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The BEARN Carrier

Discussion in 'Surface and Air Forces' started by Skipper, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Thanks for this additionnal information. Interesting how some topics are forgotten by history as oppsed to others
     
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    When carriers were first being developed, it was considered necessary to carry the equivalent of capital ship secondary armament for self-defense. It was also thought that they might encounter enemy cruisers and ought to have comparable guns, thus the early British carriers had 5.5 or 6" weapons and the Washington Treaty allowed 8", comparable to treaty cruisers.

    Of course the problem with carriers was where to locate low-angle guns without interfering with, or being obstructed by, flight operations, as with the 8" turrets on ships like Lexington or Akagi. There were proposals for hybrids with conventional centerline turrets, but that significantly reduced the length of flight decks and hangars. The seemingly inefficient broadside or casemate arrangement at least kept the guns out of the way of aviation facilities.

    Bearn's guns appear to be close to some of the secondary armament positions in the battleship design, although that called for 138mm/5.5-inchers, and they were forward and aft of the hangar. HMS Glorious shows another option, with twelve of her 4.7s in sponsons on the original forecastle deck, now on each side of the lower hangar, and with the upper hangar actually overhanging (overhangaring?) them a bit:


    [​IMG]

    She had a total of sixteen 4.7", more than were mounted for AA defense in capital ships of the period, which suggests that they were also intended to engage surface targets like destroyers. It could be considered an inefficient way to bring no more than eight guns to bear on any single bearing, but it presumably saved topweight compared with say eight guns at flight deck level.
     
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  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Great picture, this was after the 1930s conversion when the deck was slighty inclined to improve take offs.
     
  4. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    The picture above shows the HMS Hermes, a purpose built carrier.

    The Béarn was useful in the way, that it shows the French Navy the flaws of a converted battleship. As mentioned, more speed, more space, more length and less protection and naval guns was the way to go.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sorry, but you are out of luck there. HMS Hermes had a huge tripod mast mounted on her island superstructure. That tripod mast is not evident in the above photo.

    HMS Hermes
    [​IMG]



    All of the early carriers were experimental in nature. Still, the Bearn compared roughly to the HMS Hermes, which was designed specifically as an aircraft carrier. The Hermes had slightly more speed(roughly 3.5 knots), but the Bearn had more aircraft capacity(roughly double that of Hermes). The two were roughly equal in length, but Bearn was a good deal wider. The two ships had roughly the same level of armor protection. Although, the Bearn had more single purpose guns for surface defense, 8 to the Hermes' 6.

    As such, the converted Bearn is a good bit the equal to the keel up aircraft carrier Hermes, and in some way was her superior.

    As always, that being said...What essentially crippled the Bearn was her awkward elevator system
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    which limited the rapid recovery times for aircraft. It has been said that it took Bearn over an hour just to recover 15 aircraft.
     
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  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Great addition Takao (an Triton) and thanks you for reviving this thread. It makes me think I still haven't put the frame on a wall.
     
  7. Triton

    Triton New Member

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    Man, these british flattops looked all the same from behind.
    But it isn't Glorious, it is Courageous. I guess.
    http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/great_britain/pages/aircraft_carriers/hms_courageous_50_page_3.htm

    Thanks for the pictures of the elevator, the french liked unusual designs and mostly there was a reason for it. Maybe they hoped, the elevator is better protected deep down in the hull. They changed it later, so they learned from it.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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