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Historical Info on Richelieu

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Was just reading some of the historical info on Richelieu which also covered some of the Warship projects and Treaties at the time so turned out to be more interesting than I had anticipated so decided to share it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richelieu-class_battleship

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An interesting history.

I spent an hour looking for pics of Ho Chi Minh's visit to the battleship Richelieu without success (I saw it in a film clip) when the French were deeply involved in Indochina as it was called then. He was bowing and very polite. Clearly the French wanted to Wowtm him on the ship and did not get the measure of the man at all...

... neither did the Americans later. A Marxist with a spine of steel.

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I smiled about the the part where France reacted so strongly to the Graf Spee and it’s sisters being built so France felt it needed something to counter the mix of speed, armor, and firepower since at least at the time what ever those “ Pocket Battleships” could not outfight they out ran. The fun thought did cross my mind that if the French reacted in the manner they did to a Pocket Battleship, imagine what they would have reacted with had they known the IJN was building Yamato Class...

It was interesting how the article included some of the naval invasions like Graf Spee project turning into Scharnhorst class, and then into Bismarck Class. And also how some of the other navies were reacting, can be hard tracking down in depth info on the Naval treaties and their effects so it was nice to find an article that includes some of it.

Edited by Admiral_Thrawn_1

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30 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I smiled about the the part where France reacted so strongly to the Graf Spee and it’s sisters being built so France felt it needed something to counter the mix of speed, armor, and firepower since at least at the time what ever those “ Pocket Battleships” could not outfight they out ran. The fun thought did cross my mind that if the French reacted in the manner they did to a Pocket Battleship, imagine what they would have reacted with had they known the IJN was building Yamato Class...

It was interesting how the article included some of the naval invasions like Graf Spee project turning into Scharnhorst class, and then into Bismarck Class. And also how some of the other navies were reacting, can be hard tracking down in depth info on the Naval treaties and their effects so it was nice to find an article that includes some of it.

It's not like the Yamato ever had the range to reach France.  Those Yamatos had a range of 7,200 nmi, and it's 14099 nmi to get to French waters sailing around the Cape of Good Hope from Tokyo.  Even if the Axis had the Suez Canal, the Yamato couldn't even make it to the Italian port of Taranto, which is 8858 nmi away from Japan.

Edited by Sventex

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Just now, Sventex said:

It's not like the Yamato ever had the range to reach France.  Those Yamatos had a range of 7,200 nmi, and it's 14099 nmi to get to French waters sailing around the Cape of Good Hope from Tokyo.

True unless some how it could fit through Suez Canal or something I doubt Yamato could do that. But Japan being one of the leading naval powers and the big thing for a nation back then was constantly trying to outdo the other nations in terms of naval power and particularly Battleship size and power. Even if IJN was not easily within reach of France the mere presence of such ships as Yamato has they been known would have gotten France thinking is what I meant.

Since if Japan had such ships that put them ahead of France and who was to say if other nations such as Germany would have them next, which Germany was trying to get H Class Battleships, they just rushed into war before getting to finish those.

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7 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

True unless some how it could fit through Suez Canal or something I doubt Yamato could do that. But Japan being one of the leading naval powers and the big thing for a nation back then was constantly trying to outdo the other nations in terms of naval power and particularly Battleship size and power. Even if IJN was not easily within reach of France the mere presence of such ships as Yamato has they been known would have gotten France thinking is what I meant.

Since if Japan had such ships that put them ahead of France and who was to say if other nations such as Germany would have them next, which Germany was trying to get H Class Battleships, they just rushed into war before getting to finish those.

Well France and Germany were neighbors, and Germany had twice the manpower and industry.  And it was evident in WWI that Germany had nearly starved to death because they couldn't get their merchant shipping, and while France suffered a whole host of problems with being invaded, food was not one of them.  The fact that they could get food, supplies and even American soldiers through the Atlantic onto French soil made all the difference, which meant they needed command and control of the seas.  When France learned the H Class Battleships had been laid down, they immediately order the Alsace Battleships to counter them.  To the French, Japan was only a threat to Indochina, and maybe New Caledonia which was rich in Chromium, which were trivial compared to the defense of the homeland.  Another thing to consider is that France was going through some hardships at the time, it couldn't afford to build the Dunkerques, but they built them anyway because they viewed commerce raiders as highly dangerous.

Edited by Sventex

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11 minutes ago, Sventex said:

Well France and Germany were neighbors, and Germany had twice the manpower and industry.  And it was evident in WWI that Germany had nearly starved to death because they couldn't get their merchant shipping, and while France suffered a whole host of problems with being invaded, food was not one of them.  The fact that they could get food, supplies and even American soldiers through the Atlantic onto French soil made all the difference, which meant they needed command and control of the seas.  When France learned the H Class Battleships had been laid down, they immediately order the Alsace Battleships to counter them.  To the French, Japan was only a threat to Indochina, and maybe New Caledonia which was rich in Chromium, which were trivial compared to the defense of the homeland.  Another thing to consider is that France was going through some hardships at the time, it couldn't afford to build the Dunkerques, but they built them anyway because they viewed commerce raiders as highly dangerous.

Yeah economic problems at the time resulted in poor morale and discipline in the French military which was major factor in contributing to their collapse when Germany invaded in WWII

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Very interesting, thanks for sharing @Admiral_Thrawn_1

Richelieu is such a pretty ship. She was so recent too. I love how everyone was like "make it longer, make it bigger, stronger!" and they made her right up to the Washington limit lol they weren't wasting a lb!

She is a beauty too. A strong and gorgeous French boat!

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20 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I smiled about the the part where France reacted so strongly to the Graf Spee and it’s sisters being built so France felt it needed something to counter the mix of speed, armor, and firepower since at least at the time what ever those “ Pocket Battleships” could not outfight they out ran. The fun thought did cross my mind that if the French reacted in the manner they did to a Pocket Battleship, imagine what they would have reacted with had they known the IJN was building Yamato Class...

It was interesting how the article included some of the naval invasions like Graf Spee project turning into Scharnhorst class, and then into Bismarck Class. And also how some of the other navies were reacting, can be hard tracking down in depth info on the Naval treaties and their effects so it was nice to find an article that includes some of it.

Navweaps has all the Naval treaties of the 1920s-30s under their historical section if you want to take a look.

As for France, their response in Dunkerque was hardly overkill. The Duetschland-class heavy cruisers ("pocket battleships") were not fast or well armored for a cruiser, but they were powerfully armed, and though any French cruiser could catch it, and their own heavy cruisers easily could overcome the armor of the Duetschlands, their own armor was not at all up to the task - thus the French thought it worthwhile to build a ship capable of running down these ships, being totally invulnerable to their guns, and easily able to overcome their armor from a great distance in a chase.

You can hardly blame them given no cruiser had the armor to withstand those guns, and none of their existing battleships could make much more than 21 knots...

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1 hour ago, Phoenix_jz said:

 

Navweaps has all the Naval treaties of the 1920s-30s under their historical section if you want to take a look.

As for France, their response in Dunkerque was hardly overkill. The Duetschland-class heavy cruisers ("pocket battleships") were not fast or well armored for a cruiser, but they were powerfully armed, and though any French cruiser could catch it, and their own heavy cruisers easily could overcome the armor of the Duetschlands, their own armor was not at all up to the task - thus the French thought it worthwhile to build a ship capable of running down these ships, being totally invulnerable to their guns, and easily able to overcome their armor from a great distance in a chase.

You can hardly blame them given no cruiser had the armor to withstand those guns, and none of their existing battleships could make much more than 21 knots...

Thanks I will have to look that up, I heard bits and peices here and there, but to get what led up to it, how it was sorted out, the various results affecting different countries and such all in one place has been the challenge since things got complicated in and around that time in history if you look at things across the board.

As far as pocket Battleships even with Graf Spee hull armor not withstanding heavy hits, I can see why French were worried since German gunnery was often accurate and if I remember correctly part of the problem with ships like Graf Spee is they could open fire and take you out before you even got into range to open fire yourself.

And I can agree the response to ships like Pocket Battleship is understandable. I just found it a little amusing how big of leap French took, but in war it is smart to not only counter what enemy has today, but also what the enemy is likely to come up with tomorrow and then try to top that when you build something to counter the new current threat.

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8 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

I just found it a little amusing how big of leap French took, but in war it is smart to not only counter what enemy has today, but also what the enemy is likely to come up with tomorrow and then try to top that when you build something to counter the new current threat.

Another thing to consider was that the last Battleship the French built was the Lorraine, commissioned way back in 1916.  In order to gain naval building experience, they needed to build a capital ship, because all those quad turret concepts were only paper at that point.  The Germans learned a lot from building their Pocket Battleships, and it wouldn't really have helped the French strategic situation if they had only built French Pocket Battleships in return. They already had a large submarine fleet for commerce raiding.

Edited by Sventex

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