Difference between revisions of "Scharnhorst"

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{{Specs-Card
 
{{Specs-Card
 
|code=germ_battleship_scharnhorst
 
|code=germ_battleship_scharnhorst
|images={{Specs-Card-Image|GarageImage_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg}}
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|images={{Specs-Card-Image|GarageImage_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg|ArtImage_{{PAGENAME}}.jpg}}
 
}}
 
}}
  
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<!-- ''In the first part of the description, cover the history of the ship's creation and military application. In the second part, tell the reader about using this ship in the game. Add a screenshot: if a beginner player has a hard time remembering vehicles by name, a picture will help them identify the ship in question.'' -->
 
<!-- ''In the first part of the description, cover the history of the ship's creation and military application. In the second part, tell the reader about using this ship in the game. Add a screenshot: if a beginner player has a hard time remembering vehicles by name, a picture will help them identify the ship in question.'' -->
 
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} German battlecruiser {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in [[Update "Winged Lions"]].
 
The '''{{Specs|name}}''' is a rank {{Specs|rank}} German battlecruiser {{Battle-rating}}. It was introduced in [[Update "Winged Lions"]].
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The Scharnhorst (along with her sister ship Gneisenau) was actually designed as a battleship right from the start by the Kriegsmarine. However, restriction imposed by the Treaty of Versailles (and the subsequent Naval Treaty of London) forced the Kriegsmarine to fit her with smaller 283 mm guns. The smaller calibre of main guns is compensated by an improved rate of fire.
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Although the Scharnhorst is almost universally classed as a battleship in real life due to her protection, her fast top speed and smaller armaments compared to her contemporaries in 1930s caused the British to classify the ship as a battlecruiser. This peculiar characteristic is reflected in War Thunder, where the Scharnhorst's mobility, protection, and fast-firing guns made her a formidable heavyweight mid-to-close range brawler.
  
 
== General info ==
 
== General info ==
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{{Specs-Fleet-Armour}}
 
{{Specs-Fleet-Armour}}
 
<!-- ''Talk about the vehicle's armour. Note the most well-defended and most vulnerable zones, e.g. the ammo magazine. Evaluate the composition of components and assemblies responsible for movement and manoeuvrability. Evaluate the survivability of the primary and secondary armaments separately. Don't forget to mention the size of the crew, which plays an important role in fleet mechanics. Save tips on preserving survivability for the "Usage in battles" section. If necessary, use a graphical template to show the most well-protected or most vulnerable points in the armour.'' -->
 
<!-- ''Talk about the vehicle's armour. Note the most well-defended and most vulnerable zones, e.g. the ammo magazine. Evaluate the composition of components and assemblies responsible for movement and manoeuvrability. Evaluate the survivability of the primary and secondary armaments separately. Don't forget to mention the size of the crew, which plays an important role in fleet mechanics. Save tips on preserving survivability for the "Usage in battles" section. If necessary, use a graphical template to show the most well-protected or most vulnerable points in the armour.'' -->
''Talk about the vehicle's armour. Note the most well-defended and most vulnerable zones, e.g. the ammo magazine. Evaluate the composition of components and assemblies responsible for movement and manoeuvrability. Evaluate the survivability of the primary and secondary armaments separately. Don't forget to mention the size of the crew, which plays an important role in fleet mechanics. Save tips on preserving survivability for the "Usage in battles" section. If necessary, use a graphical template to show the most well-protected or most vulnerable points in the armour.''
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Being an interwar battleship design, the {{PAGENAME}} is exceptionally well-protected, especially when compared to the Great War-era dreadnoughts that are quite common at her BR.
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Externally, the {{PAGENAME}} is clad with 50 mm of armour at the deck and 35 mm at the port and starboard sides. The plating protects her huge crew count of 1,908 sailors from HE blasts of most cruiser-calibre guns (203 mm and less) and absorb a considerable damage from larger calibre shells and small bombs quite well.
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Internally, the {{PAGENAME}}'s citadel feature two layers of armour. The external part features 320 mm of armour at the port and starboard (save for a small gap with 170 - 245 mm of armour strips) and 200 mm at the bow and stern, while the internal citadel is 105 mm of turtleback armour angled at 60 degrees, along with an additional 40 mm of armour protecting the internal crew and engine compartments from shrapnel. Put simply, the {{PAGENAME}} is a very tough nut to crack, capable of taking hundreds of hits from other capital ships and staying afloat. Only the heaviest of bombs (such as the infamous FAB-5000 of the [[Pe-8]]) will be capable of sinking her in one hit.
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While the {{PAGENAME}}'s armour makes her seemingly invincible, she does have one glaring weakness; flood damage control. In real life, the {{PAGENAME}} suffered from poor watertight capability, especially in heavy sea conditions which often caused her electrical system to be damaged and made her quite vulnerable to flood damage. This is reflected in-game by her tendency to quickly flood when taking a hit by torpedoes or even a shell hit below her waterline.
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Although the {{PAGENAME}}'s armour is enough to take multiple torpedo hits (including the Japanese "Long Lance" torpedo) and remain afloat, doing so will cause the ship to rapidly flood, especially if the ship is hit on the bow where her only water pump is located. As the {{PAGENAME}}'s pumps take at least 20 seconds to restore 10% of the buoyancy and breach repair often takes a considerable amount of time, the ship will often lose over 50% of buoyancy within a minute if under heavy fire or being hit by a torpedo(es) if the damage isn't taken care of soon enough, essentially immobilising the ship. Thus, it is always recommended to repair any breach damage regardless of the severity, lest the ship sinks in the process.
  
 
=== Mobility ===
 
=== Mobility ===
 
{{Specs-Fleet-Mobility}}
 
{{Specs-Fleet-Mobility}}
 
<!-- ''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.'' -->
 
<!-- ''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.'' -->
''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.''
+
As a fast battleship, the {{PAGENAME}}'s top speed is quite good. At 68 (AB)/57 (RB) km/h, she can keep up with the other cruisers and is capable of closing the distance to deal more damage to the enemy.
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Due to her large displacement, however, the {{PAGENAME}} is also quite slow to decelerate, this will hinder the ship's ability to make most evasive manoeuvres from enemy fire and torpedoes.
  
 
{{NavalMobility}}
 
{{NavalMobility}}
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{{Specs-Fleet-Primary}}
 
{{Specs-Fleet-Primary}}
 
<!-- ''Provide information about the characteristics of the primary armament. Evaluate their efficacy in battle based on their reload speed, ballistics and the capacity of their shells. Add a link to the main article about the weapon: <code><nowiki>{{main|Weapon name (calibre)}}</nowiki></code>. Broadly describe the ammunition available for the primary armament, and provide recommendations on how to use it and which ammunition to choose.'' -->
 
<!-- ''Provide information about the characteristics of the primary armament. Evaluate their efficacy in battle based on their reload speed, ballistics and the capacity of their shells. Add a link to the main article about the weapon: <code><nowiki>{{main|Weapon name (calibre)}}</nowiki></code>. Broadly describe the ammunition available for the primary armament, and provide recommendations on how to use it and which ammunition to choose.'' -->
{{main|283-mm/54,5 SK C/34 (283 mm)}}
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{{main|283 mm/54,5 SK C/34 (283 mm)}}
  
''Provide information about the characteristics of the primary armament. Evaluate their efficacy in battle based on their reload speed, ballistics and the capacity of their shells. Add a link to the main article about the weapon: <code><nowiki>{{main|Weapon name (calibre)}}</nowiki></code>. Broadly describe the ammunition available for the primary armament, and provide recommendations on how to use it and which ammunition to choose.''
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{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
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! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
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|-
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! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
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! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
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! colspan="6" | Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
 +
|-
 +
! 1,000 m !! 2,500 m !! 5,000 m !! 7,500 m !! 10,000 m !! 15,000 m
 +
|-
 +
| Spgr. L/4,4 Kpf.Z HE || HE || 64 || 64 || 64 || 64 || 64 || 64
 +
|-
 +
| Psgr. L/4.4 APCBC || APCBC || 578 || 538 || 477 || 425 || 380 || 312
 +
|-
 +
| Spgr. L/4,4 Bd.Z SAP || SAPBC || 287 || 266 || 235 || 209 || 186 || 152
 +
|-
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| Spgr. L/4,4 Zt.Z HE-DF || HE-TF || 64 || 64 || 64 || 64 || 64 || 64
 +
|-
 +
|}
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{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
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! colspan="10" | Shell details
 +
|-
 +
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
 +
! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
 +
! rowspan="2" | Velocity<br>(m/s)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Projectile<br>mass (kg)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Fuse delay<br>(s)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Fuse sensitivity<br>(mm)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Explosive mass<br>(TNT equivalent) (kg)
 +
! colspan="3" | Ricochet
 +
|-
 +
! 0% !! 50% !! 100%
 +
|-
 +
| Spgr. L/4,4 Kpf.Z HE || HE || 900 || 315 || 0 || 0.1 || 21.49 || 79° || 80° || 81°
 +
|-
 +
| Psgr. L/4.4 APCBC || APCBC || 890 || 330 || 0.035 || 15 || 7.21 || 48° || 63° || 71°
 +
|-
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| Spgr. L/4,4 Bd.Z SAP || SAPBC || 900 || 315 || 0.035 || 15 || 16.72 || 48° || 63° || 71°
 +
|-
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| Spgr. L/4,4 Zt.Z HE-DF || HE-TF || 900 || 311 || 0 || 0.1 || 21.49 || 79° || 80° || 81°
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|-
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|}
  
 
=== Secondary armament ===
 
=== Secondary armament ===
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<!-- ''Some ships are fitted with weapons of various calibres. Secondary armaments are defined as weapons chosen with the control <code>Select secondary weapon</code>. Evaluate the secondary armaments and give advice on how to use them. Describe the ammunition available for the secondary armament. Provide recommendations on how to use them and which ammunition to choose. Remember that any anti-air armament, even heavy calibre weapons, belong in the next section. If there is no secondary armament, remove this section.'' -->
 
<!-- ''Some ships are fitted with weapons of various calibres. Secondary armaments are defined as weapons chosen with the control <code>Select secondary weapon</code>. Evaluate the secondary armaments and give advice on how to use them. Describe the ammunition available for the secondary armament. Provide recommendations on how to use them and which ammunition to choose. Remember that any anti-air armament, even heavy calibre weapons, belong in the next section. If there is no secondary armament, remove this section.'' -->
 
{{main|15 cm/55 SK C/28 (150 mm)}}
 
{{main|15 cm/55 SK C/28 (150 mm)}}
 
+
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
''Some ships are fitted with weapons of various calibres. Secondary armaments are defined as weapons chosen with the control <code>Select secondary weapon</code>. Evaluate the secondary armaments and give advice on how to use them. Describe the ammunition available for the secondary armament. Provide recommendations on how to use them and which ammunition to choose. Remember that any anti-air armament, even heavy calibre weapons, belong in the next section. If there is no secondary armament, remove this section.''
+
! colspan="8" | Penetration statistics
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|-
 +
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
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! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
 +
! colspan="6" | Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
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|-
 +
! 1,000 m !! 2,500 m !! 5,000 m !! 7,500 m !! 10,000 m !! 15,000 m
 +
|-
 +
| Spgr. L/4.5 Kz (m.Hb) || HE || 37 || 37 || 37 || 37 || 37 || 37
 +
|-
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| Pzgr. L/3.7 (m.Hb) || APCBC || 246 || 207 || 157 || 121 || 95 || 69
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|-
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| Spgr. L/4.4 Bdz (m.Hb) || SAPBC || 123 || 104 || 79 || 60 || 47 || 36
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|-
 +
|}
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{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center" width="100%"
 +
! colspan="10" | Shell details
 +
|-
 +
! rowspan="2" data-sort-type="text" | Ammunition
 +
! rowspan="2" | Type of<br>warhead
 +
! rowspan="2" | Velocity<br>(m/s)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Projectile<br>mass (kg)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Fuse delay<br>(s)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Fuse sensitivity<br>(mm)
 +
! rowspan="2" | Explosive mass<br>(TNT equivalent) (kg)
 +
! colspan="3" | Ricochet
 +
|-
 +
! 0% !! 50% !! 100%
 +
|-
 +
| Spgr. L/4.5 Kz (m.Hb) || HE || 875 || 45.5 || 0 || 0.1 || 3.91 || 79° || 80° || 81°
 +
|-
 +
| Pzgr. L/3.7 (m.Hb) || APCBC || 875 || 45.5 || 0.015 || 7 || 1.32 || 48° || 63° || 71°
 +
|-
 +
| Spgr. L/4.4 Bdz (m.Hb) || SAPBC || 875 || 45.5 || 0.015 || 7 || 3.32 || 48° || 63° || 71°
 +
|-
 +
|}
  
 
=== Anti-aircraft armament ===
 
=== Anti-aircraft armament ===
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''Describe the available additional armaments of the ship: depth charges, mines, torpedoes. Talk about their positions, available ammunition and launch features such as dead zones of torpedoes. If there is no additional armament, remove this section.''
 
''Describe the available additional armaments of the ship: depth charges, mines, torpedoes. Talk about their positions, available ammunition and launch features such as dead zones of torpedoes. If there is no additional armament, remove this section.''
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=== Scout plane ===
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{{main|Ar 196 A-3}}
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Located amidships is a single catapult for an Arado Ar 196 scout plane which provides 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 50 kg bombs, and capping zones, the Ar 196 and other scout planes have the added ability to lay down smoke cover (up to 3 times). It is essentially the [[Ar 196 A-3|event aircraft]] except with smoke generators, so it will be a familiar unit for those who have the event version. 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! The threat of bombers carrying many large bombs is significant, so using the Ar 196 as top cover can also be considered, though its effectiveness may be limited.
  
 
== Usage in battles ==
 
== 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).'' -->
 
<!-- ''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).'' -->
''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).''
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The Scharnhorst is one of the best protected vessels in the game. Acting as a fast battleship, the Scharnhorst has the capability to be used as a brawler, using its speed and armour to move much more rapidly across the map than any other capital ship, enabling you to effectively contest capture points and close the distance when attacking enemy ships.
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Although the main cannons are only 283 mm, the shells have high armour penetration values, enabling you to easily penetrate just about any other capital ship in game, at close and medium ranges. However, the shells have quite a small level of explosive filler, meaning that while the shells can easily get into the internals of enemy ships, they struggle to do much damage. Even cruisers can take several salvoes from the main guns before you inflict enough damage to sink them.
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Unlike any other capital ship, aside from the Parizhskaya kommuna, the Scharnhorst has a capable array of anti-air guns, making aircraft much less of a threat than in other battleships.
  
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
=== Pros and cons ===
 
<!-- ''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
 
<!-- ''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".'' -->
''Summarise and briefly evaluate the vehicle in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark its pros and cons in the bulleted list. Try not to use more than 6 points for each of the characteristics. Avoid using categorical definitions such as "bad", "good" and the like - use substitutions with softer forms such as "inadequate" and "effective".''
 
  
 
'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
*
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* Incredibly resilient to damage due to thick layered armour and high crew count
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* High top speed and decent traverse speed
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* Great gun handling - relatively high turret rotation and gun elevation speed for the calibre
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* Fast reload speed for main guns of this calibre
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* Secondary guns are effective when up close
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* Effective AA capability
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* One scout seaplane
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
*
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* Large target: easy for your enemy to strike with gunfire or torpedoes
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* Quite slow to decelerate, can make dodging torpedoes somewhat difficult
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* 283 mm guns' shell damage is inferior compared to other ship with bigger guns
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* 40% of the secondary guns aren't dual-purpose, which limits your AA capabilities
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* Prone to flood damage; takes a very long time to pump the water out
  
 
== History ==
 
== 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: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Ship-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the ship's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
 
<!-- ''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: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Ship-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the ship's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).'' -->
''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: <nowiki>https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Ship-name)/History</nowiki>) and add a link to it here using the <code>main</code> template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <code><nowiki><ref></ref></nowiki></code>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <code><nowiki><references /></nowiki></code>. This section may also include the ship's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under <code><nowiki>=== In-game description ===</nowiki></code>, also if applicable).''
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[[File:Scharnhorst (1939).jpg|thumb|350px|German battlecruiser Scharnhorst.]]
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The '''Scharnhorst''' was a German battlecruiser (or battleship depending on classification) that served in WWII, the lead ship of her class.<ref name=":0">Kalu, M. C. (2019)</ref> Designed to counter the French Dunkerque-class battleships, Scharnhorst was a significantly-enlarged and improved development on the previous Deutschland-class pocket battleships ("panzerschiffe").<ref name=":1">Farley, R. (2017)</ref> Scharnhorst operated with her sister ship Gneisenau during the early years of WWII, wreaking havoc on allied shipping. However, she ultimately met her demise at the Battle of North Cape, where she was sunk by a large British force led by the battleship HMS Duke of York.<ref name=":2">Potts, J. R. (2019)</ref>
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=== Design and development ===
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Following the end of WWI, Germany's navy was significantly reduced by the Treaty of Versailles, which prevented Germany from owning any modern battleships.<ref name=":1" /> As a result, the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) pursued an innovative type of vessel: pocket battleships ("Panzerschiffe": armoured ship) that were small enough to be classified as cruisers, but carried battlecruiser-calibre armament.<ref name=":1" /> And thus, Germany built three ships of the Deutschland class of "pocket battleships", armed with six 11-inch (283 mm) guns and displacing ~10,000 tons each. However, these ships were still inadequate to deal with the Royal Navy's battlecruisers, as well as the new French fast battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg.<ref name=":1" /><ref name=":2" /> Following the negotiation of the Anglo-German naval agreement, allowing battleship construction, the German government cancelled the 4th and 5th ships of the Deutschland-class and proceeded with a new design.<ref name=":1" />
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[[File:Scharnhorst Recognition Drawing.jpg|left|thumb|350px|Scharnhorst's USN recognition drawing.]]
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The new ships were significantly larger and better-armoured than the pocket battleships. Scharnhorst had a displacement of 32,100 tons standard and 38,100 tons fully loaded: a ~20,000-ton increase from the Deutschland class.<ref name=":2" /> The ships retained the 11-inch guns of the Deutschlands but gained a third triple turret, bringing the total to 9 guns. While these guns were quite impressive, with a 17-second reload time, they were limited in effectiveness against the armour of enemy battleships.<ref name=":1" /> As a result, the ship was designed to be rearmed with 15-inch (381 mm) guns in dual turrets, but the opportunity for this refit never arised.<ref name=":0" /> In addition to the main guns, Scharnhorst had twelve 5.9-inch (150 mm) guns mounted in amidships turrets.<ref name=":1" /> Anti-aircraft armament consisted of fourteen 4.1-inch (105 mm) dual-purpose guns in twin turrets, sixteen 37 mm and ten (later sixteen) 20 mm anti-aircraft guns.<ref name=":0" /> Scharnhorst had two Seetakt radars for fire-control, with a range of ~16 km.<ref name=":3">Roblin, S. (2021)</ref> She could also carry multiple Arado 196 seaplanes for longer range reconnaissance.<ref name=":2" />
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Scharnhorst was designed with a heavy armour belt, up to 12.5 inches of Krupp cemented armour at the waterline.<ref name=":2" /> Her main gun turrets had up to 14.3 inches of armour while her deck had up to 5.9 inches of armour. Scharnhorst was massive, at 234 m long,<ref name=":3" /> and had a crew of 1,840 men.<ref name=":0" /> Her three steam turbines allowed a maximum speed of 31 knots (58.3 km/h), though at this speed, the ship was unmanoeuvrable: during her sea trials in 1939, Scharnhorst took on so much water through the bow that a refit was necessitated: her bow was redesigned with a flared "clipper-style" bow that prevented the forward "A" turret from firing at 0-degree elevation.<ref name=":2" /><ref name=":3" />
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 +
=== Operational service ===
 +
Scharnhorst was ordered in January of 1934 and her keel was laid on June 15th, 1935.<ref name=":2" /> Scharnhorst, and her sister Gneisenau, were named after a pair of armoured cruisers sunk at the Battle of the Falkland Islands during the First World War.<ref name=":1" /> Scharnhorst was launched on October 3rd, 1936, with Adolf Hitler himself in attendance. She was completed in January of 1939 and entered service under the command of Captain Otto Ciliax.<ref name=":2" />
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 +
==== Early combat service ====
 +
Scharnhorst saw her first combat action with Gneisenau in November 1939, when the pair of battlecruisers spotted the British merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi.<ref name=":1" /><ref name=":2" /> Despite seeing signals from Scharnhorst to stop and abandon ship, the cruiser decided to valiantly fight on, even as the German battlecruisers possessed a combined eighteen 11-inch guns.<ref name=":2" /> After a brief engagement, the Rawalpindi was sunk, and only 38 crew members survived from the crew of 276. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau then escaped in a squall, pursued by British battleships Warspite, Hood, and Repulse, who had sailed in to aid the Rawalpindi.<ref name=":2" />
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[[File:Scharnhorst firing at HMS Glorious.jpg|thumb|350px|Scharnhorst firing her forward 283 mm guns at HMS Glorious, June 8th 1940.]]
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In 1940, Scharnhorst participated in the invasion of Norway, where she had a short engagement with the British battlecruiser HMS Renown.<ref name=":1" /> This combat resulted in heavy seas-related flooding to Scharnhorst which put her "A" turret out of action; Scharnhorst spent the month of April 1940 in drydock for an overhaul to her gunnery and propulsion systems.<ref name=":2" /> Two months later, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau stumbled into the British light carrier HMS Glorious along with her escorting destroyers Ardent and Acasta. In the ensuing battle, all three British ships were sunk, with the loss of 1,519 men.<ref name=":2" /> During this engagement, Scharnhorst set a record for the longest range naval gun hit ever recorded, having hit HMS Glorious from a range of 24 km.<ref>Editors of GWR. (n.d.)</ref> However, Scharnhorst was hit by a torpedo from Acasta, resulting in the deaths of 50 sailors and severe flooding which put the "C" turret out of action.<ref name=":2" /><ref name=":3" /> Scharnhorst spent the next five months in drydock for repairs.<ref name=":2" />
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 +
==== Atlantic raids and Channel Dash ====
 +
[[File:Channel Dash.jpg|left|thumb|350px|Scharnhorst and Gneisenau dashing the English Channel.]]
 +
In January of 1941, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau broke out into the Atlantic to begin a raid on Allied merchant shipping.<ref name=":1" /> During this raid, Scharnhorst sank a total of 9 ships totalling 50,588 tons, while the two ships together sank over 110,000 tons of Allied shipping. Both ships arrived at Brest in late March.<ref name=":2" /> The ships were to participate in a massive Kriegsmarine attack in May 1941 alongside the newly-commissioned battleship Bismarck in the Atlantic.<ref name=":1" /> However, British aerial raids on Brest resulted in Scharnhorst and Gneisenau being put out of action.<ref name=":1" /> Bismarck would ultimately conduct the raid escorted by the cruiser [[Prinz Eugen]], with disastrous results.
 +
 
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In late 1941, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen were holed up in Brest, an unfavourable position given that British bombers conducted regular attacks.<ref name=":1" /> As a result, a daring plan was created, for the three capital ships to sail through the English channel in broad daylight, codenamed Operation Cerberus.<ref name=":2" /><ref name=":3" /> All three ships made it through the channel, though Scharnhorst hit two mines and an E-boat was lost.<ref name=":1" /><ref name=":3" /> The dash was a great embarrassment to the British Navy and Air Force, as 242 bombers had attempted to destroy the German force.<ref name=":2" />
 +
 
 +
==== Battle of North Cape ====
 +
 
 +
[[File:Battle of North Cape.png|thumb|A diagram of the Battle of North Cape.]]
 +
Scharnhorst would remain at Kiel for most of 1942, and in early 1943, she sailed with the cruiser [[Prinz Eugen]] to Norway to join the battleship Tirpitz.<ref name=":1" /> It was with the German Norway squadron that Scharnhorst would meet her demise. In December of 1943, Scharnhorst attempted another sortie into the North Atlantic.<ref name=":3" /> However, the British had intercepted German radio messages and were fully aware of what was happening. They sent Convoy JW 55B as bait, with an additional three cruisers as reinforcement. Admiral Bruce Fraser's main fleet, sent to intercept and sink the Scharnhorst, was composed of the battleship Duke of York, heavy cruiser Jamaica and four destroyers.<ref name=":3" />
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At 09:00 AM, Scharnhorst contacted the British cruisers [[HMS Norfolk|Norfolk]], [[HMS Belfast|Belfast]] and Sheffield.<ref name=":2" /> Both sides exchanged fire, and at 12:41 PM, Scharnhorst unknowingly turned towards the Duke of York. At 04:20 PM, the forces made contact, and Scharnhorst was simultaneously engaged by Duke of York and the smaller escorting ships.<ref name=":2" /><ref name=":3" /><ref name=":4">Lettens, J. (2008)</ref> By 07:00 PM, all of Scharnhorst's main-calibre guns and most of her secondary guns had been knocked out. Her engines were knocked out one by one, and at 08:00 PM, the German battlecruiser capsized and exploded.<ref name=":2" /> Only 36 survivors were rescued from her crew of 1960.<ref name=":2" /><ref name=":4" /> The battlecruiser had fought valiantly, unescorted and completely alone against a British force of 13 warships: Scharnhorst had taken 19 torpedoes before she sank, along with hundreds of high-calibre shells.<ref name=":3" /><ref name=":4" /> Scharnhorst's wreck was discovered in 2000 at a depth of 300 m.<ref name=":3" />
  
 
== Media ==
 
== Media ==
 
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* [https://live.warthunder.com/feed/camouflages/?vehicle=germ_battleship_scharnhorst Skins and camouflages for the {{PAGENAME}} from live.warthunder.com.]
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
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* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.'' -->
 
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''Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:''
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* ''reference to the series of the ship;''
 
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* ''links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.''
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* ''topic on the official game forum;''
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* [[wt:en/news/7453-development-the-battlecruiser-scharnhorst-and-shipboard-reconnaissance-aircraft-en|[Devblog] The Battlecruiser Scharnhorst and shipboard reconnaissance aircraft]]
* ''other literature.''
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=== References ===
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* Editors of GWR. (n.d.). ''Longest range hit by a ship's gun''. Guinness World Records. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from <nowiki>https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-range-hit-by-a-ships-gun</nowiki>
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* Farley, R. (2017, April 8). ''Scharnhorst: Nazi Germany's Super Battleship or paper tiger?'' The National Interest. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from <nowiki>https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/scharnhorst-nazi-germanys-super-battleship-or-paper-tiger-20078</nowiki>
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* Kalu, M. C. (2019, April 4). ''Speed and strength - Scharnhorst - german battleship with 25 photos''. WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from <nowiki>https://www.warhistoryonline.com/history/speed-and-strength-scharnhorst-german-battleship-with-25-photos.html</nowiki>
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* Lettens, J. (2008, August 28). ''Wrecksite - Scharnhorst Battleship 1939-1943''. Wrecksite.eu. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from <nowiki>https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?115556</nowiki>
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* Potts, J. R. (2019, May 2). ''KMS Scharnhorst. Military Factory - Global Defense Reference''. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from <nowiki>https://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.php?ship_id=KMS-Scharnhorst</nowiki>
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* Roblin, S. (2021, December 19). ''Scharnhorst: How hitler's pocket battleship was destroyed''. 19FortyFive. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from <nowiki>https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/12/scharnhorst-how-hitlers-pocket-battleship-was-destroyed/</nowiki>
  
 
{{Germany battlecruisers}}
 
{{Germany battlecruisers}}

Latest revision as of 19:45, 6 December 2022

Rank VI USA | Premium | Golden Eagles
A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
Scharnhorst
germ_battleship_scharnhorst.png
GarageImage Scharnhorst.jpg
ArtImage Scharnhorst.jpg
Scharnhorst
AB RB SB
7.0 7.0 7.0
Research:320 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:790 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Scharnhorst-class, Scharnhorst, 1943 is a rank V German battlecruiser with a battle rating of 7.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Winged Lions".

The Scharnhorst (along with her sister ship Gneisenau) was actually designed as a battleship right from the start by the Kriegsmarine. However, restriction imposed by the Treaty of Versailles (and the subsequent Naval Treaty of London) forced the Kriegsmarine to fit her with smaller 283 mm guns. The smaller calibre of main guns is compensated by an improved rate of fire.

Although the Scharnhorst is almost universally classed as a battleship in real life due to her protection, her fast top speed and smaller armaments compared to her contemporaries in 1930s caused the British to classify the ship as a battlecruiser. This peculiar characteristic is reflected in War Thunder, where the Scharnhorst's mobility, protection, and fast-firing guns made her a formidable heavyweight mid-to-close range brawler.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel150 / 320 / 80 mm
Main fire tower360 / 200 / 170 mm
Hull25 mm (steel)
Superstructure16 mm (steel)
Number of section9
Displacement37 902 t
Crew1 908 people

Being an interwar battleship design, the Scharnhorst is exceptionally well-protected, especially when compared to the Great War-era dreadnoughts that are quite common at her BR.

Externally, the Scharnhorst is clad with 50 mm of armour at the deck and 35 mm at the port and starboard sides. The plating protects her huge crew count of 1,908 sailors from HE blasts of most cruiser-calibre guns (203 mm and less) and absorb a considerable damage from larger calibre shells and small bombs quite well.

Internally, the Scharnhorst's citadel feature two layers of armour. The external part features 320 mm of armour at the port and starboard (save for a small gap with 170 - 245 mm of armour strips) and 200 mm at the bow and stern, while the internal citadel is 105 mm of turtleback armour angled at 60 degrees, along with an additional 40 mm of armour protecting the internal crew and engine compartments from shrapnel. Put simply, the Scharnhorst is a very tough nut to crack, capable of taking hundreds of hits from other capital ships and staying afloat. Only the heaviest of bombs (such as the infamous FAB-5000 of the Pe-8) will be capable of sinking her in one hit.

While the Scharnhorst's armour makes her seemingly invincible, she does have one glaring weakness; flood damage control. In real life, the Scharnhorst suffered from poor watertight capability, especially in heavy sea conditions which often caused her electrical system to be damaged and made her quite vulnerable to flood damage. This is reflected in-game by her tendency to quickly flood when taking a hit by torpedoes or even a shell hit below her waterline.

Although the Scharnhorst's armour is enough to take multiple torpedo hits (including the Japanese "Long Lance" torpedo) and remain afloat, doing so will cause the ship to rapidly flood, especially if the ship is hit on the bow where her only water pump is located. As the Scharnhorst's pumps take at least 20 seconds to restore 10% of the buoyancy and breach repair often takes a considerable amount of time, the ship will often lose over 50% of buoyancy within a minute if under heavy fire or being hit by a torpedo(es) if the damage isn't taken care of soon enough, essentially immobilising the ship. Thus, it is always recommended to repair any breach damage regardless of the severity, lest the ship sinks in the process.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB68 / 25 km/h
RB59 / 22 km/h

As a fast battleship, the Scharnhorst's top speed is quite good. At 68 (AB)/57 (RB) km/h, she can keep up with the other cruisers and is capable of closing the distance to deal more damage to the enemy.

Due to her large displacement, however, the Scharnhorst is also quite slow to decelerate, this will hinder the ship's ability to make most evasive manoeuvres from enemy fire and torpedoes.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 68 25
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 59 22

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB20 000 → 26 100 Sl icon.png
RB31 000 → 40 455 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications299 000 Rp icon.png
446 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 200 Ge icon.png
Crew training230 000 Sl icon.png
Experts790 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 800 Ge icon.png
Research Aces780 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
270 / 350 / 100 % Sl icon.png
202 / 202 / 202 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods ship tool kit.png
Tool Set
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods manual ship extinguisher.png
Fire Protection System
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods ship venting.png
Ventilation
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
283-mm Psgr. L/4,4 APCBC
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
150mm_ger_c36_naval_he_base_fuse_ammo_pack
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank ammo.png
283-mm Spgr. L/4,4 Bdz SAP
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
150mm_ger_c36_naval_apc_ammo_pack
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods torpedo.png
Torpedo Mode
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods he frag dist fuse ship.png
283-mm Spgr. L/4,4 Zt.Z HE-DF
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods shipSupportPlane.png
Hydroplane
Research:
16 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
24 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png

Armament

Primary armament

3 х Turret3 x 283 mm/54,5 SK C/34 cannon
Ammunition450 rounds
Vertical guidance-8° / 40°
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
Spgr. L/4,4 Kpf.Z HE HE 64 64 64 64 64 64
Psgr. L/4.4 APCBC APCBC 578 538 477 425 380 312
Spgr. L/4,4 Bd.Z SAP SAPBC 287 266 235 209 186 152
Spgr. L/4,4 Zt.Z HE-DF HE-TF 64 64 64 64 64 64
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%
Spgr. L/4,4 Kpf.Z HE HE 900 315 0 0.1 21.49 79° 80° 81°
Psgr. L/4.4 APCBC APCBC 890 330 0.035 15 7.21 48° 63° 71°
Spgr. L/4,4 Bd.Z SAP SAPBC 900 315 0.035 15 16.72 48° 63° 71°
Spgr. L/4,4 Zt.Z HE-DF HE-TF 900 311 0 0.1 21.49 79° 80° 81°

Secondary armament

4 х Turret2 x 15 cm/55 SK C/28 cannon
Ammunition400 rounds
4 х Turret15 cm/55 SK C/28 cannon
Ammunition200 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
Spgr. L/4.5 Kz (m.Hb) HE 37 37 37 37 37 37
Pzgr. L/3.7 (m.Hb) APCBC 246 207 157 121 95 69
Spgr. L/4.4 Bdz (m.Hb) SAPBC 123 104 79 60 47 36
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%
Spgr. L/4.5 Kz (m.Hb) HE 875 45.5 0 0.1 3.91 79° 80° 81°
Pzgr. L/3.7 (m.Hb) APCBC 875 45.5 0.015 7 1.32 48° 63° 71°
Spgr. L/4.4 Bdz (m.Hb) SAPBC 875 45.5 0.015 7 3.32 48° 63° 71°

Anti-aircraft armament

7 х Turret2 x 10.5 cm SK C/33 AA cannon
Ammunition840 rounds
8 х Turret2 x 3.7 cm SK C/30 mounting
Ammunition4000 rounds
6 х Turret4 x 2 cm/65 C/38 automatic cannon
Ammunition8000 rounds
Belt capacity40 rounds
Fire rate480 shots/min
10 х Turret2 cm/65 C/38 automatic cannon
Ammunition2000 rounds
Belt capacity40 rounds
Fire rate480 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.

Additional armament

Setup 114 x 533 mm G7a torpedo
Main article: G7a (533 mm)

Describe the available additional armaments of the ship: depth charges, mines, torpedoes. Talk about their positions, available ammunition and launch features such as dead zones of torpedoes. If there is no additional armament, remove this section.

Scout plane

Main article: Ar 196 A-3

Located amidships is a single catapult for an Arado Ar 196 scout plane which provides 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 50 kg bombs, and capping zones, the Ar 196 and other scout planes have the added ability to lay down smoke cover (up to 3 times). It is essentially the event aircraft except with smoke generators, so it will be a familiar unit for those who have the event version. 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! The threat of bombers carrying many large bombs is significant, so using the Ar 196 as top cover can also be considered, though its effectiveness may be limited.

Usage in battles

The Scharnhorst is one of the best protected vessels in the game. Acting as a fast battleship, the Scharnhorst has the capability to be used as a brawler, using its speed and armour to move much more rapidly across the map than any other capital ship, enabling you to effectively contest capture points and close the distance when attacking enemy ships.

Although the main cannons are only 283 mm, the shells have high armour penetration values, enabling you to easily penetrate just about any other capital ship in game, at close and medium ranges. However, the shells have quite a small level of explosive filler, meaning that while the shells can easily get into the internals of enemy ships, they struggle to do much damage. Even cruisers can take several salvoes from the main guns before you inflict enough damage to sink them.

Unlike any other capital ship, aside from the Parizhskaya kommuna, the Scharnhorst has a capable array of anti-air guns, making aircraft much less of a threat than in other battleships.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Incredibly resilient to damage due to thick layered armour and high crew count
  • High top speed and decent traverse speed
  • Great gun handling - relatively high turret rotation and gun elevation speed for the calibre
  • Fast reload speed for main guns of this calibre
  • Secondary guns are effective when up close
  • Effective AA capability
  • One scout seaplane

Cons:

  • Large target: easy for your enemy to strike with gunfire or torpedoes
  • Quite slow to decelerate, can make dodging torpedoes somewhat difficult
  • 283 mm guns' shell damage is inferior compared to other ship with bigger guns
  • 40% of the secondary guns aren't dual-purpose, which limits your AA capabilities
  • Prone to flood damage; takes a very long time to pump the water out

History

German battlecruiser Scharnhorst.

The Scharnhorst was a German battlecruiser (or battleship depending on classification) that served in WWII, the lead ship of her class.[1] Designed to counter the French Dunkerque-class battleships, Scharnhorst was a significantly-enlarged and improved development on the previous Deutschland-class pocket battleships ("panzerschiffe").[2] Scharnhorst operated with her sister ship Gneisenau during the early years of WWII, wreaking havoc on allied shipping. However, she ultimately met her demise at the Battle of North Cape, where she was sunk by a large British force led by the battleship HMS Duke of York.[3]

Design and development

Following the end of WWI, Germany's navy was significantly reduced by the Treaty of Versailles, which prevented Germany from owning any modern battleships.[2] As a result, the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) pursued an innovative type of vessel: pocket battleships ("Panzerschiffe": armoured ship) that were small enough to be classified as cruisers, but carried battlecruiser-calibre armament.[2] And thus, Germany built three ships of the Deutschland class of "pocket battleships", armed with six 11-inch (283 mm) guns and displacing ~10,000 tons each. However, these ships were still inadequate to deal with the Royal Navy's battlecruisers, as well as the new French fast battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg.[2][3] Following the negotiation of the Anglo-German naval agreement, allowing battleship construction, the German government cancelled the 4th and 5th ships of the Deutschland-class and proceeded with a new design.[2]

Scharnhorst's USN recognition drawing.

The new ships were significantly larger and better-armoured than the pocket battleships. Scharnhorst had a displacement of 32,100 tons standard and 38,100 tons fully loaded: a ~20,000-ton increase from the Deutschland class.[3] The ships retained the 11-inch guns of the Deutschlands but gained a third triple turret, bringing the total to 9 guns. While these guns were quite impressive, with a 17-second reload time, they were limited in effectiveness against the armour of enemy battleships.[2] As a result, the ship was designed to be rearmed with 15-inch (381 mm) guns in dual turrets, but the opportunity for this refit never arised.[1] In addition to the main guns, Scharnhorst had twelve 5.9-inch (150 mm) guns mounted in amidships turrets.[2] Anti-aircraft armament consisted of fourteen 4.1-inch (105 mm) dual-purpose guns in twin turrets, sixteen 37 mm and ten (later sixteen) 20 mm anti-aircraft guns.[1] Scharnhorst had two Seetakt radars for fire-control, with a range of ~16 km.[4] She could also carry multiple Arado 196 seaplanes for longer range reconnaissance.[3]

Scharnhorst was designed with a heavy armour belt, up to 12.5 inches of Krupp cemented armour at the waterline.[3] Her main gun turrets had up to 14.3 inches of armour while her deck had up to 5.9 inches of armour. Scharnhorst was massive, at 234 m long,[4] and had a crew of 1,840 men.[1] Her three steam turbines allowed a maximum speed of 31 knots (58.3 km/h), though at this speed, the ship was unmanoeuvrable: during her sea trials in 1939, Scharnhorst took on so much water through the bow that a refit was necessitated: her bow was redesigned with a flared "clipper-style" bow that prevented the forward "A" turret from firing at 0-degree elevation.[3][4]

Operational service

Scharnhorst was ordered in January of 1934 and her keel was laid on June 15th, 1935.[3] Scharnhorst, and her sister Gneisenau, were named after a pair of armoured cruisers sunk at the Battle of the Falkland Islands during the First World War.[2] Scharnhorst was launched on October 3rd, 1936, with Adolf Hitler himself in attendance. She was completed in January of 1939 and entered service under the command of Captain Otto Ciliax.[3]

Early combat service

Scharnhorst saw her first combat action with Gneisenau in November 1939, when the pair of battlecruisers spotted the British merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi.[2][3] Despite seeing signals from Scharnhorst to stop and abandon ship, the cruiser decided to valiantly fight on, even as the German battlecruisers possessed a combined eighteen 11-inch guns.[3] After a brief engagement, the Rawalpindi was sunk, and only 38 crew members survived from the crew of 276. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau then escaped in a squall, pursued by British battleships Warspite, Hood, and Repulse, who had sailed in to aid the Rawalpindi.[3]

Scharnhorst firing her forward 283 mm guns at HMS Glorious, June 8th 1940.

In 1940, Scharnhorst participated in the invasion of Norway, where she had a short engagement with the British battlecruiser HMS Renown.[2] This combat resulted in heavy seas-related flooding to Scharnhorst which put her "A" turret out of action; Scharnhorst spent the month of April 1940 in drydock for an overhaul to her gunnery and propulsion systems.[3] Two months later, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau stumbled into the British light carrier HMS Glorious along with her escorting destroyers Ardent and Acasta. In the ensuing battle, all three British ships were sunk, with the loss of 1,519 men.[3] During this engagement, Scharnhorst set a record for the longest range naval gun hit ever recorded, having hit HMS Glorious from a range of 24 km.[5] However, Scharnhorst was hit by a torpedo from Acasta, resulting in the deaths of 50 sailors and severe flooding which put the "C" turret out of action.[3][4] Scharnhorst spent the next five months in drydock for repairs.[3]

Atlantic raids and Channel Dash

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau dashing the English Channel.

In January of 1941, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau broke out into the Atlantic to begin a raid on Allied merchant shipping.[2] During this raid, Scharnhorst sank a total of 9 ships totalling 50,588 tons, while the two ships together sank over 110,000 tons of Allied shipping. Both ships arrived at Brest in late March.[3] The ships were to participate in a massive Kriegsmarine attack in May 1941 alongside the newly-commissioned battleship Bismarck in the Atlantic.[2] However, British aerial raids on Brest resulted in Scharnhorst and Gneisenau being put out of action.[2] Bismarck would ultimately conduct the raid escorted by the cruiser Prinz Eugen, with disastrous results.

In late 1941, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen were holed up in Brest, an unfavourable position given that British bombers conducted regular attacks.[2] As a result, a daring plan was created, for the three capital ships to sail through the English channel in broad daylight, codenamed Operation Cerberus.[3][4] All three ships made it through the channel, though Scharnhorst hit two mines and an E-boat was lost.[2][4] The dash was a great embarrassment to the British Navy and Air Force, as 242 bombers had attempted to destroy the German force.[3]

Battle of North Cape

A diagram of the Battle of North Cape.

Scharnhorst would remain at Kiel for most of 1942, and in early 1943, she sailed with the cruiser Prinz Eugen to Norway to join the battleship Tirpitz.[2] It was with the German Norway squadron that Scharnhorst would meet her demise. In December of 1943, Scharnhorst attempted another sortie into the North Atlantic.[4] However, the British had intercepted German radio messages and were fully aware of what was happening. They sent Convoy JW 55B as bait, with an additional three cruisers as reinforcement. Admiral Bruce Fraser's main fleet, sent to intercept and sink the Scharnhorst, was composed of the battleship Duke of York, heavy cruiser Jamaica and four destroyers.[4]

At 09:00 AM, Scharnhorst contacted the British cruisers Norfolk, Belfast and Sheffield.[3] Both sides exchanged fire, and at 12:41 PM, Scharnhorst unknowingly turned towards the Duke of York. At 04:20 PM, the forces made contact, and Scharnhorst was simultaneously engaged by Duke of York and the smaller escorting ships.[3][4][6] By 07:00 PM, all of Scharnhorst's main-calibre guns and most of her secondary guns had been knocked out. Her engines were knocked out one by one, and at 08:00 PM, the German battlecruiser capsized and exploded.[3] Only 36 survivors were rescued from her crew of 1960.[3][6] The battlecruiser had fought valiantly, unescorted and completely alone against a British force of 13 warships: Scharnhorst had taken 19 torpedoes before she sank, along with hundreds of high-calibre shells.[4][6] Scharnhorst's wreck was discovered in 2000 at a depth of 300 m.[4]

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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;
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External links

References

Citations
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kalu, M. C. (2019)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Farley, R. (2017)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 Potts, J. R. (2019)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Roblin, S. (2021)
  5. Editors of GWR. (n.d.)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Lettens, J. (2008)
Bibliography
  • Editors of GWR. (n.d.). Longest range hit by a ship's gun. Guinness World Records. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-range-hit-by-a-ships-gun
  • Farley, R. (2017, April 8). Scharnhorst: Nazi Germany's Super Battleship or paper tiger? The National Interest. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/scharnhorst-nazi-germanys-super-battleship-or-paper-tiger-20078
  • Kalu, M. C. (2019, April 4). Speed and strength - Scharnhorst - german battleship with 25 photos. WAR HISTORY ONLINE. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://www.warhistoryonline.com/history/speed-and-strength-scharnhorst-german-battleship-with-25-photos.html
  • Lettens, J. (2008, August 28). Wrecksite - Scharnhorst Battleship 1939-1943. Wrecksite.eu. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?115556
  • Potts, J. R. (2019, May 2). KMS Scharnhorst. Military Factory - Global Defense Reference. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.php?ship_id=KMS-Scharnhorst
  • Roblin, S. (2021, December 19). Scharnhorst: How hitler's pocket battleship was destroyed. 19FortyFive. Retrieved December 26, 2021, from https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/12/scharnhorst-how-hitlers-pocket-battleship-was-destroyed/


Germany battlecruisers
Scharnhorst · SMS Von der Tann