Die Gorch Fockis a tall ship of the German Navy (Deutsche Marine). She is the second ship of that name as a sister ship of the Gorch Fock built in 1933. Both are named in honor of the German writer Johann Kinau who wrote under the pseudonym “Gorch Fock” and died in the battle of Jutland/Skagerrak in 1916. The modern-day Gorch Fock was built in 1958 and had undertaken 146 cruises by 2006, including a tour around the world in 1988. She is under the command of the Naval Academy in Flensburg-Mürwik.
Grimshaw’s earliest influence was the Pre-Raphaelites.
True to the Pre-Raphaelite style, he created landscapes of accurate
colour and lighting, vivid detail and realism, often typifying seasons
or a type of weather. Moonlit views of city and suburban streets and of
the docks in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow also figured largely
in his art. The focus on atmosphere, and lack of moral message or historical reference allies his work to some extent with the Aesthetic Movement.
His careful painting and his skill in lighting effects meant
that he captured both the appearance and the mood of a scene in minute
detail. His “paintings of dampened gas-lit streets and misty waterfronts conveyed an eerie warmth as well as alienation in the urban scene.”
Later in life his colour palette shifted from dark blues to golden
yellows, and towards the end of his life were hints of a change in
artistic direction, with looser brushwork influenced by his friend James
Abbott McNeill Whistler, who was quoted saying “I considered myself the inventor of Nocturnes until I saw Grimmy’s moonlit pictures.”
Before we begin, I’ll only be accounting ACTIVE ships, so planned or under constructions won’t be mentioned, while ships close to retiring but still active will. Also amphibious ships won’t be accounted for as well, as in case of a naval clash they can’t provide any form of assistance, as this is a Jutland-type scenario.
With this said, let’s begin with the ruler of the waves for over 200 years, the Royal Navy.
77 active ships, of which her main combatants are:
Now, let’s move to the French navy, the Marine Nationale.
96 active ships, of which her main combatants are:
The Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered, catapult-equipped aircraft carrier, which carries the superb Rafale M naval multirole 4.5 generation fighter jet, alongside a small AEW&C detachment of E-2 aircraft
(Plus varios ASW helicopters, deadly to any submarine.)
4 Le Triomphant-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines
6 Rubis-class nuclear attack submarines
2 Horizon-class air defense destroyers
2 Jean Bart-class air defense destroyers
3 FREMM ASW frigates
5 Georges Leygues-class ASW frigates
5 La Fayette-class general purpose (anti-surface with very limited ASW and AA capabilities) frigates
Alright, so lets break it down:
The French have a (true) carrier, while the brits have none
Both navies have equal numbers of ballistic missile subs, but the French ones are younger, more modern, and with better anti-surface capabilities, although both are equally quiet, as confirmed when two subs of both classes accidentally collided while underwater after neither managed to detect the other.
Britain has 7 attack subs, while France has 6, and France’s fleet is far older and less capable than her British counterparts overall, being their first generation of this type of subs, with all 6 vessels being close to decommissioning, while in Britain’s case only the Trafalgar boats share a similar situation.
In surface combatants, Britain has the numerical advantage with 19 vessels vs 17 french ones, and overall hers are of superior quality, specially compared to the older George Leygues and Jean Bart classes, the FREMMs being basic frigates with Stealth characteristics and piss-poor AA systems, and the 2 Horizons being slightly inferior to their Type 45 counterparts, both classes sharing somewhat similar requirements as both were originally envisioned as a single multi-national class.
So, all in all, a very tough choice, but the French carrier, the world’s sole non-america fully-fledged vessel of her kind, is a big game changer, and that coupled with the slightly superior french ballistic missile subs and adequate surface fleet, has to make France the winner, if only by a small margin.