Z20 Karl Galster
The Zerstörer 1936 Z-20 Karl Galster (1945) is a gift rank III German destroyer with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test.
Survivability and armour
The Z-20 Karl Galster is not a very well protected Destroyer. Unlike for example the Cowell (DD-547) (which possess some armor) the Z-20 has nothing to protect herself from enemy fire. The gun turrets are not fully shut (they are open at the back) which means that enemy HE fire will very easily knock out these turrets. So the Tashkent (leader) does have fully protected turrets so it's way harder to knock out these turrets. But armor doesn't really matter to much for a DD because they are to small to have effective armor, but the Z-20 feels very weak in terms of armor overall. If you play a Tashkent (leader) you will experience way more survivability because the crew members are better protected.
The bridge of the Z-20 is very bad protected either. You will often get hit because it's a tempting target for enemy's. You lose the ability to steer your ship and they will incapacitate a lot of bridge crew. Your ammo magazines has no armor at all but is under the waterline. This is very good because HE shells won't be able to get to these magazines which gives the Z-20 more survivability. However cruisers with their 155/203 mm AP shell's are able to travel to these magazines and will result in a citadel detonation.
So what does make the Z-20 a good destroyer? It's the speed and agility which makes her a great ship to play. Because you have good mobility (see the Mobility paragraph below) you can move quickly and support the smaller ships. You are a good escort for cruisers as well but make sure you are not first in line! The mobility allows you to take effective evasive manoeuvres which makes you a hard target to shoot at. In combination with your main guns, you can be a pain for the enemy team.
The crew size of the Z-20 consists of 323 people which is more than most of the other destroyers. However this number can be deceived. Again the Z-20 has some weak protected parts where a lot of crew members can be knocked out if they are hit in that certain spot.
So the primary armament is quite weak in terms of protection and this should be noted. When your enemy lands an HE shot at the turret, a lot of crew members will be incapacitated and the gun will almost certainly be knocked out. The secondary armaments aren't better protected but there are less crew members. So they will be knocked out but the armaments aren't knocked out very often. So that's a big plus point.
The powerplant of the Z-20 consists of Six Wagner boilers to produce steam. This steam goes through two Wagner steam turbine sets, each driving one propeller shafts. This gives the Z-20 69.000 shaft horse power driving the ship through the seas with a speed of 36 knots (67km/h; 41 mph) forward. The rudder is very good as well and gives you the ability to turn the ship quickly. The mobility is one of the things that make the Z-20 a great destroyer.
The Z-20 has 5 12.7-centimeter (5.0 in) SK C/34 guns, two each superimposed, fore and aft of the superstructure. The fifth mount was positioned on top of the rear deckhouse. So there are 2 guns facing forward and 3 facing backward. This is a disadvantage in comparison to other destroyers. The Haida (G63) and Tashkent (leader) do have two double mounted gun turrets at the front of the ship. This gives them the ability to go nose in and fire 4 shells in one salvo. So they don't suffer to much when they protect their broadside. The Z-20 has to give some broadside to fire all 5 guns. You can compensate this problem by using the tactic "kiting". So what you want to do, is fire a salvo and go nose in. When your guns are almost done reloading, turn the ship again to fire all the 5 guns and repeat. The rudder allows you to do this but it only works when you are actively sailing your ship.
What's another disadvantage is that you only have 5 guns. The Haida (G63), Tashkent (leader), IJN Akizuki, Sumner (DD-692) and some more destroyers all have 6 or 8 guns. You only have 5 guns which put you in a difficult position when knife fighting these destroyers. So the best thing you can do is to make sure you pick the fight, not the enemy. This is quite hard but use the terrain and teammates to fight the enemy(s). Do not ever try to destroy a cruiser with your guns. There is no hope you can take a cruiser on your own with your guns. You will do minimal damage and the cruiser will destroy you quite easily. Only when you can preform a torpedo strike, go for the cruisers. But make sure it will have success. If you are sailing with another cruiser, you can support him by shooting at the enemy cruiser but make sure you are second of third in line.
The gun's have not the best firing arcs. You can only hit targets effectively under the range of 8 km. If the distance becomes greater than 8 km the shell will take 16 seconds to reach the target. You will have a minimal chance of getting a hit and you will waste ammo.
As for ammo, you can take 600 pieces maximum. The Z-20 comes with 3 types of Ammo being: Sprgr. L/4.4 Kpf.Z, Sprgr. L/4.4 Bd.Z and the Sprgr. L/4.4 Zt.Z. So the Kpf.Z shell is the High Explosive shell and will do the most damage to most of the ships. I recommend taking about 400 shell's of the Kpf.Z because this is the shell you will be firing most of the times. Take about 200 shells of the Bd.Z because these can penetrate cruiser more effectively. I don't recommand taking the Zt.Z because these are times HE shell's. These are only usefull against planes but the main guns of the Z-20 don't allow you to fire effectively against planes. When you fire these times shells against ships, they will explode before they even hit the ship.
The secondary armament consists of 4 3.7-centimeter (1.5 in) SK C/30. These guns are very good at shredding patrol boats and are a great addition to the Z-20. They fire quickly for 3.7-centimeter guns. They also act as aa guns and they also do really well. Because they can fire both at boats and planes, it's recommended to use the universal belt. This belt consists of both HE shells (for the planes) and AP shells (for the patrol boats and other destroyers). You can also select the AP belt (3 times AP and 1 HE) or the HE belt (3 times HE and 1 AP). Don't take manual control of the secondary's because the AI does the job quite well. If you let the AI fire the main guns, you will lose effectiveness.
Unlike other ship's of the Type 1936 class (which the Z-20 belongs to), the Z-20 has reinforced AA armament. So the 4 3.7-centimeter (1.5 in) SK C/30 guns act as AA, but the Z-20 also has: 6 2-centimeter (0.8 in) C/30 and a quadruple 2 cm Flak 30/38/Flakvierling. This gives the Z-20 some solid AA so you have the ability to shoot down planes very effectively. You can either select a universal belt (2 HE, 2 AP), AP belt (1 HE, 3 AP) and a HE belt (3 HE, 1 AP). I recommend to use the HE belt because these guns should be used to shoot down planes. Only the SK C/30's can be used to fight other ships.
The Z-20 is equipped with 2 quadruple 53.3-centimeter (21.0 in) torpedo tubes which carries the G7a torpedo. This torpedo has a speed of 81 km/h and a maximum range of 6 km. It takes 50m to arm the torpedo. Onboard is 358.4 kg TNT which causes a significant blow.
Depth charges, mines, rocket launchers and missiles are also effective in skilled hands and can be an unexpected surprise for an opponent. Evaluate the ammunition of this type of armament and rate its performance in combat.
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 get try to provide a single point of view, but give the reader food for thought. Talk about the most dangerous opponents for this vehicle and provide recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of playing with this vehicle in various modes (AB, RB, SB).
Pros and cons
- Very fast for a destroyer (86 km/h AB, 71 km/h or 38 knots RB)
- Quick reload speed with onboard guns
- Good self defence anti-aircraft capability
- Torpedoes have a range of up to 14 km (Good for encounter and Naval EC)
- Stealth Belts available for 37mm AA Guns
- 37mm AA guns are of the fully automatic type, not the semi automatic type you'd find on other German ships.
- Main guns lack AP Rounds (Only HE, HE Base Fuse, HE-DF)
- Shells don't have much filler for their caliber.
- Torpedoes are slow and have sub-par warheads
Z20 Karl Galster was the fourth of six ships of the 1936 class destroyers laid down in the DeSchiMAG shipyard in Bremen. She was laid down on 14 September 1937 and completed in March 1939. Being part of the final German destroyer class to receive names after WWI sailors, captains, and admirals, the Z20 was also named in honour of Captain Karl Galster. Captain Karl Galster was the commander of the S22 torpedo boat in WWI, who went down with his ship after striking a mine while intercepting a squadron of British ships, including HMS Vindex, near the island of Sylt. During WWII, Z20 Karl Galster took part in various mine-laying operations in the English channel and Baltic sea as well as taking part in the invasion of Denmark and Norway as part of the Operation “Weserübung”. Although the war had claimed her other five sister ships, Karl Galster survived right up until the very end of the war, helping in evacuating German soldiers from coastline ports scattered around the Baltic during the last few days of WWII.
After the German surrender on 8 May 1945, Z20 returned to her homeport of Kiel and surrendered to the British. However, her career was not over just yet. In 1946, Z20 Karl Galster was given to the Soviet Union as a war prize and was subsequently renamed to Prochny. She would serve under Soviet command for another decade, until 1956, before being decommissioned ultimately scrapped in the 1950s.
- From Devblog
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