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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 12:02 pm
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Hello again!

France's first 'real' pre-dreadnoughts: The Charlemagne-class

This is a remake of a very old drawing of Alvama's, covering all three ships of the class. The Charlemagnes were the first French battleships with the 'standard' arrangement of two 305mm guns forward and aft in twin turrets, as practised by most other naval powers of the period. Since the French press - and by extension, the French public - were quite critical of the battleship as a type in this era, tight cost and size limits were imposed upon the French designers, resulting in very compact 11.000-tonners (4.000 tons less than the contemporary British Majestics) with an ill-conceived two-caliber secondary battery (10x 138mm, 8x 100mm) and very poor seakeeping; their belts had impressive thickness, but were very shallow, and much of the hull was wholly unprotected.

As with other French ships of this era, the superstructure was sometimes painted white, sometimes buff; the system (if any) behind this is still not clear to me. Jordan's claim that they were all always painted buff does not correspond with photographic evidence; some period photographs obviously and undeniably show white superstructures, as do some contemporary yard models.
[ img ]

The first two - Charlemagne and Gaulois - were virtually identical except for very minor differences in bridge shape and steampipe arrangement, so Gaulois had her gun barrels painted black for Identification.
[ img ]

Saint Louis differed in many ways, most visibly the shape of the aft boat davits and a rearranged boat stowage, but also in funnel shape, fore and - especially - aft bridge layout, less pronounced flying bridge and sundry hull details.
[ img ]

All served in the Mediterranean in the first world war. Charlemagne and Gaulois were active at Gallipoli, where Gaulois was badly damaged by Turkish coastal artillery. Charlemagne was never substantially modernized and decommissioned in 1916.
[ img ]

Gaulois had her superstructure significantly reduced and their fighting tops removed in 1915/6 during her repairs of battle damage sustained at Gallipoli, in an attempt to cut topweight. She also received bulges, which were not intended to improve protection, but rather to decrease the savage roll these ships had due to their tumblehome hulls. In this form, she was lost to a submarine torpedo launched by the German UB-47.
[ img ]

Saint Louis also was rebuilt in 1916. She received the same bulges and had her masts cut down even more thoroughly, with the tube masts removed altogether; her bridge was lowered and the aft part of the flying bridge removed. Although there is no photographic evidence of her in this state prior to her decommissioning in 1917, the photographs showing her disarmed hulk depict new searchlight platforms with searchlights on the pole masts, so the tube masts were almost certainly removed before she was decommissioned, otherwise no new searchlight platforms would have been fitted.
[ img ]

Charlemagne was scrapped soon after the war, Saint Louis only in the early 1930s after serving as a training hulk for engineers throughout the 1920s.

Greetings
GD


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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 1:14 pm
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Very nice work!

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Charybdis
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 3:39 pm
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Damn fine work! I love the tumble home hull.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 7:44 pm
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Awesome


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eswube
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 8:47 pm
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Fantastic drawings.

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Hood
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 3rd, 2017, 10:23 am
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Excellent work and lovely redraw.

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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 12th, 2017, 8:19 pm
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Iena and Suffren

Another redraw of two of my earlier efforts, hopefully improving them.

Iena:
Originally planned as the fourth unit of the Charlemagne class, Iéna experienced a slight modification for the better. Displacement was increased to nearly 12.000 tons by lengthening the hull; Topweight was cut by reducing superstructure; protection was improved by lengthening the upper strake of her belt; the lower strake was thinned to 330mm, but also extended in surface. The secondary battery got rid of the single shielded gun on shelter deck level, but increased calibre of the eight remaining guns to 165mm. As a result, a lot of weight was moved downwards, which made Iéna a much better sea boat than her predecessors, and unlike the Charlemagnes, she could sustain her design speed of 18 knots.
[ img ]

Unfortunately, she had the second-shortest career of all French pre-dreadnoughts. Commissioned in 1902, she was wrecked beyond economic repair only five years later by an explosion of her aft magazines while in dock.

Suffren:
The next French battleship was a further evolutionary development of her predecessors. She was again a little larger, displacing over 12.500 tons – still not enough for her armament and protection – and had further improved protection; no previous French battleship had such a large percentage of her hull armoured, although main belt thickness was further reduced to 300mm. Speed was less than in Iéna at 17 knots, but the secondary battery was re-arranged, increased to ten barrels and better protected.
[ img ]

Suffren’s service was little more than a series of disasters. Rather than using up all her bad luck in a single big bang like Iéna, Suffren called upon hers little by little. She rammed the submarine Bonite in 1906, was damaged and set afire by debris from Iena in 1907, lost both propellers (one at a time, in 1908 and 1911) and was rammed by her fellow battleship Democratie during a fleet exercise in 1914 after suffering a complete engine failure. During the war, she was damaged by Ottoman 240mm shore batteries in 1915 and rammed and sunk a British transport full of horses during the evacuation at Gallipoli. In the words of my horse-crazy daughter, Suffren had it coming karma-wise after this slaughter of innocent animals. Suffren was sunk with all hands by the German submarine U-52 in November 1916 while on the return leg to Brest for repairs.
[ img ]

Greetings
GD


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BB1987
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 12th, 2017, 8:28 pm
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Being Suffren is suffering.

Ok, I'm gonna bury myself after this. Excellent work as usual.

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heuhen
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 12th, 2017, 8:33 pm
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That was suffering to read


Beautiful drawing


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Novice
Post subject: Re: French pre-dreadnought battleships: rebootPosted: October 12th, 2017, 9:22 pm
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As usual excellent drawings, and interesting history.
(No more in-sufferable jokes from me)

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