The belt was also decreased in thickness from 360 mm to 330 mm (though the angle of inclination was increased to compensate for the reduction); coupled with minor reductions in armor elsewhere in the ship, these changes offset the weight of the 152 mm battery and brought the displacement within Washington limits. Since the automatic 37 mm guns were not available, eight 37 mm Mle 1925 semi-automatic guns in four twin mounts were added. Germany didn't. They were 242 m (794 ft) long between perpendiculars and were 247.85 m (813 ft 2 in) long overall. [12], The ships were armed with eight 380 mm/45 Modèle (Mle) 1935 guns arranged in two quadruple gun turrets,[a] which were placed in a superfiring pair forward of the superstructure. Richelieu stopped in Aden for repairs to the boiler tubes, but the problem was not corrected. i'm back with the ship battles so just sit back and relax and enjoy the bismarck and washington go head to head. She returned to Trincomalee on 16 September before getting underway again on 27 September, bound for Indochina. Another refit followed from October 1953 to February 1954. The Dunkerques carried their armament in two quadruple gun turrets arrayed in a superfiring pair forward of the superstructure, and the designers experimented with other arrangements, including combinations of triple and twin turrets, but the need to minimize the length of the armor belt (and thus its weight) necessitated the Dunkerque layout. In the early 1930s, the French Navy began construction of the two small Dunkerque-class battleships in response to the German Deutschland-class cruisers. [20][29][30], From 29 September, the battlecruiser HMS Renown and escorting destroyers were detached from Force H to patrol off Dakar, as the British believed Richelieu would be transferred to metropolitan France for repairs. The Italian ships were to be armed with nine 381 mm (15 in) guns, significantly more powerful than t… These were arranged with two abreast the superfiring turret, two on either side of the forward tower, another two per side of the aft tower, and the remaining four on the quarterdeck, where the aircraft catapults had been. The secondary turrets received thicker armor protection as compensation for the reduction in number of guns, though the increases were limited by the power of the motors that operated the turrets. She thereafter operated in French Indochina as part of the initial effort to restore French colonial rule. Two of her fire control directors were knocked off their tracks, the starboard propeller shafts were bent, and the blast caused significant flooding. Vice-Amiral François Darlan, who had by now replaced Durand-Viel as Chief of Staff, issued a request for studies on 2 December 1937 with the requirements that the proposals be based on the Richelieu design, armed with eight or nine 380 mm guns in quadruple or triple turrets, equipped with a secondary battery of 152 mm or 130 mm dual-purpose guns or a mixed battery of 152 mm and 100 mm guns, and with armor on the same scale as Richelieu. The Italian ships were to be armed with nine 381 mm (15 in) guns, significantly more powerful than the eight 330 mm (13 in) guns of the French ships. Though permitted to build two battleships after 1927, French naval planners were more concerned with cruisers. There were no buyers, so the navy refloated the vessel to clear the harbor bottom and while under tow it broke in half and sank again. The plan called for Richelieu, Valiant, Queen Elizabeth, and Renown, supported by cruisers, to shell the port at longer range while the Dutch cruiser Tromp led a group of destroyers in a close-range attack. Anti-torpedo nets were set up around the vessel, which had taken on some 2,400 t (2,400 long tons) of water and at low tide rested on the harbor bottom. [17], Workers in the local shipyard scavenged metal from other ships in the harbor to fabricate an 11.5 m (38 ft) square patch to cover the torpedo hole, which was planned to be installed by 10 September. Built as a response to the Italian Littorio class, the Richelieus were based on their immediate predecessors of the Dunkerque class with the same unconventional arrangement that grouped their main battery forward in two quadruple gun turrets. Salvors eventually purchased the wreck on 1 August 1951. While the French preparations were ongoing, the British sent a motorboat from Milford to drop four depth charges under Richelieu's stern to disable her screws, though this attempt failed. French naval history of WWII isn't that popular. Richelieu was accordingly placed in reserve on 1 April 1949. [31], Repair work resumed immediately. Additional fire control directors were installed for the new guns. Work on the design proceeded quickly, and on 14 August, the navy placed orders for the first two ships, Richelieu and Jean Bart. The World Affairs Board is the premier forum for the discussion of the pressing geopolitical issues of our time. [7][10], The propulsion system was rated for a total of 155,000 shaft horsepower (116,000 kW) and yielded a maximum speed of 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph), though with forced draft up to 175,000 shp (130,000 kW) was expected—on trials, Richelieu achieved 179,000 shp (133,000 kW) for 32.63 kn (60.43 km/h; 37.55 mph) for a brief period. France used the Anglo-German Naval Agreement, which Britain had unilaterally signed with Germany in June 1935 to dismiss British objections to the new ship, though they nevertheless slowed construction of Richelieu to ease British concerns. [33], The United States Navy sent a group to evaluate the ships under Darlan's control to determine which should be modernized in the United States. The hangar would have to be shortened to accommodate the centerline arrangement of the 152 mm guns, but the hangar would also be widened to allow two aircraft to be stored side by side, thus preserving the same complement as Richelieu. The French sought to deploy an independent task force consisting of Richelieu, the four light cruisers still in service, and four destroyers, with a view toward reestablishing French control in Indochina. *Cover: Richelieu at sea in 1944 (as seen by the AA on the bridge and dark paint of the bridge). So realistically speaking the victor woyld be whicher ship could more rapidly score a telling hit. Vice-Amiral (Vice Admiral) Georges Durand-Viel, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy, favored using the basic Dunkerque design, scaled up to account for the increases in displacement, armament, and armor, to reduce the amount of time needed to design the ship. Her crew numbered 1,569 officers and men. The British and Free French withdrew to regroup for another attack the next day. Two superfired over the forward main battery turret and the third superfired aft. [8][9], On 25 June, Marzin received word that the French government had signed the Armistice with Germany. American 6-inch/47 Mk 16 shells were used as a starting point to supply the 152 mm guns, as they were the same caliber and required relatively minor modifications for use in the French weapons. Next astern was a second boiler room, followed by a second engine room, which powered the inner pair of screws. The number of triple 152 mm turrets was reduced to four, with two amidships wing turrets and two turrets on the centerline aft of the superstructure. The bombardments carried out earlier in the year had revealed excessive dispersion of the main battery shells, particularly if both guns on one side of the turret were fired at the same time. The turrets allowed elevation to 35 degrees, which provided a maximum range of 41,500 m (136,200 ft); the guns could depress to -5 degrees. The new ships would be built to the maximum Washington limits: 35,000 tons displacement and a battery of eight guns of either 380 mm or 406 mm. After completing the refit, the ship underwent trials in November that involved firing nine rounds per gun from the main battery; this would be the last time Richelieu fired the 380 mm guns. Only HMS Hood, and the two Renow… - Littorio class versus everything in all battles (0 hits at all ranges) - West Virginia vs Yamashiro (93 shells fired in 16 salvos at 22,000 yards for 5 salvo hits, a 31% hit prob.) Bethlehem Steel fabricated a replacement that was installed in June. My friends and I were playing a WWII naval wargame featuring the battleships of Japan vs. the battleships of the rest of the world so far ... using sh We've ... USS Iowa, USS Colorado, HMS Nelson, HMS Warspite, Richelieu, Bismarck, Littorio/Italia, Roma, Gangut/October Revolution Who do think would win? Behind this compartment there was a bulkhead that was 18 mm (0.71 in) thick; the compartment created between this bulkhead and the ébonite mousse was used to store fuel oil in peacetime, but was kept empty in combat conditions. Japanese aircraft attacked the fleet as it withdrew, but they were kept at bay by the carriers' fighters and heavy anti-aircraft fire from the ships. All four screws had four blades and were 4.88 m (16 ft) in diameter. [2], Initial studies by the design staff quickly demonstrated that a battery of 406 mm guns would be impossible if the other characteristics would be fulfilled within the allotted displacement. [61] Allied bombers sank the hulk on 27 August 1944 and after the war, the navy placed the wreck for sale on 23 February 1948. The compound was also used in compartments on either end of transverse bulkheads to ensure that the central citadel remained watertight. Richelieu was laid down in 1935 and was launched in 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe. First, three of the eight main battery guns had to be replaced, which required removing the turret roof. Testing determined the cause of the shell dispersion issue and modifications were made to the turrets to delay the outer guns by 60 milliseconds, which corrected the problem. She departed on 29 December and arrived in Toulon on 11 February 1946, thereafter taking part in the transport effort to send French soldiers back from France to North Africa. The ship returned to France for a refit in late 1944 that also included installation of more advanced radar sets. Renamed Q432, she was condemned on 16 January 1968 and sold to the Genoa-based ship breaker Cantieri Navali Santa Maria in September. The first post-World War I battleship of the French Navy, Dunkerque, was ordered in 1932. Early on 11 April, the two battleships, one of the cruisers, and three destroyers bombarded the island while the other vessels conducted the reconnaissance operation. Further inboard, a 30 mm (1.2 in) torpedo bulkhead would contain the blast effects of a torpedo or mine detonation. Close range anti-aircraft defense was provided by a battery of eight 37 mm (1.5 in) guns in twin mounts and twenty 13.2 mm (0.52 in) machine guns in four quadruple and two twin mounts. Src: … As a result, the boiler tubes quickly became fouled and caused overheating. The secondary guns were readied for action ten days later, but they lacked a director capable of tracking aerial targets, so they could be used against surface ships only. The match of interest is the Bismarck class, which had similar main armament to Vanguard, though a generation newer and with a higher rate of fire on paper. The French coastal batteries hit several of the cruisers and destroyers, but Richelieu was moored facing north, which prevented her from taking part in the initial duel. Richelieu was an excellent ship, but she didn't really do much. Parts of the crew were dispersed for other tasks: 106 were sent to man the armed merchant cruisers in the harbor, whose reservist crews had to be demobilized, and the 64-man crew of the forward gun turret were sent to man the coastal battery at Cap Manuel. [45][46], While in Casablanca, the French attempted to prepare the ship for action as much as was possible in light of limited infrastructure and the lack of many necessary parts to complete the vessel. At 09:25, the British disengaged to cover Resolution's withdrawal. [22], The most significant change to the design for Clemenceau was to the arrangement of the secondary and anti-aircraft batteries. The main diesel generators were housed in their own compartment between the magazines for the main battery turrets, and they were only used while in port. After further carrier operations around Padang, the fleet returned to port on 20 April. The purpose of the attack was to again distract the Japanese fleet units in Singapore while American forces embarked on Operation Forager, the invasion of the Marianas Islands. The Richelieus were based on the preceding Dunkerque class, but scaled up to accommodate more powerful 380 mm (15 in) guns and armor to protect them from guns of the same caliber. It also allowed all-around fire for the main and secondary batteries, as opposed to the other designs that had a fairly wide blind arc astern for the main guns. The story of the chase and the sinking of the Bismarck is as epic as the Troyan war. [27][28], As the British approached on the morning of 25 September, Marzin decided to engage Barham with his main battery and Resolution with his 152 mm guns. After the war, Richelieu took part in the initial campaign to restore control of French Indochina before returning to France, where she saw limited activity into the early 1950s. [16], The ships' belt armor was 327 mm (12.9 in) thick amidships where it covered the machinery spaces and ammunition magazines; it was capped on either end by transverse bulkheads that were 355 mm (14.0 in) thick forward and 233 mm (9.2 in) aft. [48][49], The next major operation conducted by the Eastern Fleet, Operation Transom, was timed to coincide with American operations in the Central Pacific to keep the attention of the Japanese fleet based in Singapore focused away from the American fleet. These proposals presented several problems: first, the anti-aircraft guns were sensitive to blast effects from the main and secondary batteries, which would require additional space that was not available, and second, the Project 1 design was already overweight, and the added guns would increase displacement even further. Nine were placed on the forecastle aft of the breakwater, four were mounted on the superfiring turret, nine were placed on the former aircraft hangar, with the rest dispersed around the superstructure, including on the towers and the shelter deck. The next morning, after engaging the American heavy cruiser Augusta at long range, Jean Bart came under heavy air attack from American dive bombers and was badly damaged by a pair of 1,000-pound (450 kg) bombs. The 130 mm dual-purpose guns used on the Dunkerques were proving to be troublesome in service, and the command wanted to determine whether the arrangement would be suitable for future construction. Work on the ship was completed on 15 June 1940, days before France surrendered to Germany after the Battle of France. With that completed, she steamed north to Cherbourg, arriving to be dry-docked on 16 March. From the French perspective, if Britain would cavalierly strengthen France's enemy, the French would similarly disregard their own treaty obligations in favor of self defense. Richelieu arrived in port on 18 May. These guns were supplemented with fifty 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons, all in individual or twin mounts. Her anti-aircraft armament was slowly strengthened as guns became available and a search radar was fitted in 1942. The first, during Operation Catapult in July 1940, centered on attacks by Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers that scored one torpedo hit but did not do serious damage. The German battleship Bismarck and her sister-ship Tirpitz were the largest warships of their type to be constructed in Europe. With a full load of fuel and cruising at a speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), the ships could steam for 9,500 nautical miles (17,600 km; 10,900 mi). She remained, unused, in the French Navy's inventory until 1970 when she was struck from the naval register and sold for scrap. [67][68], Immediately after the surrender of Japan, French and British forces began their attempts to reassert control in their Japanese-occupied colonies. After completing the overhaul and modernization, the ship served with the British Home Fleet in early 1944; there, she served as part of the force guarding against the German battleship Tirpitz that threatened the convoy lanes to the Soviet Union. [6], With German troops advancing across France by mid-June, the Navy decided to evacuate Richelieu to Dakar in French West Africa; while earlier plans had been to send the fleet to British ports to continue the war, when the possibility of a negotiated armistice arose, the government decided that the fleet would be a useful bargaining chip. Germany didn't. They were scaled up to accommodate a much more powerful main battery of eight 380 mm (15 in) guns (compared to the 330 mm (13 in) guns of the Dunkerques), with increased armor to protect them from guns of the same caliber. Admiral Laurence E. Power, who had replaced Somerville as the fleet commander, detached Richelieu for a refit. In its place, the radome for the SF surface search radar was installed, along with the mattress antenna for the SA-2 air search radar; these were short-range sets that had been designed for small craft, the SA-2 intended for PT boats. By this time, the modern elements of the Eastern Fleet had been detached to form the British Pacific Fleet, with the Eastern Fleet being renamed the East Indies Fleet. Apr 16, 2017 - Dot TK is the only top level domain name registry that provides free domain names. Two ships were authorized on 2 May 1938 under the names Clemenceau and Gascogne. Richelieu was not hit and, from 12:56, she fired guns 5 and 6 at the British cruisers, quickly straddling one of them and convincing them to disengage. Richelieu fired seven salvos with her main battery and used her secondary guns to once again silence the coastal battery on the island. Her career proved to be a short one, and she was placed in reserve in 1957. These were the same guns that had been adopted for Richelieu during construction, but the mounts were new, fully enclosed gun turrets compared to the open mounts aboard the earlier vessel. Richelieu arrived on 18 July and work lasted from 31 July to 10 August. Only three aircraft could be stored with this system, however: two in the hangar and one on the catapult. As a result, the former would retain the basic Richelieu layout, while the latter would adopt an arrangement with one main battery turret shifted aft. It's the first name that comes up in my mind when I hear "battleship". Both vessels fled to French colonies in Africa: Richelieu steamed to Dakar and Jean Bart went to Casablanca. Quickly identified as a threat by the Royal Navy, efforts to track Bismarck were underway after its commissioning … A small party of Free French troops sent to rally the port to de Gaulle was repulsed with machine-gun fire and Richelieu's 100 mm guns fired warning shots toward the Free French aviso Savorgnan de Brazza shortly after 07:00. A repeat sweep was to have taken place at the end of the month, but two of the escorting destroyers collided while leaving Scapa Flow, leading to a postponement that became permanent as a result of bad weather. While the British battleships were turning to unmask their rear guns, the submarine Bévéziers torpedoed and badly damaged Resolution. These ships, designated Force 60, sortied on 19 June and two days later, Illustrious' aircraft struck Japanese targets in the port. 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