World of Warships

Graf Zeppelin, her aircraft, and their bombs

WorldOfWarships2 - Graf Zeppelin, her aircraft, and their bombs

So a quick foreword; I'm not really here to talk about the GZ as a hull, but more about the few naval aircraft Germany built, and the *many* bombs Germany had to equip them with.

So first thing's first: AIRFRAMES!

Germany has maybe 3 naval airframes in total, unless we get in to Luft '46 stuff. They represent a fairly diverse spectrum though, and cover a good number of capabilities and characteristics. They are as follows:

  • Bf-109T – Small, fast, light fighter with very low payload
  • Ta-152C – Larger, faster, heavier fighter/bomber with a fairly large payload
  • Ju-87D-4 – Slow, massive, disturbingly agile giant with a massive payload

As I said, limited but diverse. And as a happy coincidence, they all fit in the 3 niches our CV system has, quite well in fact. The obvious rocket plane is the 109T we have now, obviously. It's small, fast, and generally works in its role. The dive bomber is, you guessed it, the Ju-87. It's literally built for dive bombing, why would you use anything else? And finally, our torpedo bomber can remain the Ta-152C, since the R-14 Rüstsatz kit was in fact an ETC 502 torpedo rack. For some reason WeeGee insists on calling the Ta-152C DB the "Ta-152C/R14" despite that modification taking the place of the conventional bomb mounting points.

Now a real question is, how does the Ju-87 stack up to say, the B7A or SB2C? Well that's down to how WeeGee calculates aircraft performance. I will say that the Ju-87 is actually lighter than most of these other aircraft, flies slightly slower than normal at 220kts (as opposed to 250-300kts), but has nearly twice the max payload of any of them (1800kg vs. 800-900kg). There's a couple ways this can go, but I mainly see the Ju-87D-4 as being a weaker plane carrying a significantly higher amount of ordnance.

Squadron numbers are also another issue, but it's more interrelated with ordnance type and count than anything else. Most likely 2 planes for the Ju-87, but some of the heavier payloads could warrant a single Ju-87 per attack.

And that leads us too: ORDNANCE!

Germany has a lot of bombs, in a lot of flavors. They've got HE bombs, AP bombs, HE-Frag bombs, cluster bombs, fire bombs, minelet bombs, flechette bombs, rocket bombs, glide bombs, guided bombs… They've got it all. But we're not here to talk about fringe weaponry or anti-personnel munitions. We're talking about the big boys, the bunker busters, the ship crackers! And we've got them in spades:

  • HE Bombs (Sprengebombe Cylindrisch): SC 250, SC 500, SC 1000, SC 1200

I've abbreviated the list of HE bombs, omitting bombs either too small (50kg, 100kg), or too heavy (1800kg, 2000kg, 2500kg) for practical or even possible use. If it's immediately obvious, the numbers after "SC" are the bomb's gross weight in kilograms. Germans are nothing if not imaginative after all. We've got a 250kg, 500kg, 1000kg, and 1200kg bomb up for grabs. A Ju-87D had 3 hardpoints to mount up to 1800kg of bombs. IIRC, the 250kg bombs could be twin-mounted on a hardpoint, while 500kg bombs had to be single-mounted.

Possible HE bomb mounting combos are:
1x 1000kg (1000kg, 1 bomb)
1x 1200kg (1200kg, 1 bomb)
2x 250kg + 1x 1000kg (1500kg, 3 bombs)
3x 500kg (1500kg, 3 bombs)
2x 250kg, 1x 1000kg (1500kg, 3 bombs)
4x 250kg + 1x 500kg (1500kg, 5 bombs)
2x 250kg, 1x 1200kg (1700kg, 3 bombs)

This allows for a bunch of options on how the Stuka would deliver its ordnance, how it would behave, and what it would do. We can drop a bunch of small bombs, a few medium-weight bombs, or one absolutely massive bomb. Either way, each individual Stuka is going to be carrying a helluva lot more ordnance than their contemporaries. The payloads with the 1000kg and 1200kg bombs also open the option of unique drop mechanics for the Stuka, primarily playing with the weight and trajectory disparity between the larger and smaller bombs.

  • AP Bombs (Panzersprengebombe Cylindrisch): PD 500, PC 500RS, PC 1000RS, PC 1400, PC 1600

The old bread-n-butter for anyone that plays IJN CV's. A patient HE bomb with a little more junk in the trunk. Germany actually had two flavors of AP bomb, a normal gravity bomb and a rocket-assisted dumb bomb. Follows the same naming convention as the HE bombs, the number is the gross weight in kilos. The "RS" denotes a rocket assisted bomb, which utilized a booster to accelerate beyond terminal velocity to aid in penetration.

For those that's may not know, our Ta-152C/R14 DB's currently drop a single PD 500 bomb each, to very little effect most of the time. A Ju-87D-4 opens up a world of fantastic options for armor piercing deletion solutions, not just by virtue of carrying a bunch of them.

Potential AP bomb combinations are:
1x 1000kg RS
1x 1400kg
3x 500kg (1500kg, 3 bombs)
3x 500kg RS (1500kg, 3 bombs)
1x 1600kg

I know a lot of them may seem boring, but the massive AP bombs mean that a single plane attack wave could be a possibility as a new German gimmick. The rocket bombs also open up a neat idea for drop mechanics, wherein dropping from shallow angles can still allow for an effective penetration VS belt armors. Or dropping from higher up increases bomb velocity and penetration, allowing you to engage heavier targets. They're probably useless, but a neat possibility.

The real meat here is the massive AP bombs, and the multiple PD 500 bombs. A 2 Ju-87 strike would carry 3x the ordnance of a Ta-152C DB run currently, which is also 6 tries at overcoming RNG on top of the natural increase in drop density. A stupidly simple upgrade to the effect of GZ dive bombers, but potentially an option.


However, you could have an option for an even more risky and rewarding strike with a single Ju-87 dropping a 1000kg, 1400kg, or 1600kg AP bomb. Naturally, these things would most likely overpenetrate anything short of CV's and BB's, but practically delete whatever they hit. Right off the bat, I'd make the thing slower than normal, with a shorter boost and slower maneuvering speed, which would come with mounting such massive bombs anyway. Secondly, it'd be a single bomber in the attack, with a very slow replacement speed, and a very slow rearm speed (time between attacks). This opens up the ability for a ship to actually destroy a strike via AA, preventing a lot of early-game nuke rushes. It'd also hopefully remove the ability to effectively slingshot these things, if the time between strikes is long enough.

  • Aerial Torpedoes: LT 850, LT I A1 F5b, LT 1200B, LT II F5u

It's a short list, but it has a good number of options with varying performance stats. Fills a number of roles from "slow and heavy" to "fast and light", and can hopefully beef up the Kriegsmarine torpedo arsenal.

LT I A1 F5b: Standard Luftwaffe torpedo of WWII, and the same one the Ta-152C's are dropping now. Mediocre all around and really only good at… well not much. It's only on the list for the sake of completeness, because there's honestly nothing you could do to make it better besides adding a 4th plane to the GZ's attack wave.

LT II F5u: Mediocrity but faster. It's an engine upgraded LT I A1 F5b, and that's about it. But faster torpedoes should help getting more of them on target easier, so it's *something*.

LT 850: The first not-garbage aerial torpedo here, and that's because the Germans knew when to copy someone else's homework. It's a German Type 91 Mod 2, which means it's actually significantly better than what we've got. Like unironically, this torpedo at T6 is better than the LT I A1 F5b at T8 in basically everything.

LT 1200B: Obese mediocrity. It's an overweight torpedo with no range and no speed, but it's *big*. A full-size 533mm torpedo with all the warhead power that entails. It'd also be one of the slowest aerial torps in the game, with a range so anemically short it'd make the British look like they're dropping Long Lances.

The only option I'd honestly go for here is the LT 850. It's a known quantity that would require nothing more than copy-pasting the Type 91 Mod 2 stats and renaming the torpedo. ezpz fix and it's not a bad torp either. The LT 1200B is more of a "what if" option than anything else, though I feel it'd synergize well with the speed of the Ta-152. A handful of TB's dropping huge, slow, extremely high damage torps with lightning strikes. Could be neat, but probably broken in either direction (too good or garbage). As for the LT II F5u, I mean you could always say it does more damage, putting it at 50-55 knots and 5.5-6.3k damage would make it a fairly okay torpedo.

Honestly, any of them could work, but it's more important that they work in context with the rest of the ordnance.

  • Aerial Rockets: Panzerblitz I/II/III, Wfr.Gr. 21, Wfr.Gr. 28

Another short list. Turns out Germany was more than happy to just drop bombs on everything. It includes the existing option again for completeness, but I feel the rockets are largely the least offensive weapon the GZ has. They do the job of being a German Tiny Tim. But options are always nice, so here we are.

Panzerblitz I/II: 80/88mm HEAT rocket meant to be fired from planes. Basically a Panzerschreck rocket with more rocket, and functionally equivalent to the RP-3. It'd be a nice area saturation option akin to the US choice between HVAR's and Tiny Tims.

Panzerblitz III: It's a Wfr.Gr. 21 with a HEAT warhead. Not sure what the gimmick would be, but I suppose higher fire chance and/or penetration would make sense given the nature of the warhead. Again, don't really see the point since thw original rockets are pretty much fine.

Wfr.Gr. 21: Doesn't really need an explanation, does it? 210mm HE rocket, that's about it.

Wfr.Gr. 28: I've heard it mentioned in dark corners of the intertubes, that Germany tried fitting the 280mm rockets from the "Stuka-zu-Fuß" on aircraft. Now whether that's true or not, I'm not so sure myself. But it sounds like a reasonably German thing to try, so I'll give it benefit of the doubt here.

Honestly, the only stand-out option that's not just a copy-paste of another rocket system is the Wrf.Gr. 28. An interesting thing about this rocket is it came in the extra spicy incendiary flavor "Wurfkörper Flamm", which was a rocket carrying nothing but a couple dozen kilos of "Flammöl" incendiary oil. It had a pretty impressive 200m^2 radius, but more importantly, it's an option for a unique mechanic – purely incendiary missiles. They'd do next to no direct damage, but have extreme fire chance. Probably even more OP than normal rockets, but it's an option.

So, to sum it all up: Ju-87D master plane, WeeGee pls gib Ju-87 back, Germany has a lot of bombs, the GZ has a lot of choices available to her, and the German gimmick doesn't have to be going fast. Ju-87D. Have I mentioned the Ju-87D-4?

I'm not promoting any of these as a "ADD NOW PLOX" suggestion. I have provided my thoughts on each option, but this is mainly about providing a number of alternatives to the GZ's current situation. What WeeGee does is up to them, I just felt that it might be nice to talk about some information that might be otherwise unknown. Mainly though, I'd like to see what the rest of you can think up with or around what's presented here.

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