Richelieu vs. South Dakota

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Richelieu vs. South Dakota

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:11 pm

It´s an interesting scenario. We tend to put axis ships vs. allied ships, but we can have allied vs. allied and test them. Richelieu is regarded, at least by Nathan Okun´s as one of the best armoured ships in the Atlantic Theatre. And South Dak is regarded as one of the great BBs of WWII. In our Battleship Top Ten List it stands only behind Yamato and Iowa.
It´s a fair engagement, I believe, both we equal Radar Fire Director.


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Re: Richelieu vs. South Dak

Post by Tiornu » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:08 pm

Only Yamato has deck protection that's significantly better than Richelieu's. However, we know from historical events that Richelieu's deck armor is penetrable by 2700-lb shells from as close as 25,000 yards.
Richelieu is well armed and very well armored. SoDak is well armored and extremely well armed.
The one disparity that stands out will be the frequency of hitting. Richelieu's guns are probably not faster than SoDak's, though problems with the quads might have been the sort of issue that a little experience might have cured. But Richelieu did not get delay coils for her guns until after the war, so SoDak with her one extra gun and more accurate fire appears to have the advantage.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:13 pm

Tiornu:
Only Yamato has deck protection that's significantly better than Richelieu's. However, we know from historical events that Richelieu's deck armor is penetrable by 2700-lb shells from as close as 25,000 yards.
Wait a minute... Is it there an inconsistent result from mathematical models vs. an historical fact? What I mean: Did the penetration formulas regard an armour to be safe against such a shell and, in reality, that shell DID pour thru the mentioned armour?

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Post by Nlneff » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:15 pm

In a pure BB vs BB engagement, South Dakota has the edge, her 16in guns make up the edge in protection that Richelieu has. However, in a general sense, Richelieu has operational advantages (better speed) and a better (trully remakable really) TDS amidships. These arent that relevant in a BB duel, but might make Richelieu the better ship overall, or a even match.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:32 pm

The 16" shells of South Dak are not Mark VII. With the Mark VI the USN vessel still have the edge?
Another thing, did the Richelieu quadruple mounts had the same problems the KGV class had? Or is just an assumption?
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Post by Tiornu » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:00 pm

I'm not familiar with Mk 6 or 7 shells. The US fast battleships used only Mk 8 shells throughout WWII.
Richelieu's quad problems were not like KGV's which resulted from several different issues. In the Dunkerques, the problem seems to have been a generally slow operation. The big quads were intended for a fairly high RoF with, I believe, any-angle loading. I don't think any-angle loading for big guns ever worked for anybody.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:35 pm

This is from a post wrote by Bgile some months ago:

This is from http://www.navweaps.com :

"The 46 cm/45 (18.1") cannons used on the Yamato class were the most powerful guns ever installed on a battleship. While closely matched by the USA 16"/50 Mark 7 at long ranges, in a short-range engagement this weapon had no equal. The muzzle blast is said to have been able to rip the clothes off personnel who were standing too close when the guns were fired, but this story is probably apocryphal. These guns were officially designated by the Japanese as "40 cm/45 Type 94" (15.9 inch) in an effort to hide their actual size, which was a closely-guarded secret until after the end of World War II."

I suggest further reading on this site; it's an excellent reference.
And this from turlock from the same thread:
The Iowa's immunity zone at 25 K yards would keep out the old 2240 pound AP shell of the Maryland class.
The Italian 15 inch was a quantum leap in muzzle energy over it's contemporaries, greatly surpassing the German weapon in energy. It outclassed the older 16 inch rifles on Rodney and Maryland. Unlike the earlier U.S. Mark 6 16 inch, the Iowa's Mark 7's were, and still are considered to be excellent naval rifles.
I believe there was a 16" Mark VII shell that was designed and used by the Iowa Class battleships.
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Post by marcelo_malara » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:51 pm

Mk VI and VII refers to the guns, not to the shells.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:06 pm

So... the South Dak and Iowa used the same shells? I was under the impression that those BBs used different shells also.
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Post by marcelo_malara » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:41 pm

Campbell lists both guns with 2700 lb shell. Aside form the weight, doesn´t specify if they are different in any other way.

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Post by Tiornu » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:42 pm

Of all the American WWII battleships, the only ones to use a different 16in AP shell were the Colorados. They stuck with the 2240-lb shell.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:43 pm

OK. So Tiornu is right about the Mk 8 shell. :oops: It was used, then, by the Iowa´s Mark VII naval gun.
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:46 pm

Hey! What about the combat between these two vessels?
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Post by foeth » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:12 am

Indeed, if a 2240 lbs and 2700 lbs shell meet, who'd win?

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:21 pm

This goes, so, in favor of South Dak. Objections?
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