German Battleship Jean Bart



  • The French Fleet in WWII consisted of 3 modern Battleships, 5 old Battleships, 10 heavy cruisers, 10 light cruiser, 60 destroyers and a decent sub force.

    How would these units served the Germans?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I am sure half that number would have changed the Mediterranean theatre of Operations for the Axis. I am guessing they would have best been utilised there.
    We have discussed Malta and its importance; I  believe this addition to the Axis fleet would have spelt the end for this proud Island and the  Royal Navy involvement in it a d the Central Med.
    Africa, again much discussed, could have been an entirely different matter. Could Egypt and the Oil be seized?
    This could also have prolonged Italy’s involvement in the war and made Allied victory in Europe much harder without more commitment by the States, to the detriment of the Pacific theatre, bringing up the  much loved A&A question of KGF or Japan!
    Thank you for the French Fleet figures.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Garzke and Dulin’s book on Allied battleships gives a detailed description of Jean Bart’s escape from southern France to Africa as the Germans were occupying France.  The ship was able to make the trip under her own power, but just barely; she experienced a lot of mechanical failures during the trip because so much of her machinery was in a jury-rigged, half-finished condition.  Had it not been for the emergency of trying to escape the Germans, nobody would ever have dared to take her out to sea in her current state of construction, even for the short and easy Mediterranean crossing needed to reach France’s colonial possessions in North Africa.  So if the Germans had captured her, it would have been necessary for them to finish her construction before they could have gotten any use out of her.  This would have been quite a task: the French authorities had (if I’m not mistaken) destroyed the construction blueprints and other such materials.  By way of comparison: when Jean Bart’s sister ship Richelieu went over to the Allied side in 1943, it took six months for a New York navy yard to bring her up to full operational status, even though Richelieu had been far more advanced (about 95% complete) than Jean Bart when she had made her own escape from France.



  • @CWO:

    Garzke and Dulin’s book on Allied battleships gives a detailed description of Jean Bart’s escape from southern France to Africa as the Germans were occupying France.  The ship was able to make the trip under her own power, but just barely; she experienced a lot of mechanical failures during the trip because so much of her machinery was in a jury-rigged, half-finished condition.  Had it not been for the emergency of trying to escape the Germans, nobody would ever have dared to take her out to sea in her current state of construction, even for the short and easy Mediterranean crossing needed to reach France’s colonial possessions in North Africa.  So if the Germans had captured her, it would have been necessary for them to finish her construction before they could have gotten any use out of her.  This would have been quite a task: the French authorities had (if I’m not mistaken) destroyed the construction blueprints and other such materials.  By way of comparison: when Jean Bart’s sister ship Richelieu went over to the Allied side in 1943, it took six months for a New York navy yard to bring her up to full operational status, even though Richelieu had been far more advanced (about 95% complete) than Jean Bart when she had made her own escape from France.

    CWO thank you for the additional infomation. I doubt St. Nazaire would have been a safe port to harbor a German ship under construction. The German squadron in Brest had the R.A.F attention and took some damage from bombs, before the Channel Dash.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @ABWorsham:

    I doubt St. Nazaire would have been a safe port to harbor a German ship under construction. The German squadron in Brest had the R.A.F attention and took some damage from bombs, before the Channel Dash.

    I agree – the RAF would have made life miserable for such a large and juicy static target as the Jean Bart being completed under Nazi ownership just across the English Channel.

    By the way, one amusing footnote to Richelieu’s refit in New York in 1943 is that a lot of the parts and fittings required for the ship were designed using metric measurements.  This gave no end of headaches to the poor shipyard guys in New York, who were used to working on vessels built using imperial measurements.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016

    @CWO:

    By the way, one amusing footnote to Richelieu’s refit in New York in 1943 is that a lot of the parts and fittings required for the ship were designed using metric measurements.  This gave no end of headaches to the poor shipyard guys in New York, who were used to working on vessels built using imperial measurements. Â

    I can only agree. I worked with both systems my self , and it will give you a headache  :-).


  • 2017 2016 '13 '12

    The entirety of the French fleet, with complement would have had a significant impact on operations in the Med. I don’t see empty ships as much help unless the Germans postpone their attack on the Soviet Union and focus on North Africa first.



  • they might have been able to conduct a sealion if they captured the entire french fleet intact, and by some miracle got the gasoline to use it all efficently


  • Customizer

    Guys,
    @ABWorsham:

    The French Fleet in WWII consisted of 3 modern Battleships, 5 old Battleships, 10 heavy cruisers, 10 light cruiser, 60 destroyers and a decent sub force.
    How would these units served the Germans?

    ––My response is almost exactly along the lines of Wittman’s@wittmann:

    I am sure half that number would have changed the Mediterranean theatre of Operations for the Axis. I am guessing they would have best been utilised there.
    We have discussed Malta and its importance; I  believe this addition to the Axis fleet would have spelt the end for this proud Island and the  Royal Navy involvement in it a d the Central Med.
    Africa, again much discussed, could have been an entirely different matter. Could Egypt and the Oil be seized?
    This could also have prolonged Italy’s involvement in the war and made Allied victory in Europe much harder without more commitment by the States, to the detriment of the Pacific theatre, bringing up the  much loved A&A question of KGF or Japan!
    Thank you for the French Fleet figures.

    ––No need to expound on these succinct thoughts.
    “Tall Paul”



  • And had the Germans had not been able to put the French Navy to sea, the guns could have been added to the Atlantic Wall.

    Have any of you read about the gun duels between Kent, England and Pas-de-Calais, France between 1940 and 1944?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @ABWorsham:

    And had the Germans had not been able to put the French Navy to sea, the guns could have been added to the Atlantic Wall.

    Have any of you read about the gun duels between Kent, England and Pas-de-Calais, France between 1940 and 1944?

    No!

    But do tell?


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