Dave Saxton wrote:The Dunkerque had a sloped belt while the Alaska didn't. Even if the French face hardened armour was as poor quality as American Class A, it should provide protection down to about 20,000 yards against the the 12"/50. The French deck armour should provide protection against the Alaska's 12" out to about 32,000 yards.... assuming it's quality was up to par.
The French homogeneous armour might be a wild card though. German engineers who examined incomplete French construction stated that the French armour quality was very, very, poor, and we also have Massachusetts's 16-inch shell defeating the Jean Bart's deck protection at a range that it should not have at Casablanca.
I agree that the Alaska's shooting will probably be better, given the French didn't have radar ranging and in addition to the dispersion problems. Nonetheless, the Alaska was much more vulnerable to a few hits than the Dunkerque was.
paul.mercer wrote:......at Casablanca.
I'm not familiar with that engagement, what actually happened?
Dave Saxton wrote:"As for the 33 degree entry angle, assuming it is accurate, we must remember that Jean Bart had a list and a trim from 0718 hours."
paul.mercer wrote:I believe that this was not the first time a US BB lost her radar through concussion (was it Washington?), it seems to be very fragile.
APDanno wrote:I don't disagree with any of the points you've made but I do feel that you may have overlooked a few others. While it is true that Dunkquerke's 13/50 was able to penetrate Alaska's belt to 30000 yds., Alaska's 12/50 was also able to penetrate Dunkquerke's belt past 30k as well. Dunkquerke had an appreciable advantage in maximum gun range, but conversely Alaska's speed advantage should have allowed her to more or less control the terms of engagement. And additionally, Dunkquerke suffered from excessive dispersion from her battery arrangement, a problem which was somewhat repeated in the later Richelieu class. I'm inclined o think that with her advantages in fire control and general accuracy combined with the ability to dictate engagement Alaska would be able to gain the upper hand in fairly short order.
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