Wow... apparently the forum ate up my 3 page reply
As I don't want to waste this beautiful day retyping it in full the key points were:
- You seem to think I have a greater appreciation for the French BBs than is otherwise the case.
- I am confused by the intent of your original scenario - If you want to compare hypothetically a fully finished KGV versus a fully finished Richelieu then speculation is necessary because Richelieu was never finished in French yards. If on the otherhand your goal is to compare a finsished and worked up KGV with the Richelieu as she was historically, who hadn't even finished her builder's trials then yes I would agree with you that KGV is likely to win. In that case my comments still stand that you can't use what happened as your sole evidence of poor design [b]without considering what was the result of her design versus what was the result of her being unfinished.
alecsandros wrote:I have already listed several of them, which you mostly chose to ignore or re-interpret. For instance: the damage inflicted on JB. From G&D it seems pretty clear the ship was severely flooded and structural damage was severe.
How is it ignoring and reinterpreting to point out that your statement:
Jean Bart's defensive scheme was defeated by 4x227kg bombs though it was designed to resist 450kg bombs.
was factually innacurate - 2 of the bombs were 454kg bombs and that you had implied 2 conclusions which I believe there is insufficient evidence to support - specifically a) that because she was damaged by the bombs her defensive scheme was "defeated" when none of the 4 bombs directly hit her defensive scheme much less penetrated it, and b) that she suffered substantially worse damage as a result of those hits than virtually any of her contemporaries (who had similarly soft ends) whould have IF they had been tested similarly.
My statement about 3 months to return her TO HER PRE-TORCH condition IF she had been given priority and IF reasonable resources were available is my own specualtion but based on Dumas' description of the damage together with what state her crew were able to repair her to with low priority, little resources, while simulataneously cannabilizing her for parts for her sister.
boredatwork wrote:The Richelieu was in the US from February 1943 to October 1943 - that's 8-9 months not 18.
In fact the Richelieu underwent about 3 years of repairs, though not only in the US:
1) in Dakar. (between Sep 1940 - Nov 1942, though the repairs were cumbersome due to lack of necessary material and facilities. Consequently they were not continous)
2) in the US (January 1943 - October 1943) - 8 months
3) in the UK (Nov 1943 - Jan 1944) - 3 months
TOTAL: ~ 2 years in Dakar + 11 months in US + UK.
In the context of your statement "Purely the amount of work involved hints to the fact that they were poorly constructed" I don't see how 2 years to do improvised temporary repairs with virtually no facilities, trained personel, or material is particularly evidence of poor construction. I'm not a mechanic. If my car was involved in a colision - I could spend 2 years tinkering with it in my garage and not come remotely close to fixing it. That doesn't mean it's necessarily a poorly designed or built car.
As for the rest you're counting transit time, working up time, and rounding months off as "repair time," making it seem longer than it was. She left Africa on January 29 after a brief trial period to ensure her machinery was in operating order. Some equipement was landed at this time. She didn't arrive in New York until February 11, and didn't begin modernization until February 24 - unless you count removal of her upper director as "modernization". She began firing trials in late August and went through intensive working up and training for the last 4 weeks prior to her departure on Oct 14. After a stop over in Africa for provisions she went north to Scapa Flow, not arriving till mid November. After being inspected she underwent a period of 6 weeks of intensive working up, during which a British fire control radar was installed localy by her own crew - ie NOT in a shipyard. After which she was pronounced fully ready for combat.
Less than a year to not only repair a ship, but actually complete her, run trials, iron out kinks where possible, bring her up to 1943 technology and train her crew is IMO a very credible achievement especially considering it was done in a shipyard to which she was far more foreign than the British ships repaired previously. Back to the Car analogy it would be like me bringing a Renault or Citroën to a Ford dealership and having them repair it. Ford has 100+ years of automobile experience and I'm sure they probably could fix it. The fact it would take them alot longer than fixing an equivalent Ford when the tools are different, the manuals are in French, parts have to be imported from France or improvised, their experience is lacking is not in and of itself an indication that Renault or Citroën cars are high or low quality.
From G&D Allied Battleships pg 97: "After her modernization in the US and subsequent changes in Great Britain to her radar and light AA, the Richelieu had much different characteristics than those she had when she left France in 1940".
No one is disputing that. What I'm arguing is all of the changes were fairly standard for any battleship of that period regardless of nationality and would have been likely done by France had she not been occupied therefore I don't think singling out the Richelieu because of exceptional circumstances having them done all at once is really fair:
She left France with many systems, including her ammunition hoists unfinished - she was finished in the US - You're obviously not suggesting that if France hadn't fallen that they couldn't have finished her there?
She left France with a defficient AA armament - is that any different than her contemporaries? Tirpitz, KGV, Yamato, Littorio, North Carolina all had substantial upgrades to their AA during the war - if France had remained free there's no evidence that Richelieu wouldn't have had her AA batteries upgraded gradually to something approximating her 1943 fit.
She left France without fire control radar - How many pre-war Battleships were designed with Radar at all? With British assistance in 1939-1940 France was developing her own Radar systems - who is to say that if the full resources of France were available Richelieu wouldn't have been priority for the first sets in development. Certainly she would have been no worse in that respect than NC or Yamato.
Yes her armament suffered from dispersion but the fix was relatively simple - that it took so long to implement is easily explained by her service history - no time for trials in 1940 - no shells to spare in 1943 and a finite life of gun barrels which could not be replaced - and finally no money and lack of trained crew post war.
To finish off my car analogy driving around a half finsihed Renault or Citroën before taking it to Ford and asking them to "fill in the blanks" is not necessarily indicative of the design's
quality compared to driving a car finished as intended by the people who designed it.
edit - damn... I wasted part of the beautiful day retyping it.