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Schnitchelkid01_

IRL Tirpitz vs Post War Jean Bart

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So I have been thinking about the Richelieu and Jean Bart a lot lately and I wonder how effective they would have been in an engagement. I know this battle would be impossible in history but it is interesting to think about these kind of scenarios. I propose the following "what if" scenario. For this scenario, the weather does not affect anything at all in terms of the battle, the sea conditions are also perfect and both ships start the battle with all systems working in perfect order. In WoW the outcome favors the Jean Bart but in real life, I'm not sure which battleship would come out on top. The two contestants are The Tirpitz, with all late war AA and Torpedoes (Like that makes a difference in a 1 vs 1 engagement) and the Post War Jean Bart (the version in game). I really don't know who would end up on top what do you think?

image.png.64633ea5588edf673f9c8c3a457b8942.png

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My vote goes to the Tirpitz. Statistically speaking in my mind if both ships took pot shots at each other regardless of radar guidedfiring controls, I would bet on the Tirpitz because it has individual firing controls for fire and aft. Meaning that if the JB has the Tirpitz on the run and it took out the rear gun fire control systems, the Tirpitz would still have the front fire control active, and if the Germans hit the JB fire control systems... it would be [edited]. The JB was meant to our gun and catch up to the Tirpitz and use its frontal firepower, but including the seperations within the JB turret design, the firing control being only 1 director would be more of a risk if damaged. 

 

If in a a perfect world where the French could chase the Germans all day long, eventually they would prevail and close the range and control the engagement. But with the German fire control being superior to my knowledge, one good hit and the JB could be combat ineffective.

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I've made a topic that closely resembled this one, had a lot of interesting responses in it:

 

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As we are post war and assuming that Jean Bart is actually working (something, something, dispersion), she‘s gonna dominate.

As good as Tirpitz‘ fire control equipment was in 1943, she is trying to take on a ship that received most of its equipment in the 50s. Most importantly being radar equipment to offset the terrible optical rangefinders.

If we instead made a Tirpitz vs Richelieu in 1943, I‘d say Tirpitz since Richelieu‘s chance of actually hitting something are damn low.

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You're comparing a German BB which began service in 1941, to a post war French BB which didn't begin service until 1955. 

I'm going to give it to JB simply because many of her systems will be more advanced. Especially the radar which should in theory allow her to hit Tirpitz much more accurately. JB is also faster and can dictate the range, and chase down or disengage when she wants.

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5 hours ago, Schnitchelkid01_ said:

So I have been thinking about the Richelieu and Jean Bart a lot lately and I wonder how effective they would have been in an engagement. I know this battle would be impossible in history but it is interesting to think about these kind of scenarios. I propose the following "what if" scenario. For this scenario, the weather does not affect anything at all in terms of the battle, the sea conditions are also perfect and both ships start the battle with all systems working in perfect order. In WoW the outcome favors the Jean Bart but in real life, I'm not sure which battleship would come out on top. The two contestants are The Tirpitz, with all late war AA and Torpedoes (Like that makes a difference in a 1 vs 1 engagement) and the Post War Jean Bart (the version in game). I really don't know who would end up on top what do you think?

image.png.64633ea5588edf673f9c8c3a457b8942.png

image.thumb.png.e0bd1b079df47ddf5e526ee8fcb7360d.png

 


5 hours ago, Thunder_GP said:

My vote goes to the Tirpitz. Statistically speaking in my mind if both ships took pot shots at each other regardless of radar guidedfiring controls, I would bet on the Tirpitz because it has individual firing controls for fire and aft. Meaning that if the JB has the Tirpitz on the run and it took out the rear gun fire control systems, the Tirpitz would still have the front fire control active, and if the Germans hit the JB fire control systems... it would be [edited]. The JB was meant to our gun and catch up to the Tirpitz and use its frontal firepower, but including the seperations within the JB turret design, the firing control being only 1 director would be more of a risk if damaged. 

 

If in a a perfect world where the French could chase the Germans all day long, eventually they would prevail and close the range and control the engagement. But with the German fire control being superior to my knowledge, one good hit and the JB could be combat ineffective.


3 hours ago, SireneRacker said:

As we are post war and assuming that Jean Bart is actually working (something, something, dispersion), she‘s gonna dominate.

As good as Tirpitz‘ fire control equipment was in 1943, she is trying to take on a ship that received most of its equipment in the 50s. Most importantly being radar equipment to offset the terrible optical rangefinders.

If we instead made a Tirpitz vs Richelieu in 1943, I‘d say Tirpitz since Richelieu‘s chance of actually hitting something are damn low.


1 hour ago, Super_Dreadnought said:

You're comparing a German BB which began service in 1941, to a post war French BB which didn't begin service until 1955. 

I'm going to give it to JB simply because many of her systems will be more advanced. Especially the radar which should in theory allow her to hit Tirpitz much more accurately. JB is also faster and can dictate the range, and chase down or disengage when she wants.

:Smile_great:Hmm  Wouldn't range have something to do with too? I mean if  JB  let Tirpitz get close or Vica Versa? And remember not sure whether JB  had torps like Tirpitz  did  however that's a factor as well.......................All in All I would say  just as in the both RNG  and who surprised who would play a big factor in how things turned out🤷 

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1 hour ago, shadowsrmine said:

:Smile_great:Hmm  Wouldn't range have something to do with too? I mean if  JB  let Tirpitz get close or Vica Versa? And remember not sure whether JB  had torps like Tirpitz  did  however that's a factor as well.......................All in All I would say  just as in the both RNG  and who surprised who would play a big factor in how things turned out🤷  

A typical BB vs BB engagement on open water would take place at around 25km. Can be more, but can also be drastically less.

At that range Jean Bart won't struggle to get through Tirpitz' belt (though the turtleback is a different matter) and the deck will be a challenge due to the armor scheme as well. Turrets and barbettes and such will obviously be penetrated as well.

Tirpitz at the same time will penetrate Jean Bart's belt, the internal belts should stop her shells though. Deck armor is a no-go, as are Jean Bart's barbettes and turrets.

So that leaves Tirpitz with being at a disadvantage in regards to shell vs armor, though Tirpitz will likely throw more shells per minute. Fire control being a factor that mainly depends on the time of the engagement. Post war it's Jean Bart no doubt, if it's WW2 then the Germans hold the edge here.

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12 hours ago, Schnitchelkid01_ said:

IRL Tirpitz vs Post War Jean Bart

I have been thinking about the Richelieu and Jean Bart a lot lately and I wonder how effective they would have been in an engagement. I know this battle would be impossible in history but it is interesting to think about these kind of scenarios. I propose the following "what if" scenario. For this scenario, the weather does not affect anything at all in terms of the battle, the sea conditions are also perfect and both ships start the battle with all systems working in perfect order. In WoW the outcome favors the Jean Bart but in real life, I'm not sure which battleship would come out on top. The two contestants are The Tirpitz, with all late war AA and Torpedoes (Like that makes a difference in a 1 vs 1 engagement) and the Post War Jean Bart (the version in game). I really don't know who would end up on top what do you think?

The biggest problem you run into with the Jean Bart is that she was never fully manned, with Turret #1 being mothballed and Turret #2 being partially mothballed but reactivated during the Suez Crisis.  So if Jean Bart suddenly had to duel a battleship, she'd only have one activated turret and have at tops, 1,200 crew members of the 1,500 needed to fully man the Battleship.

The other biggest problem you run into with the Jean Bart is that her radar suites were continuously upgraded post-war, meaning that even with just turret #2, she's be able to utterly destroy Tirpitz in a night battle with Tirpitz barely able to reply.

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Two comparable designs but one with early 1950s radar and the other with early 1940s sets? Jean Bart would probably mop the floor with Tirpitz unless Tirpitz gets a theoretical upgrade.

Jean Bart also has far-superior AAA compared to whats on Tirpitz so in a task group its going to be much more useful.

 

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 6:05 AM, Super_Dreadnought said:

You're comparing a German BB which began service in 1941, to a post war French BB which didn't begin service until 1955. 

Technically, they are both late 30s, early 40s designed BBs.

Jean Bart did not get into service until the 50s due to WW2 and getting shelled by the Massachusetts. All the 1950s did was add improved AA and secondary guns, as well as put in 1950s radar. The structure of the Jean Bart, her design and armor, is still 1940s.

 

16 hours ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Two comparable designs but one with early 1950s radar and the other with early 1940s sets? Jean Bart would probably mop the floor with Tirpitz unless Tirpitz gets a theoretical upgrade.

Jean Bart also has far-superior AAA compared to whats on Tirpitz so in a task group its going to be much more useful.

Another thing to factor in: South Dakota, a modern US BB, basically got knocked out of Guadalcanal when her electronics were taken out.

How good were the electronics on the Jean Bart? Could they withstand the ships own guns blasting away in a combat situation? 

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Well, on the one hand I'd say Tirpitz, since she was at least fully operational at one point in her life, while Jean Bart never had more than a single turret active.

However, that's hardly a fair shake, so I'll assume both ships are fully operational. In that case, I'd favor Jean Bart, or at least that's what my gut tells me. However... not everything is as it seems sometimes, so I'm curious to see how they compare as battleships.

 

First off - the 'guns on armor'.

Jean Bart has some thiCC deck armor - 170mm over the magazines, 150mm over the machinery spaces, with a 40mm splinter deck below it. The magazine deck will resist the German 38cm shell out to a range of about 34,000 yards, and the machinery around 33,000 yards. The main armor deck, 330mm inclined at 15.24°, will reject said AP at ranges of 26,000 yards or greater - so JB gets a decent IZ of 7,000 to 8,000 yards against Bismarck. Her main battery turrets have 430mm faces (23,000 yards), and the roof plates keep it about as safe as the magazines. The forward bulkhead will keep you safe at about 28,000 yards or more. Assuming the French battleship gives a 30° angle of approach, that would reduce the range of the belt to be penetrated to about 22,000 yards for the main armor belt and 8,000 yards for the forward bulkhead.

Tirpitz's main armor belt (315mm) can be penetrated out to 33,000 yards (28,000 at a 30° angle), but most likely the turtleback can't be penetrated at all. The armor deck (50mm + 100/80mm), roughly - 26,000 yards for the machinery, 30,000 yards for the magazines. Turret faceplates (360mm) are safe past 28,000 yards, the roof is pretty much immune... but the classic weakness that is the frontal slope can be penetrated at any range.

There is no real immune zone, but Tirpitz really wants to be within 26,000 yards (24 km) to be safe from plunging fire.

 

Considering that our clash is likely a North Sea/North Atlantic clash, maximum practical range is probably 25,000-26,000 yards (23-24 km). This favors Bismarck heavily, since it means plunging fire isn't likely.

 

 


 

Tirpitz is pretty capable of slamming out 2 rounds per minute per gun if needed, and Jean Bart is barely behind - a minimum firing cycle of 32 seconds, and can load at any angle up to +15° - aka, good for any range out to 25,000 meters. At practical ranges, you're unlike to pass 35 seconds, so RoF can be expected to be, best-case scenario, 1.7 to 1.875 rpm.

Damaging ability of the shells isn't that different, but Jean Bart carries a not-so-slight edge due to her shells being about 10% heavier with a slightly greater bursting charge, and afaik didn't have the chronic dud issue that German APC shells suffered from during WWII.

In terms of getting rounds on target... well, I'm not sure what to make of it. I lack data on the computers of both ships - Tirpitz was equipped with the C/38S, which was based on Scharnhorst's C/35, which was in turn based on the RM Type-1. Jordan & Dumas, in their book on modern French battleships, literally don't even name the fire control computers when describing the Richelieu-class, and nor do they say if they changed from what was used on the Dunkerque-class. That being said, they do describe the Dunkerque's system as being an enlarged version of the heavy cruiser fire control computer (Mle 1923), which gives some context assuming the Richelieu-class's fire control computer is similar to Dunkerque's. For Jean Bart specifically, they describe an Mle 1937 computer, which may be the name of what the Richelieu-class was supposed to be equipped with. Unfortunately, since I don't have much in the way of information on how they were modified... but if we compare the base system, I think Bismarck carries the edge. As far as rangefinding goes, Jean Bart is running around with hugefck 14-meter stereoscopic triplex monstrosities in the directors, and 14.2-meter stereoscopic quadruplex rangefinders in her main battery turrets. Tirpitz had 10.5-meter stereoscopic rangefinders in her directors and main battery turrets sans 'A' turret. These were excellent rangefinders for their size, easily competitive with the French 12-meter pre-war models, but post-war 14-meter models... I would have to default to assuming the French optical rangefinding abilities are superior, even if we take the questionable quality of the pre-war models into account.

As far as radar-controlled gunnery goes... that's actually a hard one to answer. Tirpitz is a known value - she had the FuMO 26 in her most advanced incarnation, an 8 kW, 82cm set with an effective range against battleships of 25,000 meters. Accuracy in range was ±70 meters, accuracy in bearing was ±0.25(or ±109 meters at 25 km). On the other hand... Jean Bart's DRBC-10A, I have no data on. All I know is that it was effective out to 25,000 meters - which seems kind of odd for a radar of it's era, since there were sets from the 1940s with considerably greater effective range. Perhaps the set is not as strong as one might imagine?

All in all, I'm not actually sure if Jean Bart has a major edge in fire control at all. It's worth noting that she lacks RPC for the main battery (Tirpitz has RPC for elevation), and her guns aren't as accurate - even with delay coils in 1948 Richelieu was getting patterns of up 577 meters at 25,000 meters, which is considerably worse than what German curves give for their own 38cm gun.


 

When it comes down to an actual fight - it's note as one-sided as one might think. 

 

Jean Bart carries a significant edge in that her deck armor effectively laughs at at the German 38cm gun - metallurgy aside, the armor scheme of the French battleships was excellent - and her main battery is very well protected. Her gun arrangement and tough frontal bulkhead makes it very easy for her to close on Tirpitz while keeping a moderate angle that will do much to frustrate the German guns.  After a certain point, the range will get close enough that the heavy armor will stop mattering - but by that point the tight ought to be decided.

Tirpitz's armor doesn't hold up as well. I mean, obvious advantage is obvious - that turtleback is keeping her citadel quite safe. However, the disadvantage of the turtleback does bite hard - Jean Bart's shells will plow though the main armor belt, upper belt, upper deck, turrets, and barbettes without much issue at the ranges they'll be fighting (while the opposite isn't true). There won't be much of a ship left around the citadel to fight if these battleships get close. 

However, that whole hitting the target thing matters a lot too, and unless Tirpitz  decides to hide her aft guns in a dash to get to brawling ranges, I'm not sure Jean Bart carries a huge advantage. Her fire control radar is a big question mark, and with an effective range of 25,000 meters I'm not prepared to say it's decisively better than the FuMO 26 (as in, enough to swing the battle). That, combined with the general inconsistency of the shell dispersion for the 380/45... I wouldn't be shocked if Tirptiz starts hitting first - and that could mean a lot. Jean Bart only has two main battery turrets. A single hit - like at Casablanca - could easily jam or disable a turret, instantly halving her firepower... and four guns is too few for effective optical fire control, so it's got more sting than simply losing firepower.

 

All in all, I do think Jean Bart has the edge here. She may (or may not) have a harder time hitting than Tirpitz, but at the end of the day she has a very tough armor layout (especially when considering main battery protection), and her guns hit a lot harder than the German 38cm. She carries more of the advantages, so I think she wins this fight more often than not. However, she also has several disadvantages - like the concentration of her guns in two turrets - so there are elements that exist to easily swing the battle in the favor of the German battleship.

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It was mentioned tangentially above, but I also think you'd have to gauge the quality of the crew at a given time. At no point in World War II did the French Navy really demonstrate an iota of competence (to be fair, handcuffed by politicians), but one has note that if the crew of Tirpitz performed at the level of the Bismarck (granted that was under a terrific captain in Lindemann), I think that's a significant advantage. Despite the lack of gunnery hits in the final battle, all accounts were that Bismarck's crew performed admirably at damage control and the gunnery control at Denmark Straits was...good. 

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12 hours ago, Equus_Pallidus said:

It was mentioned tangentially above, but I also think you'd have to gauge the quality of the crew at a given time. At no point in World War II did the French Navy really demonstrate an iota of competence (to be fair, handcuffed by politicians), but one has note that if the crew of Tirpitz performed at the level of the Bismarck (granted that was under a terrific captain in Lindemann), I think that's a significant advantage. Despite the lack of gunnery hits in the final battle, all accounts were that Bismarck's crew performed admirably at damage control and the gunnery control at Denmark Straits was...good. 

:Smile_great:Or the French politician,Bureaucracy and for that matter army? :Smile_facepalm:Then again that does seem typical  of any Politician or Bureaucrat doesn't it?

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14 hours ago, Equus_Pallidus said:

It was mentioned tangentially above, but I also think you'd have to gauge the quality of the crew at a given time. At no point in World War II did the French Navy really demonstrate an iota of competence (to be fair, handcuffed by politicians), but one has note that if the crew of Tirpitz performed at the level of the Bismarck (granted that was under a terrific captain in Lindemann), I think that's a significant advantage. Despite the lack of gunnery hits in the final battle, all accounts were that Bismarck's crew performed admirably at damage control and the gunnery control at Denmark Straits was...good. 

Unfortunately, it's hard to fairly compare these ships under some circumstances.

 

For example, 'ultimate' Tirpitz, with all wartime upgrades (including the FuMO 27) is technically a cripple since September 1943 - by the time she had received her FuMO 26, for example (June 1944), when was the last time she had actually put to sea and fired her main guns? iirc it was for Operation Zitronella a year prior?

On the flip side post-war Jean Bart could never even claim to be fully operational or manned, with one of her main battery turrets in permanent mothball her entire career (and over half her secondary and AA guns not operational).

 

Taking into account historical readiness and how much experience the crew got historically at operating their ship... the result is a battle between a man with broken legs versus a man with one arm.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Taking into account historical readiness and how much experience the crew got historically at operating their ship... the result is a battle between a man with broken legs versus a man with one arm.

This is both funny and sad at the same time :Smile_trollface:

The more I think about it, it just gets more funny :Smile_teethhappy:

The reality of watching two cripples fight with no real experience between the two.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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