Surcouf class submarine. WOW. -1 reply

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BDNeon

Da leader of the BadLads gang!

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8th February 2005

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#1 12 years ago

HUMONGOUS FRENCH SUB. Dug this out of a really cool book I just got:D .

Most of the major maritime nations at sometime or other experimented with the idea of the cruiser submarine. All were larger than usual, with an exceptional surface armament and good endurance. Some carried an aircraft to increse their effective search radius. The only design to combine, reasonable successfully, all these features in one hull was the Surcouf. Ordered under the 1926 programme as the first in a class of three, she was destined to be the only unit of the Surcouf class, and the largest submarine in the world in terms of displacement, though shorter than both the American Narwhal and the Japanese A boats. At the time of the Washington Treaty the British M1 to M3 had 304.8-mm (12-in) guns and, to prevent further escalation in this direction (though even these were overlarge and totally unwieldy) the treaty limited future submarines to 203.2-mm (8-in) weapons. Only the French ever fitted the latter, and these to the Surcouf, paired in a complex pressure-tight turret. This structure was faired into a pressure-tight "hangar" abaft, it and containing a specially designed Besson M.B.411 floatplane. This had to be taken out and the wings attached before it could be lowered into the water, a time-consuming and highly risky business which, while acceptable in 1926, was certainly not in 1939-45. Only the French could ever have specified the torpedo tube fit. This comprised four 550-mm (21.65-in) tubes set in an orthodox bow arrangement, with six reloads; one quadruple 550-mm trainable mounting in the casing right aft, with four reloads. The suggested mode of operation of submarines such as these was always rather woolly and the Surcouf, like the rest of her kind, was never to find a proper role. Seized in Plymouth in July 1940, she was operated by a Free French crew on several Atlantic patrols. In December 1941 she participated with three French corvettes in the seizure of the Vichy islands of St Pierre and Miquelon, in the St Lawrence estuary. In February 1942 she sank in the Caribbean after a collision.

surcouf20port4ne.th.jpg




[130pz.]Kading

I take what n0e says way too seriously

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9th April 2005

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#2 12 years ago

i remember first hearing of this type of sub in my middle school library (was very extensive).




Propa McGanda

I snipe with a Battletoads

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5th February 2005

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#3 12 years ago

Awesome~ It reminds me of that Japanese submarine aircraft carrier.




Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

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28th September 2004

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#4 12 years ago

Yes, I know about this one. For some odd reason, it's in Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, where the French can build as many of them as they want. Odd if you ask me. It can't fire its cannons either - also odd. Not to say Empires isn't awesome, it's just that it makes use of unique vessels like the Sorcouf and the Bismarck as if they were mass-produced.

Then I read about it in Scandinavian Science Illustrated (Illustrert Vitenskap in Scandinavian). It's truly an interesting design.

Didn't some other power make a full-fledged submersible warship once? Forgot the name, but I think it was the British. I'll try to dig up the issue of SI with the submarine article and find out.




Gauntlet

Dead rather than Red!

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25th April 2004

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#5 12 years ago

Well, you gotta give Empires credit for them giving unique units to each civilization. Thats so damn nice!




BDNeon

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8th February 2005

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#6 12 years ago

Actually, one of the building planes the German Navy seriously considered involved submersible battleships. But, as is typical with military strategists to this day, traditional closemindedness prevailed.




Fuzzy Bunny

Luke, I am your mother.

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2nd May 2005

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#7 12 years ago

I don't know about "closed-mindedness"--the day of the battleship was clearly drawing to an end, and the idea of a submarine as being no more than a battle platform that can dive went out with the Q-Ships in WWI (extra credit if you find the names of the US Q-Ships in WWII--the original ones were British.) The Germans had enough trouble with not losing most of their regular submarine force in the face of air-to-surface radar, better sonar, Hedgehog launchers and improved convoy/sub-hunting tactics.

If massive subs interest you, you might want to have a look for info on German Milch Cow boats or the various Japanese aircraft-carrying and cargo subs -- good info at http://www.combinedfleet.com/ss.htm




Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

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28th September 2004

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#8 12 years ago
Well, you gotta give Empires credit for them giving unique units to each civilization. Thats so damn nice!

I didn't say I dislike the game - I thought I made that one clear enough. On the contrary, I'm an active scenario designer working on a project (link) for Woad Creations.

Back on topic:

The Germans had enough trouble with not losing most of their regular submarine force in the face of air-to-surface radar, better sonar, Hedgehog launchers and improved convoy/sub-hunting tactics.

I can imagine the difficulty in trying to get a battleship quickly down to 100 metres for then to attempt to silently drive her away while dodging depth charges. That's hard enough for a little silent sub - imagine a huge battleship trying it!

Or am I dead wrong?