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Tzoli

Battleship Jean Bart variants

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Alpha Tester
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The last French battleship the Jean Bart had a struggling and long history before finally commissioned in 1949, 13 years later after she was laid down, but she received her final look in 1953 and being in active service from 1955 to 1961 and finally scrapped in 1970.

The last battleship of the world to be commissioned Jean Bart had received numerous proposals and design studies to finish her, ranging from her original purpose as a Battleship through the more astonishing proposals as a Hybrid Battleship-Carrier, full scale carrier or even as an anti-aircraft Battleship. Only one other class of battleships had such numerous proposed variants, and that is the USN's Iowa class Battleships in which their long service life multiple studies are proposed to extend their usefulness in the late WW2 and Cold War era, from Full scale carrier to Guided Missile Battleships and to Amphibious Assault Support Battleships.

 

So now let me show you how the French Jean Bart would look like with the various proposals:

1.: The original layout of the Richelieu class battleships. They would had been equipped with 5 triple secondary turrets of 152mm Dual-Purpose guns and a moderate amount of 37mm Modéle 1935 asymmetrical light AA guns.

7PNBJFE.png

2.: This is the modified layout and the look if she was finished before the surrender of France. The forward pair of triple 152mm turrets are removed and replaced with 100mm Modéle 1930 heavy AA guns, while a reduced number of 37mm Modéle 1935 asymmetrical light AA guns would be installed.

aLFMn4A.png

3.: Here you can see how Jean Bart would look like if she would get away and got the same refit in America like her sister the Richelieu. Numerous 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon light AA guns to be added.

tNGdWgb.png

4.: The actual Jean Bart in her 1955 form with the large number of 100mm Modél 1945 Heavy AA and 57mm Modéle 1949 light AA guns, together with radars and radar assisted rangefinders.

581Hjp7.png

5.: One of the radical proposals to finish the incomplete ship to a unique design, as an Anti-Aircraft Battleship. Proposal dates back to 1941-192 the inability or capacity of the US cannon foundries to produce the necessary barrels to finish her as well as the events of Pearl Harbour made this study born from desperation. Removal of the 2nd incomplete turret, and the aft secondary 152mm guns would give large amount of space for both heavy ad light AA guns. The heavy AA guns would be the famous Mark 12 5inch (127mm) guns in the twin DP-AA turrets, while the light guns would be the usual but increased number of 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon MGs. Radars and associated rangefinders would be installed as well.

ZRHqXEN.png

6.: A French proposal of 1940 shortly before the Fall of France to finish her as a hybrid battleship and aircraft carrier capital ship to provide not only fire support for the Marine Nationale but aircraft projection or aerial fleet defence. Proposal would be feasible  as the aft part of the ship is still not complete, though there would be stability issues to be solved having large weight on the front and the tall superstructure on the right side. Armament would consist of the French 100mm Modéle 1933 AA guns in twin turrets and 40mm Bofors with 20mm Oerlikon as light AA defence.

88My3kX.png

7.: Another USN proposal from 1945, was the full conversion of the partially completed hull to a fleet carrier. Heavy AA fire would have been provided by the 5inch (127mm) Mark 12 AA guns, while light AA are from the 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon Machine guns. Air complement is not known apart from USNAF planes, but the size would allow a decent air group of around 50-60 planes.

30nadXj.png

Edited by Tzoli
  • Cool 6

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Players
2,279 posts
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Nice! With each design proposal you can see how much the designers began to be aware of what a threat aircraft really was. And that hybrid and the carrier... who knows maybe in the future we could see them in the french CV line. :eyesup:

 

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Guest david alcock
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it is interesting that the actual 1955 fit has greater a/a fit than the dedicated a/a ship!   i like them all the only problem with the hybrid is the short deck!

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Alpha Tester
388 posts
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it is interesting that the actual 1955 fit has greater a/a fit than the dedicated a/a ship!   i like them all the only problem with the hybrid is the short deck!

 

Well that is almost 15 years of development but based on ROF and Shell weight per broadside:

1941-42 BBAA:

9x2 5inch Mark 12: 22rpm x  25kg x 18 = 9.900kg per minute say 10ton per minute

7x4 40mm Bofors Mark 2: 120rpm x 0,9kg x 28 = 3.024kg per minute say 3ton per minute

I did not count the 20mm Orlikons

Accuracy: Early radar and optical range finders

 

1955 as finished:

6x2 100mm Modéle 1945: 25rpm x 13,25kg x 12 = 3.996kg per minute say 4ton per minute

7x2 57mm Modéle 1951: 120rpm x 2,96kg x 14 = 4.972,8kg per minute say 5ton per minute

I did not count the 20mm Orlikons

Accuracy: Modern radar

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[LEGIO]
Alpha Tester
2,279 posts
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Great info!

 

I really love to see what sort of variants and concepts were considered for this ship. 

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Alpha Tester
388 posts
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Great info!

 

I really love to see what sort of variants and concepts were considered for this ship. 

 

This is all.

Iowa had such numerous proposals. As built, BBG conversion for Illinois and Kentucky, BBCV conversion, Assault BBH conversion, Full CV construction in early phases, Actual 1988 modernisation, 1993-96 2nd modernisation proposal.

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[LEGIO]
Alpha Tester
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Yep, it`s nothing unusual, especially for the capital ships. 

It is interesting though to see which concepts were considered and which actually were built. 

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Players
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Hello again!

What is your source for the two "carrier" versions of Jean Bart?

The last one (full carrier) reminds me of a similar full deck proposal submitted around 1945-46 by the French Bureau of Ships on request by the Navy Department.

According to Robert Dumas, this would have been infeasible: boiler room uptakes would have to get through the heavily armoured main deck (= hangar deck) by the centreline, then be angled to starboard to reach the base of the island, taking off an unacceptable amount of space in the hangar unless the armoured deck and machinery below being heavily modified at prohibitive cost and compromising the overall strength of this heavy hull in torsion.

Robert Dumas saw this proposal as a "diplomatic" way from the "battleship lobby" to scuttle any attempt to convert a battleship into a carrier.

 

Also the 1955 "real" Jean Bart had been bulged, making her a very brutal roller. Bulges were flush with the hull forward and aft.

 

_Bruno

Edited by bgire

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Alpha Tester
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You answered part of your question.

As for the BBCV: I've found mentions on various french forums as well as a 3D model and RC model.

196200Jean_Bart.jpg

https://www.google.hu/search?q=Jean+Bart+porte-avions&biw=1024&bih=635&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=flF2VP2XLcTOygPP5IGABA&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=Jean+Bart+battleship+carrier

 

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You answered part of your question.

As for the BBCV: I've found mentions on various french forums as well as a 3D model and RC model.

196200Jean_Bart.jpg

https://www.google.hu/search?q=Jean+Bart+porte-avions&biw=1024&bih=635&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=flF2VP2XLcTOygPP5IGABA&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=Jean+Bart+battleship+carrier

 

 

Thanks Tzoli, but please beware. I understand most of your sources come from the French uchrony forum "La France Continue". This forum is interesting, sometimes amusing but most (if not all) of the ship profiles presented are but the fruit of their authors' laaaarge imagination, not based on real studies, as I've been told and re-told by Robert Dumas ten years ago.

 

Just looking at your sketch #6: fitting an heavy coning tower identical to that of original BB to port would have been a design fault, unless fitting and enormous blister below to compensate for stability. Even in that case the heavy asymmetric loads would have soon warped the hull beyond repairs. I'm sure no naval designer would have taken any risk at this. Aircraft carrier designers in France around 1940 would just have adapted an island design from that of Joffre or Painlevé, certainly NOT an early 21st Century copy-paste of a BB superstructure, which is but a naval design nonsense.

A funny detail: this profile shows the two 152mm secondary battery directors on top of fore tower and aft of the stack... with NO 152mm turrets shipped. Directors for 100mm AA had been already designed since 1936 for the De Grasse class of light cruisers and they were very different.

Also a lot of quad Bofors.. in 1940 France (AFAIK they were first installed aboard USN ships two years later). A 1940 time-line design with serious historical background would have put in lieu the new ACAD 37mm quad guns and the projected 37mm zenithal quad mounts with remote command, certainly not a Bofors material.

 

The small sketch just above this present answer is a British design from D of P Captain Charles L. Daniel, suggested on April 3d, 1941. Daniel himself pointed out it was "in no sense a design", just intended to show the advantage of grouping heavy guns forward to limit displacement. He chose a Richelieu basis as this already shipped the quad turret configuration he needed to sustain his theory. He just put an Illustrious island (light structure, wing shaped, no coning tower) on a modified Richelieu hull. This wasn't even a project for any conversion.

 

_Bruno

 

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Alpha Tester
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Maybe you are right, but the project actually existed though no accurate data remained. As for it is a bad design, I would say maybe, but can't argue it is much better with the Ise conversion and on par with the proposed Lion class BBCV design. Not to mention the Soviet nelson BBCV of 1937 which is surely bad!:

d43cb2ee.jpg

Edited by Tzoli

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