War Thunder – Hedgehog Mortar Depth Charges and You

Since the new “River Class” event reward has a hedgehog mortar, I figured I would take a quick look. For people that struggle with the weapon (it is installed on other ships, as well), I will give a brief explanation of my findings.

Other War Thunder Guides:

  • Heavy Tanks Guide.
  • How to Kill Heavies.
  • Taking Advantage of Ash River.
  • How to Melee Fight with Tanks.
  • How to Grind with the AMX-13 (SS.11).
  • How to Play French Tier 1 Ground Vehicles.
  • Overview of the Russian Air Fighter Tech Tree.

The Hedgehog, a Quick Briefing

The stats of the Hedgehog are as following (Last updated 11.08.2019):

The forward firing system will launch one grenade for every push of the button or up to 24 grenades in a pattern when the button is held. Those grenades will fly in a high arc towards the front of the ship. Important for the player:

The range is about 400-450m, the spread of the weapon will create a conical bombardment area of around 30-40m radius when the weapon hits the water.

The time from firing the weapon until it explodes is about 10-11 seconds, about 2 seconds after entering the water.

The TNT equivalent is about 25 kg, with 48 depth charges available. This is the equivalent of 48x 50kg bombs, quite the punch. While the individual firepower is not enough to put a hole into a destroyer, it can be enough to hurt unaware boats of all kinds badly.

However, while the wide spread creates a nice carpet the long travel time makes it unsuited for snap shots. Also, single depth charges have neither the accuracy nor the power to be useful. This means using this weapon is best done in volume.

Tips for the Future Hedgehog User

This weapon is not suited for fast fights, it takes some planning and a measure of luck to use successfully.

The most suited situations seem to be:

  • Planting a carpet for foes to drive into, i.e. next to choke points. This should work especially well if teammates provide visual information about enemy movement so the player can time the charges.
  • Advance on unaware enemies and shower them with depth charges before they can react. Flanking and patience may be neccesary here.
  • Advancing in mortar cover or letting an enemy advance into your carpet. More daring, potentially exposing you to a lot of fire, enemies might be unaware of your ability and advance straight into your line of fire as they try to finish you off. Not advised unless the player is forced to.

Additional ideas / experiences welcome.

How to Avoid a Clumsy Death by Hedgehog

The dispenser is frontally mounted and can not turn. So long as the player watches for the orientation of the enemy boat and the grenades being launched, PTs and faster PGs can always evade towards either side. Bigger, slower boats may only evade being the victim by checking their surroundings for enemies, something they should be doing anyhow.

Rule of thumb: Bigger boats make for a harder to miss target, smaller boats need to be hit less to sink, so both need to watch out.

Currently, there seem to be 2 ships ingame with a Hedgehog. The british Clemson (L45) DD and the british River class (K-246).

There are also 2 boats on the U.S. tree with a similar launcher tool, the 110ft. SC-497 and the 165ft. PC-451. They have a mortar with 8 bomb mortars that seemto be the same type as in the hedgehog.

Again, additional ideas/experiences welcome.

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