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Cleveland Ship Review  

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Shield380    108

Hello everyone! Shield here, with my first written review of a ship in World of Warships. I am better at writing than I am at video editing, so I am gonna leave the video reviews to the people who actually know what they are doing. This is meant to be more casual, statistics used to explain the ship and not just thrown at you. This is meant to be a review you can read while at an airport, sitting in traffic, or just generally bored. I will try and keep it entertaining and yet still helpful/informational. It will be split up into 7 sections: History, Ships in Class, In-Game Statistics, Results, Personal Overview, and Overall Thoughts. I will add in tactical opinion as well as how the ship feels to play, so I hope you enjoy! So sit back, make sure your boss isn’t looking, your coffee is warm (or your beverage is cold), and enjoy this written review on the Cleveland class Cruiser!




The Cleveland class of cruiser was a group of light cruisers built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. At the end of the war, they were the most numerous class of light cruisers to be ever built. The ships were designed with the goal of increased cruising range in terms of nautical miles per tank of fuel, increased anti-aircraft armament, and better torpedo protection as compared with earlier U.S. cruisers. Fifty-two ships of this class were originally planned, however, nine of them were completed as the light aircraft carriers of the Independence class (I have no idea how they thought of this but hey, if it works it works), and two of them were completed to a somewhat different design, with more compact superstructures and just a single stack (funnel for exhaust for non-boat people). These two were called Fargo class cruisers. Of the 27 Cleveland-class cruisers that were commissioned, one by the name of the USS Galveston (CL-93), was completed as a guided missile cruiser. Five were later modified as Galveston and Providence class guided missile cruisers. These ships were all named, as per usual at the time, after US cities and towns.


The Cleveland-class cruisers served mainly in the Pacific Fleet during World War II (seeing as they were not built for anti-submarine or convoy-protection as the Atlantic Fleet would have been), especially in the Fast Carrier Task Force, but some of them served off the coasts of Europe and Africa in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. All of these warships, no matter how heavily worked and damaged they might have been, survived the war. All of this class were initially decommissioned by 1950, except for Manchester, which remained in service until 1956. Six were later finished or converted to guided missile cruisers, and these served into the 1970s. The Clevelands suffered from increasing stability problems as anti-aircraft armament and additional radar was added during the war. They kept piling on more AA mounts and radar modifications and the ship was notoriously top-heavy. None were recommissioned for the Korean War, as they required a crew almost as large as the Baltimore class ships, and those ships were reactivated instead as they were the superior vessel at the time. All non-converted ships were sold off from the reserve fleet for scrapping beginning in 1959. The six that were completed as guided missile cruisers, or converted to be so, were reactivated during the 1950s and then served into the 1970s. All, particularly the Talos-armed ships (Talos being a long range surface-to-air missile), suffered from greater stability problems than the original design due to the extra radar equipment and top weight. This problem was particularly severe in Galveston, leading to its premature decommissioning in 1970. Multiple ships had to have large amounts of ballast and internal rearrangement to allow for their continued service into the 1970s. The last of these missile ships in service, Oklahoma City, was decommissioned in December 1979.

Only one Cleveland-class ship remains in the world. She is the guided missile cruiser Little Rock, now a museum ship along the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York.

USS Cleveland (CL-55)



Talos Missile



USS Galveston (CL-93)



All Ships of the Cleveland Class:

USS Cleveland CL-55                                               USS Newhaven CL-76
USS Columbia CL-56                                               USS HuntingtonCL-77
USS Montpelier CL-57                                             USS Dayton CL-78
USS Denver CL-58                                                    USS Wilmington CL-79
USS Amsterdam CL-59                                            USS BiloxiCL-80
USS Santa Fe CL-60                                                 USS Houston CL-81
USS Tallahassee CL-61                                            USS Providence CL-82 (later CLG-6)
USS Birmingham CL-62                                         USS Manchester CL-83
USS Mobile CL-63                                                   USS Buffalo CL-84
USS Vincennes CL-64                                            USS Fargo CL-85
USS Pasadena CL-65                                              USS Vicksburg CL-86
USS Springfield CL-66 (later CLG-7)                  USS Duluth CL-87
USS Topeka CL-67 (later CLG-8)                        USS Newark CL-88

USS Miami CL-89                                                   USS Newark CL-100
USS Astoria CL-90                                                  USS Amsterdam CL-101
USS Oklahoma City CL-91 (later CLG-5)           USS Portsmouth CL-102
USS Little Rock CL-92 (later CLG-4)                  USS Wilkes-Barre CL-103
USS Galveston CL-93 (later CLG-3)                    USS Atlanta CL-104
USS Youngstown CL-94                                         USS Dayton CL-105
USS Buffalo CL-99 (no, this is not a mistake, there were two USS Buffalos)


Okay, now that all of the history portion is done, I will now move on to the stats of the Cleveland in the game.


Cleveland Statistics (from Wargaming Wiki):






I decided to hop in and play three random battles just right off the bat, to give you a realistic idea of what can be expected from this ship. These are older battles, as you can tell by the halloween missions (lol), but this goes to show that the Cleveland is still a good ship even in the older versions of the game.


Battle 1:


Battle 2:


Battle 3:



So as you can see, the Cleveland is quite the ship to have fun in. Survivability kinda sucks but it helps you to learn how to save your HP more effectively. A plus to these photos is also kinda proof that I don’t suck, well, at least not too badly. :trollface:


Personal Overview


So my thoughts on this boat. First off, she is a looker. Well, that is my opinion but that does not matter. Some screenshots to make you happy:







Whenever you are playing the Cleveland, you have to make sure you are extremely aware of your surroundings. The armor is non-existent, so you have to make the initial approach up to the enemy team under the cover of smoke, behind an island, or behind a meaty wall of friendly BBs and other, more heavily armored, CLs. Her guns don't pack the 203mm punch of the Pepsicola (Pensacola for those less informed), but they can make the life of any enemy ship living hell if played correctly. I would recommend firing your turrets as two "teams". The front two and rear two always shoot together, but never all four at once. This will allow you to designate multiple targets and be able to lay down more constant fire upon your enemies. The Cleveland has 4 turrets of 3x152mm guns, and the HE is very fun to play with. The American Gun Arc that this ship so proudly boasts is both a blessing and a curse. You can lob shells over islands you are using for cover, as well as those that the enemy (mistakenly) thinks can provide them cover. The HE fire chance is 12%, but can be further upgraded if you like with flags or commander skills. The penetration of the HE is decent (formula being Gun Caliber / 6 = Penetration) so the Cleveland gets roughly 25mm of HE penetration. "Well Shield, that is abysmal! You can't pen anything with that kind of value!" Don't get your knickers in a twist, I hadn't finished yet. HE shells do not lose their penetration values over distance like AP does, so these shells have 25mm of pen at ALL ranges. This meaning they can penetrate the bow armor of most Tier 4-7 BBs (with exceptions, I know) and do damage unless your shell is shattered by sheer armor value (angling) in what I call "anti-overmatch", where your shells just won't penetrate at any value at all due to the sheer effective armor of that ship. Anyways, I digress.


So, the HE is brilliant but what about the AP? Well, honestly, it isn't too shabby. Sure it isn't great but you can deal some serious damage as shown in Battle 3 above this section. I got 8 citadels against the enemy team, and that was all fine and dandy in my book. I would recommend a range of 5-8km when firing AP so your shells have a better chance of penetrating, but any closer and you will basically be in suicide range because most ships Tier 5-Up can citadel you for days within 1-4km. The Cleveland has some grunt getting off the line, but it still isn't quite as much as the British CLs with their Bugatti-Veyron off the line speed. She is nimble and quick and can usually hide from St. Nick, but you have to make sure you are alternating both speed and course when trying to evade shells. You have two "Hello!" turrets and two "F*** This S*** I'm Out" turrets. Their names should be self-explanatory, but if you do not quite get what I mean let me spell it out for you. The front of your ship should be pointed towards the enemy 90% of the time, using your two forward turrets to send gloriously dispersed HE at your opponents. The other two turrets are great for either A) pissing off attacking BBs who see you running away or B) broadsiding the occasional DD. Your broadside is a delicious target for all of the enemy team and should not be shown to them, so please, be modest. :P Furthermore, you are a DD assassin of glorious proportions. Your 152mm HE can shred enemy DDs within 3 full salvos and the splash damage is great for absolutely wrecking the occasional cocky DD who wants to "sneak up" on you. Hey DD drivers, here is a video of How Not To Be Seen:


Hope that helps. Imagine the Cleveland as the narrator and the poor chaps being exploded as you, the DDs.


I personally love to play the Cleveland, and it is a fun ship all around to play. You just have to stay cautious of your surroundings, work with your team, and sacrifice the occasional mature goat to the MM Overlords. :hiding:


Overall Thoughts:


The Cleveland is a solid ship in general. I hate to quote QuickyBaby and say it is "generic" because it really isn't, but on the surface there is nothing special about it. I love to play her often, and divisioning up with a buddy in these you can have a blast. I was solo fr the above-mentioned games but if I was partnered up with someone we could have both easily done the same amount (or more) of damage by calling our targets and focusing our fire. She is quick and nimble but needs to be cared for. Stay away from the direct fire of enemy ships and be the assassin of the team, never fully up front but always ready to dart in, do 10k dmg to a poor and unsuspecting peasent, and dart back into the cover of an island or friendly smoke.


I truly hope you guys enjoyed this and I would love to hear back from you about how this was! This is not meant to be an inch-by-inch review of the ship, check out some of the Youtubers for that style of content, but instead a casual overview of the ship and her history to read while waiting for an airplane, a red light, or trying to procrastinate at work (not recommended). Feel free to leave your constructive critism below as well as your thoughts and how you liked it! Remember to vote above for what ship you would like to see next!



- Shield 

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DerKrampus    596

Cleveland has always been solid, and it's always been considered weak by people who don't know how to lead their targets properly.  She's become even MORE solid with the addition of IFHE, which makes her ability to rain HE upon New Mexicos, Fusos, Colorados and other big, slow BBs all the more devastating.  


I picked her back up shortly after the update, and have been running an IFHE/DE/CE build on her.  60-80K games have been easy to come by, with some epicenter games (and their concentration of juicy damage sponges) resulting in damage numbers north of 100-130K.  


Want even more fun?  Form a division of 3 Clevelands, and out-DPM anything that dares oppose you.  Anything.  Ever.  Always.  :trollface:

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crzyhawk    3,011

Don't underrate the AP.  At longer ranges, they are actually faster to target than the HE is due to the shell weight.  The shells weigh more, thus they retain their energy longer.  They also have superior auto-bounce angles much like RN AP does.  I believe they also have faster fuses than normal also.  Shooting AP is rarely a bad idea in the Cleveland, even though she has a reputation of burning everything with HE.  Cleveland AP is her best kept secret.


She also has some of the best belt armor in game for her tier.  She carries a 127mm belt over her citadel, which is far more than most other cruisers in tier, with 16mm armor everywhere else.  Many t6 cruisers only carry 13mm of armor.  Angled properly, shots will hit the 127mm belt and bounce for days.

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I appreciate the history of the ship very much, and your effort is commendable. There are, however, some problems with the review.


Respectfully, you lost me at "the armor is non-existant."  IMHO one of the Cleveland's few flaws is that its relative durability may teach bad habits when you move further up the USN cruiser line. It is harder to hit a Cleveland's citadel than either Aoba or, especially, Budyonny. (We won't even mention Molotov's "armor")


The notion that you have to use the front and back turrets separately has me confused. Cleveland has excellent gun arcs - that is one of her strengths. She can angle very well while bringing all 4 turrets to bear. Yes, you have to WASD all the time. It's a cruiser!  But compared to Budyonny and especially Aoba, it is much safer to bring all of your guns to bear for a movement with the Cleveland. 


Someone already mentioned IFHE. Coupled with Demolition Expert to offset the loss of fire chance, IFHE was made for cruisers with 150ish mm guns. I also agree that Concealment Expert is beneficial - both for approaching the enemy and for disengaging when you get into a jam. 

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_Marines    32

I used to play a lot of grueling matches in my Cleveland. The matches get very boring, because firing at the maximum range is all you can do. Getting any closer and you won't have enough seconds to dodge incoming shells, which means a tour to the seabed. While it is not hard to deal a lot of damage in a Cleveland, BBs love stealing kills from my low-HP targets, which eventually persuaded me to play a BB instead.:D


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