Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4344
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:24 am

... Presuming Richelieu with complete refit... as in her late-1943 US configuration... all major problems resolved, rate of fire 2 rounds/minute, dispersion issues mostly solved, machinery properly refited, radars and integrated fire control included.

and Tirpitz as in her 1943 configuration, without damage from X-craft.

On a calm , beautifull day, somewhere in the North Atlantic, who would win ?

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3054
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:33 pm

Tirpitz
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4344
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:19 am

To easy Dave :)

What would be Tirpitz's key advantages ?

Lutscha
Member
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:20 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by Lutscha » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:58 am

With all the key problems solved on R and a later Mk 8 it should be a toss up. The decks are immune on both sides and you have easily destroyed turrets against weaker side armour.

User avatar
Rick Rather
Member
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:15 am
Location: Dallas, Texas USA

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by Rick Rather » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:20 pm

On most of these 1-on-1 duel "who would win?" questions, my answer is the same: The ship that knocks-out a main-battery turret on its enemy first will most likely win. The imbalance in shells-fired (and therefore potential hits - and therefore potential further main-battery critical hits) snow-balls quickly unless the opponent can quickly get a turret kill of its own to re-balance the exchange. Then the battle would probably go to the next ship to score a turret kill.

Ships with only two 4-gun turrets are particularly vulnerable to this (I refer to Richelieu & Dunkerque: The KGV's, with their third turret tended to degrade like other ships with three 3-gun turrets, and if the B-turret was hit first, they did slightly better). A single turret hit on Tirpitz reduces its MB output by 25%, which means trouble if they can't return the favor before they lose another turret (note that if they do score this reciprocal hit, they go from a 6:8 disadvantage to a 6:4 advantage). If Richelieu loses a turret, this spells catastrophe. If Tirpitz hasn't lost a turret yet, he outguns the French ship 2-to-1. If Tirpitz then loses a turret, he still has a 50% advantage. If the French get lucky and knock-out another turret on Tirpitz, then she only regains parity, whereas if Tirpitz scores a second turret kill, then Richelieu will be helpless.

A battleship built to fight versus a battleship built to save money? My bet's on the kraut.

Rick "Rather be lucky than good"
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
-- R. Rather

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3908
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:38 pm

As noted these are evenly matched ships. Theoretically Richelieu's 15in guns are more powerful than Tirpitz's. Richelieu is also faster and can dictate the range of engagement. If Tirpitz decides to run, or if Richelieu decides to close, then Richelieu can still engage with her full armament. OTOH, if Richelieu has to run she will find it difficult to keep her 15in arcs open, although the forward turret can bear to within 24 degrees of dead aft.

Richelieu's turrets are well protected with 17in turret faces and her turrets are divided in two by internal armoured bulkheads with 2 separate ammo feed systems per turret, so a penetration of a turret doesn't automatically knock out all four guns. On the whole, I would say that Richelieu has small advantage, at least on paper.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4344
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:01 am

Indeed, the big numbers are very similar for the 2 ships...

What about stability and sea worthines ? We know the TIrpitz was a good and stable ship, what about the Richelieu ?

ede144
Member
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:09 pm

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by ede144 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:32 pm

Wasn't there a report from the KM about the inferior quality of French armor?

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4344
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:09 pm

ede144 wrote:Wasn't there a report from the KM about the inferior quality of French armor?
There was, but who knows for sure ?

At Casablanca, Jean Bart's 430mm thick face-plate of the operational main turret successfully defeated a 16"/2700pds shell.

It's the only case I know of in WW2 when a battleship turret remained operational after a direct battleship-caliber shell hit.

On the other hand, the same Jean Bart showed a remarkable vulnerability of his decks against the same type of shell...

So, it's rather complicated, I'd say...

Matrose71
Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by Matrose71 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:35 pm

To me Richelieu is a very interesting BB. I think her armour layout and the very compact building are very good, also her speed was very good.
She the only BB ever in service that fullfilled all three categories in a "treaty" BB. Speed + 30kn, +8 guns + 15 inch and good armour protection, no other BB could fullfill this with 37000ts.

But as I appreciate her hull layout and armour sheme, I have serious doubts about her guns, FC, and gun stabilized control.
Here the french constructors were inferior to all other navys and to my opinion they ruined a very good BB layout.
The french guns 33cm and 38cm have too short barrels with much too high propellant charge. (288kg SD21, compare to 212kg RPC/38 for the german 38cm with a much longer barrel
The guns were totaly overstrained with the original shell weight and muzzle velocity.

Were realy all issues sorted out at the refit 1943?
I have read the delay coils were introduced at 1947 and her dispersion pattern wasn't this good.

Here I think is the true advantage of Tirpitz, her very good guns, FC and RPC.

Anyway it would be a tough fight and which BB hits first and hard will win, through the better overall artillery system I give Tirpitz a very slight advantage.

User avatar
Rick Rather
Member
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:15 am
Location: Dallas, Texas USA

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by Rick Rather » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:17 pm

alecsandros wrote:On a calm , beautifull day, somewhere in the North Atlantic, who would win ?
Well, make up your mind: Is it a calm, beautiful day, or is it the North Atlantic? :lol:

[/snark]
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
-- R. Rather

User avatar
RNfanDan
Supporter
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:06 pm
Location: USA

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by RNfanDan » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:44 pm

Obviously German ships would win in ANY engagement, under ANY conditions, and at ANY time. If it were possible to leap forward in time and snatch a 1945 USS Missouri, complete with all radars and super-heavy 16" ordnance, and "beam it back" to fight even a Scharnhorst, the German ship would simply brush the bigger opponent aside like so many acorns.

One could even bring TWO Iowa-class back from 1945, add Prinz Eugen to the fight, and whup 'em BOTH. Prinz Eugen would escape with only splinter damage, while Scharnhorst gets away with only a dented turret roof. German 11" shells pierce everywhere they hit armor, in some cases passing clean-through BOTH armor belts of the first ship as they exit out its side, ricocheting off the sea surface, then detonating the second battleship's forward magazines.

:dance:
Image

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4344
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Matrose71 wrote:To me Richelieu is a very interesting BB. I think her armour layout and the very compact building are very good, also her speed was very good.
She the only BB ever in service that fullfilled all three categories in a "treaty" BB. Speed + 30kn, +8 guns + 15 inch and good armour protection, no other BB could fullfill this with 37000ts.
Are you sure about the tonnage ?
Garzke and Dulin mention a 41000 tons standard displacement, and 45000 tons full-load , in 1940. After her refits, total tonnage was around 48500 tons...
Were realy all issues sorted out at the refit 1943?
I have read the delay coils were introduced at 1947 and her dispersion pattern wasn't this good.
A very good question.. I don't know ?

northcape
Senior Member
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:31 am

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by northcape » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:24 pm

RNfanDan wrote:Obviously German ships would win in ANY engagement, under ANY conditions, and at ANY time. If it were possible to leap forward in time and snatch a 1945 USS Missouri, complete with all radars and super-heavy 16" ordnance, and "beam it back" to fight even a Scharnhorst, the German ship would simply brush the bigger opponent aside like so many acorns.

One could even bring TWO Iowa-class back from 1945, add Prinz Eugen to the fight, and whup 'em BOTH. Prinz Eugen would escape with only splinter damage, while Scharnhorst gets away with only a dented turret roof. German 11" shells pierce everywhere they hit armor, in some cases passing clean-through BOTH armor belts of the first ship as they exit out its side, ricocheting off the sea surface, then detonating the second battleship's forward magazines.

:dance:
And in the end, the Prinz will steam ahead towards Iowa, ram her and simply cut through the US battleship's flimsy armour!

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4344
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Refitted Richelieu versus Tirpitz , 1943

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:23 pm

northcape wrote:
And in the end, the Prinz will steam ahead towards Iowa, ram her and simply cut through the US battleship's flimsy armour!
Another possibility would be that both Iowa's would scuttle themselves as soon as they would identify the 2 German heavy ships :whistle:

Post Reply