Ammunition314 rounds
Vertical guidance-5° / 45°

The 203 mm/53 Ansaldo mod.1927 cannons have several advantages and disadvantages over foreign cruisers, generally sacrificing quantity for quality. Her stock HE shell is unexceptional (and somewhat lacklustre compared to foreign heavy cruiser HE in terms of filler), but her researchable APHEBC is one of the best 8" shells in the game. Compared to other ships, Zara's shells have an extremely high velocity (900 m/s), high penetration (only lower than American Mk.21 Heavy AP and German L/4.4 (m.Hb) APBC, which bother have less filler), and is toe to toe with Japan in terms of filler (3.16 kg). This exceptional shell is excellent for detonating the ammunition of enemy ships.

However, Zara also has a significantly lower fire rate than other cruisers, being only capable of 3.8 RPM, falling behind the foreign standard of 5 RPM, and only better than her predecessor Trento (3.4) and American treaty cruisers (3.5). This puts her at a disadvantage when fighting foreign ships, and thus captains must aim with far more precision than other ships would demand to make her perform competitively.

Like other Axis cruisers, she has an HE-TF shell, which given the somewhat poor traverse of her main turrets, means that those shells are mostly for moral support.

It should be noted that her forward turret has a slight quirk - it is slightly obstructed by the railing of the ship when aiming over the side. When aiming closer than 5 km, keep this in mind, as the turret won't be able to hit enemy targets that close, due to the railing preventing the gun from being depressed.

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
203 mm HE Dirompente HE 58 58 58 58 58 58
203 mm APHEBC Perforante APHEBC 388 327 247 189 148 105
203 mm HE-TF Contro-aerea HE-TF 58 58 58 58 58 58
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%
203 mm HE Dirompente HE 900 110.57 0 0.1 7.5 79° 80° 81°
203 mm APHEBC Perforante APHEBC 900 125.3 0.03 9 3.16 48° 63° 71°
203 mm HE-TF Contro-aerea HE-TF 900 110.57 0 0.1 7.5 79° 80° 81°

Secondary armament

6 х Turret2 x 100 mm/47 O.T.O. Mod. 1928 cannon
Ammunition1200 rounds

Like other Italian cruisers, Zara is equipped with 100 mm/47 O.T.O. Mod. 1928 cannons, in three twin mounts per side. These guns are usually very bad at doing their job. While HE shells may help destroy exposed AA mounts of enemy ships, and the AP may do some damage to hull components, the main use of these guns is to defend the ship from air attack, and they do an extremely poor job of that. As with other Axis ships, they do not have access to HE-VT, which when coupled with the poor traverse of the guns, poor fire rate, and small size, they are very inefficient at destroying enemy aircraft.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
100 m 1,000 m 2,000 m 3,000 m 4,000 m 5,000 m
100 mm HE Dirompente HE 17 17 17 17 17 17
100 mm APHE Perforante APHE 150 129 109 93 78 67
100 mm HE-TF Contro-aerea HE-TF 17 17 17 17 17 17
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%
100 mm HE Dirompente HE 850 13.2 0 0.1 1,300 79° 80° 81°
100 mm APHE Perforante APHE 850 13.8 0.005 6 820 47° 60° 65°
100 mm HE-TF Contro-aerea HE-TF 850 13.2 0 0.1 1,300 79° 80° 81°

Anti-aircraft armament

4 х Turret2 x 37 mm/54 Breda Mod.32 auto cannon
Ammunition3000 rounds
Belt capacity6 rounds
Fire rate200 shots/min
4 х Turret2 x 13,2 mm Breda Model 31 machinegun
Ammunition6000 rounds
Belt capacity30 rounds
Fire rate500 shots/min

When enemy aircraft fail to be downed by the secondaries, it will become the task of the light AA guns to finish the job - and they will likely fail too. Zara's medium calibre AA is comprised of two twin 37mm/54 Breda Mod.32 autocannons on each side of the rear funnel. These autocannons are reasonably effective, but their restrictive mounting position and the fact that only four barrels can be brought to bear at a time severely limits their ability. They are supplemented by four twin 13.2 mm Breda Model 31 machine guns, two on the forward superstructure, and two just in front of the rear funnels. While they help cover some of the 37 mms' blindspots, they don't deal enough damage to stop planes in a sufficient amount of time, and typically planes will not be shot down before they drop their ordnance.

Despite these issues, the lack of AA mounts does help in surface combat, as it means there are less exposed mounts that will be destroyed by hits from high explosive shells.

Scout plane

Main article: Ro.43

Just like the Trento, Zara also has a bow mounted catapult serving an IMAM Ro.43, which is tucked in front of the A turret elevator. The two-seater Ro.43 is the standard aircraft on Italian cruisers, and provides the Zara with a good utility tool. Compared to foreign floatplanes, the Ro.43 is quite nimble, but carries no bombs, and is only armed with light machine guns for the pilot and rear-seat gunner. The floatplane can be used to take capture points, provide reconnaissance, or lay down a smoke screen, which thanks to the catapult's location launching the plane in front of the ship, is easy to do.

Usage in battles

RN Zara is an extremely tough heavy cruiser, with strong ammunition choices.:

  • HE perfect for igniting or disabling the cannons of enemy ships.
  • APHEBC perfect for destroying enemy ships by detonation of their hold.
  • HE-TF useful for destroying enemy air targets.

When you start using the RN Zara, you will find that it can survive significant damage from other enemy ships (except from hits from battleships that can easily destroy any cruiser). Use this advantage to win duels, but as always, be cautious to not overextend, as no ship is immortal.

When you just spawn in the game look at where the enemies are spawned and angle according to the shots they are firing at you, and of course return fire, remember that you have little dispersion until 8,000 m while if you fire beyond 8 km you will have a hard time hitting enemy ships because it greatly increases the dispersion of the guns.

Always try to aim with HE above the enemy ship, while with APHEBC shells, prioritize hitting magazines, so you can destroy the enemy with one salvo. Thus, it is always good to be aware of the characteristics of the ships you fight. Remember that your ship has good speed and manoeuvrability which gives you the ability to dodge torpedoes and enemy salvoes.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • One scout seaplane
  • Exceptional armour protection and effective armour when ship is angled
    • Extremely thick belt and turret armour
  • Excellent firepower
  • Lack of exposed AA mounts - less vulnerable to HE
  • Reasonable speed (59 km/h)
  • Solid crew count
  • Excellent gun arcs

Cons:

  • Does not have access to torpedo armament
  • The AA armament is inefficient at long range
  • Significant shell dispersion at long ranges
  • No anti-torpedo belt
  • Poor fire rate

History

Zara was the lead ship of the Zara class, a group of four heavy cruisers built for the Italian Regia Marina in the 1930s. Designed with a sophisticated armament, good survivability, and competitive speed, she was among the most advanced heavy cruisers in service at the time of her introduction. However, her standard displacement of 11,700 tons exceeded the limits of the Washington Naval Treaty significantly; her nominal weight was just slightly under the 10,000 ton limit, allowing her to be built. Zara saw some service before the Second World War, including in the Spanish Civil War. Following the outbreak of war, she was present at the Raid on Taranto, and survived unscathed. However, she eventually met her demise at the Battle of Cape Matapan, where she was engaged at close range by three Royal Navy battleships.

Design and construction

Italian heavy cruiser Zara.

While the Trento-class heavy cruisers were under construction, the Italian naval command began doubting their effectiveness. They soon put forward a new cruiser design, trading the Trento's high speed for additional armour protection. The finished design weighed over 11,500 tons standard,[1] which was far above the limits set out by the Washington naval treaty. However, her nominal weight was below the limitations of the Treaty. Zara was armed with eight 8-inch (203 mm) guns in four twin-turrets - these weapons were among the most advanced of their time.[1] She also carried sixteen 4-inch (100 mm) guns in eight double mounts, as well as decent anti-aircraft weapons.[1] As a pure gunship design, the Zaras did not carry any torpedo armament; they were capable of making 33 knots (61 km/h).[1]

Zara was laid down on July 4th, 1929, and was launched on April 27th 1930. Following the completion of construction, she was formally commissioned on October 20th 1931.[1]

Service History

Following her completion, Zara sailed on sea trials which proved her to be a stable, effective warship. She received her battle flag from her namesake city in Croatia (now Zadar), and became the flagship of the First Naval Squadron. Throughout the interwar period, she was present at several fleet reviews, seeing guests such as Mussolini, King Victor Emmanuel III, Prince Umberto, Miklos Horthy of Hungary, German Marshal Werner von Bloomberg, and Hitler. She also participated in the Spanish Civil War, helping intercept a Republican squadron, and participated in the Italian invasion of Albania without incident.[2]

After Italy declared war on the Allied nations, Zara was the flagship of the 1st Division of the 1st Squadron, fighting alongside her sisters Fiume and Gorizia. She participated in several battles including the Battle of Calabria, taking no damage. She also participated in several sorties to interdict British convoys, although none were successful. She then sailed back to the port of Taranto, and was present at the infamous British raid on the port on November 11-12.[2] She survived the raid without damage. After the Italian fleet dispersed, Zara received light maintenance in La Spezia, and was back in service by December. In February, Gorizia departed the Division for maintenance, and was replaced by Pola, the fourth Zara-class cruiser.

In March of 1941, Zara was part of an Italian task force responsible for attacking British convoys, leading to the Battle of Cape Matapan; however, the Italian fleet came under air attack from British carrier aircraft - Vittorio Veneto, the only battleship in the fleet, was damaged, and Zara's sister ship Pola was damaged by a torpedo. Pola, without engine power due to the torpedo hit, was immobilized, and fell behind in the Italian retreat. Assuming that the British would not give chase, Zara, Fiume, and their escorting destroyers returned to aid Pola that night, unaware that the British fleet had already found Pola. The Italian ships, lacking radar and unable to detect the danger, blundered directly into the British battle line consisting of three battleships and numerous cruisers and destroyers, and within minutes, Zara and Fiume were sunk with enormous loss of life.[1][2]

Devblog

While the Trento-class cruisers were being laid down, more and more voices within the ranks of the Regia Marina raised concerns regarding the Trento class' overly lightweight protection, questioning their effectiveness in combat. As a result, naval command issued an order to Italian shipbuilders to come up with a more balanced design, while adhering to the 10,000 ton displacement limit imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty.

It didn't take long for the shipbuilders to come to the conclusion that matching the navy's requirements with treaty restrictions was an impossible task. As a result, the Regia Marina altered its requirements slightly while simultaneously granting its shipbuilders permission to exceed limitations if it meant the construction of a capable warship. Thus, the Zara-class heavy cruisers came into being, featuring vastly improved protection over the Trentos, equal firepower and at the cost of only slightly reduced mobility.

The lead ship of the class, Zara, was laid down in July 1929. All four ships of the class saw completion by late 1932 and subsequently entered service with the Italian Navy. In the interwar period, Zara-class cruisers took part in naval exercises and several fleet reviews, held for foreign leaders. During the Spanish Civil War, Zara-class cruisers participated in non-intervention patrols and evacuations of Italian nationals from the region.

In the leadup toward the outbreak of WWII, Zara, Gorizia and Pola supported the Italian invasion of Albania in April 1939. In subsequent actions following the outbreak of the war, Zara-class cruisers often clashed with forces of the Royal Navy in Mediterranean, taking part in intense naval engagements.

However, while being fortunate enough to emerge from the Battle of Taranto in November 1940 unscathed, the class' luck only went so far. As part of an Italian operation to intercept Allied shipping, Zara, Pola and Fiume, along with a host of other Italian warships were engaged by British forces in the Battle of Cape Matapan in late March 1941, which would prove itself as fateful for the class.

During the engagement, all three of the participating Zara-class cruisers were sunk by the British fleet in a night battle, leaving Gorizia as the sole survivor of the class to see the end of the war, albeit heavily damaged while in port at La Spezia.

Media

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Images

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 1.5 Chen, C. (2007)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Military Factory. (2017)
Bibliography
  • Chen, C. (2007, December). Heavy Cruiser Zara. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from https://ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=403
  • Staff Writer. (2017, October 7). Zara Heavy Cruiser Warship. Retrieved November 19, 2020, from https://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.asp?ship_id=zara-heavy-cruiser-warship


Odero-Terni-Orlando Company
Destroyers 
Turbine-class  RN Turbine · RN Aquilone
Dardo-class  RN Dardo
Soldati-class  RN Corazziere · RN Aviere · RN Geniere
Comandanti Medaglie d'Oro-class  RN Comandante Margottini
Light Cruisers 
Condottieri-class  Kerch*
Capitani Romani-class  RN Attilio Regolo
Heavy Cruisers 
Trento-class  RN Trento
Zara-class  RN Zara · RN Pola
Export  Tashkent**
See Also  OTO Melara
  *Duca d'Aosta before war reparation to the USSR
  **Built for the USSR

Italy heavy cruisers
Trento-class  RN Trento
Zara-class  RN Zara · RN Pola