I decided to look at the French cruiser de Grasse/Colbert (although I’ll refer to the de Grasse since it was first commissioned). Now, i want to get things straight first and foremost, i expect this ship to be a premium. It just doesn’t fit in anywhere else, and as you’ll read, it’ll be something more understandable.
General Ship Characteristics
The de Grasse was a French light cruiser that was originally laid down in 1938, but was never completed because of that whole World War II thing. Anyways, the ship was never scrapped as someone might expect as the Germans worked to recoup some of the resources that were used in production of the ship. However, the ship was eventually completed in 1951, and then towed to Brest for completion of the ship where it was intended to be an anti-aircraft cruiser (see where I’m going with this?). The de Grasse was commissioned in 1956. Eventually, the Colbert was commissioned in 1959 and joined the de Grasse.
Things actually get kind of interesting here with the de Grasse. originally it was intended to have a three triple 152 mm turrets, possibly similar to that of the Konigsberg in game. However, because of the fact that the ship never finished completion until after the war, the idea for 152 mm guns was scrapped. Instead, the de Grasse was outfitted with 16 x 127 mm guns in 8 turrets. In addition to that, it had another 10 double turrets that housed 57 mm guns. The ship, although originally intended to have torpedoes, scrapped them when the conversion to a full fledged anti-aircraft cruiser.
Machinery, Displacement, and Dimensions
The de Grasse was equipped with geared steam turbines with four boilers output into two shafts. In total, it was able to output 86,000 shp, resulting in a speed in excess of 32 knots (it was reported to have been able to reach 33.5 knots). In all, once finished, the de Grasse displaced 9,389 tons. The result was a ship that was 199 meters long with a beam of 18.6 meters and a draught of 5.5 meters. The dimensions of the ship are pretty varied due to the fact that it was changed during it’s conversion in 1938 to 1961, and then the Colbert was again different in dimensions.
in terms of armor, well there wasn’t a whole lot. The de Grasse boasted at most 100 mm of belt armor and 28 mm of deck armor. Basically, the armor isn’t going to stand up to a whole lot.
There are a few things to note about the de Grasse. When it was originally planned, it was intended to have the not only a complement of two seaplanes for the ship, it also was planned to have two catapults, so possibly two sea planes in the air at once. In addition, when the ship was captured by the Germans, there were plans to actually convert it into a German light aircraft carrier but was never completed in that capacity. The de Grasse served with the french navy until 1972 as the flagship for the nuclear task force. Her sister ship, the Colbert, was completely refit and turned into a missile cruiser and served as the Mediterranean flagship until 1997.
In game Implementation and Atlanta Comparisons
I’m pretty sure, at this point, everyone is saying “Skippy, we don’t need more shitty Atlanta’s in the game”. Well, we don’t need Atlantas, we need something a little bit different. The de Grasse is different. Even though it has similar armament and purpose, the de Grasse is also significantly larger, and has a different turret layout. In addition, the gun characteristics would be different and so would the AA ability (AA would be stronger on the de Grasse IMO). I would expect that the de Grasse would have smaller arcs and possibly more range to compensate for its larger size and advanced age. I think it would still be slotted in well at tier 7 and could compete more competently than the Atlanta.
I think we could very well see the de Grasse as one of the first French ships in the game. Although, we could also see the de Grasse in the 1938 configuration fit into the actual tech tree and then the Colbert be slotted as a premium.