Before I start this review, I would first want to apologize for the lack of articles in the last few days. IRL-wise, I’ve been pretty damn busy since we are in the middle of the grape harvest period and let’s say that when I get back home after 9 or 10 hours of work, I don’t really have the motivation to on top of that, write for the blog.
There were also issues with gamemodels3d with the armor models of a few of the new ships not working at all. In their case, the supertest articles will have to wait for the live version of the 0.9.9 client but don’t worry, you will get them.
The Strasbourg was the second unit of the Dunkerque-class of “Navires de ligne” (fast battleships) of the French Navy. These ships were designed to counter the Deutschland-class of Panzerschiffe from the Kriegsmarine.
The Strasbourg was launched in December 1936 and commissioned on 15th September 1938.
Her inter-war career was fairly quiet, being assigned to the Atlantic fleet. When World War II started, the Strasbourg, alongside Dunkerque was assigned to the “Force de raid” that was meant to protected Allied merchant shipping. However, Strasbourg was reassigned to Force X, based on Dakar but would quickly be sent back to the Mediterannean as it became more likely that Italy would soon enter the war.
After the fall of France and the armistice, the Strasbourg, as well as multiple other ships, was stationed in Mers-el-Kébir. After a massive negotiation fiasco that happened with the Royal Navy’s Force H, the French fleet came under fire from the British force and had to evacuate Mers-El-Kébir with Strasbourg being able to escape without taking any major damage.
The Strasbourg would be called back to Toulon where she would be later scuttled with the rest of the Vichy France fleet in November 1942.
If you want to learn a bit more about the Dunkerque-class battleships, here is a video from Drachinifel about them:
French battleship Strasbourg, Tier VII
Strasbourg is a Dunkerque-class battleship equipped with the “Main Battery Reload Booster” consumable. Her decent rate of fire, good firing range, and mediocre armor make her most effective when playing at a distance and conducting flank attacks.
For the classic reminder, this is a ship in testing, anything can change so don’t look at her like she would already be released.
The Strasbourg presents, without any surprise, the same armor scheme as Dunkerque but with thicker armor around the vital parts of the ship.
The bow section
The bow’s external plating is 26 mm thick like on the other tier VII battleships.
For the protection of the middle section, the upper casemate is 20 mm thick while the rest is a uniform 228 mm thick bulkhead.
Overall, ships with 380 mm guns or bigger might have an easy time getting citadels on her through the bow, especially since she has no internal armored deck. At least, the citadel is barely above the waterline.
The middle section
The middle section is, for the external part, a free real estate for HE spam. The ship’s hull is entirely covered with 26 mm of armor.
The main belt is located right behind the anti-torpedo bulge and , for the most part, is 283 mm thick compared to the 225 mm of the Dunkerque and then there is a tiny 175 mm section, well below the waterline.
When it comes to the internal protection, the turtleback is 40 mm thick with a 30° to 31° slope. As you can see, the extremities of the citadel are also 40 mm thick.
The rest of the citadel’s side armor is 50 mm thick and the same goes for the citadel’s deck.
When it comes to the horizontal protection, the ship is actually quite decently protected. Under the 26 mm weather deck, there is, first, a 20 mm deck covering a large part of the middle section. The main armor deck is 130 mm thick and there is finally the 50 mm citadel deck.
With all of these combined, the Strasbourg should have, at least, some form of protection against AP bombs.
The barbettes of the secondaries are also modeled with their own armor. The quadruple turrets have 120 mm casemates going all the way down to the citadel deck. The twin turrets have a mix of 60 mm and 20 mm armor.
The stern section
The stern is 26 mm thick for the external plating.
Inside the stern, there is an armored deck divided into 2 parts with the large one being 100 mm thick and the one protecting the steering gears being 150 mm thick. With this, the ship is pretty much immune to citadels through the stern.
For the protection of the middle section, the upper casemate is 20 mm thick. Below it, there is the rear of the turtleback with 210 mm guns and finally, the citadel’s athwartship and the bulkheads around it with 98 mm of armor.
The superstructure is protected by 16 mm of armor except for the conning tower with a mix of 150 mm, 250 mm and 300 mm armor.
When it comes to the turrets, the armor really isn’t stellar on them. The face is 330 mm thick, sloped at 19°, the sides are 250 mm thick, the back is 335 mm thick and finally, the roof is 150 mm thick.
The barbettes are 340 mm thick for the major part except for the top which is 150 mm thick.
Dunkerque has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Having a better armored Dunkerque with faster reload AND Main Battery Reload Booster… how to tell you that I am looking forward to testing the Strasbourg?
Now you might say that it’s just a bad Jean Bart but compared to Jean Bart, she can overmatch more armor in matchmaking range and also compares better to other ships at her tier when it comes to AP penetration.