FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)
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Author:  Krakatoa [ December 5th, 2016, 11:41 pm ]
Post subject:  FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)

The French Navies last heavy cruiser was the well liked Algerie. Since that ship the French had built the Dunkerque type and Richelieu class with two quad turrets forward. The French Naval Designers decided to put forward a heavy cruiser type with the same layout, two quad turrets of 8" forward. These were to be big ships, equivalent to the German Hipper class with good armament and much better armour than earlier ships. The two ships of the class were to be fitted with all the latest marks of guns, 8"/1939, 3.9"/1940, 37mm/1940, with aircraft. The strange part was the lack of torpedoes on a French cruiser. A lot of the extra large hull was made available to the propulsion system with a 140,000shp output for 34 knots. Up to 3 aircraft could be carried.

95% completed when the Germans were rolling through France, both ships were hastily got to sea from the Brest Navy Yards and sent to Belfast in Northern Ireland for completion. Only the electronic fittings were needed to be completed and British systems were fitted in place. Both ships then rejoined the Free French Navy and fought alongside other French units that had joined the fight with the Allies against the hated Boche.

[ img ]

Displacement: 14,500 tons standard, 19,800 tons full load
Length: 663 ft
Breadth: 72 ft
Draught: 24.5 ft
Machinery: 4 shaft, steam turbines, 140,000shp
Speed: 34 knots
Range: 8000 miles at 15 knots (2,450 nm at 28 knots)
Armour: 6.1" side, 3.9" deck, 6.1" turrets
8 x 8" (2x4)
10 x 3.9" (5x2)
14 x 37mm (7x2)
Aircraft: 3 (Loire 130)
Torpedoes: nil
Complement: 1025

Author:  Garlicdesign [ December 6th, 2016, 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940)

Hi Krakatoa

Looks good and workable overall. Drawing wise, the aft 37mm turret has a white spot and the hull forward a red stripe which should probably be removed. Design wise, I'll leave the armament distribution to you (I'd have put the space aft to more use and uncluttered the area around the bridge a little, but that's just me). More importantly, the ship has (as I see it) two 100mm directors and two 37mm directors for a quite heavy HA armament; i'd add some more of both. The main directors look a little too 1920s to me, and why would one have to bear aft when all the main guns face forward? One might also use a more modern type (I'd suggest two-level ones, one level per turret, corresponding with their arcs; the hull should be large enough to take this Kind of weight so far up). And add an aircraft crane, you'll probably need one.


Author:  Hood [ December 6th, 2016, 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940)

I like the lines of this cruiser, overall the design looks good but I've nothing to add to GD's more expert comments on the details other than maybe have a crane aft to serve the catapult.

Author:  Krakatoa [ December 6th, 2016, 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940)

I was just having a look at the original drawing I was working off from David, it is a version 3 and when I look at the thread for the Saint Louis there is a comment as to how they move the aircraft around. I must have copied an early design before the catapult crane is added. I will fix it.

I did wonder about why I left the 8" aft director, it would have been better to have exchanged it for another 3.9" director which would have made more sense.

The red line was on Davids original and is one of those things you 'see' but do not change as you don't know whether it is supposed to be there. Could have been a runnel of blood down the side after the guillotine has been in action.

I had already added some 2pd pom pom directors around the bridge to run the 37mm, they do get a bit lost in the rest of the bridge structure.

Author:  Krakatoa [ December 11th, 2016, 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940)

As the Richelieu and Alsace are related, so to the St Louis and Charlemagne. With 12x8" in three quad turrets the ship needed to be longer than the Dunkerque class battlecruisers to fit everything in. The same propulsion system as the St Louis, the speed dropped from 34 knots to 32 knots. The longer and broader hull (733x76 feet) helped to keep stability even.

[ img ]

The armament of the ship at 1945:

12 x 8" (3x4)
14 x 100mm (7x2)
18 x 37mm (9x2)

6 x 21" torpedoes (2x3)

3 Aircraft

Author:  apdsmith [ December 11th, 2016, 9:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)

Hi K,

A quick question - are you sure about those turrets?

A quick look at both Dunkerque and Richelieu classes reveals a fairly significant step at the front of the quad turrets:
[ img ]
[spoiler="Richelieu][ img ][/spoiler]

Note that the blast bags on the Richelieu partially obscure this ... I'm not seeing the same sort of "step" in the quads on your, have I missed something?


Author:  Krakatoa [ December 11th, 2016, 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)

Howdy Ad,

These are 8" turrets, very big 8" turrets, but these are enlarged from the triples on GD/Latuch's drawing. I did not read anything special about the gun, but they certainly look bigger/better than the earlier 8" gun on Suffren/Algerie classes, and are probably a new mark. As noted above in GD's post I have upgraded the fire control directors to the two storey ones with the 8" being the lower, with 284 gunnery radar fitted, with the upper storey being 100mm directors with 285 AA radar control, another two of the same mark are fitted on the side of the bridge. Type 282 pom pom directors are scattered all over the ship to control the twin 37mm turrets.

[ img ]

Okay, I see what you mean about the 'step', the short amount of space between the front of the barbette and the front of the turret. When I enlarged the turrets I used that 'step' out to the front of the barbette so that I did not have to make even more changes to the turrets settings. It does not make any difference to the turret/barbette in use, have a look at some of the US guns, the turrets actually extend out past the front of the barbette, others are short or right on the front barbette line.

Author:  apdsmith [ December 12th, 2016, 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)

Hi Krakatoa,

Yeah, I've seen that too - but not on quad turrets - I've hacked together something to show what I'm talking about - on a new work PC (a new work, actually, hence the new PC) - it's only got Paint, so apologies for the rough-and-ready nature of the thing, but here goes:

[ img ]

You can see the quad from the Charlemagne compared to the ones from the Dunkerque and Richelieu - the Dunkerque, particularly, has a top view that's very useful - unless you are carrying the turret face plate very far forward - and that has problems of it's own related to how much of it you're then required to cut away in order to get any kind of elevation from the gun - the way that the available lateral space to fit the barrels into starts reducing down could make for a very cramped turret.

One stylistic note that may be of use as well is that the quads as used by the French Navy had enough unused space abeam the gunhouse to fit a low-calibre gun on a platform. Not sure if that's a signalling gun or something intended to shoot up torpedo boats but might be an option to add a little flavour to the ship, no?


Author:  Karle94 [ December 12th, 2016, 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)

Cramped turrets was a very common feature of French cruisers. Compare the twin turrets of the Algerie to, let's say, the British Counties. I think you'll find quiet the size differance there.

Author:  reytuerto [ December 12th, 2016, 11:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FAN St. Louis (CA-1940) Charlemagne (CA-1945)

Hi Krakatoa, very nice cruiser design, it has all the french flavor of the era. May I ask you if the 100 mm turrets just in front of the Loire seaplane not in the catapult, don't has a barbette for the amunitions hoist? Cheers, and once again, a nice ship.

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