World of Warships Final Review: Pan-American Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Almirante Grau

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new Campaign called Inca Trail Adventure will begin very soon. Just like the previous ones, this Campaign will have you complete missions and these missions will reward you with Inca tokens. With these tokens, you can get random bundles and Grau will be in one of the said bundles. Otherwise, she will also be in the Premium Shop and the Armory for the standard prices of a tier VIII premium cruiser.

Historical background

BAP Almirante Grau is a De Zeven Provinciën-class light cruiser from the Peruvian Navy. The ship started life as HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, being laid down in September 1939. Due to the Germans deciding to visit the Netherlands in May 1940, the construction of the ship had to be halted. The construction would resume during the occupation with the Germans wanting to complete her as a training ship but the slow construction led to the ship only being launched in December 1944.

After the liberation of the Netherlands, the Dutch Navy completed the ship but she was renamed HNLMS De Ruyter. She was officially commissioned in November 1953 and would serve as flagship for various naval task forces. She continued to operate until she was decommissioned in October 1972.
This is when her second (or even third) life would begin as Almirante Grau after she was bought by the Peruvian Navy in March 1973. She was designated as the flagship of the fleet and kept on serving until she was decommissioned in September 2017 as the last all-gun cruiser of any navy in the world. The initial plan was to turn her into a museum but in February 2022 the ship was placed on sale and in July, it was announced that she would be scrapped.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of Almirante Grau comes with the standard permanent tier VIII economic bonuses:

  • +5% Credits
  • +50% XP
  • +50% Commander XP
  • +50% Free XP

The ship will also come with a special skin called “Ancient Totem”.

To my greatest shame, the horn isn’t replaced by the Pillar men’s theme from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Good ballistics
  • Decent main battery reload time outside of the combat instruction
  • Good turret traverse speed
  • Good firing angles
  • Turrets can rotate at 360°
  • Combat instruction that drastically reduces the main battery reload time
  • Amazing anti-air damage output
  • 6.9 km anti-air range
  • Pretty good concealment
  • Small citadel
  • Large armor belt extending to the end of the stern combined with an internal deck armor to protect the citadel when kiting.

The Bad

  • Only eight guns
  • Low long-range anti-air DPS
  • Below average top speed
  • Loses a lot of speed when turning
  • Low HP pool
  • Thin main belt armor
  • Huge superstructure
  • No anti-submarine airstrike on a cruiser with low speed
  • Combat instruction that requires you to remain unspotted for at least 50 seconds to fully charge.


Hull Engine Gun Fire Control System Main battery

Almirante Grau

Propulsion: 85 000 HP

Mk8 mod. 1

152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Health 33 900 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction 0 %
Displacement 12 165 tons
Overall length 187.25 m
Beam 17.98 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship) 24.52 m
Freeboard 5.0 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range 16.060 km
152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret 4 x 2 152 mm
Maximum speed 32.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius 700 m
Rudder Shift Time 9.09 s
Surface Detectability 11.9 km
Air Detectability 8.52 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke 5.92 km
Combat Instruction – Immediate Main Battery Reload

Duration 30.0 s
Interval 5.0 s
Progress per interval 10%
Time of inactivity before progress loss 30.0 s
Progress loss per second of inactivity 2%
Active effect – Main battery reload time -66%
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Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3
Damage Control PartyWork time: 5 sCooldown: 60 s Hydroacoustic SearchNumber of charges: 3Work time: 100 sCooldown: 120 sTorpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Defensive AA FireNumber of charges: 3Work time: 40 sCooldown: 180 sContinuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%

Almirante Grau is a particularly unique cruiser and this is putting it lightly. While on paper, her playstyle isn’t too complex as she remains a damage-focused cruiser, the way she actually gets to deal her damage is one of a kind in the game. It all boils down to one thing, her Combat Instruction.

Unlike the usual “Get X amount of shells near the target” to charge it, here the name of the game is discretion. To charge her combat instruction, you need to remain unspotted for at least 50 seconds. This forces you to wisely position your ship and be aware of your surroundings, especially considering that the ship has fairly poor mobility compared to other roaming cruisers. Talking about mobility, one thing to particularly keep in mind is that she loses A LOT of speed when turning. It can obviously be turned into an advantage as you can make a sharp turn combined with killing the engines to dodge shots from battleships. You… just need to pray that the guy didn’t aim like a stormtrooper and ends up nailing you in the process.

Once the combat instruction is loaded, this is where the fun begins. Basically, you can nuke full HP cruisers in a single activation because of the stupid amount of damage you are pumping. Battleships aren’t anything close to safe either, especially tier VII and tier VI ones as these also melt away. That’s really the thing with Almirante Grau. She doesn’t work like your classic HE spammer that aims at dealing consistent damage throughout the game. Grau is all about these massive bursts of damage that can flip the game around by eliminating a target in one go or at least crippling it hard enough to put it in danger of dying soon. I can only imagine the potential of this ship if the guy playing it is in a division with ships that can keep them unspotted with smoke.
Overall, while Grau is definitely a ship with very high potential, she is also one with a high-skill floor. She has the problem of having relatively low survivability with the lack of armor, low HP pool, and no heal and I could see the average player struggling to charge her Combat instruction outside of the first one that is basically guaranteed.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a commented replay of one of my games:

Main Armament

4 x 2 152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret
All turrets can rotate at 360°
 Maximum Firing Range 16.060 km
 Reloading Time 7.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time 22.5 s
Optimal firing angles at the front 30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear 33°
Sigma 2.0 sigma
Maximum Dispersion 144 m
Type of Projectile  HE – 152 mm HE Brisantgranaat
Alpha Damage 2 150
Penetration capacity  30 mm
Explosion size 8.55 m
Fire chance 11 %
Projectile Speed 900 m/s
Air Drag 0.284
Projectile Mass 46.0 kg
Type of Projectile AP – 152 mm AP Pantsergranaat
Alpha Damage 3 000
Projectile Speed 900 m/s
Air Drag 0.288
Projectile Mass 46.7 kg
Projectile Krupp 2 200
Projectile Detonator 0.025 s
Detonator threshold 25 mm
Ricochet Angles 45° – 60°
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Most of the time, you will be waiting for the Combat Instruction to be ready as you want that ludicrous DPM to burst down an enemy ship.
However, this waiting time can take two different forms. Either you are… doing nothing since you are out in the open and cannot afford to shoot or you are shooting at something from behind cover or from inside a smoke cloud.

When you are firing with the normal reload time, the firepower is already decent. Her HE DPM is the 16th highest at tier VIII (out of 45) and it isn’t like Austin where you are bare-boned when the gimmick isn’t around. As such, if you end up caught spotted and cannot get out of it any time soon, you will be able to defend yourself. However, one still needs to keep in mind that the ship has a low HP pool and no Repair Party so trades with other ships might not go too well.

When the Immediate Main Battery Reload is active though, this is where things get funny. You turn for a whole 30 seconds into an A-10 Warthog, pumping so many shells that you can quite literally vaporize cruisers in a single activation. Anything with 30 mm of armor simply melts in a matter of seconds and if it’s a cruiser at less than 8 km trying to make a U-turn in front of you, the guy will never end the turn. They will be dead long before. It is honestly quite scary to see what can be achieved with that ship in those 30 seconds. If you are facing a Grau that gets constantly smoked by friendly ships, you can pretty much forget about pushing unless you can somehow capitalize on those 50 seconds of downtime for the combat instruction.

Anti-air Armament

4 x 2 152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret
Sector firing range 0.1 km – 6.9 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 21
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 74
Flak clouds number 4
Flak cloud damage 1 680
4 x 2 57 mm/60 SAK Model 1950 on a Model 1950 mount
8 x 1 40 mm/70 SAK-40/L70-350 on a SAK-40/L70-350 mount
Sector firing range 0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance 90 %
Sector’s damage 192
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 672

The anti-air of Almirante Grau is downright nuts. While the continuous DPS of the long-range aura is nothing impressive, it is compensated by the 6.9 km range. Considering that you can perfectly spec her for anti-air, the flak barrage she generates can also be brutal against the average CV players that eat flak explosions constantly.

However, the true fear factor is the medium-range aura. Even against tier X carriers, with the Defensive AA fire active, the planes will get OBLITERATED. If you ever play a tier VI carrier and you see a Grau on the enemy team, do not even try. It would go about as well as punching an occupied hornet nest.

ASW Armament

Shipborne depth charges

Reloading Time 40 s
Number of charges 2
Number of bombs in payload 6
Damage 2 000
Sink speed 21.5-32.2 m/s
Detonation timer 6.5 – 7.5 s
Explosion radius 800 m
Fire chances 11%
Flooding chances 12%
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Damage distribution

Wargaming, in their infinite wisdom, decided to give to a relatively slow cruiser shipborne depth charges…
Unless the submarine player is immensely stupid, you won’t get the occasion to use these charges.

The Armor

External armor protection:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Final Opinion

Let’s get one thing clear first.

Almirante Grau isn’t for everybody.

It isn’t like your average tier VIII damage-focused cruiser with which you can half turn your brain off and spam HE. With Grau, you need to have a bit of finesse to decide where and when you engage and most of all you use your Combat instruction. Her lack of agility and her poor survivability make her a serious glass cannon and this is why you need to be as certain as possible that you have a planned escape route if shit hits the fan.

However, if you are able to make full use of her toolkit, if you have proper map awareness and can exploit terrain successfully, this ship will reward you like rarely saw it in this game. The leaderboard for this thing is also going to look pretty funny with all the sweaty smokebot divisions that we will see around.

Recommended Build

For the Almirante Grau, I recommend the following commander build and upgrades:

If you want, you can swap AA Defense and ASW Expert for Top Grade Gunner or for a combination of Demolition Expert and Priority Target.

This concludes my review of Almirante Grau. Thank you for reading this article!

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Also if you are new to the game or want to get back to it, feel free to use my Recruiting Station code for free goodies such as Premium ships, premium time, and more:

Have a good one and see you soon!

World of Tanks offers various signup bonuses to new players, which can include:

Free Tanks: New players can receive free tanks by completing certain missions or by using a referral link from an existing player.

Premium Time: New players can receive a certain amount of free Premium Account time, which provides various bonuses, including increased XP and credit earnings, discounts on tanks and equipment, and more.

Bonus Credits: New players can receive bonus credits to help them get started in the game.

Personal Reserves: New players can receive Personal Reserves, which provide bonuses to XP or credit earnings for a set amount of time.

To receive these signup bonuses, players need to create a new account and follow the instructions provided during the signup process. It's important to note that signup bonuses can vary depending on the region and time of signup, so players should check the game's official website or in-game notifications for the latest offers.

Additionally, new players can take advantage of various tutorials and training modes available in the game to help them learn the basics of tank combat and improve their skills. These tutorials can also provide additional bonuses and rewards for completing certain objectives.

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