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The_Potato_Smasher

A question about Dunkerque

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Just  a quick question about the Dunkerque, or rather, it's guns

The Dunkerque uses the 330mm/50 St.Chamond Mle 1931 guns for it's primary armament, which admittedly is a newer design compared to the 340mm/45 Mle 1912 that was intended for the Normandie-class and the Lyon class. Of course, that naturally begs the question, from me at least, why didn't French designers simply use the 340mm gun on the Dunkerque instead of coming up with an entirely new design?

Just a question, don't salt me, please

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32 minutes ago, Shrayes_Bhagavatula said:

Just  a quick question about the Dunkerque, or rather, it's guns

The Dunkerque uses the 330mm/50 St.Chamond Mle 1931 guns for it's primary armament, which admittedly is a newer design compared to the 340mm/45 Mle 1912 that was intended for the Normandie-class and the Lyon class. Of course, that naturally begs the question, from me at least, why didn't French designers simply use the 340mm gun on the Dunkerque instead of coming up with an entirely new design?

Just a question, don't salt me, please

:SerB:

It's a perfectly valid question. The 330mm guns the Dunkerque's used were better and more advanced even though the diameter was smaller. The older 340mm guns had poor penetration and didn't ballistically perform well. I recall there were issues with the shape of the shells as well. The French didn't really like them and for good reason. 

It is similar to how Alaska's 305mm guns, even though the diameter was smaller, performed about as well as the 356mm guns on the New Mexicos. It goes down to more advanced manufacturing, and better understanding of ballistics on a gun produced decades later.

Basically, it boils down to size not being the end-all of how well a gun performs. That's part of the reason why the USN never put their 18" (457mm I think) gun into production like the Japanese did with their 18.1" (460mm). After testing they realized that they could get nearly the same destructive power at the ranges they wanted with  heavy shells on the 16" (406mm) guns that Iowas were using and pay far less of a penalty in weight and blast effects to the ship. 

Edited by Tzarevitch
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