I found a hypothetical scenario that pitted the Richelieu & Jean Bart against the 11" KM battlecruisers…suprisingly it was ugly for the French. The scenario claimed to be using the Dunkerque and Strasbourg with 13" guns, but looking “under the hood” they were actually using the Jean Bart/Richelieu and their 15" guns. Since the editor doesn’t work for me I did text edits to put in the actual French BC’s with their appropriate arms, ammunition quantities, and hull/flotation hit points.
The French get mauled! It isn’t even close after playing it from both sides several times. (No wonder the designer fudged in French BB’s with BC names…it was an attempt to balance the scenario.) The heavier armour belt/turrets of the German boats seem to handle the 13" French guns, while the fast firing 11" German guns soon take out the turrets and/or magazine of the French ships. In about 1/4 of the engagements one of my French boats pulled a “Hood” early in the exchange from about 13,000 yards (where the Kriegsmarine ships couldn’t even identify her yet but were reliably hitting.) Boom! went the entire magazine.
I don’t know if there is some sort of artificial difference in the 3D model, if it is a reflection of the gunnery bonus for the Germans in the game, a particular range band, or even the 5.9" secondary guns of the KM scoring (vs. 5.1" for the French), but those quad turrets and thinner belt are proving a very brittle instrument of war.
And after you knock out the French guns, the stern chase is a breeze for the Germans!