Armor Guide: Iowa

This World of Warships Iowa armor guide completely breaks down the tier 9 USS Iowa’s armor complete with broadside, bulkhead, and aerial/deck views.  This battleship is an iconic warship that sits near the top of the United States Navy’s initial battleship tree and it features an all-or-nothing armor design meant to protect the vital areas of the ship while leaving non-vital areas less virtually unprotected.  This design allows the Iowa to be well armored where it counts while allowing it to gain a bit of speed due to the weight saved.  To create this guide several sources were used and also in-game testing was done to create the best representation of a World of Warships Iowa armor guide using the tools available.  The armor values while close to historical values are not the same due to this being an armor guide for the in-game USS Iowa in World of Warships.

Armor values are represented by green, yellow, orange, and red coloring that indicates its effective armor strength.  Effective armor values take into account the sometimes several layers of armor needed to damage the internal modules/hull of a warship in World of Warships.  When multiple layers of armor are listed the outer most layer is listed first followed by layers located behind it.  Additionally if any armor is angled the degree to which it is angled is listed after the thickness followed by the effective armor value that a shell needs to penetrate to do damage.  Above all keep in mind that while some areas appear very poorly armored the way damage is calculated in World of Warships means that full damage is only achieved by doing damage to citadel areas(powder magazine/propulsion).

World of Warships Iowa Armor Guide (Broadside)


Although the USS Iowa features an all-or-nothing armor design at tier 9 its armor if encountered in a broadside view(as seen above) while impressive does leave it vulnerable to taking heavy damage and citadel hits.  The main belts areas of the Iowa start at 307mm above the waterline and taper down to 163mm at the bottom well below the waterline.  Starting at the waterline an anti-torpedo bulge(25mm) extends the length of the main belt which provides a small amount of additional armor.  Overall the main belt of the Iowa will not protect it against direct battleship hits at close/mid ranges if the broadside is presented like seen here.  This is because the armor while strong is not backed up by additional armor protecting the citadel areas behind it.  On top of this is the 22 degree angle which slopes inward towards the bottom of the ship which greatly increases its effectiveness at longer ranges against incoming shells.

Outside of the main belt you have the main turrets which will rarely(if ever) get damaged frontally due to the 572mm effective armor value.  The sides and rear of the main turrets will hold up against cruiser fire but not against opposing battleships since they are much thinner than the front turret armor.  The barbettes extending down from the main turrets which armor them until the connect to the main belt start out 541mm thick, making them very difficult to damage.  However, the middle main turret has a large barbette section only 51mm thick covered by a 38mm hull armor piece making it a weak spot in the Iowa’s armor in-game.  The rear main turret also has a small sliver of this same weak spot below it reaches the main belt area above the waterline.

With the main belt and main turrets covered you find yourself left with the superstructure, forward end, and aft end.  The superstructure is very large, easy to damage outside of the coning tower, and is a prime target for hitting with high-explosive rounds.  The forward end of the Iowa is extremely long compared to most other battleships and is protected by 32mm of armor but houses no vital modules.  The after end is covered by 32mm also but along the waterline it also has a 343mm thick piece running back along half of its length.  This gives the aft end of the Iowa a bit more durability against destroyer and cruiser fire that the forward end does not benefit from.

World of Warships Iowa Armor Guide (Front Bulkheads)


With its extremely long forward end the Iowa can be intimidating if it is sailing directly towards you.  With the 32mm armor on the forward end you can easily punch through it unless you ricochet off the heavily angled sides.  Behind this thin armor you have two bulkheads and potentially the turret fronts/barbettes if you miss high.  The turret fronts, barbettes, and to an extent the coning tower are not able to be damage from this view and shouldn’t be focused on.  Moving onto the upper bulkhead you encounter a 287mm thick bulkhead that is not angled.  For most battleships if you make it through the heavily angled forward end this bulkhead is able to be penetrated.  Beneath the upper bulkhead is the lower bulkhead that drops from 287mm in thickness to only 216mm thick.  Since both bulkheads are not angled it makes the potential to achieve citadel damage on an Iowa from the front a very possible outcome if you are in a battleship and the enemy Iowa is pointing directly at you.  As an Iowa angles it makes the bulkheads more difficult to penetrate and this harder to achieve any worthwhile damage.

World of Warships Iowa Armor Guide (Aerial / Deck)


The final view in this World of Warships Iowa armor guide is an aerial view that shows the various deck armor strengths across the USS Iowa in-game.  Like the North Carolina the USS Iowa has very good deck armor strength across the important parts of the ship.  At longer ranges(15km+) this makes the harder to citadel and cause heavy damage to an Iowa compared to some other battleships in the higher tiers.  With the amount of variables and several layers of deck armor found amidships it is a difficult task to cause meaningful damage an Iowa from plunging fire/dive bombers unless you get lucky.

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