USS Northampton (CA-26)

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Rank 4 USA
USS Helena Pack
USS Northampton (CA-26)
USS Northampton (CA-26)
5.3 5.3 5.3
Research:220 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:610 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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GarageImage USS Northampton (CA-26).jpg

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

General info

Survivability and armour

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.


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

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


Primary armament

Northampton carries a main armament of nine 8"/55 Mk.15 guns in three triple mounts, two fore and one aft. These guns are the standard armament for American heavy cruisers, and pack an impressive punch. The guns have good ballistics, and can access four shell types: Mk.14 Common, Mk.19 APCBC, Mk.25 HC and Mk.17 SP Common. Of these shells, the Mk.17 Special Common shell is most effective against cruisers, as it has a great explosive mass and enough penetration for most cruiser main armour belts. The Mk.19 APCBC shell can be used against heavily-armoured targets, but has a relatively small explosive mass of 1.65 kg. Finally, the HC shell, with almost 10 kilograms of explosive filler, is highly effective against destroyers and unarmoured vessels.

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

Secondary armament

Northampton carries a secondary armament of eight 5"/25 Mk.13 anti-aircraft guns, mounted on single open-mounts. These cannons are very effective medium-to-long range anti-aircraft guns, but are not effective against any armoured targets. They have access to just two shell types - Mk.36 AAC (HE-TF) and Mk.28 AAC (HE-VT). The former is a time-fuse shell (meaning that the fuse is set before the weapon is fired), while the latter is a proximity fuse shell that explodes automatically upon reaching the target. Both shells are ineffective against armoured targets, having ~35 mm of penetration. However, they are both capable of dealing with air and unarmoured targets quite effectively. The HE-VT shell is typically the better pick, as it offers greatly-improved efficiency against air targets.

The guns themselves are relatively good at short-range defence, being capable of firing at 20 rounds per minute (3-second reload). As well, they have very good vertical and horizontal firing angles. However, take note that the guns fire at a low muzzle velocity of 657 m/s which should be accounted for when manually aiming.

Anti-aircraft armament

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

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

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).


Tier Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
I Dry-Docking Tool Set 8 inch Mk.19 APCBC Anti-Air Armament Targeting
II Rudder Replacement Fire Protection System Smokescreen 8 inch Mk.25 HC Auxiliary Armament Targeting
III Propeller Replacement Shrapnel Protection Ventilation 5 inch Mk.28 AAC-VT Primary Armament Targeting Improved Rangefinder
IV Engine Maintenance New Pumps Ammo Wetting 8 inch Mk.17 SP Common

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".




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

Design and construction

The USS Northampton was the lead ship of the Northampton class, the second American 'Treaty' heavy cruiser class following the Pensacola class. Due to the limitations of the Washington naval treaty, they were very light at just 9000 tons standard - even lighter than their predecessors, the Pensacolas.[1] The armament scheme was revised to feature nine 8-inch (203 mm) guns in three triple turrets, which would be featured on every subsequent American heavy cruiser.[1] Their anti-aircraft armament was initially sparse but would be refitted later on. As with all American heavy cruiser designs, they did not carry any torpedo armament. The Northampton-class were capable of making 32.7 knots (60 kph).[1]

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

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

Service history

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

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

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


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

See also

Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rickard, J. (2004)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 US Navy Heritage Command. (2015)

Works Cited

  • Rickard, J. (2004, March 10). USS Northampton CA-26. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from
  • US Navy Heritage Command. (2015, August 13). Northampton II (CL-26). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from

Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Gun Destroyers (DD)  USS Phelps (DD-360) · USS Moffett (DD-362) · USS Cowell (DD-547)
Cruiser, Light (CL)  USS Raleigh (CL-7)
Cruiser, Armored (CA)  USS Northampton (CA-26) · USS Portland (CA-33)

USA heavy cruisers
Pensacola-class  USS Pensacola (CA-24)
Northampton-class  USS Northampton (CA-26)
Portland-class  USS Portland (CA-33)
New Orleans-class  USS New Orleans (CA-32)
Baltimore-class  USS Baltimore (CA-68)