Difference between revisions of "USS Pensacola (CA-24)"

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(Pros and cons)
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== General info ==
 
== General info ==
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
 
=== Survivability and armour ===
{{Specs-Fleet-Armour}}
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{{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.''
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USS Pensacola's survivability is rather mediocre for an American heavy cruiser, and rather weak compared to the enemies it often faces in battle. Pensacola has a main armour belt of just 57.15 mm of RHA, which can be easily penetrated by SAP and AP shells above 127 mm calibre. The magazines are protected by 102 mm of armour and sit below the waterline, meaning that they are relatively survivable. However, Pensacola's ready-use shell rooms are directly below the turrets and thinly-protected, meaning that they can be detonated by enemy shells and cause severe damage. Finally, Pensacola has a very small crew of just 654 crew members, which is a severely-limiting factor in its survivability in battle.
  
 
=== Mobility ===
 
=== Mobility ===
{{Specs-Fleet-Mobility}}
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{{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.''
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Pensacola has decidedly average mobility for a cruiser, with a top speed of 60 km/h in Realistic battles and 70 km/h in Arcade - this is on par with most cruisers of other navies. The ship's turning circle and acceleration are nothing special, either.
  
 
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'''Pros:'''
 
'''Pros:'''
  
* Immensely powerful main battery, with good shell velocity, fantastic armour penetration, and huge damage. Having a large amount of guns on broadside makes this even more deadly
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* Good broadside of ten 203 mm guns - the largest 8-inch gun broadside of any heavy cruiser in the game
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** Decent shell velocity and punching power, especially for an 8-inch gun
 
* Adequate secondary/AA battery of 5 inch guns, which can give destroyers and large aircraft some trouble
 
* Adequate secondary/AA battery of 5 inch guns, which can give destroyers and large aircraft some trouble
 +
** Guns get access to proximity fuzed shells (AA-VT) which is extremely effective against aircraft
  
 
'''Cons:'''
 
'''Cons:'''
  
* Awful fire rate of 3 rounds/per minute, worse than many heavy cruisers and every light cruiser in the game
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* Main guns have an extremely poor fire rate (3 rounds per minute) and poor accuracy at longer ranges
* No torpedoes gives you limited close quarters options
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** Weak anti-aircraft defences, with just several 12.7 mm and 28 mm guns, leading to a weak anti-aircraft ability at longer ranges
* Poor AA, especially against smaller aircraft at close range
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*Weak survivability with just 3 inches of main armour belt and 4 inches around the armour magazines
* Players will target you assuming you are one of the most dangerous ships in the US fleet
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**Only 654 crew members, which is a very small crew complement for a heavy cruiser
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*No access to torpedoes or any sort of auxiliary armament
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==

Revision as of 16:18, 25 February 2021

Rank 4 USA
USS Helena Pack
us_cruiser_pensacola_class.png
GarageImage USS Pensacola (CA-24).jpg
USS Pensacola (CA-24)
AB RB SB
5.3 5.3 5.3
Research:270 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:690 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Pensacola-class, USS Pensacola (CA-24), 1941 is a rank V American heavy cruiser with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.93 "Shark Attack".

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Citadel32 / 76 / 25 mm
Main fire tower64 / 19 / 19 mm
Hull19 mm (steel)
Superstructure17 mm (steel)
Number of section10
Displacement12 050 t
Crew923 people

USS Pensacola's survivability is rather mediocre for an American heavy cruiser, and rather weak compared to the enemies it often faces in battle. Pensacola has a main armour belt of just 57.15 mm of RHA, which can be easily penetrated by SAP and AP shells above 127 mm calibre. The magazines are protected by 102 mm of armour and sit below the waterline, meaning that they are relatively survivable. However, Pensacola's ready-use shell rooms are directly below the turrets and thinly-protected, meaning that they can be detonated by enemy shells and cause severe damage. Finally, Pensacola has a very small crew of just 654 crew members, which is a severely-limiting factor in its survivability in battle.

Mobility

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

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

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

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB4 200 → 5 447 Sl icon.png
RB4 000 → 5 188 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications248 300 Rp icon.png
354 000 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
250 / 320 / 100 % Sl icon.png
196 / 196 / 196 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
500 Ge icon.png
Mods ship tool kit.png
Tool Set
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods manual ship extinguisher.png
Fire Protection System
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Smokescreen
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods ship venting.png
Ventilation
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
500 Ge icon.png
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
500 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
203mm_us_mk19_navy_ap_ammo_pack
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mods new aa caliber turrets.png
Anti-Air Armament Targeting
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
310 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods tank ammo.png
203mm_us_mk25_navy_hc_ammo_pack
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new aux caliber turrets.png
Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png
127mm_usa_mk36_navy_radio_fuse_ammo_pack
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png
127mm_usa_mk36_navy_radio_fuse_ammo_pack
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new main caliber turrets.png
Primary Armament Targeting
Research:
9 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
14 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods he frag base fuse tank.png
203mm_us_mk17_navy_special_common_ammo_pack
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
27 000 Sl icon.png
500 Ge icon.png

Armament

Primary armament

2 х Turret3 x 8 inch/55 Mark 15 cannon
Ammunition450 rounds
Vertical guidance-5° / 41°
2 х Turret2 x 8 inch/55 Mark 15 cannon
Ammunition300 rounds
Vertical guidance-5° / 41°

The Pensacola carries a main armament of ten 8"/55 Mk.15 guns in two triple and two twin mounts. 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

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

The Pensacola 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 fuze is set before the weapon is fired), while the latter is a proximity fuze 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

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

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 - Pensacola carries two of these quad-mount guns. 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.

Pensacola also carries four AN-M2 anti-aircraft 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

The Pensacola has one of the best broadsides for its battle rating, with ten 8-inch guns, and this should be used to your advantage. Use the accuracy of the guns and the good shell velocity to keep your distance and punish opposing ships from afar. These guns also have a wide array of shell types, allowing you to shoot at any type of craft you fancy with good effect. The guns do have a slow RoF, even as far as heavy cruiser guns go, so be sure to keep a good crew and make your shots count. Ranging shots will do you a world of good.

Unfortunately, the strengths of the Pensacola end there, and to do well in this ship, you have to be aware of her many limitations. Firstly, the Pensacola is far from the fastest cruiser. While she's fairly nimble once fully upgraded, she'll still lag behind the fastest cruisers, and will struggle to reposition flexibly. Be sure to plan your movements ahead of time and be aware of the battle around you. Also, the Pensacola is a big, fairly easy target. Other than the armour protecting her front ammo racks, her protection is seriously lacking. Other cruiser guns and torpedoes especially will doom you, and aircraft with big enough bombs can also cause immense damage. Speaking of aircraft, the Pensacola's AA armament is rather inadequate. While the 5-inch guns are fairly effective at long range, her smaller guns are few and far between, and lack the close range damage of 20 mm and 40 mm cannons. Keep an eye out for aircraft, and keep friendly escort ships close by. Lastly, while the guns on the Pensacola are powerful, they still have their limitations. The turret traverse is poor, meaning an enemy on your flank can be a death sentence. In addition, the Pensacola's guns have a 20 second reload, meaning a well-trained crew is a must, especially if you're stuck in a close quarters encounter against any light cruisers that can easily punch through your armour.

To sink a Pensacola

Pensacolas are easy targets for other cruisers. Their armour is weak, they aren't that fast, and their secondary armament is fairly lacking. Don't attack them head-on, where they can angle their bow armour and bring five of their guns to bear. Instead, get on their flank and punish their weak belt armour. The ammo racks for the rear two gun turrets are particularly vulnerable, with just 88.9 mm of armour protecting them from the side, enough for some light cruisers to punch through at medium range.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good broadside of ten 203 mm guns - the largest 8-inch gun broadside of any heavy cruiser in the game
    • Decent shell velocity and punching power, especially for an 8-inch gun
  • Adequate secondary/AA battery of 5 inch guns, which can give destroyers and large aircraft some trouble
    • Guns get access to proximity fuzed shells (AA-VT) which is extremely effective against aircraft

Cons:

  • Main guns have an extremely poor fire rate (3 rounds per minute) and poor accuracy at longer ranges
    • Weak anti-aircraft defences, with just several 12.7 mm and 28 mm guns, leading to a weak anti-aircraft ability at longer ranges
  • Weak survivability with just 3 inches of main armour belt and 4 inches around the armour magazines
    • Only 654 crew members, which is a very small crew complement for a heavy cruiser
  • No access to torpedoes or any sort of auxiliary armament

History

USS Pensacola underway in September of 1935.

USS Pensacola was the lead ship of the Pensacola class of heavy cruisers, built for the US navy in the interwar period. Built up to the limitations of the Washington naval treaty, she was the first class of "treaty cruiser" and also the first American cruiser to feature an 8-inch main armament. Pensacola saw extensive service during the Second World War, and was almost sunk by Japanese torpedoes during the Battle of Tassafaronga. After the war, she was used as a target during Operation Crossroads, and was later sunk as a target ship.

Design and Development

After the end of the First World War, the only major cruiser class of the United States Navy were the Omaha class - these ships ended up a disappointment due to their awkwardly-placed main battery and light armour. As a result, the United States Navy set out to produce the first new class of "light cruisers" - the Pensacola class. Due to the Washington Naval Treaty (signed in 1920), the ships could only be built up to 10000 tons standard. The first of these ships, Pensacola, was laid down in October of 1926 and completed by April of 1930. She was subsequently redesignated as a heavy cruiser (due to her high-caliber main armament) and became the first heavy cruiser class of the United States Navy.

Pensacola displaced 9100 tons standard and was 178 metres long. Her main armament consisted of 10 8-inch (203 mm) guns in a unique configuration - two twin turrets and two triple turrets, one of each being located fore and aft. She carried a secondary armament of eight single 5-inch (127 mm) guns on beam positions. Her initial anti-aircraft armament was sparse, but was improved over time. Pensacola was the first American cruiser to lack torpedo tubes - the American design of "gun cruiser" would be continued with all following cruiser classes except the Atlanta class.

Operational history

Following her commissioning, the Pensacola joined the US Atlantic Fleet where she operated for the next four years. In 1935, she transited the Panama canal to join the Pacific Fleet at San Diego, where she would be based for the rest of her interwar career. She frequently participated in fleet exercises that took her everywhere from Alaska to Midway atoll. She was also one of six ships to receive the CXAM radar system in 1940, the first operational ship-based radar of the United States Navy.

Pensacola departed Pearl Harbour shortly before the raid and headed to the port of Brisbane in Australia after the attack. She then rendezvoused with Task Force (TF) 11, centered around the carrier Lexington. In April of 1942, she returned to Pearl Harbour and was reassigned to the Enterprise escort group. She was still serving in this capacity during the Battle of Midway, where planes from the Enterprise and Yorktown crippled the Japanese carriers Kaga, Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu, the core of the Imperial Japanese Navy. During the course of the battle, she was detached to the Yorktown's escort group, and provided anti-aircraft cover when the carrier was struck by Japanese torpedoes. She managed to shoot down six enemy torpedo bombers, but in vain, as the Yorktown was hit by two more torpedoes and had to be abandoned.

After the Midway battle, Pensacola returned to Pearl Harbour, and was reassigned to the carrier Hornet's escort squadron. She was still serving in this capacity during the Battle of the Coral Sea, and was providing AA fire when the Hornet was hit by multiple enemy bombs and sunk. She was reassigned to USS Enterprise, and provided cover as the carrier launched aircraft during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

Battle of Tassafaronga

USS Pensacola alongside the repair ship USS Vestal after she was damaged by Japanese torpedoes at the Battle of Tassafaronga.

After the battle of Guadalcanal, Pensacola was reassigned to TF 67 (with four other heavy cruisers and several destroyers) to attack Japanese forces in the Guadalcanal area. On the night of the 30th of November, they encountered a Japanese transport squadron and promptly engaged them: this battle would be known as the Battle of Tassafaronga. During the battle, Pensacola, along with the other ships, spotted a Japanese troop convoy heading for the Solomons, escorted by eight destroyers. And thus began a short engagement limited by poor night-time visibility where the Japanese destroyer Takamani was sunk by gunfire. However, the rest of the Japanese destroyers were not fired upon, and launched a large number of Type 93 'Long Lance' heavy oxygen torpedoes.

At 23:27, the cruiser USS Minneapolis was hit by two torpedoes in her engine rooms causing her to take heavy damage. New Orleans, the second cruiser in line, took evasive action but was hit by a Type 93 that detonated her forward ammunition magazines and destroyed her bow. As Pensacola turned to avoid the two heavily-damaged cruisers, she was hit by a torpedo underneath her mainmast that caused severe damage - her engine room flooded and her oil tanks were set on fire. The fires then spread aft and eventually caused her rear ammunition magazines to detonate, causing further damage. Pensacola limped back to port, still on fire, with 125 men dead and 68 more injured.

Later service

Pensacola was given emergency repairs by the repair ship Vestal before proceeding back to Pearl Harbour for permanent repairs. She was fully operational again by November of 1943, and spent the last two years of war serving in various capacities. She participated in the battle of Leyte Gulf, and later served in the invasion of Okinawa as a fire support ship. At the end of the war, Pensacola was anchored at Adak Station in Alaska.

Following the cessation of hostilities, Pensacola returned to the Eastern theatre, arriving at Ominato Harbour in Northern Honshu. She then embarked on a long journey back home, repatriating two hundred American veterans to Pearl Harbour, and eight hundred more back to the harbour of San Diego. From there, she embarked on her final trip to Bikini Atoll in the southern Pacific, where she was to be expended as a target ship during the American nuclear bomb tests. She survived both drops, and was studied by the USN to determine the effects of the radiation. She was then finally sunk as a target ship in 1948. Throughout the course of the war, Pensacola received 13 battle stars for her service.

Media

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

References

  • Chen, P. C. (2004). Heavy Cruiser Pensacola. Retrieved January 12, 2021, from https://ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=303
  • Rickard, J. (2014, January 31). USS Pensacola (CA-24). Retrieved January 12, 2021, from http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_USS_Pensacola_CA24.html
  • Schulman, M. (1996). USS Pensacola CA-24Hi. Retrieved January 12, 2021, from https://www.historycentral.com/navy/cruiser/Pensacola.html


Brooklyn Navy Yard Ships
Cruisers 
Cruiser, Light (CL)  USS Brooklyn (CL-40) · USS Helena (CL-50)
Cruiser, Armored (CA)  USS Pensacola (CA-24)

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)