http://www.eugeneleeslover.com/USNAVY/U ... v_1942.pdf
paul.mercer wrote:......at Casablanca.
I'm not familiar with that engagement, what actually happened?
The Jean Bart was tied to the pier in Casablanca Harbor. It was incomplete and immobile. It had one 15" turret installed with ammunition. At 0705 the Jean Bart opened fire on the American bombardment task group straddling some warships, and the Massachusetts replied from a range of 24,400 yards.
In the war diary you will notice that the Jean Bart was shrouded by a smoke screen throughout the engagements
. Massachusetts' spotter plane could not get close and could not see the target well. The radars of Massachusetts were knocked out by concussion of its own first salvos and were not operative thereafter. As a result the fire solutions against Jean Bart were very much a guess. Indeed the shooting was so wildly inaccurate (relative to Jean Bart) that the French didn't even know Massachusetts was firing at the Jean Bart for the first 30 minutes. The American captain writes in the war diary that he was getting rather 'annoyed" with his gunnery officer because he could not find the target. The range decreased to about 23200 yards after six minutes and then Massachusetts began to open up the range after changing course. One can also note that each time there was a significant change of course it ceased fire and reopened fire after settling in on the new course.
At 0717 Massachusetts divided the fire of its main battery between the El Hank shore battery and the Jean Bart, with turrets 1 and 2 firing at the French battleship and turret 3 firing at the shore battery.
The first damages caused to the French battleship came from USN dive bombers at 0718-according to the French narratives. They remained unaware that BB59 was even firing 16-inch shells at Jean Bart. Water tight integrity was breached from the bomb hits/near misses, and the French battleship took up a list and a trim.
At 0735 shells from the American battleship landed close enough for the French to take notice, with a salvo landing forward of the stem and a shell striking the wharf. Shell fragments from the Wharf "hit" peppered the Jean Bart. The range was about 28,000 yards.
At 0741 with the navigational range estimated at about 29,000 yards the Massachusetts ceased fire and changed course again to reduce range to both El Hank and Jean Bart. It opened fire on Jean Bart again at 0747
At 0803 the navigational range was back down to about 24,000 yards and the course was changed to start opening the range again.
At 0806 the first direct 16" hits were scored on Jean Bart. The forecastle and the main battery turret and also a barbet were hit, jamming the main battery turret. These shells were duds. The shell striking the barbet broke up. A piece from the broken shell passed through several compartments, killing the first officer.
According to the French, the last 16" hit scored occurred at 0810, which would have been from around 24,500 yards. This hit penetrated the main armoured deck and the splinter deck, finding its way to an empty magazine. This shell burst and caused additional flooding according to French narratives.
Recorded at 0811 the American spotter plane reported that they had observed some of Jean Bart's secondary turrets "firing." This probably confirms the shell burst in the secondary magazine.
Massachusetts continued to fire at both El Hank and the Jean Bart until 0833. The reason the captain wrote that they ceased fire was because they only had 40% total ammunition remaining.
They later used up an additional 5% of the ammunition against light forces and cruisers during additional combats. They expended a total 786 rounds of 16-inch during the day's battles. There were 84 rounds remaining for turret 1, 110 rounds for turret 2, and 99 rounds remaining for turret 3. There were 94 reserve rounds in turret 2 magazines as well. The record does not discriminate the types of 16" rounds.