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Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 8:58pm

French News Archive

This thread will link to the various French news summaries over the last few years.

1940 News





Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 8:59pm

Original News Thread

July 8 - Le Figaro
The Marine Nationale has announced that the cruisers Roland and Oliphant, presently deployed to Djibouti, will be withdrawn in November 1940 to return for reconstruction. They will be replaced on that station by the Atlantic Fleet's cruisers Duquesne and Gloire. As a precursor to their deployment abroad, the Duquesne and Gloire will make a series of port calls in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Nordmark, and Britain.

July 10 - Paris-Soir
Officials of the Aeronavale unveiled the Bloch MB.1050 Milan carrier fighter today at a quiet ceremony at the factory of Société des Avions Marcel Bloch. The "Milan" is the first French aircraft designed to operate from aircraft carriers, and shows the excellent design skills of Mr. Bloch and his engineers.

July 17 - Le Figaro
Groundbreaking for Bloch's new Argenteuil production plant began today. This new facility, to be completed late next year, will place Bloch at the forefront of the aviation manufactories of France, with the capability to produce significant numbers of aircraft per year.

August 17 - La Croix
Colonial authorities in Suva, Fiji have reported that the German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Derfflinger have dropped anchor in Suva harbour, where Governor Julien visited the flagship and welcomed them. The German ships are engaged in a world cruise.

August 18 - Le Figaro, Letters to the Editor
"I see in yesterday's news that the Germans have sent two battlecruisers to the Pacific, where they called on our naval base at Fiji. And what does the government do? They welcome them politely! My three brothers died to defeat the vicious Hun, and now our government smiles in servility while their cruisers sail around the world. It disgusts me." - Anon.

"I'm interested to read of the German cruiser squadron calling in Fiji this week. It is another demonstration of Germany's return to a leading place in civilized Europe. I pray though that their national resurrection remains positive for the peace of Europe and the world" - M. Fontaine, Paris

September 16
The heavy cruiser Duquesne and Gloire have weighed anchor and left Brest for their cruise in northern regions.

September 17
The Belgian Navy's flagship King Albert received the cruisers Duquesne and Gloire with salutes upon their arrival off Antwerp.

September 21
The 3rd Cruiser Division has departed Antwerp bound for Amsterdam. A spokesman for the French Navy stated that the port visit was "highly successful in building a better working relationship with the new-born navy of our northern neighbors."

September 22
The 3rd Cruiser Division has arrived in Amsterdam, escorted into harbour by the cruiser Zwarte Arend.

September 25
The 3rd Cruiser Division has departed Amsterdam at the conclusion of their port visit.

September 25 - Paris-Soir
The Force de Raid under Vice-Admiral Edmond Tessier has left Marseilles. The Marine Nationale declined to comment on their destination, stating simply that the squadron was "conducting exercises."

September 26
Duquesne and Gloire have dropped anchor at the German naval base of Bremerhaven.

September 30
The 3rd Cruiser Division has departed Bremerhaven. Contra-amiral Gerard Villechaize described the atmosphere as "courteous" and noted that the crew of the Prinz Eugen beat the combined French crews at an impromptu football match, but "politely shared a few beers with us afterward".

October 1
Duquesne docks at Coldmere while Gloire calls at Oslo.

October 2
The Force de Raid under Vice-Admiral Edmond Tessier has arrived at Djibouti following a leisurely transit of the Mediterranean, Suez, and Red Sea.

October 3
The 3rd Cruiser Division rejoins at the rendezvous north of Denmark. The Gloire's visit to Oslo went off without hitch, while Duquesne reported two seamen were picked up by shore patrol for gambling in the casino.

October 4
The 3rd Cruiser Division has arrived at Copenhagen. Contra-amiral Villechaize exchanged several cases of French wine for an undisclosed quantity of Danish beer. A party ensued.

October 7 - Journal Français Aéronautique
Prolific inventor-engineer Dimitri Sensaud de Lavaud recently accepted an offer to join the design staff of Hispano-Suiza. While Hispano-Suiza has not publicly stated what duties Monsieur Sensaud de Lavaud will undertake, it seems highly likely that they will be related to his expertise with turbojet engines.

October 8
The 3rd Cruiser Division cruised from Copenhagen to Karlskrona to call on the Nordish.

October 8
Renault and Somua have entered their final submissions to the French Army for a new tank.

Renault's submission focuses on minimizing weight, while using a low-velocity 75mm gun intended to serve best in the infantry support role. Somua's submission is significantly larger, but has better armour and a larger 75mm/L53 cannon, better suited for engaging enemy tanks. Somua's submission has the additional benefit of sharing the same hull and drive train as the Drouot tank-destroyer, currently under development to enter service in 1941.

See here for Somua's submission.
See here for Renault's submission.

October 9 - La Croix
Loire-Nieuport reports that the new Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Indochine (Industrial Aviation Workshops of Indochina) aircraft maintenance facility in the city of Bien Hoa, Indochina has opened for business. The aircraft maintenance facility is the first stage of the AIAI's development plan. The second development stage, planned for completion in January 1941, will give the AIAI the capability to construct LN-180 primary trainer aircraft in Bien Hoa. The construction plant, originally intended for November, has been delayed until January due to unforeseen construction difficulties.

October 11
Georges Mandel, the Minister of the Colonies, has called for the investment of forty million francs for the completion of the Abidjan-Ouagadougou Railway, which was started in 1905 but remains incomplete. Minister Mandel additionally called for an additional fifteen million francs to invest in the improvements of the ports of Abidjan, Grand Lahou, and San Pedro (in Côte d'Ivoire). The investments are needed in order to accommodate larger and newer refrigerator ships currently being employed in the export of bananas and pineapples to Europe.

October 12
The 3rd Cruiser Division has departed Karlskrona following a port call on the Nordmark Royal Navy. The two cruisers will return to Brest for a short period of rest and recovery before deploying to Djibouti to relieve the 4th Cruiser Division, which will return to France for refit.

October 15
The French government has announced that a small number of technical advisory teams have been formed to assist friendly states with developing and constructing a radio teledection-based air-warning network. As part of the new program, the Assemblée nationale has approved a number of pieces of radio-teledection equipment for export. The French government has acknowledged at least three countries have accepted the assistance of the French technical mission, with one country already opening negotiations to purchase equipment.

October 17
Marcel Bloch has announced that his company is currently engaged in developing a new long-ranged four-engine airliner, the MB.970. Bloch commented that, while the specifications shall not yet be released, the initial version of the aircraft shall carry at least eighty passengers, and will be powered by an diesel aero engine, an unusual first for a Bloch aircraft. The Clerget 16H diesel engine is still under development at Société Clerget-Blin et Cie.

October 17
The Force de Raid has left Djibouti. Sources close to the French Navy have privately indicated the fleet is steaming to provide a major presence in French Indochina due to the nascent conflict brewing between China and the Philippines.

October 21
An escadrille of Bloch MB.157 fighters has left the Société des Avions Marcel Bloch factory at Villacoublay bound for Romania. The aircraft is under consideration for purchase by the Romanian Air Force and license construction at IAR.

Although the MB.157 has been in development for several years, a few issues prevented it from entering production until just recently. The MB.157 has started entering service with Groupe de Chasse II/2, which finished operational conversion to the plane in August.

In related aviation news, preparations are underway for the start of the Paris Air Show at the end of November.

October 30
Gnome et Rhône's motorcycle division has debuted a motorcycle, the "Asie Junior", which company officials claim is designed "to motorize the world." While the Asie Junior will be manufactured in limited numbers in France for the local market, Gnome et Rhône intends for sales to be made primarily outside of metropolitan France, with a brand-new factory to be built in Hanoi solely to produce Asie Juniors for the Indochina market. As a result, the Asie Junior's design is not optimized for speed, but for ease and economy of manufacturing as well as high reliability.

If Gnome et Rhône's gamble in Indochina pays off, the company says it is willing to consider another new factory to produce motorcycles for the African market.

November 3
The French Navy, Army, and Air Forces have announced the creation of the Centre Interarmee de Operations Amphibies ("Interservice Amphibious Operations Centre") in order to create a comprehensive doctrine for interservice cooperation in amphibious operations. The Centre Interarmee de Operations Amphibies will take over from a previous organization manned completely by the Marine Nationale, although field exercises will be delayed until the Navy's amphibious ships return from their deployment to Cam Ranh Bay. The Centre Interarmee de Operations Amphibies will inherit the Navy's office in Arzew, Algeria as their operational headquarters.

November 4
The famous Franco-Atlantean actress Eos de Lisle arrived in Le Havre aboard the liner SS Pasteur to a raucous welcome. Mdmsle de Lisle is returning from Atlantis, where she participated in the filming of the movie Séraphin, due to come out in the summer of 1941. Séraphin, filmed in two languages by a cast composed entirely of bilingual Atlantean and French actors, is already highly anticipated, in part due to de Lisle's sudden rise in popularity in France.

November 8
The French government has announced that a fourth country has accepted an invitation to receive a Technical Mission to assist in the creation of a radio-teledetection based air defense system. French spokesmen declined to identify the country on the basis of client anonymity. With the possibility of increased foreign orders, both Sagem Défense Sécurité and Thomson CSF have announced expansions to their production facilities for both military radios and radio-teledetection units.

November 11
Armistice Day. Veterans turned out in great numbers to celebrate the twenty-third anniversary of the Armistice that ended the Great World War. President LeBrun, speaking to a crowd at the Arc de Triomph, reminded the crowd that "While there may be peace in Europe, there is no peace in the world."

Notable among the foreign dignitaries present for remembrance ceremonies was the German ambassador to Paris, who received a subdued response from the crowds. While some veterans groups disapproved of the ambassador's presence, most veterans disagreed, with one old soldier quoted saying "We both suffered greatly, both victors and vanquished; and we are united by the sharing of it. As the scars of our wounds fade, it is just that the hate fade with them; but not the memory and the will to prevent such a blight from spreading its stain again."

November 12 to November 22
Ivry-sur-Seine Conference.

November 24 to December 8
Paris Air Show.

December 2
Gnome et Rhône's motorcycle division confirmed rumors among the motoring press that they have concluded a deal to invest in a new motorcycle factory to produce the new Asie Junior motorcycle for the South American market. In addition to motorcycles, the factory will build aero engines for use in Brazilian aircraft.

December 5
The Marine Nationale announces that it shall conduct amphibious landing exercises between the cities of Phan Thiet and Vung Tau (Indochina) between January 2nd and January 20th of 1941. The Marine Nationale foresees no difficulties for foreign civil or military vessels and all critical portions of the exercise will be in the territorial waters of French Indochina.

December 7
As is traditional at the Paris Air Show, a number of key contracts and agreements were finalized and announced. Among these was a deal announced between German aero-engine manufacturer Argus and French manufacturer Dietrich-Lorraine for the French company to license-manufacture the Argus As 8, As 10, As 410, and As 411 aero engines. This will permit Dietrich-Lorraine to manufacture engines for the Nord Pingouin (license-manufactured BFW Bf108 Taifun) as well as other uses.

As part of the deal, Dietrich-Lorraine shall sub-license the Argus line for production at the soon-to-be-complete Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Indochine (AIAI) engine works in Bien Hoa, outside Saigon, Indochina. As part of the complicated agreement, AIAI will build engines both for use in their aviation factory, as well to the Thai National Aeronautical Company (TNAC, formerly BAM).

In a separate but closely interrelated agreement, the Thai National Aeronautical Company and Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Indochine (and AIAI's parent company, Loire-Nieuport) have announced their intent to collaborate in the design of a "Counter-Insurgency Aircraft" using the AIAI-licensed Argus As 411 engine. This aircraft, produced by both AIAI and TNAC, will equip both the Armee de l'Aire in French Indochina as well as the Royal Thai Airforce.

December 9
The French Army accepted the first of several mild steel prototypes of Somua's proposed 33-ton tank. Three copies of the Renault 18-ton light tank have already been accepted by the Army and are undergoing testing. The Somua and Renault offerings will compete against existing tanks and each other as the Army attempts to determine the future of the French armoured branch.

The Army is additionally looking at replacing all of the FCM Char-2C tanks currently in service before the end of 1941. Orders for the Transall FT-37 - the Char-2C's most probable successor - have reportedly increased substantially.

In other related news, a consortium of French truck-manufacturing concerns have signed a contract with Russian automaker ZiL (Zavod imeni Likhacheva) to collaborate on development of a family of 6x6 trucks for the Russian and French Armies. Berliet, acting as the leader of the French consortium, will collaborate directly with ZiL, building a plant at Kazan for truck production, while Unic and Panhard will offer additional funding and experience for variant designs. Unic and ZiL will undertake a development of the truck chassis for use as an amphibious transport vehicle, while Panhard will use the chassis to develop a six-wheeled armoured infantry transporter.

December 11
Following on the previous announcement of automotive deals with the Russian government, Citroen has announced it will construct a truck plant at Volgograd for production of the Citroen 45 truck. But Renault unveiled the largest project, announcing that they would build a factory in Moscow to begin 2CV construction in March 1942, only a month after 2CV construction begins in France. This factory will produce 2CV cars for the Russian market. Louis Renault noted that "while we have designed the 2CV for the French countryside, all the design decisions we took make the 2CV the perfect first automobile for great numbers of the Russian people. For the first time, the benefits of the automobile will be accessible to more than just the middle and upper class."

December 12
The French Navy announces that the "Djibouti Coastal Patrol Group" will be broken up into four "Sloop Divisions" of two ships each. The 1st and 2nd divisions, with the sloops Zephir, Méduse, Cléopâtre, and Désirée, will remain at Djibouti. The 3rd division (Bellone and Aréthuse) will redeploy to Dakar, while the 4th division (Égyptienne and Piémontaise) will deploy to Abidjan.

December 13
The Service Technique de l'Aéronautique has approved funding for two turbojet development projects currently proposed by Hispano-Suiza and Société Rateau-Anxionnaz. Hispano-Suiza's project, advanced by engineer Dimitri Sensaud de Lavaud, is a further development of Sensaud de Lavaud's earlier turbojet design, and Hispano-Suiza will deliver three completed engines for test demonstration by the end of 1941. Société Rateau-Anxionnaz's project, the A.60, is based on the research work of René Anxionnax, and already undergoing testing at Rateau's workshop.

December 16
The Armee de l'Aire has released the figures for all aircraft delivered in 1940, and estimates for 1941.

December 23
Amidst the bustle of the approaching holidays, French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet noted in a press conference that the French government was "extremely concerned" about the apparent moves in China to take their military industry to a wartime footing. "It is becoming increasingly plausible to the people of the world that the Chinese government intends to continue and expand its war of aggression towards the Republic of the Philippines." When asked by reporters how the French government intended to address the situation and if military expenditures would increase, Bonnet answered "At the moment I don't believe France needs to move our economy to a war footing, but we can't rule out that possibility if the war expands. We have increased defense expenditures particularly for the forces in Indochina simply to ensure that we are not unprepared if China - or the Philippines, even - sees fit to expand the war."

The South China Sea War has received substantial media coverage in Indochina, where public reaction, particularly in Laos and northern Vietnam, has turned strongly against the Chinese government, which is increasingly perceived by the average Indochinese native as expansionist in nature. While many Indochinese natives continue to see China and the remaining SATSUMA powers as the Asian defenders against European colonialism, India's departure of the alliance and China's war against their former Philippine ally has come as an intense disappointment to the Indochinese populace. Nguyen Thanh Liem, the Vietnamese mayor of Hanoi and one of the leading native voices rising through the ranks of the colonial administration, wrote on December 20th: "For years, many if not most of us [Vietnamese] have seen in SATSUMA an 'alliance of conscience', dedicated to ideals such as anti-colonialism and Pan-Asian unity. The people of Indochina are proud and have not accepted our status as a French colony with light hearts. But over the last two years, though high rhetoric is spoken, we have seen the distressing truth. Pan-Asian unity was a farce, and the great powers of the Asian alliance have shown that they only oppose European colonialism because it clashes with Asian colonialism. More alarmingly, the European colonial agenda, though many of us will not yet admit it aloud, may in fact be more enlightened in nature. The Indochinese people know of the state of Persia, in the suzerain thrall of Bharat, and now, as we watch this war on our eastern ocean, even the most diehard Vietnamese patriot in the most hard-line of the independence parties must pause and imagine these provinces of Indochina - or our Philippine neighbors - under the command of foreign imperial masters. With such nightmares, the alternatives proposed between the colonial administration and the French government look more appealing to us by the day."


Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 9:00pm

Original News Thread

January 1
The new aircraft carriers Vengeur and Pacificateur were laid down today in La Rochelle. These new carriers, modified versions of the Bucentaure-class aircraft carriers laid down two years ago, will enter the Marine Nationale in 1944. The MN has also laid down eight new destroyers in the large (Surcouf) and small (Sabre) classes.

January 2
The sail-training ship Belle Poule has departed Brest with a complement of officer graduates from the Ecole Navale. The ship will conduct a cruise of the western hemisphere, calling at ports as far away as South America before returning to Europe in early May.

January 6
The Ministry of Defense has requested, as part of its annual report to the government, the construction of additional oil depot reserves for use by the Marine Nationale. Read more here.

January 8
The Aeronavale reports that it has acquired the Chilean "metalclad" airship Aquiles for French use. Read more here.

January 20
The French airships Jacques Charles and Charles Nungesser arrived in Brazil today. Read more here.

January 20
A series of French amphibious assault exercises ended today, with the Marine Nationale reporting "a highly satisfactory performance". The exercises, carried out by landing ships of the Marine Nationale and Indochina-based colonial elements of the French Army, took place between the Indochinese towns of Phan Thiet and Vung Tau. A total of eight different landings were made by different Tirailleurs indochinois units of the Troupes Coloniales. Over four thousand men of the Tirailleurs indochinois participated, including a colonial tank company. These units were locally-recruited in Indochina and equipped with the latest military equipment.

A number of foreign observers were permitted to view the exercises from the landing ships.

January 24
The aircraft carrier Vauban and a quartet of escorting destroyers was detached from the Force de Raid today and left Cam Ranh Bay, steaming for Sattahip to make a port call on the Royal Thai Navy.

January 27
The French carrier Vauban and four destroyers began a week-long port call in Sattahip, Thailand.

January 28
The Renault and SOMUA cavalry tanks now undergoing testing by the French Army have received official names. The 18-ton Renault design has received the appellation "Bruyere", after famed cavalry General Jean-Pierre-Joseph Bruyere; while the 33-ton SOMUA design has received the designation "Montbrun", after General Louis-Pierre Montbrun.

January 30
Sources within aircraft firm Arsenal de l'Aéronautique report that the planned prototype of the Arsenal VB.20 high-altitude interceptor and escort fighter, originally planned for construction in November 1940, has still not been built... Read more here.

January 31
The French Parliament voted today to accept the Marine Nationale's recommendation to create two Naval Construction Demi-Brigades. The first of these units already exists in ad-hoc form, and will be formally constituted in New Caledonia in February. The second brigade will be created in Metropolitan France sometime this spring. The Demi-Brigades will carry out vital construction tasks related to the development of bases for warships as well as naval aircraft.

February 3
After several delays. the Farman F.400 Ourse made its maiden flight today.

February 4
The proposed Akosombo Dam and the Tema aluminum smelter project in French Ghana has hit a major snag over issues with the price. Extensive controversy surrounds the project, mainly focusing on the issue of the project's financial viability. The French colonial administration is increasingly strongly opposed to borrowing funds to loan to the Volta River Authority to construct the dam, and has sought to push private funding to construct the dam. However, very few private companies have the financial reserves - estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of francs - necessary to take over construction of the dam, particularly when other, cheaper projects offer better short-term viability.

February 5
Circular to all governments: the French, Iberian, and Royal Thai navies will be conducting joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea south of San Hainando at some point between February 17th and 21st. No undue issues with civilian merchant shipping are anticipated at this point.

February 6
After an extended sailing delay, four Zephir-class sloops have left the port of Djibouti en route to their new ports of operations. The Égyptienne and Piémontaise shall voyage to their new homeport of Abidjan, stopping for port visits and public open days in Cape Town and Libreville (SAE). Their sisterships Bellone and Aréthuse will cruise to their new homeport of Dakar, stopping for port calls in Syrie, Greece, Yugoslavia, Italy, Iberia, and Gibraltar.

February 6 - Le Figaro
Of interest to our readers may be this item from the Armee de Terre, which announced several days ago that a group of sixteen men have departed Abidjan, in Côte d'Ivoire, in an ambitious attempt to drive from Abidjan to Algiers, across the whole of western Africa. The expedition is being undertaken at the request of defense manufacturer Transall, which is competing for a contract to supply infantry carriers to the Army. Transall wishes to prove the reliability of their newly-developed infantry carriers to the army, and arranged for the expedition, reminiscent of the "Black Cruise" of 1924-1925 by Citroen half-tracks.

The expedition reportedly arrived by ship in Abidjan four days ago, but wasted no time getting underway, leaving at once. At the latest report, the convoy should reach the city of Ouagoudougou in the next day or two. The perils of savage Africa still stretch out before them, with wildlife, uncertain or nonexistent roads, and the sand sea of the western Sahara between them and their final goal on the shores of the Mediterranean.

February 10
The French Army has concluded acceptance trials for two tanks in consideration for adoption. The Army has elected to adopt both tanks for service. The smaller vehicle, the eighteen-tonne Renault Char-6A Bruyere, will be used as a light reconnaissance and colonial tank, while the larger 33-tonne SOMUA Char-8A Montbrun will be used as the main French tank. Orders for the new tanks are currently being negotiated with Renault and SOMUA, and other companies will likely build the tanks under license. AMX and Hotchkiss have already negotiated terms to build versions of the Char-6A Bruyere, while ARL, APX, and ACL are reportedly to receive some orders for the Montbrun.

In additional news, AMX and FCM are reportedly preparing a design for a "battle-cruiser" tank for the consideration of the Army.

February 11
On the heels of the Renault Char-6A's adoption by the French Army, Renault and the French Army has announced that it will send two of the Bruyere mild steel prototypes to the Kingdom of Thailand, along with six brand-new VBE-6 tank training vehicles. The Royal Thai Army has shown an interest in potentially acquiring the Bruyere, and the prototype tanks will be sent to demonstrate the vehicle's qualities to the Thai Army's commanders. The tank training vehicles will be loaned to the Thai Army indefinitely, and should a sales agreement be reached, the training tanks will be gifted to the Thai Army. In the event the Thais pick another vehicle, the training tanks will be returned to serve in Indochina.

February 14
With the French elections now three months away, and the deadline for filing candidacies rapidly approaching, several politicians have announced their candidacy for the office of the president. This coming election appears to be increasingly important for the course of the nation, as a number of vital issues, such as the future Indochina plebiscite, will likely present a challenge to the next government. Current contenders for the presidency are Maurice Thorez (Parti communiste français), Félix Gouin (Parti socialiste français), Paul Theisman (Alliance républicaine), and Guy Morel (Front républicain).

February 24
The first six Lioré-et-Olivier LeO 400 naval floatplanes were delivered today to the naval aerodrome at Marseilles. This new floatplane, powerful and fast, will soon re-equip the Marine Nationale, serving as the fleet's eyes and ears. Even before entering French service, it has attracted the discerning eye of an as-yet unnamed export customer, which placed an order for forty aircraft.

February 25
Three of the largest utility companies in France announced their intent to merge to form Électricité de France S.A., which will become the largest utilty supplier in France. The government has encouraged discussions leading to the merger in the belief that it will lead to better investment in the national electric network.

February 28
The Breguet Br.890 airliner entered service today with Air France, making a round trip from Paris to Zurich. The high-speed pressurized airliner gained favorable reviews when shown at the 1940 Paris Air Show, and Breguet's designers have indicated that they are working on a longer-ranged variant with the more economical Clerget 16H aero-diesel. The French armed forces have reportedly taken a medium transport version under consideration as well.

March 3
The French military journal Le Spectateur militaire may be making a comeback next month, as three retired officers of the French Army have teamed with a publisher to return the magazine to print. Le Spectateur militaire, first published in 1826, commented on military topics ranging from history, to foreign developments, to reports of current military events.

March 4
At an open house at their company headquarters today, Citroen showed off the first prototypes of the upcoming 2CV small car. Read more here.

March 6
The Armee de Terre has confirmed rumors that a number of substantial military reforms are underway, including an adjustment to the overall force levels of the Army. The Army's leadership and spokesmen declined to comment on the nature of the reforms, but stated that they would "increase the modern fighting power, sustainability, and professionalism of the Army."

March 7
The final date to file a candidacy for the French presidential elections on May 12th brought no surprises. The current contenders are Monsieur Maurice Thorez (or the leftist Parti communiste français), Félix Gouin of the center-left Parti socialiste français, Guy Morel of the center-left Front républicain, and Paul Theisman, the leader of the right Alliance républicaine.

March 9
Locals flocked into the city of Accra today to protest the proposed Akosombo Dam project. The proposed dam, intended to power an aluminium smelter, will drown some of Côte-de-l'Or's best riverside farmland under the world's largest manmade lake. Although Accra police observed the crowd, no incidents occurred.

The French colonial governor, speaking with reporters via telephone, said "this project will indisputably cause major changes to the way of life in many regions of Côte-de-l'Or, and wild rumors in this region result in uncertainty and anger from the local populace. Paris needs to communicate better with the people in order to ensure they understand the effects and are not deceived by false rumor.

March 10
The Service Technique de l'Aéronautique has approved paper designs submitted by Marcel Bloch for an engine trials aircraft. The plane will be designated the Bloch MB.1000.

March 12
The Cavalry School at Saumer has been officially transferred to the new Armoured Cavalry Branch, and will carry on the traditions of both the French cavalry and tank branches. The school will be renamed the École d'application de l'arme blindée cavalerie. The well-regarded Major Philippe Leclerc, who heroically distinguished himself as a captain at the Battle of Meknes in the Rif-Atlas War in 1937, has received promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel and requested to take up the post of Commandant.

March 14
The French Army has begun testing the new grenade à manche modele 1941, which is designed to improve the performance of the current 25mm antitank guns currently in service. The grenade à manche modele 1941, which resembles an outsized rifle grenade, has a section which fits in the barrel of a standard mle 1934 antitank gun and is fired by a special blank round, much in the same way as a rifle grenade.

March 18 - L'Union, Business Section
A young entrepreneur and aviator named Max Holste has announced his intent to acquire the production workshops formerly belonging the Guichet et Fossier SNC in order to produce airplanes. Monsieur Holste's new company will be named S.A. Avions Max Holste.

March 19 - Nouveau Journal Coloniale
Emile Abraham, a prominent Lebanese businessman, has outlined to the French colonial administration in Beirut a proposal to turn the coastal port of Jounieh into the "Monte Carlo of the Middle East". This small sea-side city on the outskirts of Beirut has seen some hard times following the Great War, but remains a modest tourist destination, and is the seat of the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. Abraham's proposal suggests building a new casino, the Casino du Liban, and an aerial gondola lift to the Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine at the top of a steep nearby mountain, as well as concurrent work on other tourist sites in the region.

March 19
The French Armed Forces have sought to acquire ground near Biscarrosse, allegedly to establish a new seaplane base along the Atlantic coast.

March 21 - Paris-Soir
Air France has announced that the Bloch MB.970 Transatlantique will initiate trans-oceanic service from Paris to New York, via Shannon or Cleito, sometime this summer. Shortly thereafter, the MB.970 will also enter trans-oceanic service to Sao Paulo, Brazil via Dakar and Fortaleza. Air France has also announced that it will be revamping its service in Africa with new aircraft and increased routes.

March 24 - Paris-Soir, business section
Transall and Michelin spokesmen confirmed rumors that they started informal negotiations regarding Transall purchasing a controlling stake in Citroen. The negotiations reportedly were initiated at the behest of Citroen's leadership, as they are dissatisfied with Michelin's unwillingness to use funds to sell Citroens outside France, or to increase the company's market share in France. While the French government arranged a deal allowing Citroen to build and sell the upcoming 2CV in Russia, Michelin's management has put the dampers on any major factory improvements or factory expansions to meet the demand. Other export opportunities have reportedly been overlooked.

According to insider reports, Transall will offer to purchase a major part of Michelin's stock, but the tyre manufacturer will maintain a significant percentage of ownership, and new-built Citroens will continue to use Michelin tyres exclusively. Transall will, in turn, help market Citroens internationally and may fund a new factory in France.

March 25
François Hussenot, an engineer with Centre d'Essais en Vol de Marignane, has received a patent for the so-called "Hussenograph", which is a device fitted to aircraft to record vital data for future review.

March 26 - Toulon-Matin
The 4e Groupement Aérien de Porte-avions has reported successful conversion to the new Bloch MB.1050 Milan, Breguet Br.890 and Latécoère Late-550 Épaulard carrier aircraft. The 4e Groupement, to be assigned to the carrier L'Ocean upon completion of her trials later this year, is the first to be equipped with the new aircraft, as the squadrons of the Force de Raid are still deployed away from Toulon.

March 28 - Le Monde
The French Parliament voted today on the "Act to Create a National Road System" to authorize funds to make substantial improvements to the French road network, acting on recommendations put forward by the transportation ministry. The project has acquired a broad degree of support from all sides of the political spectrum, as the Left believes it will provide money for the creation of construction jobs, while others point to the beneficial aspects for defense, the French auto industry, European tourism, and national pride.

The Act provides for the construction of two "Autoroutes" based on the model of the German autobahn network and the Eastern European Autostrada, as well as a number of smaller Voie rapide roads, or "Route nationale". In addition, a number of "Route en 2+1" roads will be built. (Map and further information will follow.)

March 31 - Paris-Soir
A government spokesman has confirmed reports that the Leduc O.10 test aircraft has conducted a number of "composite flights" at Centre d'Essais en Vol, mounted on a Bloch MB.161 mothership. These composite flights allow Rene Leduc and his engineers to test the airframe's design in actual flight situations. If composite flights go as planned, the CEV intends to launch the aircraft from the mothership for gliding trials sometime in May.

The O.10 currently undergoing testing lacks an engine, but Leduc hopes to have the ramjet working for a powered flight later this year.


Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 9:01pm

Original News Thread

April 3
The French Army has released a number of RFPs to the French defense industry for new military equipment as part of the recent army reorganization. Also released is a summary of (unclassified) equipment currently on order by the Army.

April 4
The amphibious landing ships Jacara and Gerboise, along with the accompanying tanker Cap Corse and the destroyer Valmy, have arrived at Port Vila with elements of the 1er Demi-Brigade du génie naval. These units are deployed on a training exercise, and will construct a civil airfield for the city of Port Vila.

April 4 - Paris-Soir
Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and Minister of National Economy Raymond Patenôtre have traveled to Vienna to attend the 1941 meeting of the PETA heads of state.

April 5
The first three production Char-8 Montbrun tanks were displayed at the École d'application de l'arme blindée cavalerie at Saumer alongside four preproduction VCI-41 motor carriers. The new Montbrun tanks will be handed off soon to the 1er Brigade de reaction rapide to begin operational conversion training.

April 4 - Paris-Soir
Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and Minister of National Economy Raymond Patenôtre have traveled to Vienna to attend the 1941 meeting of the PETA heads of state.

April 5
The first three production Char-8 Montbrun tanks were displayed at the École d'application de l'arme blindée cavalerie at Saumer alongside four preproduction VCI-41 motor carriers. The new Montbrun tanks will be handed off soon to the 1er Brigade de reaction rapide to begin operational conversion training.

April 7 - Toulon-Matin
Major elements of the Mediterranean Fleet, including the battleships France, Republique, Provence, Bretagne, and Lorraine, the battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg, and their escorts, have departed Toulon on a goodwill cruise of the Mediterranean.

April 10
The Ecole guerre aérienne des Alliés (Allied Aerial Warfare School) has announced that it will take delivery of twenty-five American P-51 Mustang fighters. The aircraft will supplement the School's extensive collection of international aircraft, which are used to train FAR allied pilots in air-to-air combat. The Mustangs will be used by the Escadron de agresseur, a group of instructor pilots who are responsible for teaching vital air-combat skills to the pilot trainees.

April 14
Société Clerget-Blin et Cie has announced that it has acquired the assets of the defunct Le Groupe d’études de moteurs à huile lourde (GEMHL), an aero-diesel development firm. Under the terms of the acquisition, GEMHL will produce parts for Clerget aviation turbo-diesels, and will help Clerget meet the increasing demand for their fuel-efficient engines.

April 16
Renault celebrated the production of the forty thousandth model of the Renault 4CV today.

April 17
Four doctors have created the Association Médicale de Afrique de l'Ouest, a charitable organization to assist in the development of medical clinics in French West Africa. The organization is supported by the French Catholic church. The founders have announced that they will seek to use aircraft to fly into remote areas in order to help provide better services to African people.

April 21
The first production Bloch MB.970 Transatlantique, painted in the colors of Air France, took off today from the airfield at Déols to undertake its acceptance flight. Three more aircraft are scheduled to enter service before the end of June, when Air France hopes to initiate Paris-to-Cleito and Paris-to-New York service. Still hidden in the Déols factory is the prototype for the MB.972, the so-called "Super-Transatlantique", which will carry several more passengers and be capable of much greater range.

April 23
The newly-formed Électricité de France has announced that to meet the rising demand for electricity production in France, it has started design work for a new 350 MW hydroelectric plant on the Rhone, the Barrage de Donzère-Mondragon. Accompanying the project will be a 24km-long diversion channel to power the plant and improve river navigation on the Rhone, permitting the passage of 11.4m x 190m river traffic.

April 26
Two people were treated for minor injuries and shock today when lightning struck the Eiffel Tower.

April 29
A final composite flight of the Leduc O.10 was carried out today. The next flight, scheduled for May, will launch the (unpowered) O.10 aircraft for free-flight glider trials.

April 30
The new airfield at Port Vila was opened for service today. The airfield was constructed as part of a military exercise by the 1er Demi-Brigade du génie naval, but will handle civilian air-travel into this important island city.

May 2
The Leduc O.10 prototype made its first unpowered free-flight today. The Bloch MB.161 mothership carried the aircraft to 3,200 meters before beginning a full-power dive. As the airspeed reached 450 kph, the crew detached the Leduc from its carrying cradle, and the aircraft soared away. The Leduc, under the skillful control of test pilot Jean Seigner, glided back down to the runway, tracked by the photographic chase planes of the CEM.

This first flight, though an excellent step forward, is not yet a landmark occasion, as the novel ramjet engine is not yet installed. Further composite flights with the installed engine will be necessary before the Leduc can fly independently under ramjet power.

May 5
Amiot and Arsenal de l'Aéronautique announced today that they have concluded an agreement for Amiot to license-build the VG.60 Revenant. Read more here.

May 6
The main body of the Force de Raid returned to Toulon today, having returned from their deployment to Indochina. Some units remain temporarily in the Pacific. The battlecruisers Paris and Lyon have additionally replaced the battleships Richelieu and Courbet as the capital ships of the Pacific Fleet, permitting those battleships to come back to France.

May 7
With one week remaining before the French elections, the four main candidates have entered the final stretch of their campaigning. Read more here.

May 8
The French Army accepted a proposal from Camions Bernard for a new all-terrain tank transporter. The new 8x8 DI-8B transporter weighs twenty metric tons and can tow a Char-2 Lefebvre tank on a trailer. It is powered by an Alsthom MD.8/24 diesel engine, similar to the ones used on the Char-8 Montbrun tank.

May 10
Work on the hospital ship Paix is reportedly completed at the dockyard in Bordeaux.

May 12
The Artillery Technical Service announced that it has successfully completed trials of 132mm and 200mm rockets designed for use as artillery. While the 132mm rocket is a near-clone of those manufactured in Russia, the 200mm rocket is of a mostly indigenous design, pioneered by the rocketry experts Colonel Jean-Jacques Barre and Robert Esnault-Pelterie for the Artillery Technical Service. Several demonstration "Batterie d'artillerie de roquettes" will be formed to provide further testing, and further development work on other projects is said to be ongoing. No further details are available at this time.

May 14
From all reports, the polls received a particularly high turnout for the national elections today. Details were not available, but many newspaper commentators predicted an easy victory by Félix Gouin of the French Socialist Party. Other observers were uncertain, pointing out that none of the "straw polls" were conducted in an unbiased manner.

May 15
Although the tally of votes continues, election officials speculated that it appears Paul Theisman and his Alliance républicaine party have triumphed in the national elections.

May 17
Election officials announced the results of the French national elections. Read more here.

May 19
Pending three run-off elections scheduled for June 8th, the Alliance républicaine holds 280 seats (48.5%) in the Chamber of Deputies and 173 seats (50.4%) in the Senate. Although the Alliance républicaine lacks an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies, it will likely form a coalition in the Chamber with one of the minority parties.

President-Elect Theisman will be inaugurated July 7th, and is currently preparing a cabinet.

May 21 - Paris-Soir, business section
At a joint press conference, spokesmen for Transall and Michelin announced Transall's acquisition of a significant percentage of Michelin's stock in Citroen, the result of three months hard negotiation by the various involved parties. The deals of the purchase are widely seen by auto industry specialists as favorable to Citroen, which will receive more opportunities to develop cars, as well as market them outside the country.

May 23
The spokesman for the Centre d'Essais en Vol has announced that since the first free-flight of the Leduc O.10 ramjet aircraft, three more independent free flights have been carried out, again with an unpowered airframe. However, the second O.10 prototype is currently in the shop undergoing modification to carry the ramjet engine.

May 26
The Colas Group's Société Anonyme pour la Construction et l'Entretien des Routes (SACER) unit was declared the low and preferred bidder for construction of the first French autoroute sections, including the planned Paris Ring Road.

May 27
President-Elect Theisman has announced the final set of nominations for cabinet positions. Read more here.

May 29
The Centre d'Essais en Vol announced to the aviation press that the second Leduc O.10 prototype aircraft, mounted in composite with a Bloch MB.161 mothership, completed its first composite flight with a working ramjet engine today. Read more here.

May 30
A number of talented young fashion designers have turned out to attend a fashion show in the Paris suburb of Meudon today. The show was designed to focus primarily on younger artistic talents who are seeking to break into the fashion market, although some established fashion designers, such as Jacques Heim and his junior partner Louis Réard, attended to lend credibility and draw media attention.

June 2
The Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile was formed today as a partnership between unspecified French investors and the German Auto-Union group. The new company, name shortened to Simca, will serve as the general agent for AU in France.

June 3
Officials of the Armee de l'Aire inspected an improved prototype of the Nord N.1500 Normandie parked at Orly Airport today. The big four-engine transport, highly desired as a transport aircraft by the military, is the seventh prototype built to date. The Normandie has seen some challenges, with the project now entering its fifth year of development, with paper designs for the Normandie existed at Potez as early as 1936. The 1937 Rif-Atlas revolt gave more urgency to the aircraft's development. The Armee de Terre has requested that the Normandie be capable of air-dropping a light vehicle, however, which the current aircraft, with its clamshell rear door, is unable to do.

June 4
The French Army has published the responses for the April 3rd proposal for a light utility car ("Véhicule léger tout-terrain", or VLTT). Vehicles will be tested and judged based on off-road performance, fuel economy, maintenance, ergonomics and design factors, towing capability, potential field modifications, cost, manufacturing capabilities, and a number of other factors. The purchasing commission will narrow the field to the three most valued contenders in July, whereupon extended field trials with prototypes shall begin.

June 5
Berliet has announced the purchase of inactive former automaker Ariès, complete with all facilities and equipment. Berliet has announced its intent to renovate the former Ariès factory to produce GBC-4 trucks for the military and civilian markets. The renovated facilities should begin operation in 1942, and be capable of producing two thousand trucks per year.

June 6
Oleg Losev, a Russian national and inventor, has accepted the invitation of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (National Centre for Scientific Research) to join a year-long study program in France to study electronics and computers.

June 9
The French military has issued a general informational alert regarding upcoming military exercises between the coastal towns of Phan Thiet and Vung Tau (near Saigon) in French Indochina. The exercises will be carried out jointly with Thai military units and will include air, land, and sea components.

June 10
ONERA (the Office National d'Études et de Recherches Aérospatiales) has opened a new wind-tunnel complex at Modane-Avrieux in the Savoy region of France. The complex includes two wind-tunnels of particular note, with a 15-meter wind tunnel capable of up to 700kph, and a 1.5-meter wind tunnel designed to generate speeds of at least 3000kph. The new high-speed wind tunnel is a critical component of ONERA's high-speed flight research.

June 11
A flight of three Lioré et Olivier LeO 400 floatplanes has departed France to make a tour of several countries in northern Europe, stopping in Belgium, Denmark, Nordmark, Poland, the Baltic states, and Ireland.

June 12
The Centre national d'enseignement à distance (National Center for Distance Education) has begun moving into their new headquarters in Paris. The CNED provides distance-learning materials to schools and individuals around the world.

June 13 - Le Figaro
The delayed Akesombo Dam and Tema Aluminium Smelter project in Côte-de-l'Or [1] continues to linger in administrative limbo... Read more here.

June 15 - Paris-Soir
Air France has initiated flights from Paris to Cleito today using the Bloch MB.970 Transatlantique airliner F-IGK today. Read more here.

June 16
The carrier L'Ocean weighed anchor from Toulon before dawn today, getting underway for the eastern Mediterranean to conduct port calls and sea trials. Embarked aboard France's newest carrier are forty LeO-400 floatplanes, which the L'Ocean will deliver to the Greek Navy during a port call in Athens. The floatplanes are being shipped in crated state, with their floats removed and wings folded.

In related news, the recently-rebuilt contretorpillieurs Roland and Olifant finished their refit in Brest and put to sea briefly to test their new engines. They will conduct another three months of trials before moving on to new assignments.

June 20
Officials of the Armee de Terre and the Marine Nationale inspected the new Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane SH.20 Cigale helicopter today at Dijon Air Base. The SH.20, designed at SFG with Atlantean and Russian cooperation, is a substantial improvement on the groundbreaking but mechanically complex Dorand G.II, which has been manufactured by SFG since 1937. Although the Cigale has not been seen by the private press, it has reportedly dispensed with the contra-rotating propellers of the G.II, instead using a Sikorsky-designed tail rotor to deal with torque issues. Reportedly, Monsieur Sikorsky worked quite closely with Monsieur Dorand and his design team, although at the present time it is not known if the Cigale will be adopted by any other FAR members.

Both the Marine Nationale and the Armee de Terre have shown growing interest in helicopters over the past few years. Although the Dorand G.II was known to be very complex and never lived up to the high performance expectations, it has proven to be a crucial stepping stone in the development of the helicopter. The SH.20, if accepted for service, may see production orders as early as December, although individuals within SFG have indicated that 1942 is a more likely date.

June 21
Preparations are underway for the next Tour de France, which begins on July 3rd. The world's most prestigious bicycling race will see the participation of individuals and teams from around the world.

June 23
With Air France's opening of Paris-to-New York service in the next week, the French Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (better know to travelers as "the French Line") has started a new advertising campaign emphasizing the safety, comfort and reliability of sea travel over the speed of the airliner. Their newest poster, released for use over the weekend, shows a CGT ocean liner as a solid, safe and imposing edifice, drawing a contrast to the fragility of the airliner.

June 24
The Armee de Terre has begun issuing, on a test bases, the new "Modele 1941" infantryman's boots. The new boots will replace footwear designed during the Great War, specifically the "Trench Boot". The new Modele 1941s have both the laces for the main part of the boot and a double-buckle system for the leggings. The design is reported to provide better comfort and support for the arches and ankles, and improves waterproofing while still maintaining a good airflow.

June 27
The Fédération du Scoutisme Français was founded today as a merger of several smaller scouting associations.

June 30
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg departed Toulon today on their planned goodwill cruise to the South Atlantic. Their first port call will be at Casablanca.


Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 9:02pm

Original News Thread

July 1
Air France opened service from Paris to New York City today, flying via Shannon Airport in Ireland and Vinland with a new Bloch MB.970 Transatlantique, the F-IGP. The aircraft was rigged for sleeper berths rather than high-capacity seating, and fifty-eight passengers, including a number of journalists, boarded the aircraft in Paris.

July 2
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg arrived in Casablanca today on the first stop of their planned midsummer cruise. A three-day port call is planned before they steam onward.

July 3
The Tour de France began today in Paris. Twenty teams of nine riders, all representing a country or region, started in Paris today on the twenty-one day race. They are preceded by the publicity caravan, a group of forty-five advertising vehicles.

July 4
The Republic of France offers their best wishes to the United States for their independence day, and their condolences to the British Empire.

July 5
The Dunkerque and Strasbourg departed Casablanca for their next call at the port of Dakar.

July 6
The Armee de l'Aire announced that it had reached an agreement with the Greek government to deploy a company of the AdlA's airfield construction specialists to train a similar Greek unit. As part of the agreement, the AdlA's 1ère Compagnie d'ingénierie d'Air and support elements of the Marine Nationale's 2e Demi-Brigade du génie naval would deploy with the newly-created Greek unit to Cyprus to build a new military and civil airfield at Nicosia. According to the plans, the new Nicosia airport will be a fully modern civil airport, capable of handling large airliners like the Douglas DC-4.

July 7
Paul Theisman was officially sworn in today as the President of the Republic of France. In his inaugural address, Theisman said that he would work to spread the values of freedom, justice and representative democracy, and would work with the FAR allies and other like-minded states to maintain the peace of Europe and the world.

July 8
The new production facility at Hispano-Suiza's Bois-Colombes factory was officially opened today. The new facility is reportedly capable of manufacturing a hundred new aero-engines and an unknown quantity of automobile engines per month, substantially raising the total production capabilities for the French aeronautical industry. The facility's opening comes as a relief to Hispano-Suiza, which has seen extremely high demand for HS-12Z engines, due in no small part to the large orders of VG.60 Revenants ordered this year by the Armee de l'Aire. The various VG.60 manufacturers have reportedly placed orders in excess of 2,700 units for delivery between 1941 and mid-1942, a figure which swamped the existing Hispano-Suiza factories at Bois-Colombes and Tarbes.

In related aviation news, Société des Avions Marcel Bloch announced that it was in the process of delivering MB.1050 Milan carrier fighters for the Atlantean Navy. The aircraft are partially assembled in France at Bloch's factory, then shipped crafted to Bloch's Atlantean sister firm of Ripon, which finishes assembly and adds an Atlantean-produced radial engine, believed to be the Roth R-1800 currently in widespread use by the Atlantean Navy as the power unit of the Accrisius Avenger.

July 8 - Il est Midi (Dakar newspaper, evening edition)
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg, two of the premier fast units of the Marine Nationale entered the harbor today, to the welcome of thousands of observers. The two battlecruisers, the premier fast capital ships of the Mediterranean Fleet, are engaged in a series of port calls and maneuvers that will take them quite far afield from their normal cruising grounds. The two ships will be open to local visitors tomorrow and Thursday before moving on Friday morning, their next destination believed to be the naval base at Abidjan.

In related news, it was announced that the cruisers Duquesne and Gloire would call at Dakar on their return trip from Djibouti, where they have been on extended deployment since late November.

July 9 - Le Matin
The first of the mountain stages of the Tour de France began today, with an ascent of the Col du Tourmalet. Belgian rider Sylvère Maes, the winner of the 1936 and 1939 Tours, has established a comfortable lead in earlier stages, but has been challenged today by Japanese rider Hashimoto Sato, who closed in on Maes but was unable to take the yellow jersey. Two riders withdrew during the stage. Karl Litschi of the Swiss-Luxembourg mixed team (the Swiss road-race champion) reportedly collided with a dog and fell from his bicycle. Although he re-mounted and tried to continue, Litschi reported severe pain from his knee and withdrew shortly thereafter. An Irish rider, reported to be team leader Eoin Miller, was found unconscious on the road.

July 10
In surprising events on the Tour de France, leading rider Sylvère Maes of Belgium lost the yellow jersey to German cyclist Otto Lieberman after the German team launched a challenge in another of the mountain stages. Observers noted that Lieberman, as with most of the German bicyclists, are very strong mountain-riders.

July 11
Dunkerque and Strasbourg have departed Dakar.

July 12
French cyclist Jean-Pierre Hagen was rescued by gendarmes after being accosted by a small party of individuals during the Tour de France. Hagen, a junior cyclist riding on the French Sud-Est team, was ejected from the 1940 Tour de France for using cocaine and alcohol to improve his performance during the Tour. Hagen was banned for nine months but returned for the 1941 Tour. Witnesses reported that Hagen was knocked off his bicycle by "several angry spectators" who jeered at him about his use of drugs during the previous Tour, and prevented him from getting back onto his bicycle. After the gendarmes intervened and arrested three people, a shaken Hagen continued on, having lost an estimated eight minutes of time.

July 14
France celebrates Bastille Day. See here for the Bastille Day Military Parade.

July 14 - Le Matin
In a hard day's riding today on the Tour de France, German Otto Liebermann fended off attempts by Belgian Sylvère Maes to take the yellow jersey.

July 14
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg have arrived at Abidjan, receiving a loud welcome from the port city's population. The battlecruisers, decorated for Bastille Day, entered the port at noon, surrounded by small fishing boats of the local population.

July 16
With ten days left in the Tour de France, the nine riders of the French Ouest team began a concerted push on the leaders. The Ouest team is composed of some of the best riders in France, and for the last three years has traditionally reserved themselves for the latter half of the race, as they did in 1940 when rider Jean Darracq won the Tour. However, among the leaders, Belgium's Sylvère Maes assumed leadership of the peloton and the yellow jersey, but German rider Otto Liebermann kept it a very close race, and Japanese rider Japanese rider Hashimoto Sato remained in third place.

July 18
Thousands braved the weather to watch today's stage of the Tour de France in Brittany, where French rider Jean Darracq seized the yellow jersey, with his teammate Jacques Dezobry taking up second place. Read more...

July 19
The Carrousel de Saumur opened today at the grounds of the École de Cavalerie in Saumur. Read more...

July 21
Germany's Otto Liebermann powered himself back into the lead and the yellow jersey in today's leg of the Tour de France. Hashimoto Sato of Japan fell back several ranks while Jean Darracq and his teammate Jacques Dezobry held second and third place. Liebermann's lead is tenuous, however, as he holds only ten seconds' lead over Jean Darracq.

July 23
The transport ship Daman left Toulon with elements of the 2er Regiment Ingénieurs de l'air of the Armee de l'Aire. The Daman is bound for Greece, where the 2nd Regiment will aid in training a Greek construction battalion.

July 24
President Theisman has announced that the French ambassador to Germany, Michel Herry, will be stepping down from his post due to medical reasons. Theisman has requested the longtime ambassador to Germany, André François-Poncet, to take up the post again. François-Poncet was ambassador in Berlin from 1931 to 1938, and currently serves as the interim ambassador to Italy. There is no news about who will replacy François-Poncet in Rome.

July 26
Otto Liebermann pedaled his way to victory in the Tour de France today, with Japan's Hashimoto Sato barely edging out Jean Darracq for second place. Belgium's Sylvère Maes placed fourth, while Jacques Dezobry placed fifth.

July 29
Plans to build the Akesombo Dam and Tema Aluminum Smelter in Côte-de-l'Or were discussed in the French Parliament today despite continued protests over the high cost and the environmental effects. The Akesombo Dam project will create one of the largest manmade lakes in the world, and if built, could substantially improve the economy of French West Africa.

July 30
One of the four Farman F.400 heavy bomber prototypes crashed today while taking off for flight testing. Witnesses at ONERA said that the plane had achieved approximately two hundred meters of altitude when debris reportedly separated from the aircraft. The plane entered a sharp port turn and rapidly lost airspeed. Although the pilot visibly tried to level the plane, the F.400 had lost too much airspeed and hit the ground. ONERA reported that there were two survivors of the six-man crew, although both are in extremely serious condition.

July 31
French automaker Delahaye sparked controversy today when it requested to re-submit their entry for the French Army's lightweight utility car. The previous Delahaye entry, called the Delahaye 171, was approved for a second round of testing despite being nothing more than a paper study with a mock-up model. Delahaye was reportedly unable to meet the French Army's request for a working vehicle by the end of the year, and in a controversial move, quickly purchased a production license for the American Bantam "Jeep". Delahaye's representative pointed out that the US-designed "Jeep" barely missed the Army's first-round cut because, quote "It was not French enough." Delahaye noted that they still plan to develop the 171 as a commercial vehicle, but don't believe they can push that development fast enough to meet the Army's requirements.

August 1
In response to media commentary about the recent crash of the F.400 heavy bomber prototype, ONERA announced that the plane was fitted with a Hussenograph or in-flight data recorder. The F.400's Hussenograph was damaged in the crash, but ONERA said the data on the recorder was recovered and being analyzed.

August 2
The Grande Semaine d’Aviation de la Champagne (Grand Week of Aviation in Champagne) began today at the Reims-Champagne Air Base, which was opened to the public for visitation. Read more...

August 4
Four Lioré et Olivier LeO-400 seaplanes have left Toulon for Tunisia with a flying boat of the Aeronavale on the first leg of their tour to Eastern Europe. From Tunisia, the LeO-400s will fly to Yugoslavia for demonstration, to be followed by visits to Bulgaria and Romania. After leaving Romania the aircraft will fly overland to visit Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Nordmark, after which point they will return to France.

August 7
The Indochinese Gendarmerie has arrested three men who attempted to assassinate Governor-General candidate Truong Van Bao. The three accused men reportedly prepared a roadside ambush to kill Van Bao before a campaign rally in Hanoi, but were betrayed to police by an accomplice. Police arrested the three men and confiscated homemade grenades and small arms.

August 8
Police revealed that the three men arrested yesterday for an attempted assassination attempt on Governor-General candidate Truong Van Bao were motivated by Van Bao's rejection of "extreme independence and communist ideals". Read more...

August 9
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg have anchored in Djibouti following a passage of the Mozambique Channel and the Indian Ocean.

August 11
Government spokesmen announced today that President Theisman will be traveling to St. Petersburg and Cleito over the course of the next month in order to meet with the Atlantean and Russian heads of state and key members of their government. President Theisman has also indicated his wish to meet with other key heads of state in Europe, with Britain, Germany, and Italy being named.

August 14
President Theisman arrived in Cleito today by air, calling on the chief members of the Atlantean government, including the King and the members of the Atlantean cabinet. The president reportedly planned to discuss economic, political, and military issues related to the FAR Alliance.

August 15
Four LeO-400 floatplanes of the French Aeronavale landed today in the Yugoslavian port of Bar, together with their flying-boat mothership, following a long flight from Tunis. The aircraft are on a promotional tour of Europe.

August 16
President Theisman left Cleito this evening en route back to Paris. In a press conference held at the airport shortly before his departure, Theisman praised Atlantean hospitality and thanked the Atlantean people for being "our oldest and firmest ally and friend".

August 19
French and Thai troops finished nine days of extensive joint training in southern French Indochina. The training exercises involved land, air, and sea forces from both countries. Speaking from Paris, Minister Jean-Marie Lemaréchal (National Defense and War Minister) said "Exercise commanders report success, all goals achieved." Read more...

August 19 - Le Matin
President Theisman arrived at the Russian capital of Petrograd today for talks with high-ranking members of the Russian Federation government.

August 20
Société Clerget-Blin et Cie confirmed rumours today that they were in high-level negotiations with an Atlantean firm, believed to be Roth-Packard, to form an Atlantean-based company to build licensed Clerget turbo-diesel engines for the Ripon Transatlantique.

August 21
President Theisman departed Petrograd late this afternoon, speaking to reporters briefly before boarding his chartered Air France airliner. In his remarks, he praised the Russian government for its rock-solid dedication to maintaining the peace of Europe and Asia, and thanked the Russian people for their welcome. After leaving Petrograd, Theisman flew to Berlin, arriving at Templehof just after sunset. He plans to meet with Chancellor Adenauer and other prominent German officials in the morning.

August 22
The Lioré et Olivier demonstration team departed Bar, Yugoslavia today, flying to the Bulgarian seaplane base at Lake Chaika, outside Varna, on the second stop of their demonstration tour.

August 23
President Theisman departed Germany late this evening after a busy day of discussions with German officials. Theisman held a joint press conference with Chancellor Adenauer where both leaders spoke on their desire to improve the Franco-German relationship. In response to a reporter's question, Theisman commented "For the last century our nations have fought over the control of the rudder of continental Europe. My grandfather once told me that 'Europe is too small for both France and Germany'. Twenty-three years ago, I returned to what had once been my home in Metz and saw the result of that attitude. It no longer matters who first was to blame; it matters that we stop and reconsider our course for the future before we do something we - and the rest of the world - would regret. Even now in Germany there are voices crying to avenge the result of the Great War, and in France there are people who, fearing just that, think we ought to weaken and isolate Germany to prevent it. These people do not know what would ensue from their lack of foresight. Chancellor Adenauer and I agree that the time is right for both of us to act together to create a less imperfect world for our children. If history remembers us, let it be for this."

August 25
The French Army reported that the Mecanique-Aviation-Traction (Matra) company of Vélizy-Villacoublay, which was selected earlier this year to perform aftermarket modifications to Berliet GBC-6 trucks to install rocket-launching rails, received an additional contract today to assemble 132mm and 200mm artillery rockets.

August 27
The Lioré et Olivier demonstration team left Bulgaria and made a short flight to Romania in order to demonstrate their aircraft to the Romanian military.

August 28
President Theisman arrived in Rome today for general consultations with the Italian government, including Duca d'Aosta (leader of the Italian senate), Prime Minister Galan, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Grandi.

August 31
President Theisman left Rome this afternoon after several days meeting with Italian leaders, as well as a visit with the Pope. Theisman, in his remarks to the press on leaving Rome, declined to comment in substance about the discussions, but noted they'd discussed both international security and economic issues.

September 1
Close on the heels of his return from Rome, President Theisman flew to London, where he met with British Prime Minister Sir Howard Kingsley Wood, as well as King Edward VIII.

September 2
A technical committee reviewing the July 30 crash of a Farman F.400 bomber prototype released their findings today. According to the committee, a compressed oxygen bottle in the port wing root exploded, severing a main wing spar and all of the aircraft's portside controls, resulting in the aircraft spearing violently out of control. A prompt reaction by the pilot managed to partially redress the loss of the portside controls, but lack of altitude and airspeed prevented any further actions.

In the aftermath of the crash, however, ONERA's chief test-pilot, who flew another F.400 prototype both before and after the crash, drew up a list of over eight hundred faults with the aircraft's design and performance, thirty-one of which were listed as "critical issues". As a result, ONERA has recommended that the F.400 be grounded until Avions Farman has corrected all of the critical issues identified so far.

September 2 - Le Matin
Some advance voting has begun in Indochina on the regional elections for Governor-General and other key positions. The general elections are scheduled for September 7.

September 3
The AIAI IA.30 Épouvantail counter-insurgency aircraft developed in conjunction with Thailand made its first flight today in Saigon, becoming the first modern aircraft ever developed in Southeast Asia. The twin-engine aircraft was jointly developed by AIAI (under the umbrella of Loire-Nieuport) and Thailand's TNAC. The Thai-built version of the aircraft is expected to fly within a few days. This represents a major advance of capabilities for aviation in Southeast Asia.

September 4
Deliveries of the production 1942 Citroen 2CV began today. Citroen has been working to increase production to address the backlog of orders, with a two year estimated waiting list before the car even entered production.

September 5
The 3rd Cannes Film Festival began today in the Riviera town of Cannes. Among the films being shown is Séraphin, a Franco-Atlantean production filmed by a cast of bilingual French and Atlantean actors; the movie was a major hit when released earlier this summer.

September 7
Voters across Indochina have gone to the polls to elect a governor-general, as well as representatives to the 35-seat Indochina Governing Council.

September 8
Initial results from the Indochina elections appear "too close to call", and colonial officials declined to comment further.

September 9
Nguyen Van Minh of the Viet Dan Party conceded the Indochina Governor-General election to Truong Van Bao of the Viet Tan Party early this morning, accepting the results of a surprisingly close election. According to election officials, Nguyen Van Minh only trailed Truong Van Bao by a margin of four thousand votes in the region, with both candidates receiving approximately 41% of the total vote. The remaining percentage of the votes went to minor candidates.

However, the Viet Dan, to the surprise of many, have seen the election of nineteen party members to the Indochina Governing Council, winning a majority of the thirty-five open seats in the Council. [1] This body is capable of forcing the resignation of the Governor-General through a vote of censure (a capability shared by the French Parliament). The French Parliament will receive, later this month, the official certified results of the election and will vote whether or not to confirm Van Bao as Governor-General Elect. If the French Parliament does so, then Van Bao will take office on November 8th.

September 11
In a memo made public earlier today, highly-placed individuals in the Armee de l'Aire's research and development office requested permission to investigate fallback options in the event that the Farman F.400 Ourse fails to materialize.

September 12
The Lioré et Olivier demonstration team has left Romania bound for the Baltic States. Reportedly, the team's long stay in Romania was prompted by a high level of Romanian interest, and Lioré et Olivier's spokesman acknowledged that the Romanian Navy is seriously discussing purchasing the plane.

September 15
Air France, in collaboration with LAN Airlines, announced that they have received the permission of the Brazilian government to form an international holding group to purchase three small bankrupt Brazilian airlines and merge them into a major Brazilian airline, to be named Serviços Aéreos Cruzeiro do Sul (Southern Cross Airline). Cruzeiro do Sul will continue service to all locations previously-served by their smaller predecessors, but will double their locations served, and will cooperate with Air France and LAN Airlines to offer international service. The new company will be majority-owned and operated by Air France for an undisclosed period of time, eventually opening the stock up for purchase by Brazilian investors, under the scope of the agreement. Cruzeiro do Sul's air fleet, composed of aircraft acquired by the parent companies before the merger, is composed of two Dragon Rapides, on Ju52, and three DC3s. As part of the deal, Air France shall transfer three MB.970 Transatlantiques to Cruzeiro do Sul for use on a Brazil-to-Europe and Brazil-to-US joint service, and will oversee some comprehensive modernizations to the Sao Paulo airport, with the expectation of turning it into the largest and most modern airport in South America.

September 16
The French Parliament has received the certified results of the September 7th Indochina election for their confirmation.

September 18
The Indochina election results were formally confirmed without modification today by the French Parliament, following a reading of the results and a minor debate about several technical issues. In Saigon, Governor-General Elect Truong Van Bao thanked his supporters and acknowledged that he would begin naming individuals for his cabinet within the next week. These positions will include Agriculture and Industry, Commerce, Education and Health, Finance, Justice, Public Works and Transportation.

September 19
The Congregation of Maronite Lebanese Missionaries (or Kreimists), headquartered in Jounieh, Lebanon, has announced their intention to send a mission to Valparaiso, Chile, in order to support the growing population of Maronite Lebanese emigres in that city.

September 22
High drama occurred today in Grenoble when an individual entered the lower station of the Téléphérique de Grenoble Bastille (Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car) with a gun and a box which he claimed was filled with explosives. The individual, not identified by police, ordered the cable cars stopped, trapping a number of tourists above the city; he threatened to blow up the lower station unless the police met his demands. After lengthy discussions with a police negotiator, the individual demanded the release of two imprisoned friends, a million francs in cash, a fast car, and his name in the history books. Police negotiators agreed to deliver the individual's two friends, along with a car, to the lower station; but requested several hours to gather a million francs. According to police, the gunman decided to take a nap while he waited for his friends to arrive, and the incredulous cable car operator slipped away and signaled the police, who disarmed the tired gunman and relieved him of his pistol. The box, allegedly filled with explosives, instead contained a half-dozen ham sandwiches and three bottles of red wine, apparently reserved to toast a successful getaway. The gunman, awakened from his nap, soon joined his friends in prison.

September 23
Governor-General Elect Truong Van Bao named four of his six cabinet minister positions. Lan Khiem was nominated to be the Indochinese Minister of Agriculture and Industry, Nguyen Phi was nominated Indochinese Minister of Finance, Ho Le Hung was nominated Indochinese Minister of Justice, and Jacques de Rosnay as Indochinese Minister of Public Works and Transportation.

September 24
Truong Van Bao named the final two ministers for the Governor-General's cabinet today, but followed it up with an interesting surprise. Ham Van Loc was nominated Indochinese Minister of Commerce, while Thich Anh Hung was nominated Indochinese Minister of Education and Health. Van Bao then nominated Nguyen Van Minh, the leader of the Viet Dan opposition party, as Minister Without Portfolio. Van Minh's surprising nomination lends substance to rumors that the Viet Dan party leader cut a deal not to contest the extremely close Governor-General election in exchange for a stronger voice in the post-election Indochinese cabinet.


Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 9:03pm

Original News Thread

October 1
The Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques announced that the Leduc O.10 ramjet experimental plane would make its first powered free flight on October 6th. The O.10 has conducted several powered flights as part of a composite with a converted MB.161 airliner, and has undertaken unpowered gliding flights without the engine, but the test flight planned for the 6th will be the aircraft's first free flight.

October 3
The Marine Nationale announced that the battleships Bretagne and Provence would be retired in the next nine months, with their crews to form the core for the new battleships Libertie and Justice, which are planned to commission in April of 1942. The ultimate fate of the ships, specifically whether they are to be scrapped or sold to a foreign purchaser, was not announced.

October 4 - Le Temps
Publisher Société Parisienne d'Édition announced that it would conduct an immediate re-print of the first volume of the popular hit comic book Reynard, which details the adventures of a cunning and swashbuckling fox in 17th century Europe and America. The first run of Volume One sold out after only fifteen days in print.

October 6
The first free powered flight of the Leduc O.10 ramjet ended in disaster today at ONERA's testing center. Read more...

October 7
ONERA's spokesman confirmed to the press that the Leduc O.10 which crashed yesterday is not able to be repaired. The spokesmen also noted that the government was considering ordering a fourth testbed aircraft from Breguet in order to keep up the testing, so much as possible without any further working engines. Rene Leduc, speaking separately, told reporters that he is working to complete several more test engines, the first of which he hoped to have completed by late January or early February of next year. However, Leduc also added that he has built a smaller ramjet engine for wind-tunnel work, which could be installed under the wing of an MB.161, and could be used to continue in-flight testing over the next few months.

October 8
The sail-training ship Belle Poule left Marseilles to begin a cadet cruise and global circumnavigation.

October 8 - Paris-Soir
Doctors at the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris reported that Capitaine Jean Mallet-Percier recovered consciousness early this morning. Although doctors were concerned that Mallet-Percier had suffered brain damage, he recognized his wife and indicated a general awareness of things happening around him. Despite this event, his doctors were cautious about his recovery chances. One of the emergency medics present at the crash acknowledged that the rescue crews had been forced to amputate part of Mallet-Percier's crushed left foot while pulling the pilot from the wreckage. The hospital spokesman noted that Mallet-Percier's condition remained "very serious" and cautioned against an overly optimistic response.

October 10
Societe de Construction des Batignoles received the award of contract to construct the planned Barrage de Donzère-Mondragon hydroelectric plant for Électricité de France.

October 11 - Le Temps
The Hôpital Saint-Louis reported that Capitaine Jean Mallet-Percier had seen some improvements since regaining consciousness on the 8th, but was fighting off a series of minor infections which were complicating his progress. The doctors reported that the pilot had briefly spoken at his own request with an ONERA investigator in order to narrate the few things he remembered about the accident.

October 13 - Le Figaro
The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS or "National Center of Scientific Research") announced that it would be forming a new institute, the Institut des sciences informatiques et de leurs interactions.

October 14
SALS (Service de l’Aviation Légère et Sportive) has announced that they are holding a competition for a domestically-produced aircraft for use by flying clubs.

October 15
A new era in power generation began today off the coast of Abidjan, where the 11,000-ton barge Océan électrique No.1 successfully began generating net power. The barge contains the equipment for the so-called Ocean-Thermal Energy Conversion system first envisioned several decades ago by Jacques-Arsene d'Arsonval. The system, put together by d'Arsonval's protege Georges Claude, generates electricity based on the temperature differences between surface level ocean water and deep ocean water. One of Claude's previous experiments off the coast of Brazil ended prematurely due to weather which sank the experimental barge, before it became a net energy producer. The successful experiment off Abidjan, however, now shows that the concept can work and feasibly produce electricity in the real world.

October 17
The first series production Char-8A2 Montbrun tanks were received by the Armee de Terre today. The improved A2 model Montbrun features a slightly more powerful 75mm antitank gun and a number of other minor improvements to lower production costs or address technological issues.

October 18
The Air France MB.970 airliner F-IGT, on a nonstop Paris-to-Cleito flight, made an emergency landing in Bordeaux this afternoon after an onboard fire. Air France's spokesman, speaking to the press several hours after the incident, said that a cabin passenger had lit a cigarette (forbidden on the aircraft) before dropping off to a nap. The cigarette dropped between the seats and ignited a roll of newspapers under the seats, and then ignited several seat cushions. The passengers quickly noticed the smoke and one of the stewards extinguished the small blaze with onboard extinguishers. The passenger, a Dutchman flying from Cleito to Amsterdam via Paris, received minor burns on his backside. The aircraft diverted to Bordeaux to air out the cabin, and a second aircraft collected the passengers and took them to Paris.

October 20
The sail-training ship Belle Poule arrived at the port of Pylos, Greece for her first foreign port of call on her circumnavigation cruise. The port call comes on the anniversary of the Battle of Navarino, fought at Pylos between an allied fleet of French, Atlantean, Russian, and British warships and the fleet of the Ottoman Empire. Navarino, lauded as the last of the traditional naval battles under sail alone, resulted in Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, and is remarked as the first time the future FAR allies all fought together for the same joint cause.

Belle Poule exchanged salutes with Greek warships in the harbor and received an enthusiastic welcome from the local citizenry. She will stay in Pylos until October 22nd when she will sail for Port Said and the Suez Canal.

October 22 - Le Temps
DFTE (Le Dirigeable française Tranportation Entreprise) notified the French government that they can no longer provide cost-effective passenger airship service to Petrograd, Cleito, and the US due to the competition from Air France and their Service Transatlantique, as well as other airlines. Read more...

October 24
Air France announced that it has made an agreement with the DFTE (Le Dirigeable française Tranportation Entreprise) to honor all DFTE passenger tickets along the Paris-to-Cleito and Paris-to-Petrograd routes. Read more...

October 25
The Belle Poule passed through the Suez Canal today on the next leg of her circumnavigation cruise.

October 27
The Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris announced that Capitaine Jean Mallet-Percier's condition has improved substantially over the last week. Despite the severity of his injuries, the test pilot is reportedly alert when awake, and reportedly spoke briefly to ONERA's accident investigators about his memory of the accident that resulted in the crash and destruction of the experimental O.10 ramjet.

In related news, ONERA announced that flight testing of the remaining unpowered O.10s would continue in order to gather technical data on airframe design. Additionally, M. Leduc has provided one of his small-scale ramjet engines for testing in an underwing pod on a conventional aircraft.

October 30
The Belle Poule reached Djibouti today after a cruise through the Red Sea.

November 1
The cruisers Roland and Oliphant, composing the 4th Cruiser Division, departed France today to return to their regular posting with the Indian Ocean Flotilla. Read more...

November 3
The Belle Poule departed Djibouti on the next leg of her round-the-world voyage, sailing across the Indian Ocean. The ship's planned course will take her far south of the Maldives, crossing the equator. The crew hopes to reach the Thai port of Phuket by November 29th.

November 6
Maurice Leblanc, the author of the Arsene Lupin stories, died at age 76. The stories, widely published in both French and other languages, chronicle the exploits of the gentleman burgler Arsene Lupin, regarded as the literary equal of Britain's Sherlock Holmes.

November 7
The Marine Nationale announced today that the Force de Raid would be undergoing a major reorganization with the goal of improving their overall tactical and strategic flexibility. The task force will be renamed the Force d'action Navale, or FAN. The Force d'action Navale will be organized into three main commands. The carriers and their escorts will be grouped in the Force de porte-avions rapides; the Force de Raid will be composed of fast capital ships, and the Groupe d'alimentation de la flotte will contain the necessary supply ships for extended operations.

November 10
Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (aka "The French Line") announced today that they have purchased the Compagnie Delmas Vieljeux and the Compagnie de Navigation d'Orbigny for merger into CGT. The move solidifies CGT's position as the largest French merchant ship owner. CGT announced that they would be ordering another twenty vessels of the Françoise Massard class to replace older ships.

November 11
An MB.970 airliner belonging to Air France landed in Shannon, Ireland early this morning, completing a groundbreaking flight across the Atlantic using a prototype radio-navigation system. Two beacons built on the Irish coast sent radio waves which were received in flight by equipment aboard the aircraft, allowing the airliner's navigators to determine their position as they crossed the final stretch of the Atlantic. This helps mitigate the extremely difficult navigational challenge faced by transatlantic flights. The prototype beacons and receiver, built by Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston, reportedly have an effective range of two hundred kilometers.

November 14
Prime Minister Monnerville arrived in Algiers today to discuss policy in North Africa with prominent regional leaders. The prime minister met with both European settlers as well as Berber and Arab leaders such as Ferhat Abbas.

November 15
Jean-Jacques Barre began testing the EA 1941 rocket engine today at his research facility at Larzac. Barre, one of the preeminent French military experts on rocketry, has developed the EA 1941 to form a "pure French" rocket program. The EA 1941 rocket tested today is a liquid-fueled type powered by a mix of liquid oxygen and gasoline, designed to produce 10kN, with the final vehicle intended to carry a twenty-five kilogram payload to one hundred kilometers range. In today's test, the engine was operated on the test stand for forty-two seconds before exploding.

November 18
Reconstruction work began today at the Nandi airfield on Fidji.

November 19
ONERA confirmed rumours today that a second completed Leduc ramjet engine would be available for testing starting in late January of next year.

November 21 - Paris-Soir
German Foreign Minister Heinrich Bruning arrived at Orly airport today, where he was welcomed by senior French officials. Minister Bruning is in Paris to talk with Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Pierre Murail.

November 22
The research ship Le Suroit embarked from Brest today on a voyage to the South Pacific to study plate subduction at the Tonga Trench, as well as observe the calculated March 16 solar eclipse in the South Pacific.

November 24
Minister Murail and Minister Bruning announced the Declaration of Paris. Read more...

November 25 - Le Figaro
Three Corsican representatives in the French Parliament presented a popular petition asking for the Marine Nationale to rename the cruiser Syrie to Corse. The cruiser, when commissioned, was named like her sisterships for the French overseas territories. The Syrian government and populace is reportedly in favor of the move, as they identify the use of their nation's name on a foreign warship as a less than pleasant reminder of their history as a French League of Nations Mandate. The Corsican petition has received over forty-five thousand signatures, and the city of Ajaccio has reportedly offered to "adopt" the cruiser.

November 27
DCNS Indret reported the completion of a 3MW utility power generation gas plant, built with the assistance of Brown, Boveri & Cie. The power generation turbine will be used as an emergency power generation plant and test station at the French naval base at La Rochelle.

November 28
Breguet and Societie Nord submitted a plan to merge and become Breguet-Nord.

November 29 - Toulon-Matin
The Belle Poule arrived at the Thai port of Phuket on her next port call on her circumnavigation.

December 1
The French Parliament approved a motion to fund a program by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique to study high-altitude air currents. Air France flights on the Service Transatlantique have logged strong tailwinds on the westward leg of their international flight, often complicating aircraft navigation at high altitudes. The CNRS requested funding to study the phenomenon in greater detail, and attempt to chart high altitude air currents around the world.

December 3
Compagnie des Machines Bull has formed the Société d'Electronique appliquée à l''Automatisme.

December 4
The first Nord N.1510 Normandie cargo aircraft was delivered to the Antarctic Research Consortium. The plane, specially winterized, will be sent to replace aircraft operating out of Punta Arenas, Chile, serving the various Antarctic base camps.

December 5
The French Army announced that it had selected the Peugeot VLR for acquisition.

December 6
The carriers Clemenceau, Gambetta, and Vauban departed Toulon today for the southwest Pacific with a load of over two hundred new aircraft to deliver to various air units of the Aeronavale and Armee de l'Aire. While in the region, they will exercise with local air units before returning to Toulon in February of next year. The ships will be escorted by supporting units of the Force d'Action navale.

December 8
The Belle Poule departed Phuket, Thailand, bound for Singapore.

December 9
Over two months after being hospitalized following the crash of his Leduc O.10 ramjet, Capitaine Jean Mallet-Percier was discharged from the Hôpital Saint-Louis. The test pilot still has many months of recovery ahead, and doctors have expressed their concern that he will probably not be able to walk for several years, if ever.

Despite his frail physical state, Capitaine Mallet-Percier was feeling well enough after leaving the hospital to grant a short interview to two reporters at his home. Mallet-Percier said he clearly remembered the mid-air collision that damaged the ramjet, and offered his opinion that turbulence and air flow around the ramjet and the MB.161 mothership caused the two aircraft to collide just after the ramjet was released. The pilot also said that he wished to be recover enough to return to the cockpit within the next year.

December 10
The Belle Poule arrived in Singapore today.

December 12
Javeline became first of the new class of French destroyers to venture onto the open sea today, running twenty-hour builders' trials before returning to port. The ship, one of the new Sabre class destroyers, reportedly performed well. The Sabres are a lengthened version of the preceding Jaguar class destroyers, and the similarities between the two ships are close enough that many publications refer to the Sabres as a Jaguar sub-class.

December 15
The Belle Poule departed Singapore for Saigon today.

December 17
Yves Desailly and Marcel St-Hilaire were both promoted to Contre-amiral today. Desailly has been appointed to take command of the Forces Légères d'Attaque in the Mediterranean, while St-Hilaire will be assigned to the Atlantic Fleet.

December 18
The French ambassador to the Philippines, Gérard Renoir, announced his immediate retirement due to health issues, which have been complicated in recent months due to his high-stress posting in Manila. Sources in the government confirmed that Renoir, who is sixty-five years old, has suffered from declining health for over a year. Renoir has a long history with Southeast Asia, having been consul in Batavia, Singapore, and Hong Kong before being assigned as the ambassador to the Philippines, a post he has held since 1935.

December 19
Belle Poule arrived at Saigon today after an uneventful but windless cruise. The ship reportedly made the entire leg of her cruise under diesel power due to winds not exceeding one knot. As part of the cruise, Belle Poule crossed the Equator, conducting the traditional initiation ceremony before returning northward towards Saigon.

December 21
The airship Henri Giffard was written off today as a result of a ground-handling accident. The airship was being moved into its hanger due to weather. When the airship was halfway into the hanger, a control line attached to the tail broke. The wind swung the airship around and forced it into the side of the hanger, causing a rupture of many helium cells and stressing the rigid frame. Due to increasing wind conditions, the ground crews were unable to reestablish control of the airship before the tail of the airship was torn away. Two ground handlers were injured during the accident. The tail of the airship, driven by the wind and lightened, drifted three kilometers before coming back down on an empty farmhouse and barn, both of which were knocked over, causing the death of four cows and a goat.

December 22
The cruiser Syrie was officially renamed Corse today in a ceremony held in Ajaccio harbour.

December 23
In his final act before leaving on Christmas holiday, President Theisman announced the selection of M. Charles Leroux to serve as the new ambassador to the Philippines. Monsieur Leroux is a respected bureaucrat who has spent much of his career in Indochina.

December 24
Christmas Eve has seen the release of a new movie, released as Joyeux Noël in France and Frohe Weihnachten in Germany. The movie recounts the events of the 1914 Christmas Truce on the frontlines of the Great War, as seen through the eyes of French and German soldiers.

The movie, produced by French director Armand Brulé, is bilingual in an unique style, repeating Brulé's success with Séraphin in 1940. The cast of the movie was chosen from amongst bilingual actors, and each conversation scene was shot twice, once in French and once in German.

December 27
The Belle Poule sailed from Saigon today, heading for the Chinese port of Zhanjiang. It is the first visit by a commissioned French warship to a Chinese port since the end of the South China Sea War.


Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 9:04pm

Original News Thread

January 1
The Belle Poule arrived in Zhanjiang today.

January 2
Spokesmen from the Armee de l'Aire acknowledged rumors that a number of test pilots and senior commanders have advised terminating the Farman F.400 heavy bomber. Read more...

January 5
The Belle Poule departed Zhanjiang bound for New Caledonia, where the ship is expected to arrive on the 24th.

January 6
The new French ambassador to the Philippines, M. Charles Leroux, presented his credentials to the new Philippine government and took up residence in Manila. Despite some past barbs leveled by members of the Filipino press, Leroux's welcome in Manila has been fairly warm.

January 7 - Le Figaro
The Armee de l'Aire wrapped up a three-day conference of senior officers in Dijon... Read more...

January 9 - Le Temps
Publisher Société Parisienne d'Édition announced that it would conduct a third re-print of the first volume of the popular hit comic book Reynard. The first run of Volume One sold out in October after only fifteen days in print, while the second run sold out in early January. The comic has proven extremely popular in France, with over 400,000 volumes sold since September 1941, and fans eagerly await the second volume, due out in mid-February.

January 12 - Shortwave Radio
*A calm female voice speaks.*
"Dix, quatre, cinq, cinq, dix-sept, onze, vingt-et-un, quatre, vingt-sept ans, six, vingt-deux, vingt-trois, vingt-six, vingt-trois, dix-sept, dix, cinq, onze, vingt-sept ans, treize."
*Frère Jacques plays.*

January 15
Construction began today on the Amaria Dam, located on Guinea's Konkouré River. Read more...

January 16
The Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aéronautiques announced today that it has extended a research grant to SEA (Société d'Electronique appliquée à l''Automatisme) to develop electronic equipment for unidentified purposes.

January 19
Officials from Farman made a last-ditch appeal against the anticipated cancellation of the Farman F.400 heavy bomber, claiming that their proposed F.403 Ourse variant will be capable of fulfilling or exceeding all of the Armee de l'Aire's performance requirements.

January 20
Prime Minister Monnerville departed Paris today by plane for Beirut and Damascus. The Prime Minister will consult with local leaders in French Lebanon about colonial matters and regional concerns before travelling to Damascus to meet with Syrian leaders. The trip to Lebanon and Syria is the second Monnerville has undertaken to discuss colonial issues since becoming Prime Minister, and unconfirmed rumours indicate he is planning a third trip in the coming months to visit Indochina, to speak with recently-elected Governor-General Truong Van Bao.

January 21
Prime Minister Monnerville met today with local leaders and businessmen in Beirut.

January 22
An electrical malfunction started a fire which resulted in significant damage to the Stade Jules Deschaseaux in Le Havre. The stadium will be closed for several weeks to months while repairs are made.

January 23
Syrian president Hashim al-Atassi welcomed Prime Minister Monnerville to Damascus today, where the two leaders discussed Middle East security, trade and economics, and Syria-Lebanon border issues.

January 24
Belle Poule arrived today in New Caledonia.

January 26
The French Parliament opened discussions today regarding a proposal to establish a body to nominate and administer national parks. An immediate proposal is the creation of a park in the Tarentaise Valley, opposite the Italian Gran Paradiso National Park in the Graian Alps.

January 27 - Le Figaro
Construction crews broke ground today on a port improvements project in Bougie, Algerie. The first stage of the project, scheduled for completion in August 1943, will result in the renovation of Bougie's marine oil-loading terminal. Bougie will be the Mediterranean terminus of the newest Algerian oil pipeline, scheduled to begin operation in December of 1943.

January 29
The Armee de l'Aire requested a prototype of the Swiss-designed Pilatus P-2 trainer aircraft for technical evaluation.

February 2 - Toulon Matin
The carriers Clemenceau, Gambetta, and Vauban are reportedly homeward bound to Toulon after delivering aircraft to French bases in the Pacific.

February 4
The Air Liquide firm, a specialist in compressed and industrial gases, announced their creation of the subsidiary firm La Spirotechnique.

February 5
The Antarctic Research Consortium's new Nord N.1510 Normandie transport flew its first cargo mission to the Antarctic continent today. The N.1510 departed Punta Arenas with six scientists and seven metric tons of cargo, arriving at Magnus Station at 1200 hours. The acquisition of the specially-winterized Normandie has doubled the capacity of the weekly air cargo service to the united research groups in the Antarctic region.

February 6 - Agence Havas
Prime Minister Monnerville will travel to meet with Governor-General Truong Van Bao and other Indochinese local leaders later this month in order to discuss regional issues such as economic development, anti-corruption measures, and Far East defense policy. Among the major issues to be discussed is the Indochinese Territorial Forces. The ITF, which will include land, air, and sea components, is proposed to serve as a professional regional militia for Indochina; if Indochina votes for independence in the upcoming 1945 Plebiscite, the ITF will presumably become the new nation's armed forces.

There are additionally rumors within the Foreign Ministry that Monnerville may extend his trip to visit Manila to meet with that nation's new government.

February 6 - La Croix
The French Parliament voted to establish the new agency Parcs Nationaux de France to oversee the creation of national parks and other natural reserves.

February 9
ONERA reported that their workshop at the Centre d'Essais en Vol in Brétigny-sur-Orge has successfully installed a newly-constructed ramjet engine in a Leduc O.10 test aircraft, and has already flown in a composite with its MB.161 mothership.

February 10 - Le Nouvel Economiste
Buoyed by the recent completion of port improvements in Abidjan, improved ground transportation in West Africa, and faster refrigerated sea transport, fruit importers have reported increased profits and lowered shipping times, particularly in the pineapple market. According to industry studies conducted over the last year, European importers have reduced transit times by hours or days while increasing deliverable quantities and reducing waste. As a result, industry leaders have reported growth as high as six percent in the last two years.

February 11
According to sources within the Ministry of National Defense and War, the Armee de l'Aire has given Avions Farman a March 1st deadline to present a plan for either improving the Farman F.400 Ourse to the Air Force's standards, or an alternative four-engine heavy bomber to enter service by no later than January 1943. There has been no official comment either from Farman or from the Armee de l'Aire.

February 13
La Mare aux Fées, the second Reynard comic book, comes out.

February 16
The French government condemned British intelligence's unwarranted February 12th assassination of Zionist leader Avraham Stern. "As the leader of the Lehi underground movement, M. Stern should have been arrested and tried by the judicial authorities for the crimes of which he stands accused. By assassinating M. Stern, the British government has created an unfortunate martyr for the Lehi movement, and dangerously disregarded the civil rights of the accused. Assassination should never be one of the tools of a civilized government."

February 17 - La Croix
The Concours général agricole opened today at the Parc des expositions de la porte de Versailles despite cold and rainy weather. The Concours is mainland Europe's largest agricultural trade show and one of the three largest agricultural shows in the world, dating back to 1870.

February 18
Air France unveiled a unique new paint scheme on one of their newest MB.970 Transatlantiques, which has been leased by the government for use by senior French government officials. The aircraft is all white with the French tricolor on the tail, bearing the name Émissaire.

February 20
The DEFA 501 23mm cannon spectacularly failed its first field test today, exploding and throwing pieces of itself around the test stand. The weapon, chambered for the new 23x140mm cannon round, is based on the theoretical "anti-airship cannon" that began development for the French Navy. A waggish officer commented to observers "If we mounted the 501 on the enemy airship, then we could call this test a success..."

February 23
Prime Minister Gaston Monnerville departed Paris on the first leg of his trip to Indochina. The prime minister will travel aboard the new Air France airliner Émissaire, which was rented by the French government for the trip. The prime minister's aircraft will fly to Saigon via Beirut and Colombo.

February 25
ONERA reported that a planned flight of the Leduc O.10 was scrubbed today due to heavy winds.

February 26
Émissaire arrived in Saigon early this morning, where he was greeted by Governor-General Truong Van Bao and other members of the Indochina Governing Council, including majority leader Nguyen Van Minh.

February 27 - Agence Havas
The Leduc O.10 made the first powered ramjet flight, clocking up a confirmed ground speed of 710kph. Read more...

February 28
The carriers Clemenceau, Gambetta and Vauban, as well as their escorts, dropped anchor in the Rade of Toulon after delivering aircraft to the French Pacific possessions.

March 2
Shareholders voted to give the final approval to the proposed merger of aircraft manufacturers Breguet and Societie Nord. The combined company, to operate under the name Breguet-Nord, currently produces three aircraft of their own joint design (the Breguet Epaulard, the Breguet Bretagne, and the Nord Normandie) and two aircraft under license (the Nord Noralpha and the VG.64N fighter.)

March 3
Prime Minister Monnerville and Governor-General Truong Van Bao reached a verbal agreement today about the 1945 Indochina Plebiscite planned as part of France's Indochina commitments. Read more...

March 4
Prime Minister Monnerville arrived in Manila for a state visit to the Philippines. He received a warm welcome from President of the Council Soriano and other leading members of the new Filipino government.

March 5 - Le Temps
Avions Farman presented a proposal to the Armee de l'Aire to drop development of the Farman F.400 Ourse heavy bomber, and substitute a customized and license-built version of the American Consolidated B-24 bomber. According to Farman, the American government has already given their verbal permission to Consolidated to license the B-24 for French construction.

March 6
The Franco-Philippine Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed today in Manila. The Filipino Congress swiftly ratified the treaty. Although the French Parliament previously gave Prime Minister Monnerville instructions to sign the treaty, they are not scheduled to discuss ratification until later this month, when Monnerville has returned from Southeast Asia.

The Prime Minister will remain in Manila until the afternoon of March 8, and shall attend mass at the Basilica of San Sebastian before returning to Saigon.

March 8
Prime Minister Monnerville returned to Saigon late this evening from Manila. He will begin his trip back to France in the morning.

March 9
Édith Piaf performed her latest song, Un Coin Tout Bleu, for the first time today in Paris.

March 11
A cooperative of farmers and minor agricultural interests have formed Groupe Limagrain, a seed distributor company.

March 12 - Agence Havas
Prime Minister Monnerville returned to Paris today at the conclusion of his trip to Indochina and the Philippines. President Theisman was on hand at the airport to welcome the Prime Minister home.

March 13
The liner Marianne, inbound to Le Havre, reportedly narrowly missed running down a small sailing boat in foggy weather in the Manche. Although the liner missed the craft, it disappeared and was feared swamped. Rescue boats dispatched to the area discovered neither boat nor wreckage. The liner did not show any signs of an impact. One of the Marianne's lookouts reported to investigators at Le Havre that the boat appeared to be empty.

Although Marianne has radio-teledetection equipment to prevent collisions of this nature, experts noted that it was likely not sensitive enough to detect such a small craft. The Compagnie Générale Transatlantique has indicated that both Marianne and her stepsister Normandie will be reequipped with more modern RDT equipment during their next modernization period.

March 16 - Gia Dinh Bao
The Manila Steamship Company receives permission to begin regular service between Manila and Saigon.

March 16
The research ship Le Suroit has successfully observed the South Pacific solar eclipse. The Chilean naval ships Vidal Gormaz, Ignacy Domeyko and Vanguardia assisted in the observations, taking extensive readings with a variety of equipment along the path of the eclipse.

March 17 - Toulon Matin
Sail training ship Belle Poule completed transit of the Panama Canal following her crossing of the Pacific, and has departed for her next port call.

March 17
Jean-Jacques Barre conducted the test-run of the EA 1941 rocket engine today at his research facility at Larzac. The liquid-fueled rocket operated for five seconds before exploding, producing a thrust of 719 kgf.

March 18
Another test of the EA 1941 rocket engine has produced 650 kgf for four seconds before exploding.

March 20 - Le Temps
Café de la Paix reportedly received a distinguished visitor in the personage of Otto von Hapsburg and two unidentified guests today. The pretender to the Austro-Hungarian crown reportedly retired to the Palais Garnier for a performance of Puccini's Tosca after finishing dinner. Also attending the performance was the famous Franco-Atlantean actress Eos de Lisle, retired Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet, and Arthur Honegger, one of Les Six.

March 21
The infamous Liechtenstein-born con-artist Marco Kaiser was arrested today in Nantes.

March 23
Armee de Terre officials, including Minister of National Defense Jean-Marie Lemaréchal, have begun a week-long review of several programs overseen by DEFA (Direction des Études et Fabrications d'Armement). Read more...

March 24 - Agence Havas
The French Parliament voted today to ratify the Franco-Philippine Treaty of Amity and Commerce. The treaty saw opposition from the members of the French Communist Party, who whined about concluding an agreement with an "illegitimate government opposed and condemned by the people", whereupon their speaker was laughed into submission. Attempts at further Communist obstructionism were rejected, and most members of the French Socialist Party voted with the center and right parties to overwhelmingly ratify the treaty.

March 25 - Le Figaro
French test pilot Louis-Antoine Messiaen took the Leduc O.10 ramjet for its second free flight today, in a test that ONERA declared 'highly satisfactory'. Although in the first successful powered test flight on February 27 was limited to 60% throttle, Capitaine Messiaen was given permission to push the test aircraft a bit more. Upon separating from the mothership composite, Messiaen started a climb to altitude that reportedly far exceeded that of the most modern piston-engine fighters. Upon reaching 8,000 meters altitude, Capitaine Messiaen reportedly registered a true airspeed of just over five hundred knots.

March 26 - Le Nouvel Economiste
Société des Avions Marcel Bloch announced today they are pursuing a deal to acquire and merge with aircraft manufacturer Avions Amiot sometime within the next six months. Felix Amiot and the company's three thousand employees are reportedly in favor of the merger. The deal will not cover Amiot's shipbuilding assets in Cherbourg. The announcement comes amidst unconfirmed rumors that Bloch is also looking into a merger with Loire-Nieuport.

March 27
President Theisman spoke today at a ceremony announcing the creation the Institut franco-allemand de la technologie, l'économie et des sciences (tr. Franco-German Institute of Technology, Economy, and Sciences) in his hometown of Metz. Joining President Theisman was Magnus Alexander Maximilian Freiherr von Braun, the German Minister of the Interior. The new institute, which will be based in Metz, received Theisman's support during the French election campaign a year ago, and shall offer cross-cultural educational exchanges for French and German college level students.

March 30
The heavy cruiser Téméraire and the destroyers of the 4th Flotilla Torpilleurs departed Brest today for Antwerp, where they will call on the Belgian Navy. Task Force commander Contre-amiral Marcel St-Hilaire shall be meeting with Belgian naval commanders to prepare for joint Franco-Belgian naval exercises later this year.

March 31
The French Army has accepted the LGPR-41AC for weapons trials.


Tuesday, July 24th 2012, 9:04pm

Original News Thread

April 1
The movie La Symphonie fantastique opens at the Cinema Normandie in Paris.

April 2 - Le Figaro
Capitaine Jean Mallet-Percier and Monsieur François Hussenot announced the formation of a school in Brétigny-sur-Orge specifically for aircraft test-pilots. Called the Ecole du Personnel Navigant, the school will teach both theoretical and practical skills. "The goal of the test pilot is to push the bounds of the human experience," Mallet-Percier explained. "They must be part pilot and part polytechnician. The goal of our Ecole is to bring together in one program the synthesis of the aeronautical engineer and the pilot."

April 5
The Protestant and Catholic world celebrates Easter.

April 6 - Paris-Soir
A Hòn Non Bô garden has opened in the Paris suburb of Suresnes. The garden, created by Vietnamese poet and gardener Dao Vang Tong, is intended to help expose French people to the culture of Indochina, and as such admission to the garden is free.

April 7
After some preliminary at-sea exercises in the Mer Celtique and port calls in Cherbourg and Dunkerque, the heavy cruiser Téméraire and the destroyers of the 4th Flotilla Torpilleurs have arrived at Antwerp, beginning a week-long port call on the Belgian capital city.

April 8
The Aeronavale has placed an order for an unidentified number of Bloch MB.1050D Milan Royals, an updated variant of the current carrier-based fighter. Also ordering the MB.1050D is the Indochinese Air Defense Group.

April 9 - Le Nouvel Economiste
With the rise of a more affluent upper and middle class in Liban comes opportunities for business. Amongst the new Lebanese entrepreneur class are the five Rasamny brothers, who founded Rasamny Motors in Beirut two years ago after a failed venture in Liberia. Rasamny Motors quickly became the largest dealer of automobiles in the region, importing Citroen cars and Renault trucks. The brothers have also established an import business working with Colgate-Palmolive, an American consumer products corporation. The brothers are currently exploring the possibility of offering other automobile brands.

April 10
The Marine Nationale bade farewell to the battleships Provence and Bretagne today during simple ceremonies in Marseilles and Tunis, where the ships are being scrapped.

April 12
The heavy cruiser Téméraire and the destroyers of the 4th Flotilla Torpilleurs have completed their port call at Antwerp, and have departed to wander around the North Sea for a few days before their scheduled arrival for a port call at Oslo.

April 14 - Agence Havas
Prime Minister Monnerville announced today that he plans to hold a Conference for the Development of Colonial Africa in mid June. The Conference will bring together French colonial governors and local leaders in order to discuss issues of regional planning, economics, transportation, education, and political movements.

April 15
Pierre Veyron drove his Bugatti racing car to victory in the French Grand Prix, held at the Reims-Gueux circuit. Placing a close second was Jean-Pierre Wimille, driving for Panhard.

April 15
ONERA announced today that the Centre d'Essais en Vol in Brétigny-sur-Orge has completed the first in-flight test of the Rateau-Anxionnaz A.60 turbojet engine, lashed to a Bloch MB.161 mothership. A previous flight testing attempt on April 10th ended prematurely when the engine caught fire shortly before takeoff. Following the necessary minor repairs, the engine was re-mounted aboard the MB.161.

According to sources within ONERA, the A.60 turbojet has fallen well short of its design goals thus far despite its successful trial today, producing only six hundred kilograms of thrust rather than the sixteen hundred kgf intended. The turbojet has been running fairly successfully on the test stand for nearly nine months now.

April 17
The heavy cruiser Indochinie, escorted by destroyers Le Terrible, Unité, Corcyre and oiler Cap Ferrat, departed Suva, Fidji today to conduct a series of port calls along the western Pacific coast.

April 18
Heavy cruiser Téméraire completed its port call at Oslo and departed to return to Brest.

April 20
The French parliament voted today on a proposal, supported by M. Frédéric Joliot-Curie and President Theisman, to create the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique.

April 24
The movie La duchesse de Langeais debuted today in Paris. The movie, based on a novella by Balzac, is directed by Jacques de Baroncelli, and stars Edwige Feuillère, Pierre Richard-Willm, and Aimé Clariond.

April 27
The heavy cruiser Indochinie and its escorts arrived at the Japanese port of Sasebo for a visit.

April 30
The best-looking battleships in the world are completed in La Rochelle for the French Navy. The two new vessels, Liberte and Justice, will replace the old battleships Provence and Bretagne.

May 1
Four thousand members of the French Communist Party marched in May Day demonstrations down the Champs-Élysées. The march proved to be particularly boisterous and disruptive, with one of the march leaders, Bernard Robert, exhorting the crowd to 'rise up against the tyranny of the secret iron-fisted World Hegemony.'

When the Communists marchers became particularly disruptive as they approached the Arc de Triomphe, setting fire to parked cars and accosting uninvolved bystanders, gendarmes moved in to restore order. Eighty-five Communist marchers were arrested after clashing with the police.

May 4
The French cruiser Indochinie departed Sasebo, Japan, for her next port call in Vladivostok. A spokesman for the Marine Nationale stated "We'd like to thank the Japanese for their warm welcome."

May 6
The Indochinie and her naval task group arrived at the Russian port of Vladivostok for a port call.

May 7
Construction crews have started work near the town of Forbach to link the French A5 autoroute to the German autobahn terminus at Saarbrucken. Once the A5 is completed, an event planned for April 1943, it will be possible to travel easily between Paris and Berlin.

May 9
Hermann Lang of Germany narrowly edged out René Dreyfus of France and Giuseppe Farina of Italy to score a victory in the Monaco Grand Prix.

May 12
The cruiser Indochine and her task group departed Vladivostok today at the close of a week-long port call. The Indochine and the other ships of the task force were opened to public tours by the Russian populace, and Capitaine de Vaisseau Jean-Pierre Courtois took the opportunity to host a banquet and reception on the cruiser's aft deck, inviting the local notables and numerous Russian naval officers.

May 14
The Parcs Nationaux de France submitted their official recommendation to the French Parliament today, nominating seven regions to become French national parks. Parliament is unlikely to forward any bills for the creation of national parks until later this year.

May 15
The Indochinie and her task group anchored today in the mouth of the of the Yangtze River. Indochinie paid traditional respects to the Chinese warships in the estuary.

May 18
DEFA has established the Ballistics and Aeronautical Research Laboratory (LRBA) to oversee weapons development. Among the projects which shall be overseen by the LRBA is the development of artillery rockets, as well as other miscellaneous armaments.

May 19
Groupement Aérien de Transport 1 reported their successful conversion to the new Breguet-Nord Normandie heavy transport. The Groupement is one of five re-equipping to support the 1ère Brigade Parachutiste.

May 20
The Cannes Film Festival opened today on the French Riviera. The festival is rapidly becoming one of the major events on international cinema scene, and many of Europe's renowned actors, actresses, and directors have come to attend.

May 21
The Indochinie and her task group departed Shanghai after the completion of a successful port call. The cruiser's next stop will be Manila.

May 23
The Cannes Film Festival finished today, with Armand Brulé's Joyeux Noël, recounting the 1914 Christmas Truce, taking the top honor of the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film. Also highly regarded by critics, although little-noticed by press or movie-goers in 1941, was the movie Tezekka, about a French officer leading Algerian troops during the Rif-Atlas Revolt.

May 25
Heavy cruiser Indochinie and her task group arrived at the Filipino capital city of Manila today, beginning a week-long port call. The cruiser was escorted into the harbor by the Filipino 3rd Torpedo Boat Squadron, "the Expendables", and exchanged salutes with the Filipino navy ships present at Manila.

May 27
Societie Bloch confirmed that it has acquired a controlling interest in Avions Amiot and Loire-Nieuport, and stockholders have approved a three-way merger of the companies.

May 30
The Eiffel Tower was closed for six hours today as police talked down a young woman who had declared her intent to jump off. Tourists reported that the woman was acting suspiciously and attempted to climb out from one of the observation platforms, whereupon gendarmes were summoned. A police negotiator spoke with the woman for an extended period of time before she consented to climb back down to the observation platform and be taken into police care. According to police, the woman was distraught that her Italian boyfriend had broken up with her.

June 2
The cruiser Indochinie and her task group departed Manila today at the completion of a week-long port call. Capitaine de Vaisseau Jean-Pierre Courtois and the task group's senior officers dined as guests of Filippino Admiral Sebastian Casca at the Officers Club of the Cavite Naval Station, while enlisted men received shore liberty to tour one of the great cities of the Pacific Rim.

Indochinie's task group will be returning to Suva.

June 5 - Le Matin
Henri Ziegler has accepted the job of director for the Centre d'Essais en Vol (CEV). As assistant director of the CEV since 1938 and a graduate of the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique, Ziegler has many years of experience in the aeronautical field.

June 6
Alsthom unveiled a new prototype diesel-electric locomotive proposed for use on French railways. The prototype, a B-B unit powered by a V-12 diesel engine, will be trialed on the Chemin de Fer du Nord. Alsthom hopes to compete with the Swiss Sulzer company, which currently controls most of the European diesel and electric locomotive market.

June 11
The first VB.20 heavy fighter was accepted into service today by the Armee de l'Aire.

June 14
Large crowds are attending the Tall Ships Race port call currently underway at La Rochelle.

June 15
Prime Minister Monnerville's Conference for the Development of Colonial Africa began today in Paris. The conference aims to bring together native leaders with French colonial governors and authorities to chart a broad course for economic and social development in the African continent.

The opening ceremonies were marred when native Algerian leaders were denied entry to the conference on the grounds that Algeria does not constitute a part of Colonial Africa. One French government spokesman vehemently replied to a foreign journalist's questions by shouting "Algeria is France!"

June 16
Senegalese and Malian workers on the Dakar-Niger Railway began a strike today, requesting equivalent pay to the white railway workers. According to sources in Senegal, the strike was called to coincide with the Conference for the Development of Colonial Africa, in order to call attention to the inequalities of native black workers.

June 19 - Le Nouvel Economiste
The Conference for the Development of Colonial Africa closed today in Paris. Read more...

June 19
The cruiser Indochinie arrived in Sattahip, Thailand, to begin a week-long port call.

June 20
A number of Arab protesters gathered in Algiers today to march and protest the barring of Algerian native leaders from the Conference for the Development of Colonial Africa this week, with an estimated five hundred people gathering to protest.. Ahmed Ben Messali Hadj, the founder of the Algerian nationalist group Étoile nord-africaine, spoke to reporters on behalf of many of the marchers. "They say our Algeria as part of France, but we see otherwise. They deny us access to the corridors of power, and we protest."

A spokesman for Prime Minister Monnerville addressed reporters about the protests. "Algerie is governed differently than the other colonies and protectorates in Africa. There is no reason to include them in such a conference, as they are not a colony."

June 22
The Salon des Tuileries, an art and sculpture show, opened today in Paris.

June 23 - Paris-Soir
Public reaction to yesterday's announcement of the creation of the Grande Alliance has varied substantially. Some veterans groups and pro-nationalist organizations have protested Germany's participation, but opposition has proven to be unorganized and relatively muted. Some veterans groups, however, have welcomed the move, with the president of the Organisation nationale des anciens combattants, writing in a letter to the editor, "There is no victory more complete than to turn an enemy into a friend."

June 29
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg departed Brest today to conduct at-sea training and make port calls.


Friday, October 19th 2012, 9:05pm

Original News Thread

July 1
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg arrived in the Atlantean port of Duecalion for an extended port call. The two ships are undertaking an extensive training cruise in the Atlantic.

July 2
Caudron declined to comment about rumors that the Chinese Air Force is seeking to order fifty Caudron C.440 twin-engine trainers.

July 3
ONERA announced that in a test flight of the experimental Leduc O10 ramjet, they have achieved a certified air speed of over one thousand kilometers an hour. France now holds the world air-speed record.

July 4
Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio wins the French Grand Prix driving a Simca Gordini.

July 6
Compagnie Générale Transatlantique started a new advertising campaign today in preparation for the autumn passenger season. The new advertising campaign comes as the French Line considers ordering a running-mate for the ocean liner SS Pasteur on the Atlantean and South American run. Despite the interference of rising airline service, the Europe-Atlantis-South America run has seen rising passenger numbers over the last ten years.

July 8
The Tour de France started today in Paris.

July 11
Karl Litschi of the Swiss-Luxembourg mixed team assumed the yellow jersey today in the start of the first mountain stages of the Tour de France.

July 14
France celebrates Le 14 juillet (Bastille Day).

July 17
Jean Darracq seized the yellow jersey today from Karl Litschi of the Swiss-Luxembourg mixed team. Darracq, the 1940 Tour winner, leads France's Ouest team, which is composed of the strongest riders in the nation. Their strategy over the last few years has been to take an easy start in the first few days of the Tour.

July 18
The Carrousel de Saumur opened today at the grounds of the École de Cavalerie in Saumur. Read more...

July 22
The Tour de France wrapped up today with a victory for Karl Litschi, the captain of the Swiss-Luxembourg mixed team. Litschi won despite completing the Tour several minutes behind Frenchman Jean Darracq of the Ouest team, who was favored to win. Litschi successfully picked up enough time bonuses in the Pyrenees to boost him narrowly into the lead, relegating Darracq to second. Japanese rider Hashimoto Sato successfully seized third place, edging out the relatively unknown Brazilian newcomer Lázaro Coutinho.

July 24
The new company of Gimar Montaz Mautino has been registered in Échirolles (near Grenoble) to manufacture chairlifts for ski resorts.

July 27 - Le Monde
In a surprise move, Amiral de la Flotte Francois Darlan resigned today as the head of the French Navy, citing his desire to spend more time with his family and pursue politics. His likely successor is either Admiral Marcel-Bruno Gensoul, the commander of the Mediterranean Fleet, or Vice-Admiral Edmond Tessier, the commander of the Force de Raid. According to some rumors, however, some observers speculate that Admiral Darlan opposed the creation of the Grande Alliance, which exacerbated Darlan's poor working relationship with Prime Minister Monnerville. When asked whether these rumors had any substance, Darlan declined to comment but reiterated that he and he alone made the decision to retire.

July 31
The movie La fausse maîtresse opened today in Paris.

August 1
In a late-night deal, Senegalese and Malian workers agreed to a series of labor reforms negotiated by the government on behalf of the Dakar-Niger Railway. The strike has been ongoing since late June, when native workers began drawing attention to the difference in working conditions between the black natives and white colonists employed by the railway.

The new arrangement, negotiated by Senegal's colonial governor Jean-Luc Artois, will start a series of incremental improvements over the next four years to bring white and native workers up to parity when engaged in the same occupations.

August 3
The battlecruisers Dunkerque and Strasbourg weighed anchor today, completing their port call in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The two ships will make a stop in the port of Cayenne before calling at Guadeloupe and Miami.

August 4
President Theisman appointed Admiral Marcel-Bruno Gensoul as the new head of the French Navy.

August 6 - Paris-Soir
The third Reynard comic book. La Boîte noire, reached shelves today to high sales. The next volume of the six-book series, La Ville des pirates, is slated for November release.

August 8
Dunkerque and Strasbourg arrived in Cayenne today after a high-speed run up the Brazilian coast. The ships will depart on Monday for Guadeloupe and Martinique, then make their last stop in the American port city of Miami.

August 10 - Le Figaro
The French Army has proposed a second round of modest reorganizations. Although precise details are not available at press time, reports indicate that the Army will move several divisions to the reserves. This will permit the strengthening of both metropolitan and colonial regiments. Several "foot" infantry divisions will be reequipped as motorized divisions leading into 1943. Additionally, it has been learned that the four Brigades de Reaction Rapide will be reorganized to include a better balance of tanks, infantry, and supporting arms, and will be grouped into the new Division Mécanique Rapide.

August 12
The new commander-in-chief of the French Navy, Admiral Marcel-Bruno Gensoul, announced that the 1st Division de Croiseurs and the 10th Flotilla Torpillieurs will be redeployed to Cam Ranh Bay in October. The cruiser Nouvelle Caledonie, part of the 1st Cruiser Division, will be replaced by the new Temeraire, which shall be transferred from the Atlantic Fleet. It is believed that the redeployment is due in part to China's increased naval growth. The largest ships currently deployed in Indochina are the aging Petain class coast defense ships.

August 14 - La Croix
Colas Group's Société Anonyme pour la Construction et l'Entretien des Routes (SACER) reported substantial completion of the first major section of the A5 Autoroute between Metz and Saarbrucken. Completion of the A5 between Paris and Metz is scheduled for the late summer of 1943.

August 17
The French destroyers Bienfaisant and Entreprenant arrived today at the Irish port of Cobh on a port call. After leaving Cobh, they will cruise to Dublin before returning to Brest.

August 18
Dunkerque and Strasbourg arrived at the American port of Miami today on the final leg of their extended training cruise. The two battlecruisers will be open to the public for several days before their planned departure on the 24th.

August 21
The Max Holste MH.52 two-seat touring plane conducted its first flight near Reims.

August 24
Dunkerque and Strasbourg departed Miami today, returning to their base at Brest.

August 27
Reporters were ushered through the Bloch factory at Argenteuil today to see the country's first jet aircraft, the MB.1000 Triton, under construction. Three airframes were visible but incomplete at the plant. It is expected that they will be fitted with engines and could fly before the end of the year.

August 29
The French Agricultural Ministry has announced the hiring of Mr. Norman Borlaug, an American, to conduct research into food grains in Algeria.

September 2
Preparations are underway for both the October Paris Motor Show and November's Paris Air Show.

September 8
The Grand Prix des Nations cycling race began today.

September 11
Performance artist Ulrich von Liechtenstein opened an unauthorized exhibition of living statues today on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The Police said they would not shut the exhibit down unless it impeded traffic or mocked the French Police.

September 17
The heavy cruiser Téméraire departed Brest for Southeast Asia, where she will take up duties as the flagship of the newly-formed Force opérationnelle Indochine. Along with Téméraire, this task force will include the four heavy destroyers of the 10th Flotilla Torpilleurs and the heavy cruiser Indochine.

September 21
Le Lit à colonnes opened in French movie theaters, staring Fernand Ledoux (Porey-Cave), Odette Joyeux (), and Jean Marais (Rémi). The movie is based on a novel by Louise de Vilmorin.

September 24
Jean-Jacques Barre's EA 1941 rocket ran today at 655 kgf for 11 seconds in a full-duration test run. Monsieur Barre believes the missile is ready for flight test at the new Biscarosse rocketry range. Test launches are scheduled to begin soon.


Friday, October 19th 2012, 9:06pm

[SIZE=3]Q4 News Summary:[/SIZE]
Original News Thread

Compagnie Générale Transatlantique ("The French Line") ordered a new ocean liner in October to serve as a running mate for the SS Pasteur on the South American route. The new ship, to be named René Descartes, was laid down at Chantiers de Penhoët in Saint Nazaire.

The Mondial de l'Automobile was held in Paris from October 4th through the 10th. Major automobile manufacturers from Europe, North America, and Japan displayed their wares in the world's most prestigious automobile show. The French used the opportunity to show off the advancing work on the French autoroute network, although a number of observers called it "Autobahn Lite" in comparison to the German system, which offers more extensive coverage.

The Paris Air Show was held from November 14th through November 21st, with an extremely extensive turnout, although slightly less so than in 1940. The crowds were thrilled by the appearance of civil and military aircraft from around the world. Two Air France Transatlantiques (one MB.970 and one extended-range MB.972) were present as static touring displays. The British Avro York and the Lockheed Constellation were also on hand for comparison. Germany thrilled the crowds with a static example of the upcoming Bf262 jet fighter, and a flying Heinkel He260.

At the Paris Air Show, Marcel Bloch announced that his company, Societie Bloch, would be renamed the Dassault Group following its acquisition of and merger with Avions Amiot and Loire-Nieuport. According to Bloch's press release, the Dassault Group will continue marketing the Transatlantique airliner under the Bloch name, while all military aircraft will now be offered under the Dassault moniker. Dassault will also acquire Loire-Nieuport's contract to operate AIAA in Algiers and AIAI in Saigon.

Colonial Politics
China's decision to depart the League of Nations, a decision announced in September, became a major item of discussion and alarm amongst Indochinese leaders. Sources in the pro-independence Viet Tan Party, the current governing party in Indochina, complained that the Chinese move represented an immense propaganda windfall for the French and pro-union political fortunes. Even though French officials in Paris and Saigon publicly dismissed the Chinese and Indian withdrawal as a move 'of relatively limited importance', and cautioned against assuming nefarious intentions on the part of the Chinese, pro-union and French-language newspapers in Indochina quietly benefitted from playing up the China Scare. By the end of November, the issue remained front-page news in seven out of ten newspapers in Saigon, Hanoi, and Phnom Penh.

Governor General Truong Van Bao requested an immediate defense conference with French officials, which finally occurred on October 20th when the Assistant Minister of National Defense, Alfred August Metayer, arrived in Indochina. The most notable facet of the conference resulted in the creation of an Indochinese Ministry of Territorial Defense, to operate as an independent subsidiary of the French Ministry of National Defense. Minister Without Portfolio Nguyen Van Minh, the Viet Dan opposition leader, was appointed Minister of Territorial Defense. Van Minh's appointment represented a virtual catastrophe for the pro-independence Viet Tan, as much of the opposition to full independence has focused around the desirability of a continued defense alliance with France. Van Minh and his Viet Dan party were perceived to be extremely strong on this issue, and his appointment strengthened Van Minh even further.

Governor General Van Bao privately commented to friends that the timing of the Chinese withdrawal was in many ways relatively fortuitous, as there will be another three years before the next major Indochinese elections, allowing him time to work around the negative effects.

An end-of-year report by Jacques Rueff, the French Minister of National Economy, asserted that the country had seen a four-percent growth in the national gross domestic product over the past two years. Rueff credited the growth to closer relations with Germany, the US, and Britain, and predicted "a period of sustained high growth" due to improved colonial policies and national infrastructure investment.

The French Navy formed the Force opérationnelle Indochine around new surface units arriving at Cam Ranh Bay, with the fast battleship Richelieu as the task force's flagship. The deployment was announced prior to China's departure from the League of Nations, but was popularly seen in Indochina as part of the French reaction to China's withdrawal.

In other important military news, the Loire-Nieuport LN.190 Épouvantail, developed in concert with Thailand's TNAC, entered service with squadrons in the Outre-mer. The Farman F.420, a heavily-modified and license-built American Consolidated B-24 Liberator, also entered service in the Armee de l'Aire. The F.420 will replace all the current heavy bombers in French service.

The first EA 1941 rocket was launched from Biscarosse, France on December 14th. Intended to take a 25 kg payload to 100 km altitude, the rocket instead veered off course and crashed after 5 seconds of flight. On December 15th, a second EA 1941 was launched at Biscarosse. The rocket exploded on the launch pad, destroying both rocket and launch pad.


Tuesday, May 28th 2013, 8:30pm

Original News Thread

January 1
G.B. I/59, assigned to the Zone d'Opérations Aériennes Indochine, finished conversion to the new Br.900 Massette. The G.B. I/22, also assigned to the ZOAI, has already transitioned to the Massette. The aircraft were delivered to Saigon aboard the carriers Gambetta and Clemenceau.

January 4
Dredges and construction barges began arriving at the small port of Dubréka, French Guinea today. The vessels will begin deepening the harbor and constructing shore facilities for a new civilian port. French colonial minister Georges Mandel spoke about the necessity of improving Dubréka's infrastructure, as the growing city of Conakry (the capital of French Guinea and the region's main port) is located on a peninsula and has grown increasingly constricted. Dubréka will serve as the terminus for a metre-gauge railway from the bauxite mines and smelter at Fria.

January 5
Transall confirmed that they had received an unspecified quantity of orders from the Russian and Atlantean Armies for the Transall TB-42 armoured personnel carrier.

January 8
The MB.1000 Triton, France's first turbojet powered aircraft, conducted its first flight today under the control of accomplished test pilot Capitaine Louis-Antoine Messiaen. Read more...

January 12
At a ceremony today in Toulon, the First Carrier Division deactivated. The two aircraft carriers assigned to the unit, the St. Cyr and L'Ocean, are in the process of reassignment to new bases, where they will operate independently.

January 15
Governor-General Truong Van Bao announced today that French and Indochinese high officials would meet in February to set the terms of the upcoming Indochina Plebiscite. This plebiscite, scheduled for 1945, will broadly offer Indochina the option of either full independence or inclusion in the French Union as a special overseas collective.

January 18
The French Army has extended a purchase order for an unspecified number of Mle 1943 CSR-81 recoilless rifles for the Brigade Parachutistes.

January 21
Schneider et cie's spokesman in Saigon confirmed they have begun work on a contract for 100mm anti-aircraft guns for both the Philippine Army and the Indochinese Air Defense Group. The precise quantities of the order remain classified at the present time, but Schneider insiders have implied the number is "not inconsequential".

January 26
President Theisman boarded the carrier L'Ocean today in Toulon harbor. Together with Colonial Minister Georges Mandel, the president will be traveling to Indochina to participate in high-level discussions with leading Indochinese officials. The president's ship will be accompanied by the battleship Liberté.

January 30
President Theisman, aboard the carrier L'Ocean, transited the Suez Canal today, making a short comment to reporters in Port Said about this triumph of French engineering accomplishments.

February 1
M. Jacques Cousteau and M. Émile Gagnan, in conjunction with Air Liquide, have been granted a patent for a demand-valve regulator for diving equipment.

February 5
Le voyageur de la Toussaint, staring Jean Desailly as Gilles Mauvoisin, is released to French theaters. The plot centers around a young man's unexpected inheritance of a large fortune and has clash with a conglomerate of corrupt townsfolk. Eventually, the young man uncovers the murderer and finds true love.

February 8
Eight light craft were laid down today in the Ateliers et Chantiers de Saigon. Although small, these vessels represent another advancement for Indochina's growing industrial capability, alongside such current construction projects like the Patrouille Navale's future flagship, the frégate Tran Nhat Duat, also taking shape at the ACS yard in Saigon.

February 14
The battleship Liberté, carrier L'Ocean, and their escorts arrived today in Cam Ranh Bay. President Theisman, a passenger on L'Ocean, departed the anchorage by flying-boat to attend a conference about the 1945 Indochina Plebiscite.

February 15
The conference to determine the details of the planned 1945 Indochina Plebiscite opened today in the town of Da Nang (Tourane), with heavy security present. Participants, including French President Paul Theisman and Indochinese Governor-General Truong Van Bao, hope to work out the precise details of the plebiscite.

February 17
The fifth Reynard comic book, La Dague d'argent, went on sale today. The cliffhanger ending, with the apparent defeat and death of the titular hero Reynard, has already caused no small amount of controversy amongst readers.

February 20
The Da Nang Conference began a short break for the weekend today. According to reports from insider sources, despite initial friction the French and Indochinese delegations have achieved substantial agreement on the majority of issues before the two parties. The conference will re-convene on February 22nd.

February 23
French President Paul Theisman and Indochinese Governor-General Truong Van Bao jointly announced their mutual agreement on the so-called "Tourane Convention". The Tourane Convention provides for the precise terms that shall be offered to Indochinese voters in the planned 1945 Plebiscite. With the signatures of the major players late this afternoon, the text of the Convention will be presented to the French Parliament and the Indochina Governing Council for confirmation.

Although the principle players of the conference will be returning to their respective duties, a small number of representatives will stay in Da Nang until the end of the week to discuss minor details of the Convention.

February 24
President Theisman departed Cam Ranh Bay early this morning aboard the heavy cruiser Indochine, preparing for several diplomatic stops during his return to metropolitan France.

February 25
The Indochine arrived today in the Filipino port of Manila to make a short port call. President Theisman shall spend two days calling on preeminent leaders of the Filipino government before moving on to Jakarta to meet with Dutch leaders there.

February 27
The last meetings of the Da Nang Conference finished today.

February 28
The cruiser Indochine departed Manila early this afternoon following President Theisman's visit to the Philippines. The President presented Don Andres Soriano with a watercolor by Peintre de la Marine Luc-Marie Bayle portraying the Filipino cruiser Surigao in her December 1942 visit to Cam Ranh Bay. He also discussed issues such as international trade, the Tourane Convention, the Chinese departure from the League of Nations, and banditry in Sulu. Theisman also attended Sunday morning services at the Manila Cathedral before re-embarking aboard Indochine to resume his voyage home.

March 4
President Theisman was greeted by Johannes van Damme (Governor of Java) and Henri Maclaine Pont (Governor of Sumatra) today with his arrival in Jakarta, while Capitaine de Vaisseau Jean-Pierre Courtois of the Indochine was received by the Admiral of the Dutch Pacific Fleet, Vice-admiraal Maarten Winters. The French president spoke privately with the two Dutch governors about trade in the Southeast Asia Region, as well as shifting of defense issues following the Dutch withdrawal from the defensive SAER agreements. President Theisman offered his hope that new agreements could be arranged permitting information-sharing on matters of defense.

March 6
Indochine has departed Jakarta for Toulon. Her homeward-bound voyage will be somewhat rushed as she has a rapidly-approaching date for modernization at the shipyard.

March 6
Three EA 1941 rockets were launched from Biscarrosse today, following a series of extensive repairs after the last attempted tests. The first launch did not go smoothly, as the rocket took off at high acceleration and exploded violently 1.2 seconds after the engine ignited. Although debris came down in the region of the launch pad, it was undamaged, and the planned launches continued. The second rocket left the launch pad at low acceleration, veered off, and crashed ten kilometers from the pad, well offshore. The third rocket, however, was highly successful, achieving an estimated velocity of 1400 m/s, even though the engine cut out after 7.5 seconds rather than the planned thirteen. The rocket splashed down in the sea sixty kilometers downrange, but was not recovered.

March 8
Thomson CSF announced the receipt of a contract to provide Czechoslovakia with radio teledetection equipment for civilian and military purposes. Installation of the equipment shall begin over the summer.

March 9
Colas Group's Société Anonyme pour la Construction et l'Entretien des Routes (SACER) announced in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport that the A5 Autoroute, connecting the German autobahn to Paris, will open as planned on April 19th.

March 11
The Monegasque Force Publique has issued a request for proposal for a quantity of up to one hundred and twenty rifles to replace the Lebel Model 1886 rifles currently used by the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Prince. No specific requirements are made, but the firearms will be tested and selected jointly with the French Army.

March 18
Two more EA 1941 rockets were scheduled to launch today from Biscarrosse. The first rocket failed to generate enough thrust to leave the pad, while a second launch later in the day failed spectacularly when the rocket exploded. The pad was damaged, requiring substantial repairs.

March 24
Plans to revitalize the La Défense district of Paris were presented today to a series of architectural study groups hired by the French Parliament under the authority of the Ministry of the National Economy.


Tuesday, May 28th 2013, 8:31pm

Original News Thread

April 1
The Concours général agricole opened today after a delay of nearly two months, caused by a fire at the intended venue.

April 3
The Nice Observatory announced Marguerite Laugier's March discovery of two new asteroids.

April 6
The Indochina Governing Council voted today to seek independent membership in the League of Nations with status as an autonomous territory. The move, discussed with French government officials in February, is largely seen in Hanoi as a response to China's departure from that body, a move which alarmed many native Indochinese leaders.

April 8
SAGEM released a classified report to the CASDN (Comité d'Action Scientifique de Défense Nationale) with their evaluation of the repeated failures of the EA 1941 rocket. SAGEM's study group determined that the source of the rocket's problem is burn-through and loss of a portion of the inner wall of the combustion chamber, which blocks the nozzle exit, thus causing the repeated explosions which have plagued the rocket.

April 9
CASDN has recommended the cancellation of the EA 1941 rocket program and the transfer of funds to a follow-on program, called the Eole. A decision will be made within the next few months.

April 19
The A5 autoroute officially opened today between Paris and Forbach.

April 25
The country celebrates Easter.

April 27
DCNS Indret has started construction on two experimental marine turbines intended for installation aboard the destroyer Épée. The gas plants, produced with the assistance of Swiss firm Brown, Boveri & Cie, are more advanced models of turbines built by Indret in 1941.

May 3
The French Army has accepted the first trials vehicle of the proposed Char-13 Massena tank. Although some rumors have indicated the vehicle would be equipped with a 105mm main gun, the initial model, as shown to the press, appears to be armed with the same 75mm/L60 gun used on the latest Montbrun medium tank.

May 4
Funding for the EA 1941 artillery rocket program has officially been cancelled, with remaining funds transferred to the Eole rocket program. The Eole, a design project proposed by the EA 1941's designer Jean Jacques Barre, is a significantly larger and more complicated system building on experience from the EA 1941 program.

May 7
Indochinese Governor-General Truong Van Bao has nominated a number of individuals for appointment as Indochina's first foreign ambassadors. In his announcement, Van Bao declared that representatives would be sent to Atlantis, Russia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, China, the Philippines, and Thailand. These ambassadors, if accepted, will work from the French embassies in those countries until such a time as an independent embassy is deemed necessary.

May 10
The French Army approved the selection of the Steyr L101 Trosskarren, developed in Germany, for purchase and use by the Chasseurs Parachutistes and the Chasseurs Alpins. A quantity of approximately eight hundred vehicles is on order.

May 12
The Cannes Film Festival starts in... Cannes.

May 14
A France-Hydro Latécoère 631 flying boat, with forty-nine passengers and crew, signaled distress two hours after departing Dakar for Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. The crew indicated they were trying to return to Dakar, but the aircraft did not arrive. An extensive air and sea search has been launched.

May 19
Five days after the disappearance of France-Hydro Flight 714 from Dakar to Rio and Buenos Aires, the French Navy patrol boat Laurette has discovered eighteen survivors adrift at sea. Ships continue the search for further survivors, although deteriorating weather conditions offer little hope.

May 19
The first Forbin-class escortier d'escadre was launched today in La Rochelle.

May 22
The fourteenth Monaco Grand Prix was run. Rudolf Caracciola of Germany, driving his trademark Mercedes-Benz, was narrowly beaten by Pierre Veyron driving the Bugatti 73C.

May 23
The French Gendarmerie in Dakar revealed today after interviews with survivors of France-Hydro Flight 714 that the aircraft appears to have been downed intentionally 'by forces yet unknown'. No further information is available, but a team of aircraft engineers from Latécoère, Air France, France-Hydro, and the French Air Force are flying to Dakar to investigate. According to survivors, the aircraft suffered a small explosion which resulted in an onboard fire. The pilot announced that he was going to ditch the aircraft, which permitted the passengers and crew to launch several rubber life-rafts, getting free of the plane. Despite the efforts of the crew and passengers, the aircraft burned and exploded a half-hour after landing on the open ocean. A group of seventeen passengers and one crewman survived in the life-rafts until the 19th, when they were rescued by the Laurette.

May 25
A spokesman for the French Gendarmerie revealed today that France-Hydro Flight 714 appears to have been brought down as a result of some sort of onboard explosive device, apparently smuggled aboard in Dakar. According to investigators, it appears a second device, concealed in luggage, was supposed to be placed on the plane, but was instead accidentally left in Dakar, where it exploded harmlessly. However, investigators were able to find pieces of a timing mechanism and explosive residue. Investigators were unable to speculate about who may have planted the explosives on the aircraft, and what motives they may have had. However, it appears clear that the loss of the luggage containing the second explosive device likely prevented a second explosion aboard the doomed aircraft.

May 26
The SS René Descartes, a brand-new 29,000-ton ocean liner intended for service to Atlantis and South America, was launched today at Chantiers de Penhoët in Saint Nazaire.

May 28
The French Ministry of Defense revealed today that the aerial bombing of France-Hydro Flight 714 was apparently carried out by an Islamic group, which claimed responsibility in a letter posted in Dakar prior to the departure of the aircraft. The group claims to be acting in order to draw attention to revolt by Islamic rebels in the Philippines. According to the letter, the bombers promised to attack more French airliners if the French government did not act to assist the rebels in the Philippines. Officials in Paris declared that they would hunt down the perpetrators.

May 31
Messageries Maritimes has reported that their Mediterranean tours, currently run by SS Champollion and Mariette Pacha, will be expanded over the coming years.

June 1
The intensive maritime search for more survivors of France-Hydro Flight 714 has been called off today nearly half a month after the loss of the Latécoère 631 flying boat. Authorities remain on the alert for Islamic agitators who claimed responsibility for a suitcase bomb which brought down the flying boat.

June 4
The destroyer Navarin was delivered by the shipyards of La Rochelle today. Navarin is the first of eight similar destroyers scheduled for completion during the month of June.

June 5
The Salon des Tuileries, an annual art exhibition for painting and sculpture, opens today in Paris.

June 7
The Marine Nationale announced that the Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée had received a contract to assemble two new fleet submarines for the French Navy, tentatively named Roland Morillot and Charles Drujon. The submarines will be constructed using modular construction techniques pioneered by DCNS with the Barfleur class destroyers. The Navy's spokesman declined to address rumors that the Marine Nationale and the German Kriegsmarine are collaborating on a new submarine design, but did indicate that the two Roland Morillot class boats ordered today would be the prototypes for a class of future French submarines.

June 10
La Malédiction du Reynard, the final volume of the six-book Reynard comic series, was published today, achieving a record for number of volumes sold on the first day of publication.

June 11
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race begins.

June 12
The 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race completes, with victory for Amédée Gordini and his backup driver, Jacques Seylair. Britain's Lord Selsden and Charles Brackenbury placed second, driving a Lagonda V12. The race was made more difficult due to a pouring rainstorm for most of the morning.

June 15
Prime Minister Gaston Monnerville departed today for a state visit to French Lebanon and Syria.

June 17
The Aeronavale has placed an order for an unspecified quantity of Farman F.422 Liberator four-engine bombers designed for maritime patrol. The F.420 Liberator, a license-built variant of the American Consolidated B-24 bomber, is slowly replacing the Armee de l'Aire's heavy bombers.

June 21
The French Army accepted delivery of both the 25,000th Berliet GBC-4 military truck and a prototype Panhard armoured car based on the AM40 prototype. The new armoured car is largely based on the AM40's unusual eight-wheeled layout, with the two end axles providing motive power in most cases, while the two center axles, with steel wheels, being raised or lowered according to terrain. Unlike the AM40, which featured a 47mm automatic gun in an oscillating turret, the new vehicle features a highly advanced 75mm gun, the largest ever to be fitted to any armoured car.

June 23
Roland Payen's unusual PA.30 experimental aircraft conducted its first test flight today at ONERA's facility in Brétigny-sur-Orge.

June 24
The new heavy cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc were launched today in La Rochelle.


Tuesday, May 28th 2013, 8:32pm

Original News Thread

July 1
The new aviso-dragueurs Arabe and Algérien were laid down today in DCN's Noumea shipyard. These new avisos, designed for a mix of both minesweeping and antisubmarine warfare, are intended as replacements for the previous Arabe-class escorts, some of which were constructed in Japan for the French Navy during the Great War. In tribute to their predecessors, and out of respect for the Japanese destroyers which assisted in antisubmarine duties in the Mediterranean during the Great War, eight Japanese ladies will serve as the ships' sponsors.

July 3
French police in Algiers have arrested six men accused of organizing the aerial bombing of France-Hydro Flight 714. All six men were Arab members of the so-called International Islamic Assistance Front. The organization's stated goals, as outlined in their missives to French and British newspapers, is to create militaristic Muslim states in North Africa, the Middle East, and the East Indies. A seventh man believed to belong to the organization was shot by police while resisting arrest and attempting to board an Italian merchant ship in Algiers.

July 5
The Armee de l'Aire's procurement division has evaluated a series of projects for a turbojet-engined aircraft of French design, presented by Arsenal, Avions Dassault, Dewoitine, Breguet-Nord, and Liore-et-Olivier. Several design and funding decisions were rendered, but no details have been declassified at the present time.

July 8
The tenth CUBA computer was delivered today to the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées in Paris.

July 11
On the sixth anniversary of the death of American composer George Gershwin, the Orchestre de Paris celebrated his works with an all-Gershwin program.

July 12
Absolutely nothing of importance happened today in France, so the newspapers and radio announcers spent most of their time talking about the weather, which was absolutely magnificent, but really only merited a thirty-second discussion at most.

July 14
France celebrates Bastille Day.

July 15
The French gendarmerie released a statement regarding the recent arrest of six members of the so-called International Islamic Assistance Front, and the demise of a seventh member. After detailed interrogations of the prisoners, the Gendarmerie estimates the size of the group to number approximately thirty individuals, the majority of whom were recruited from Muslim Algerian nationalist groups. Among the six members arrested on July 3rd was the apparent ringleader, Mahoummad al-Dhirti, and four of the six members of the "senior command council." Two individuals, a Syrian named Yusuf Hamsho and an Algerian named Abane Ramdane, remain at large.

July 16
Citroen employee Paul Mages has received a patent for development of a new type of oléopneumatique automobile suspension system, using oil and air.

July 19
The first issue of the new weekly newspaper L'Express, based on the American TIME Magazine, came off the printing presses.

July 21
At the Carrousel de Saumur, Panhard and AMX demonstrated their new offerings in the form of the Panhard EBR armoured car and the AMX Char-13 Masséna medium tank. While development and production of the EBR armoured car is proceeding quickly, development of the Char-13 is proceeding more sedately, with the goal of introducing the tank into the French Army sometime in 1944 or 1945. The slower development of the Char-13 is due to the numerous examples of the technically excellent and recently-produced Char-8 Montbrun medium tank which are in service with the French Army.

July 23 - Le Canard enchaîné
Sources within the Palais de l'Élysée have leaked to this paper that the government is preparing to announce a major deal regarding colonial issues, in conjunction with the British government.

July 24
President Theisman, in an announcement to the French and international press following a special session of Parliament, announced that the French and British governments have mutually agreed to a series of colonial territorial changes. Under the terms of this agreement, the British Empire will acquire the territory of Tchad, while the French Union will assume control of British Togo (merging it into French Togo), and full control of the joint Franco-British condominium of the New Hebrides.

July 26
Members of the French ultra-nationalist far left protested the proposed "Franco-British Land Swap" announced yesterday by President Theisman. Despite the furor by ultra-nationalists, however, most French political groups seem to approve of the proposal as "part of a necessary series of retrenchments for the French Union."

July 28
In Syrian politics, the League of Nationalist Action failed to achieve a majority in the national elections despite a strong showing in the elections. The LNA's showing similarly deprived the National Bloc of a majority, although National Bloc candidate Shukri al-Quatli was elected president.

July 29
The aircraft carriers Gambetta and Clemenceau departed Toulon today with a load of Breguet-Nord Br.900 Massette aircraft bound for Indochina. Native Indochinese military and government officials, concerned at the continued Chinese military buildup, reportedly requested additional assets from the French military. The aircraft currently being delivered will go to equip a newly-forming fighter-bomber group.

August 2
The French Army confirmed an order with Panhard for an unspecified quantity of EBR armoured reconnaissance vehicles. Military observers believe the EBR will completely replace the previous Panhard-178 armoured car by 1945 or 1946. There has been some speculation that foreign armies may be interested in the EBR due to its superior firepower and performance.

August 3 - Le Figaro
The French Parliament has instituted the creation of the Parc national de la Vanoise, the first national park in metropolitan France. Vanoise is paired with Italy's Parco nazionale del Gran Paradiso (Gran Paradiso) across the border. A bill to form a second national park in the Pyrénées mountains remains under debate.

August 5
The engineering and mathematics departments at the American University of Beirut announced their order of a CUBA computer for use in teaching and research.

August 6
Éditions Denoël has released René Barjavel's newest novel, Ravage, for print. The science-fiction book describes the collapse of society when electricity disappears.

August 9 - Le Nouvel Economiste
The governor-general of Algerie, as well as other notables, ceremonially opened the new oil-loading transshipment terminal in Bougie today. The port improvements are part of a series of projects revolving around the latest Algerian oil pipeline, scheduled to go online in December of this year. legal difficulties have slowed work on the pipeline itself, but project managers remain confident that the work will be completed on schedule.

August 11
The city government of Lyon met today to discuss the creation of a system of tramways within the city.

August 12
The 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the Forces Légères d'Attaque departed Bizerte today on a planned cruise to the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

August 17
French tank manufacturer SOMUA revealed today that they had received a contract to continue manufacturing Char-8 Montbrun medium tanks for the French Army through 1944, albeit at a lower rate of production, in order to bridge the gap to the expected arrival of the Char-13 heavy cruiser, which is still under development at AMX. In December 1943, SOMUA's production will shift to the Char-8A3 variant, which will mount a new gun in a modified turret.

August 18
The Centre national de la recherche scientifique commissioned the new CNRS-1 research submersible today. The small craft, designed by Swiss inventor Auguste Piccard, is intended to aid in the exploration of the seas.

August 20
Walid el-Kohfitoup, the first of the six senior leaders of the International Islamic Assistance Front arrested on July 3rd, appeared in court today to be charged with the aerial bombing of France-Hydro Flight 714. Read more here.

August 23
The 3rd Cruiser Squadron arrived today at the Golden Horn in Byzantium, after conducting a series of exercises and port visits in French Liban and the Republic of Syria.

August 24 - Le Nouvel Economiste
Gnome-Rhone's Hanoi factory produced their four millonth Asie Junior motorcycle today, three years after it entered production. The small motorcycle's low price helps make it affordable to even poor Asians. A variety of sub-models, including a tricycle version designed for cargo carrying, help make the Asie Junior highly useful. A recent survey discovered that Asie-Junior motorcycles now represent almost two-thirds of the registered motor vehicles in Indochina, and a significant fraction of those in Thailand, where they are also sold. Asie Juniors are also exported to China, British Malasia, and the Dutch East Indies.

August 26
Speaking to journalists from the Palais de l'Élysée, President Theisman said that no firm date has been agreed upon for the so called "colony trade" with Britain, but that discussions had begun to focus on January 1st of either 1944 or 1945.

August 30
Arsenal de l'Aéronautique received approval from the French Air Ministry to begin production of the proposed VG.640 fighter prototype. According to current expectations, the prototype aircraft should be ready for first flight by the end of the year, with possible production to start sometime in mid-1944.

September 1
The fifth Forbin class Contre-Torpillieur D'Estrées was laid down today in La Rochelle.

September 2
The Indochinese Parliament voted today to push forward with the creation of a mechanized brigade, to be called the 202nd Tank Brigade. The further development of locally-funded military units was discussed, but no firm decisions were made at the present time. Many local elected officials have called for the Indochinese Territorial Security Forces (FST) to raise six to nine infantry divisions to support the six divisions deployed in Indochina by the French Army.

September 3
Serge de Poligny's newest cinema production, Le baron fantôme, premiered tonight at the Gaumont Palace. The production, starring André Lefaur as "Eustache Dauphin dit Monseigneur", Odette Joyeux as Elfy de Saint-Hélié, Jany Holt as Anne, and Alain Cuny as the gamekeeper's son Hervé, deals with the deadly secret of the manor house and the love triangle between Elfy and Anne.

September 5
Jozef Somers became the first Belgian and the second foreigner (after Italian Jules Rossi) to achieve first place in the Grand Prix des Nations, an individual time-trial for professional road cyclists.

September 7
Jean Jacques Barre tested the engine of the new Eole rocket for the first time today at CASDN's rocket research laboratory in Toulon. Unusually, it didn't explode. This definitely marks a step up from previous Barre rockets.

September 8
The French Foreign Legion has expressed an interest in testing the German-developed G11 rifle.

September 10
The football teams of Saint-Pierre, Stade Nantais UC, AC Batignolles, ASO Nantaise and Mellinet have merged to form FC Nantes. Marcel Saupin, the manager of Mellinet declared, “Today we are a small team, but we will become a great team if we work together one day.” Their home colors will be green and yellow.

September 13
Renault announced that it was negotiating with Bulet and Metalhim to produce Renault automobiles in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.

September 14
Brandt unveiled their newest product, a 155mm howitzer being pitched to the French Army. With a maximum range of over twenty kilometers and a crew of eight, the new weapon seems poised for widespread adoption by the French Army.

September 17
Gebran Geahchan & Fils SAL, a retailer and distributor for baby products and toys, is founded in Beirut, Lebanon.

September 19
The contre-torpillieur Chevalier Paul was launched today in La Rochelle.

September 20
Ground was broken today in La Défense for the construction of the Centre des nouvelles industries et technologies, a Modernist convention center which will serve as one of the centerpieces for Paris's new business districts. The CNIT building, when completed in late 1945, will feature the largest unsupported concrete span enclosed space in the world.

September 23
Gnome-Rhone announced that they had concluded a bid to establish a motorcycle-manufacturing subsidiary in the Republic of the Philippines. The new subsidiary, to be called Delta Motors, will produce motorized tricycles for the Southeast Asian market. Motorized tricycles, usually modified from imported models, are highly popular in the Philippines; they are similarly catching on in Indochina as well. Delta Motors will export motor tricycles to Indochina and other regional purchasers, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Indochina.

September 24
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, a two-part film staring Pierre Richard-Willm as Edmond Dantès, opened tonight in Paris. This joint French-Italian production, directed by Robert Vernay, retells the story of Alexander Dumas's masterpiece novel.

September 29
In a statement to the press, President Theisman acknowledged that the government would be 'quite keen' to see the results of Bharat's coming federal elections. Theisman noted that the number of parties involved in the election, and the wide spread of policy differences, would probably make a majority government, or even a majority parliamentary coalition, extremely difficult to achieve. "The French government hopes that the subcontinent benefits from this free exercise of their enfranchisement."


Friday, July 5th 2013, 10:05pm

Q4/43 Summary

[SIZE=3]Q4/1943 Summary[/SIZE]
Original News Thread

October 1
The submarine Calypso was laid down today in the port of La Rochelle.

October 4
Construction on the Amaria dam in Guinea finished today following several years of work. The dam, located on the Konkouré River, will produce 65kW of electricity, and shall power an aluminium smelter. The facility has become the first aluminium smelter in operation in Africa.

October 5
French aero-engine and automobile manufacturer Hispano-Suiza unveiled a Char-8 Montbrun medium tank powered by an extremely novel gas turbine engine design, the result of five years of research and development by Dimitri Sensaud de Lavaud. Hispano-Suiza is also reportedly working on a racing motorcar with the gas turbine engine, which reportedly produces nine hundred horsepower.

October 6 - Le Figaro, Evening Edition
A force identified as the Italian-organized "Nuovo Partito Socialista-Comunista Avanguardia di Monaco" (NPSCAM) has launched an attempt to seize the city-state of Monaco, overwhelming the Monagasque police force, the Carabiniers du Prince, and taking control of the major points within Monaco. Read more...

October 7
French military forces, identified as the 13th Régiment de Dragons Parachutistes, entered Monaco just before midnight last night to crush the Nuovo Partito Socialista-Comunista Avanguardia di Monaco, or "Avanguardias", who had assumed control of the tiny coastal city-state yesterday morning in a shocking coup de main. Read more...

October 8
Editorials -

October 9
The Greek coastal freighter Efimia was released from French Naval custody today following a thorough investigation of the ship's role in the Monaco Incident. According to French authorities, the ship was chartered by an independent agent to carry a cargo of wheat from Palermo to Genoa. Instead, the ship was forcibly commandeered in the night by armed Avanguardia members, who forced the captain to leave Palermo and steer for Monaco. Another ship, the yacht SS Atmah, was similarly commandeered in the harbor of Monaco and used to house several hostages. The French government declared these two incidents would result in charges for piracy awaiting a number of Avanguardia members.

October 10
Four days after the attempted Communist takeover of Monaco, life is getting back to normal in the seaside resort. The exception, however, are the protestors: on the one hand, a handful of pro-Communist demonstrators objecting to the suppression of the Avanguardias, and on the other, those calling for the abdication of Prince Louis II, who has yet to return to his princedom in the aftermath of the attack.

October 11
In a press conference at the Élysée Palace, President Theisman repeated his earlier assertion that the Monaco Incident was not a covert or overt attempt by the Italian government to take over the princedom. "It appears," Theisman continued, "That SIM, the Italian military intelligence agency, was monitoring the Avanguardias and a large number of other foreign and domestic political minority groups, but had not received any actionable intelligence about the Avanguardias' intentions to launch an attack against Monaco. The Republic of France believes this to be a regrettable oversight, but not conclusive proof of malicious intent." Speaking to the ability of the hijacked Greek freighter Efimia's ability to transport eighty of the combatants into Monaco without detection, the President contended that naval patrols repeatedly spotted the freighter, but the vessel behaved normally at all times and gave no reason for an inspection.

October 13 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this Wednesday's satirical cartoons, Prince Louis II of Monaco dances with a bevy of actresses while Italian revolutionaries seize Monaco. The cartoon is captioned "Prince of Monaco? No, my dear, I am Prince of the Ritz."

October 13
The drama-romance film L'Éternel retour, directed by Jean Delannoy, written by Jean Cocteau, and starring Madeleine Sologne and Jean Marais, opens in Paris.

October 14
Prince Louis II of Monaco returned to his princedom for the first time since last week's attempted seizure by Communist revolutionaries. He was greeted by a crowd of a thousand silent individuals who displayed a banner asking him to abdicate. The Prince's return was reportedly due to the insistence of French President Theisman, who had a private meeting with the Prince on the twelfth. Although the topic of their discussion has not been leaked, some insiders believe President Theisman had very harsh words for the aging Prince, who has shown little interest in the events of the past week.

October 15
Prince Louis II of Monaco has announced his official abdication in favor of his grandson, Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi, who will take the throne as Rainier III. The twenty-year old Prince Rainier promised to restore the Monagasque faith in the monarchy and in the Grimaldi family. Rainier's mother, Princess Charlotte, previously abdicated her place in the line of succession in favor of her son.

October 16
Minister of National Education Jules Bernard has resigned, announcing that he had decided to excuse himself from public service. The move comes as quite a surprise to political observers, since Bernard was expected to hold the post until his candidacy for president, as a member of the French Socialist Party, would be announced in mid-1944. The minister's apparent intent to retire from public life raises doubts about the intentions of one of the prospective future leaders of the French Union.

October 17 - Le Figaro
President Theisman announced that the vacant post of the Minister of National Education would be offered to Deputy-Minister Jean-Jacques Saval. Unlike his predecessor, Saval is a member of Theisman's tripartisme Alliance républicaine, but is not a close friend or coworker of the President.

October 18
Minister of National Defense Lemaréchal presented to the French Parliament a plan to extend current mechanization developments through the French Army through the course of 1944 and 1945. The confidential report is rumored to focus on the upgrade of existing 'foot' infantry divisions rather than the creation of new forces. The known exception will be the 202nd Brigade de Chars being formed in Indochina using a mix of local and French Colonial personnel and equipment.

October 20 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's editorial section, members of the French leftist parties blame Minister of National Education Bernard's retirement on backlash from the Avanguardia attack on Monaco.

October 21
The submarine Thetis was completed today at the naval yards of La Rochelle.

October 22
The Salon de l'Automobile opened today in Paris. Three hundred manufacturers from around the world demonstrated their products, announced new automobile models, and made deals. Among the new cars being presented is Hispano-Suiza's newest car, the J14 Tornade, which features a three hundred c.v. engine, one of the most powerful production cars in the world. Renault also announced their intention to open a Balkan branch in Plovdiv Bulgaria, to be called Bulgarrenault and operated in conjunction with the local firm Metalhim.

October 23
Éditions Denoël released René Barjavel's science-fiction novel Le Voyageur imprudent, a story about a time-traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

October 26
The government of Monaco announced that after due consideration, the Avanguardias would be tried in military courts as unlawful combatants. For reasons of practicality, the trials will likely be held on French soil.

October 27
The first two aviso-dragueurs of the Arabe class, named Arabe and Algérien, were launched today in the shipyards of Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie. The two ships sponsors, distinguished Japanese ladies, were selected to help maintain a thread with the previous Arabe class, destroyers built in Japan for the Marine Nationale during the Great War. At the launch ceremony, Contre-amiral Alain Dacoury paid tribute to the French and Japanese sailors who contributed to Allied victory in the Mediterranean Sea between 1914 and 1917.

October 29
Construction of Paris's Boulevard Périphérique was completed today after two and a half years of nearly constant construction. The 35km long road, constructed by Société Anonyme pour la Construction et l'Entretien des Routes, encircles Paris, following the route of the old 1841 Thiers wall.

November 1 - La Provence
The Yugoslavian destroyer-leader Zagreb arrived in the port of Marseilles today, the first stop on an international cruise currently being undertaken by the Yugoslavian Royal Navy. This powerful ship, fresh from the Bar shipyards, is armed with eight twelve-centimeter guns and ten fifty-five centimeter torpedoes. Yugoslavian Foreign Minister Boris Furlan, as well as Prince Tomislav, arrived aboard the ship.

Zagreb was welcomed to Marseilles by Contre-amiral Virgile Lapeyre, who has recently been promoted to command the Forces Légères d'Attaque in Bizerte. Contre-amiral Lapeyre extended an invitation for the Yugoslavian First Striking Group to join in a naval exercise with the FLA in 1944.

November 3 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this Wednesday's editorials, Le Canard enchaîné offers the opinion that in honor of the British admiral Sir Dudley Pound, the British Royal Navy "ought to rename the battleship HMS Beatty in his memory, as Admiral Pound is more deserving of such a memorial."

November 4
The Syrian government announced that it has secured a military development loan from France which will be used to acquire new aircraft for the Syrian Air Force. As part of the loan, the Syrian Army agreed to order a number of Panhard EBR armoured cars from France. Damascus intends to repay the four year loan with shipments of phosphates, cement, and agricultural products. Speculation about Syria's planned purchases abound, particularly in the light of the recent showing by the Yugoslavian Soko Aircraft Firm of their Orao fighter. At present, the Syrian Air Force still uses aging Dewoitine D.520 fighters. Of the twenty-two aircraft acquired during independence, only sixteen are still rumored to be in flyable condition. Close-support forces are in even more dire straits, depending on Breguet 19 light bombers and an octet of Loire-Nieuport dive-bombers.

November 6
The new fleet submarines Roland Morillot and Charles Drujon were launched today from the Marseilles shipyards.

November 8
Trials of the Avanguardias began today in a French military court. Three members of the group pleaded guilty to charges of illegal armed insurrection and filibustering and were sentenced to ten years of hard labor in North Africa.

November 9
The new comic series Voisin et Hennequin, published by Société Parisienne d'Édition, appeared on shelves today. Voisin et Hennequin follows the adventures of two aviators of the Armee de l'Aire, Lieutenant Wenceslas Voisin and Lieutenant Claude Nicolas Hennequin. Drawn by a veteran artist who helped produced the bestselling Reynard comic series, this first issue sees the quiet and stoic Voisin and flamboyant Hennequin sent to the fictional French colony of Côte Rocheuse, which is under threat from tribal rebels led by Abdul el-Hakim and his beautiful daughter Galila. Vousin and Hennequin face the additional threat of a mercenary fighter squadron led by the villainous Colonel Dirksen, which is aiding the rebels. To complicate matters, Voisin falls in love with army nurse Joséphine Lalanne, while Hennequin sets his lofty sights on the exotic Galila. According to Société Parisienne d'Édition, the new series will run for at least nine episodes, covering the planned "Côte Rocheuse Rebellion" arc.

November 10 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: in this week's satire cartoons, Minister of Public Health Jean-Baptiste Méliès is mocked for his statement that smoking cigarettes is an unhealthy habit.

November 11
President Theisman and senior members of the government and military celebrated Armistice Day paying their respects to French soldiers fallen in war. The President made two public appearances at Arras and Cambrai.

November 12
A Bloch MB.972 Transatlantique airliner crashed today two kilometers outside La Suze-sur-Sarthe, southwest of Le Mans. The MB.972 had previously suffered a mechanical failure in a trans-oceanic flight from New York City, landing at the Irish airport at Shannon. There it transferred its passengers to a second aircraft, and after inspection was flying back to France for maintenance and overhaul. It is believed that three Air France crewmen aboard the aircraft were all killed. Air Minister Jean-François Jannekeyn promised an investigation into the aircraft's loss.

November 15
The final four escortiers d'escadre of the Étendard-subclass destroyers were launched today in La Rochelle. These four ships, named Claymore, Carabine, Épée and Trident, are the final ships of the Jaguar-class. Although divided into three sub-classes, these warships are one of the most numerous classes of warship in the world, with forty-eight units in service or approaching completion.

November 17 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: in this Wednesday's investigative article, Le Canard enchaîné examines leaked reports about the cost of the French Army's plans to mechanize three more divisions of infantry, in addition to creating several new armoured brigades.

November 19
The contre-torpilleur Vauquelin was launched today from the shipyards of La Rochelle.

November 20 - Le Figaro
Two Avangardias being tried for illegal armed insurrection were additionally convicted of piracy. Having exhausted their appeals, they were hung with all due dispatch.

November 22
The Armee de Terre's Aviation Légère de lArmée de Terre has circulated the requirement for a troop and cargo-carrying helicopter capable of carrying twelve to fourteen men or more at a speed of one hundred knots and a range of three hundred kilometers. France's sole helicopter manufacturer, Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane, has no known machines or paper designs capable of meeting this requirement. The Aviation Légère de lArmée de Terre cited their experience in Morocco as well as the recent event in Monaco as important events in showing the need for a machine with more capacity than the existing SH.20 Cigale.

November 23
Gnome-Rhone reports the first successful bench test of an axial turbojet engine, believed to be designed with technical insight from Atlantean and German sources. The design is currently known under the designation 'Turboréacteur Axial, Curtana' or TRAC.

November 24 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In the investigative journalism section, Le Canard enchaîné leaks the information that the so-called "Great Colony Swap" (as dubbed by opponents) between Britain and France will take place on January 30th, 1944.

November 26
The French Army confirmed rumors that it has received permission and funding to convert three infantry divisions to mechanized divisions before 1945. In addition, the Army plans to create two new tank brigades in the Metropole region, rework the four Brigades de Reaction Rapide, create an armoured brigade with Légion étrangère manpower, and support Indochina's creation of their own armoured brigade. Although the changes will not result in an increase in manpower, an order for approximately fifteen hundred armoured carriers, three hundred tanks, and eighteen hundred trucks is expected before 1945.

November 29
The association football team Olympique Noisy-le-Sec is founded in Noisy-le-Sec, a suburb of Paris.

November 30
The French Army has established the Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin to manufacture and experiment with small arms for the French Army.

December 1 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's edition, the editors look into a leaked report about the cost-benefit analysis of swapping Tchad to Britain in exchange for the Togo mandate and clear ownership of the New Hebrides.

December 2
French naval ships from the Atlantic Fleet came to the assistance of the Polish liner MS Chrobry today following the declaration of an emergency. A drunken and belligerent first-class passenger smashed a bottle of port and attacked another man with the broken bottle, accusing him of seducing his wife. The head steward intervened and was badly injured in the scuffle. Two other crewmen and another passenger were also injured. The French destroyer Baie de Chesapeake, conducting antisubmarine exercises off Finistère, rendered assistance, taking the passenger into custody and evacuating the injured head steward to the naval hospital at Brest. The arrested passenger will be turned over to the Polish police.

December 3
A technical investigation committee began meeting today to investigate the crash of an Air France Bloch MB.972 Transatlantique near La Suze-sur-Sarthe. The investigation committee is similar to that formed following the downing of France-Hydro Flight 714 earlier this year. Some members of the Air Ministry have made calls for the formation of a permanent body organized to investigate air crashes.

December 6
Four new Étendard class destroyers were completed today in La Rochelle. Following sea trials, they will be accepted into the Marine Nationale.

December 8
The city of Lyons lit their traditional "Fête des Lumières" today.

December 9
The Salon du Cheval de Paris opened today. One of the world's premier equestrian events, it will run until December 16th.

December 11
Édith Piaf's new song De l'Autre Côté de la Rue has become a bestselling record in France.

December 14
The new pipeline running to the port and refinery of Bougie, Algeria has been completed and enters operation.

December 15
The destroyer Forbin was completed today in La Rochelle. This ship, the first of a class of powerful new contre-torpilleur, carries the new French 13cm dual-purpose gun. Five other ships are under construction and two more are planned. The Marine Nationale is reportedly interested in ordering four more ships in 1944.

December 17
Contre-amiral Yves Desailly, former commander of the Forces Légères d'Attaque in Bizerte, has been promoted to command the Indian Ocean Flotilla.

December 20
The French government released a report publicizing the progress remaining before the January 30th deadline for territorial changes in Tchad, Togo, and the New Hebrides. According to the report, the government is preparing a special funding bill to begin improvements in the new territories and the Togo mandate. Minister of Colonies Georges Mandel indicated that if the bills pass, France would spend approximately 25% more on infrastructure development and 40% more on education initiatives in Togo than Britain spent in 1943. Mandel indicated that one of the highest priorities was establishing a system to provide clear drinking water in the major cities.

December 22
The final military trials for the Avanguardias was held today in an unknown location. Eight of the men sentenced today will be turned over immediately to the Greek government for trial regarding their role in the hijacking of the Greek coastal freighter Efimia. The French government only recently confirmed rumors that at least one senior member of the Avanguardia movement was not present in Monaco when the 13th RDP stormed the principality and rounded up the group.

December 25
France celebrates Christmas.

December 28
A French expedition led by Sous-Lieutenant Gustave Remy has departed to conduct a survey of the Mount Nimba Region of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. His junior rank notwithstanding, Sous-Lieutenant Remy has been busy acquiring an impressive career in exploration over the past four years, having recently summited Mont Blanc, Mount Elbrus, and Aconcagua. Remy is leading a team of surveyors and biologists to investigate the Mount Nimba region for possible creation of a nature preserve.


Saturday, December 21st 2013, 11:10pm


January 1
The French Navy held an 'open ship' event today at the naval base of Toulon, allowing civilians to tour the aircraft carrier Clemenceau. France's oldest carrier is scheduled for retirement soon as newer carriers have been constructed to take it's place. The ship has largely served as an aircraft transport, moving large aircraft between French outposts abroad.

January 3
The Armee de l'Aire has started to conduct an evaluation of Societie Dassault's performance as the managing partner of Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Indochine (AIAI) and Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Alger (AIAA). The evaluation, which will be completed on January 31st, will determine whether or not Societie Dassault will continue to manage the two companies, created to produce Air Force assets abroad. Dassault acquired the management of both firms last year when the company acquired all assets of Loire-Nieuport, the previous managing partner. Since the merger, Bloch has started to assemble MB.1052 fighters in AIAI's Saigon factory, using parts imported from France.

January 4
Foreign Minister Murail left Paris today, beginning a week-long state visit to meet with Syrian president Shukri al-Quatli in Damascus. Economic development issues are believed to be the primary topic of discussion.

January 5 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: in the editorial section, commenters supported plans put forward by the French leftist parties to spend 7.2 million francs to connect the railways of French West Afrique.

January 7 - Science et Vie
The Centre d'Essais en Vol has accepted for trials the new Dewoitine D.800 Flèche, the first French fighter aircraft designed to be powered by a turbojet engine. The Flèche, designed by Emil Dewoitine, is powered by a centrifugal Rateau A.62 turbojet, a heavily-modified version of the A.60 turbojet used in the Bloch MB.1000 Triton, which flew last year. ONERA intends to schedule the Flèche for a first flight sometime in February. Dewoitine hopes that the aircraft will achieve a speed of 850 km/hr. 1944 may prove to be a major year for French aviation, as the nation intends to host the second Les chevaliers du ciel event in August.

January 8
The cruisers Duquesne and Gloire departed the port of Brest to conduct exercises in the Atlantic Ocean, after which point they will make a call at the Iberian port of Cadiz.

January 11
Foreign Minister Murail returned today from Damascus, where he discussed economic development issues with Syrian president Shukri al-Quatli. The Foreign Minister and President al-Quatli signed an agreement paving the way for the formation of a joint oil exploration team.

January 12
In remarks made to a breakfast meeting of the French Railway Association, President Theisman commented on a proposal by the French leftist parties to spend 7.2 million francs to connect the railways of French West Afrique. "The proposal understates the ease of building such a railway across the proposed terrain," the president said. "The government is highly interested in investing in such a railway project and is developing its own proposal, which will be presented to Parliament in the next few months."

January 14
Cruisers Duquesne and Gloire arrived in the port of Cadiz, where they were welcomed by the Iberian Navy. The cruisers will depart on the 21st following a week-long port call.

January 15
Former French minister of national education Jules Bernard was charged today with accepting illegal campaign donations for his anticipated bid for the French presidency.

January 17
French Parliament has voted to establish the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA). This body will investigate aircraft accidents in France, if necessary working with other bodies elsewhere in the world.

January 18
Preparations for the turnover of Tchad to the British Empire, and France's acceptance of the Togo mandate and full ownership of the New Hebrides, are currently underway. Rumors indicate that President Theisman will travel to Lome for the transfer ceremonies, while Foreign Minister Murail will go to N'Djammena.

January 19 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's column with leaks from the French government, the paper discusses rumors that the French government intends to follow a plan similar to that currently used in Indochina in regards to the mandate of Togo and Leban.

January 21
The cruisers Duquesne and Gloire have left the port of Cadiz following a week-long port call. According to a spokesman for the Marine Nationale, the visit was highly successful in establishing new contacts and partnerships within the Iberian Navy.

January 22
Sailing today with the liner Pasteur for South America are ten men delivering supplies, primarily medical gear, to the earthquake-hit Argentine city of San Juan.

January 24
The Syrian government announced today that they were seeking the purchase of twenty-five single-seat Soko Orao fighters from Yugoslavia, as well as five two-seat trainers.

January 25
The cruisers Duquesne and Gloire returned to the port of Brest today after a lengthy series of exercises and port calls along the Atlantic coast.

January 26 - e Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: "While French colonial officials play up the coming re-adjustment in the overseas territories, how many millions still abide in poverty, not only in those very colonies, but here in enlightened Europe?"

January 27
President Theisman departed today for Lome, Togo.

January 30
In official ceremonies held today in N'Djammena, Lome, and Port Vila, France and Britain transferred control of several territories, as agreed last year. The former French colony of Tchad is now transferred to the British Empire, while France takes up the Togoland Mandate as well as full control of the former Condominium des Nouvelles-Hébrides.

President Theisman, speaking at the handover ceremony in Lome, announced that the French government intended to invest strongly in infrastructure and educational initiatives within Togo, based on the model practiced in Syria and Indochina.

February 1
The submarine tender Jules Verne arrived today in the port of Mumbai, where she begins a week-long call in one of the premier Indian port cities.

February 2 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's editorials, writers express criticism of American 'dollar diplomacy' in regards to the massive US government donation extended in response to Argentina's San Juan earthquake.

February 3
Two more new Fantassin-class infantry landing craft have been launched yesterday from La Rochelle. These cunningly-designed light craft continue to demonstrate the increasing scope and capacity of the modern French naval forces.

February 7
The weeklong Concours général agricole opened today in Paris. Among the displays are a new breed of wheat being developed in Algeria by American scientists Norman Borlaug and John Niederhauser. Also on display is a fertilizer and pesticide application aircraft developed by a local French entrepreneur.

February 8
Lieutenant Wenceslas Voisin and Lieutenant Claude Nicolas Hennequin return to print in the second edition of Voisin et Hennequin. In this second issue, Hennequin's MS.406 fighter is downed in the mountains due to sabotage, and he falls into the hands of the Galila el-Hakim's band of rebel tribesmen. As Hennequin tries to escape captivity, Voisin tries to find both his friend and the mysterious saboteur who is crippling the French war planes.

February 9
Managing Director A. R. Pechiney announced today that the Société des Produits Chimiques d'Alais et de la Camargue will be investing in the development of several new bauxite mines and aluminium smelters in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The new mines and smelters will help to meet the rising demand for aluminium in South American industry, and may even produce aluminium for export by 1947.

February 10
The French sail-training ship Belle Poule departed Port Vila in the Nouvelles-Hébrides islands today, bound for Suva in Fidji. The sail-training ship, with sixty cadets from the French naval academy aboard, was present in the Nouvelles-Hébrides for the ceremonies marking the end of the Franco-British condominium there.

February 11
The first purpose-designed French jet-powered fighter, the Dewoitine D.800 Flèche, had its first flight today at ONERA's CEV testing facilities.

February 14
The French Socialist Party, supported by centrist members of the Alliance Republicaine, passed a bill today calling for the creation of a League of Nations Humanitarian Air Service. In remarks to the press, President Theisman indicated he did not believe the proposal would be a good use of fiscal resources, but would probably sign the bill anyway.

February 15
With the creation of the French overseas territory of Togoland has come the creation of many new entities, including military and police forces to protect the territory, reunited for the first time since 1917. Ground was broken on the construction of the newly-planned University of Lomé, which expects to induct its first class of students in August or September of this year. The University of Lomé will focus on training a new generation of civic leaders, businessmen, and educators. Meanwhile, the French Army has created a new Régiment de Tirailleurs Sénégalais du Togo for the land defense of the region. The Regiment will report to the governor in Lomé. Naval and Air Force protection is not yet arranged, but the Armee de l'Aire indicated a local patrol-counterinsurgency escadrille would be established before the end of the year.

February 16 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's editorials, leftist author Georges Bertrand de la Sarre criticizes President Theisman's administration for not speaking out on the Dalmatia-Slovenia issue. "The Italians desire to buy off the people of those territories with citizenship, but Rome has yet to offer what Dalmatians and Slovenians may truly want - a referendum."

February 17
The colonial administration has approved plans for the construction of a hydroelectric dam on Côte d'Ivoire's Bandama River, near Yamoussoukro. The dam will create a body of water to be named Lake Kossou. Construction will begin in September and complete in September of 1947. This dam will provide electrical power to the city of Yamoussoukro, which even ten years ago was a small village with a low population. Now Yamoussoukro is growing, having doubled in population every single year since 1938, rivalling Niamey as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

February 18
The Armee de l'Aire published their report on Societie Dassault's operation of the government-owned Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Indochine (AIAI) and Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Alger (AIAA) aircraft plants. According to the report, Dassault has earned a 'satisfactory' grade, resulting in their operation contract to be extended until the end of 1945, when the contract will be re-negotiated following the Indochina Plebiscite. According to the report, over the course of 1943 AIAI constructed fifty-six Épouvantail counter-insurgency aircraft, seventy-nine Dassault MB.1050 Milan fighters, and eighteen LN.180 biplane trainers. AIAA constructed onlu thirty-two Épouvantails during the same period, but conducted extensive maintenance work on over nine hundred aircraft of the Armee de l'Aire.

February 20 - Shortwave Radio
*A calm female voice speaks.*
"Dix-neuf, douze, six, quatre, douze, quatre, neuf, quatre, quatre, cinq, douze, dix-neuf."
*Frère Jacques plays.*

February 21
Airship Méditerranée, once part of the Le Dirigeable française Tranportation Entreprise fleet, was retired today following an extended period of falling traffic and fiscal uncertainty. The French airship line, once six dirigibles strong, was virtually put out of business by Air France with the introduction of transatlantic passenger service to New York and Cleito. The last stronghold of DFTE is the Paris-to-Saigon route, flown with two dirigibles via Djibouti, which no airliner yet has mastered. With the fading of the company, the Méditerranée has been turned over to the Aeronavale to settle debts.

February 22 - Le Temps
Breguet-Nord acknowledged today that it was engaged in the design of a single-seat, twin-engine fighter-bomber, to be powered by turbojet engines. The aircraft is expected to fly before May 1945.

February 24
Noted French cinema director Aimé Clariond began filming the movie Napoléon today. It will be one of the largest movies of its type produced in France.

February 25
Construction began today on the first of a series of breakwaters designed to turn the small port of Tema, Côte-de-l'Or, into the largest manmade harbor in Africa. The project will take approximately seven years to complete in its entirety, although an initial stage shall be finished in 1947.

February 28
The submarine Calypso was launched today in La Rochelle.

February 29
A construction accident at the site of the Hoa Binh hydroelectric dam in the Hoa Binh province of Indochina resulted in the uncontrolled release of several thousand cubic meters of water stored behind a temporary retaining dam. Three construction workers were critically injured and several dozen others suffered milder injuries. The construction company was unavailable for comment at press time, but local government spokesmen stated that the construction of the rockfill dam itself would not be strongly affected.

March 1
The new destroyer Duperré was laid down today in La Rochelle. The eighth ship in the Forbin or T43 destroyer class, Duperré commemorates one of the greatest, but also one of the least well-known, naval commanders of French history.

March 2
The Institut des hautes études cinématographiques was officially established today in Paris. Filmmaker Marcel L'Herbier will be the institute's first president.

March 3
The Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin (Manurhin) company has announced the purchase of a license for the German Mauser G-11 rifle. The weapon, to be produced in 6.5mmx51 FAR, will equip the French paratroops and the Legion Etranger.

March 4
The Paris-Nice "Race to the Sun" bicycle race opened today in Paris.

March 6
Sous-Lieutenant Gustave Remy and his survey expedition has returned from the Mount Nimba region of Guinea. The sous-lieutenant was conducting extensive surveys of the region, which is under consideration by the French parliament for the creation of a nature preserve.

March 7
Lioré et Olivier has received a contract from the French military to design and construct an unspecified number of models of a new ramjet testbed, to be dubbed the LeO-620, in conjunction with Fonderie de Ruelle. This research project is intended to help assess the use of ramjet-powered vehicles in the interception of high-flying bombers.

March 8 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's satirical cartoons, the French leftists challenge the center-right government to offer further support to Yugoslavian Unionists.

March 9
Construction on the Kossou Dam on the Bandara River in Cote d'Ivoire began today.

March 10
The Marine Nationale confirmed an order for four more Forbin-class contre-torpilleurs, to be named Indomptable, Tonnant, Infatigable, and Inébranlable. The first of this quartet of ships will be laid down in May. In other naval news, the Marine Nationale is debating whether or not to rebuild or dispose of the nine remaining Audaciaux-class destroyers, currently in the port of Brest in reserve.

March 13
The cruiser Temeraire and the frigate Tran Nhat Duat departed today for a port visit to Japan, followed by Vladivostok.

March 14
Three tank prototypes were paraded today before the staff of the Arme blindée cavalerie (Armoured Cavalry Branch) at Saumer. Read more...

March 15 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: in the editorial section, authors commented on the recently confirmed plans by the German Army for a draw-down of forces.

March 17
The Société d'Exploitation Minière de Fidji was established today to open copper mining in the Namosi Province of the Viti Levu island of Fidji. The company plans to build a mine at Waisoi, which is believed to have significant copper deposits.

March 18
The cruiser Temeraire and the Indochinese training frigate Tran Nhat Duat arrived at Edo, Japan today for the start of a port visit.

March 20
President Theisman unveiled a proposal today to construct a new meter-gauge railway connection between Bamako, the easternmost point of the Dakar-Niger Railway, and Bobo-Dioulasso, a town on the Abidjan-Ouagadougou Railway; a second line will link Kankan and Bamako. If approved, the 7.9 million franc project will link the three meter-gauge railways of French West Africa by 1948.

March 21
The Azalai, the great Tuareg salt caravan, started today from Taoudenni, bound for Timbuktu and the river ports of French Soudan (Mali). With an estimated four thousand camels, this azalai is one of the largest spring caravans organized within the last five years. Last year, a combination of both nomadic raiders and infighting resulted in the deaths of nearly a dozen Toureg nomads. This year, the French Army has dispatched three Panhard armoured cars and several platoons of infantry to help deal with desert raiders.

March 23
Following the transfer of Tchad to Great Britain, the French Navy has received several comments from Parliamentary sources about the French cruiser Chari, which is named after the largest river in Tchad. The French Navy has determined to rename the vessel Bruix, after a noted historical admiral.

March 24
François de Grossouvre, founder of the Générale Sucrière, has acquired the exclusive rights to bottle and distribute the Coca-Cola brand in Europe, in conjunction with partners Gilbert Beaujolin and Alexandre Patty. The popular American drink will be distributed by Société parisienne de boissons gazeuses and the Glacières de Paris.

March 25
Moviemaker Charles André Boyer released today a new one and a half hour documentary, Des Deux Mers, about the construction of the Canal du Midi in the 1600s.

March 27
Alsthom-SACM announced that they have received an order for the construction of thirty-five new 1000hp diesel-electric locomotives for use on the Algerian railway system. These will be license-built versions of the ALCo RS-1 diesel-electric locomotive, albeit powered by Alsthom's own MD.12/108 diesel engine.

March 28
The Arsenal VG.640 Graoully jet fighter began taxi trials at CEV today. Henri Ziegler, the CEV's assistant director, revealed that the aircraft would begin flight testing sometime in the next few weeks.

March 30
The heavy cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc were completed today and handed over to the Navy for acceptance trials.


Saturday, December 21st 2013, 11:11pm


April 1
The Tour de Normandie bicycle race began today.

April 3
The naval cargo ship Aitné departed Marseilles today, bound for the Indian Ocean in order to establish a permanent scientific research station on Kerguelen Island. The station will eventually host approximately forty scientists and workers.

April 4
The cruiser Temeraire and the fregate Tran Nhat Duat departed Vladivostok today following the completion of port calls to Japan and eastern Russia. The two ships will cruise together back to Indochina.

April 5 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say, Editorial Section: "Having withdrawn deep into their corner of Europe, Italy now seems poised to withdraw still further with their departure from the AEGIS alliance structure. In the opinion of the editors, this is a strange state for Europe's third-largest democracy."

April 6
Major-General Martial Valin was promoted today to become the Chief of Staff of the Armee de l'Aire.

April 9
France celebrates Easter.

April 10
In a surprise move today, President Theisman spoke before the French press to issue what he called a "comprehensive policy statement" declaring that the Republic of France would interpret any attack on Iberian territory in Southeast Asia as a indirect strike at French interests and soil. Theisman explained the policy had been an active but unstated part of French strategic planning since the formation of SAER many years ago, and the French position of support was made clear to Madrid in discussions in 1937.

April 12 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say (Editorial): "Is it not enough to be chained to the defense of our own outremer territories - ungrateful Asians and Africans all - but to commit also to the defense of Iberia's unwashed masses in Asia? Eight millions inhabit San Hainando, and while it is true they are a willing and Iberian-speaking part of Madrid's confederation, whether or not they remain that way is no concern of ours!"

April 14
Beuchat has introduced a new type of gun designed for spearfishing by divers.

April 15
Gendarmes arrested two men who attempted to break into the Louvre with the intention of stealing art. The thieves were captured after they attempted to overcome a security guard, who knocked them unconscious with his kickboxing skills.

April 17
The hydrographic ship Ingénieur Elie Monnier departed Toulon today with the research submersible CNRS-1. The Monnier, under the command of Lieutenant de vaisseau Jacques Cousteau, will serve as mothership to the CNRS-1 for its first official dive in the Mediterranean.

April 18
The planned first flight of the Arsenal VG.640 Graouilly jet fighter was postphoned today when the turbojet ingested a wooden block during preliminary engine testing. The engine sustained relatively minor damage, but repairs will take several weeks.

April 20
Responding to comments from reporters, President Theisman acknowledged that he had been briefed about Germany's arrest of a spy-ring. The president stated that he had "no comment at the present", but admitted that the French government had been informed about the nationality of the ring's alleged spymasters. However, Theisman repeatedly declared that he was "not at liberty to release that information".

April 29
The destroyer Forbin arrived today at the Nordish port of Saint Johan in Vinland, the first of many stops it will make on its tour-de-force of North America.

May 1
Aubert et Duval commissioned the nation's newest drop forge today, a massive machine capable of developing forty thousand metric tonnes of force. The new forge, built for Aubert et Duval by the Delattre-Levivier firm, is one of the most powerful in the world, capable of producing large and complex metal structural elements for use in aviation and other fields.

May 2
The Forbin arrived today in Saint Pierre, the capital of the French overseas territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, to a tumultuous welcome by the local population.

May 5 - Editorials:
- Le Figaro: "Accused spy Heinrich Eichenlaub declared that he worked for over twelve years to betray German military secrets to Great Britain. Surprising that Britain should expend such efforts to spy on an erstwhile ally - although they were not so when Eichenlaub started his treason."
- L'Humanité: "Eichenlaub's confession comes as no surprise to those experienced in international politics. We express our surprise that our prediction about the nationality of the spies - in fact, our guess that that they worked for our own Dieuxeme Bureau - was inaccurate."
- La Croix: "If Britain spies on Germany, an erstwhile ally, might Britain also be engaged in spying on France? We believe this is so."
- Le Matin: "Once again, we see the grave danger in the policies and beliefs of world socialism. Encouragement of treason, destroyers of the state of peace! J'accuse!"

May 6
Research submarine CNRS-1 and mothership Ingénieur Elie Monnier returned to Toulon today following a series of three successful dives in the Mediterranean Sea. The Monnier's captain Jacques Cousteau declared to the press that the expedition, and those to follow, would massively expand the knowledge of humanity about the seas of the world.

May 8
The French destroyer Forbin, engaged in a long tour of North America, reached the Canadian city of Quebec City today.

May 8
The Graouilly jet fighter completed its first test flight today under the controls of Capitaine Charles Clary. The aircraft's first flight, originally scheduled for March but delayed first by engine delivery issues and then by minor damage during taxi trials, proceeded smoothly, with the VG.640 achieving a registered airspeed of 650 km/hr (351 knots).

May 9
The third issue of Voisin et Hennequin, a comic series about two French fighter pilots, was released today. Picking up where issue two left off, Lieutenant Claude Nicolas Hennequin escapes from the camp of Galila el-Hakim and flees into the Er-Reg of Côte Rocheuse. Meanwhile, his friend and comrade Lieutenant Wenceslas Voisin finds the traitor who has been sabotaging the French fighter planes. The issue ends with Voisin flying over the desert, searching for his missing friend.

May 10 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's editorial cartoons, Albion Perfide is depicted reading secret dispatches while ironically saying "Spying? I'd never do such an ungentlemanly thing."

May 11
Her Serene Highness Princess Antoinette of Monaco has announced the birth of a son, to be christened Louis Christian Grimaldi. The Princess, older sister to Monaco's reigning Prince Rainier III, only recently married an architect and gambler by the name of Sébastien Barbarigo. The new prince will become Rainier's official heir until such a time as he produces his own.

May 12
The Indochinese Parliament voted today to increase funding to the Territorial Security Forces (FST) and the Indochinese Air Defense Force. The appropriations, estimated at three million piastres, shall be made out of Indochina's own autonomous budget. The vote included an official petition, which will be presented to the French Parliament by the end of June, to transfer one of the French Army's three colonial infantry divisions to the Territorial security Forces, effectively doubling the FST's strength. The French Army originally offered to transfer all three divisions to the FST in late 1942, but this was placed on hold when the Indochinese parliament could not provide assurance of sufficient funding and training.

For the Indochinese Air Defense Forces, the bill calls for the creation of a new Groupe de Chasse (Fighter Group) for deployment in the Red River Region, as well as an expansion of pilot training programs.

May 16
The new fleet submarines Rolland Morillot and Charles Drujon were completed today in the shipyards of Marseilles, and signed over to the Marine Nationale for acceptance trials.

May 15
The cruisers Duquesne and Gloire arrived today in the Argentine port of Bahia Blanca for a week-long port call. The cruisers will participate in Argentina's celebration of "Naval Day" on May 17th.

May 16
The Génissiat Dam on the Rhone River is completed by the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône. The dam, which began construction in 1937, is one of the largest hydroelectric power generation stations in Europe.

May 17 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's editorials, leaders of the Socialist Left comment on the creation of an official petition by Indochina to transfer one of the French Army's three colonial infantry divisions to the Territorial Security Forces.

May 19
The French destroyer Forbin arrived today in the American city of Chicago, on the American Great Lakes. The ship previously called at Cleveland on her route through the Great Lakes. Forbin will stay at Chicago until the 22nd of this month before departing to call at Detroit, which the ship bypassed earlier on her route to Chicago. After that, the destroyer will steam to Toronto.

May 20 - Paris-Soir
In a formal ceremony held today outside Paris, Avions Dewoitine delivered the first of ten pre-production D.800 jet fighters to the Armee de l'Aire today. The company's owner and chief designer Emile Dewoitine hopes the delivery will spark further orders for France's first turbojet-powered fighter. However, the company's optimism contrasts with a more jaded view by several knowledgeable sources interviewed by Paris-Soir. "The D.800 shows promise for the future," said a source who wished to remain anonymous, "But it is still inferior in many crucial ways to propeller-driven aircraft."

May 22
The frégate de surveillance Fidji was launched today in Marseilles. The new ship is the second in the Polynésie class, and shall be used to patrol the French Pacific Ocean Territories.

May 23
A spokesman for the Societe Miniere du Tonkin has announced that it had committed to spend 290,000 piastres to increase activity at the Co Din mine in Tonkin. The spending will cover upgrades to mining machinery, purchase of new heavy transport trucks, and transport infrastructure.

May 24
The destroyer Forbin arrived today in Detroit, the next stop on her North American tour.

May 26
Forbin arrived at the Canadian city of Toronto.

May 29 - L'Humanité
The French Parliament voted to approve a subsidized loan of 7.9 million francs to fund President Theisman's proposal to link the three meter-gauge railways of French West Africa. A number of construction companies have already been lined up to begin clearing and grading the surveyed route, with substantial construction to begin before the end of the year.

May 30
The four ships of the 2nd Flotilla Escorteurs (composed of the ships Le Breton, Le Normand, Le Boulonnais, and Le Lorrain) arrived today at the Irish naval base of Haulbowline today to begin Exercise Orion, a joint antisubmarine exercise to be held off the southwest coast of Ireland. The four ships of Ireland's Shannon class, and several Irish submarines and aircraft, shall participate in the weeklong naval exercise.

May 31
Forbin arrives in Halifax.

June 1
A spokesman for the Armee de l'Aire and the Groupe pour la Défense Aérienne Indochinoise announced that the Northern Sector Command would be hosting units from the Philippine Air Force for an extensive international training exercise over the coming few weeks. With war in East Asia, the aerial defenders of Indochina have substantially increased their numbers and training tempo to be prepared in the event of threatening war...

June 3
The French destroyer Forbin arrived today in Boston.

June 5
The Manurhin Modèle 44 automatic rifle entered service today with the Légion étrangère.

June 6
Marines stormed ashore on beaches near Algiers and Oran to simulated gunfire today in a joint GA amphibious exercise. The exercise, code-named "Torche", is one of the largest amphibious exercises on record. Over a hundred warships from the Marine Nationale joined with participating units from Germany, Atlantis, Russia, and Chile to undertake the exercises.

June 8
The Tour de France started today in Amiens.

June 9
The 2nd Flotilla Escorteurs returned to Brest today following the conclusion of Exercise Hercules with the Irish Naval Service.

June 9 - Les Échos
Manufacturer Georges Huard founded the Jouef brand today in Champagnole, France with the goal of producing model trains.

June 10
Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini presided today over the European premier of Heitor Villa-Lobos' Symphony No. 6 - Montanhas do Brasil at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.

June 10
Emissaries of the French and Romanian governments were present in La Rochelle today to officially launch the hull of the battleship Tapae, under construction for the Romanian Navy.

June 12
The destroyer Forbin arrived today in the city of Philadelphia, following a successful port call in New York City.

June 14 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's edition, Minister of Commerce Jean Desrosiers received scrutiny for his spending habits on an official junket to meet with his Nordish counterpart.

June 17 - Le Figaro
The Salon des Tuileries art exhibition opened today in Paris.

June 19
Jean Cassegrain, owner of a Paris tobacco shop, announced today the formation of the new Jean Cassegrain et Compagnie, which will market leather goods to smokers. As the name "Jean Cassegrain" is already in use by another firm, however, all goods will be marketed under the Longchamp brand name.

June 21
The Forbin arrived in Charleston, South Carolina today.

June 23
The French heavy cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc participated in today's Royal Fleet Review held by the British Royal Navy in the port of Spithead, in honor of King Edward VIII's 50th birthday.

June 24
The 24 Hours of Le Mans starts today.

June 25
Pierre Veyron and Yves Giraud-Cabantous narrowly triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driving their Type 73C Bugatti, Veyron and Giraud-Cabantous faced serious opposition from American drivers Carroll Shelby and Jim Roper in their Lincoln, and Roget Carron and Rudolf Caracciola (of Switzerland and Germany, respectively) driving a Mercedes-Benz.

June 26 - Saigon Times
Special Representative Nguyen Tang Viet arrived in France today, where he was greeted by French Prime Minister Gaston Monnerville and Minister of National Defence and War Jean-Marie Lemaréchal. Representative Nguyen bears with him an official petition from the Indochina Governing Council. The petition requests that one of the three Colonial Infantry Divisions currently deployed in Indochina - manned by a mix of Indochinese recruits and European and Indochinese officers - be transferred to the control of the Territorial Security Forces. President Theisman has agreed to provide Representative Nguyen with a firm answer by the time he returns to Ha Noi in three weeks.

June 27
Forbin pulled into the American port of Miami, Florida, where the ship received a warm welcome from the local city leaders, in addition to a warm welcome from the local weather system.

June 28 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: in the cartoons, the artists lauded the special election of Socialist candidate Suzanne Malraux to become Mayor of Nantes.


Wednesday, December 24th 2014, 4:30am


Saturday, July 1, 1944
The second L'Inflexible class destroyer (L'Inébranlable) and the experimental submarine Gymnote were laid down in La Rochelle.

Monday, July 3, 1944
French oil companies Régie Autonome des Pétroles, Société Nationale des Pétroles d'Aquitaine, and Bureau de Recherches de Pétroles announced their intentions to seek government approval to merge in order to increase their market share. Industry insiders noted the move is seen as necessary due to the rising fortunes of the rival Compagnie française des pétroles, which has garnished increasing clout due to its investments in the Algerian oil market.

Tuesday, July 4, 1944
The Republic of France extends its best wishes to the United States on the day of their declaration of independence. The French destroyer Forbin made the final visit of her long North American cruise by returning to dock in Philadelphia for local celebrations.

Wednesday, July 5, 1944 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In the editorials, French socialist party contributors derided the results of yesterday's meeting between Representative Nguyen Tang Viet and President Theisman, who spoke for four hours about the affairs of Indochina and South-East Asian affairs. "Nothing of consequence was said, nothing of consequence was achieved."

Friday, July 7, 1944
Voyage sans espoir (Eng. "Voyage Without Hope") directed and directed by Christian-Jaque, and starring Simone Renant and Jean Marais, opened in French cinemas.

Saturday, July 8, 1944
The research ship Ingénieur Elie Monnier, under Lieutenant de vaisseau Jacques Cousteau, departed Toulon today towing the research submersible CNRS-1, bound for the Alboran Sea to conduct explorations.

Monday, July 10, 1944
The Aéronavale signed an agreement today with the Latécoère company (part of the Breguet-Nord aviation group) to fund the company's development of a prototype jet-powered flying boat for military purposes.

Wednesday, July 12, 1944
Construction began on two twin skyscrapers in the La Défense business district of Paris. The buildings, to be named Tour Franklin and Tour Richelieu, will be 135 meters tall, and circular in construction. The two towers are anticipated to compete in mid-1948 if construction goes according to schedule.

Thursday, July 13, 1944
French President Paul Theisman and Indochinese representative Nguyen Tang Viet signed a memorandum of understanding today to transfer the Division du Tonkin, composed of Indochinese-native troops under French officers, to the control of the Autonomous State of Indochina. Under the terms of the agreement, the Division du Tonkin will remain under the command of the XIX Corps Coloniale, one of the two French army corps deployed in Indochina. The transfer, which will be completed by February 1945, will leave five French infantry divisions in Indochina alongside two Indochinese divisions.

Friday, July 14, 1944
France celebrates Bastille Day. In Paris, President Theisman participates in the Défilé militaire du 14 Juillet. Approximately nine thousand soldiers and four hundred vehicles participated in the parade.

Although the aerial column was lead, as is now traditional, by the Patrouille de France, a noteable addition this year were two VG.640 jet fighters, the first time jet-powered aircraft have been shown to the French public.

Saturday, July 15, 1944
The Carrousel de Saumur takes place at the Armoured Cavalry School in Saumer, France. This year's demonstrations included several displays of Great War era tanks, as well as one of the preproduction Char-13 Masséna medium tanks, which are expected to enter production sometime in the next year.

Monday, July 17th, 1944
The merchant liner Blaise Diagne was laid down today in St. Nazaire for the Messageries Maritimes. The new vessel is a modified version of the ships Calédonien and Tahitien, currently in service with MesMar in the Pacific. The Blaise Diagne shall replace obsolescent ships on the run between Dakar, Atlantis, Casablanca, and mainland France.

Wednesday, July 19th, 1944
The contre-torpillieur Duperré was launched today at the DCNS shipyards of La Rochelle.

Thursday, July 20th, 1944
The research ship Le Suroit arrived in the eastern Bay of Bengal in order to observe today's annular eclipse. The Le Suroit is returning from a cruise to the region of Indochina, where the ship was engaged in taking seabed depth measurements.

Friday, July 21st, 1944
The drama film Le Ciel est à vous, starring Madeleine Renaud and Charles Vanel, opened today in French cinemas.

Monday, July 24th, 1944
The Armee de l'Aire announced a series of orders for jet-engined fighter aircraft. Included in the order are forty Dewoitine D.800 Flèches, the first production French jet fighter, and two hundred more Arsenal VG.640 Graoully fighters, increasing the original order of seventy-six. Finally, an order for seventy-six Bf.262 aircraft are ordered from Germany. The Morane-Saulnier company shall conduct final assembly and installation of French turbojet engines.

Tuesday, July 25th, 1944
Laboratoires Expanscience is created by Paul Berthomé and Claude Guillon.

Wednesday, July 26th, 1944 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say (Editorial): "It befuddles us to imagine that, despite the corruption within the Italian government now being proven by countless arrests, that Tripolitania and Cyrenaica should willingly vote to become full members of such a dysfunctional enterprise. The regions declared independence not twenty-five years ago, and resisted Italian annexation with some vigour, yet now trade their national soul for the filthy lucre of Italian oil-hungry capitalists! It is not a state long to outlast the continual rise of Muslim religious bellicosity, we assure you, wise reader."

Friday, July 28th, 1944
The winning ships for this year's Prix ​​pour la haute Préparation de la flotte ("Award for High Preparation in the Fleet") were announced today. For the Atlantic Fleet, destroyer Navarin achieved the award for the first time in her career. The Mediterranean Fleet is represented by Le Triomphant. Amongst the remaining naval forces (Naval Forces Outre-Mer), the battlecruiser FS Lyon achieved the highest rating of readiness.

Monday, July 31, 1944
The Fédération Internationale des Échecs voted to establish formal rules to award the title "Grandmaster" to a chess champion, and named twenty-seven individuals to hold the title.

Tuesday, August 1, 1944 - Agence France-Presse
The recent German acquisition of the Nordish aircraft carrier Gassen, which shall be taken into service under the name Moltke, has silenced rumors about a reputed French offer to jointly operate one of the Marine Nationale's flattops as a training carrier with Germany. Marine Nationale spokesmen have denied such rumors in the past.

Thursday, August 3, 1944
President Theisman offered his congratulations to the people of Palestine following the successful election of the Fourth Assembly of Jewish Representatives in Palestine, and added his hope that there would someday be 'a miraculous return of the Jewish people to their ancient promised land'.

Friday, August 4, 1944
The Force Opérationnelle Atlantique departed Brest today with the objective of steaming to pay a port call upon the Russian Northern Fleet in Murmansk.

Saturday, August 5, 1944 - Agence France-Presse
Leading Italian Fascist and wanted international criminal Giuseppe Bottazzi committed suicide today in his hotel room in Lugano, Switzerland. The alleged mastermind of the Monaco Plot was spotted attempting to access funds held in a Swiss bank, and Swiss police attempted to arrest him in his hotel room. Bottazzi attempted to escape by throwing a hand-grenade at the Swiss police, but he fumbled the grenade and instead blew himself up. He remained conscious until shortly after he arrived at the Lugano hospital, where he died of blood loss associated with his injuries. None of the Swiss policemen were seriously injured during the arrest.

Tuesday, August 8, 1944
The fourth issue of Voisin et Hennequin released today. Lieutenant Claude Nicolas Hennequin, having escaped into the Er-Reg of Côte Rocheuse with the beautiful and dangerous Galila el-Hakim and her band of tribal rebels on his tail, is rescued in the nick of time by his friend Lieutenant Wenceslas Voisin. Returning to their airbase in their battered MS.315, they discover the base has been attacked by the tribal warlord Abdul el-Hakim and the mercenary pilots under Colonel Dirksen, and most of the French airplanes have been destroyed. Worse, Voisin discovers that his beau, Army nurse Joséphine Lalanne, has been captured by the rebels. The two pilots must reluctantly follow their orders to regroup with their squadron, where they receive powerful new Bloch MB.155 fighters, joining the Escadron de Lions, a new group arriving in Côte Rocheuse to hunt down Colonel Dirksen.

Wednesday, August 9, 1944 - Excerpt of Secret Report from the Director of Projet Quatrevingt-treize to President Theisman
"Direction des applications militaires requests further funding to increase production of heavy water at Mazingarbe to ten tonnes per year in order to meet project timelines."

Thursday, August 10, 1944
Ets Carriere Et Ses Gendres is established in Toulouse. The new company will engage in the import and export of fruits and legumes.

Friday, August 11, 1944
The FOA arrived today in the Russian port of Murmansk, where it will conduct a week and a half long port call on the Russian Northern Fleet.

Monday, August 14, 1944
The Armée des Île-de-France begins their summer maneuvers today. The forces, including six reserve divisions and three rapid-reaction brigades, shall exercise between the towns of Goussainville and Meaux.

Wednesday, August 16, 1944 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say (Editorial): The Socialist Left criticizes President Theisman for his statement of support for Jewish statehood in Palestine, linking his stance to the Lehi terrorist group's attempted assassination of British High Commissioner Sir Harold Alfred MacMichael.

Thursday, August 17, 1944
AMX and Panhard acknowledged the receipt of a Filipino order of Char-6D light tanks and VCI-41 infantry carriers. Shipments are scheduled to begin within the next few months.

Saturday, August 19, 1944
Summer military exercises wrapped up northeast of Paris today. The 3rd Brigade de Reaction Rapide completed the exercise with a march into Paris, where their armoured column was reviewed by President Theisman.

Tuesday, August 22, 1944
M. Auguste Calvel, the colonial governor of French Soudan, arrived in Paris today to discuss regional issues with Prime Minister Gaston Monnerville. High on Monsieur Calvel's priorities are discussions about instability in the Segou and Mopti Regions, where conversions to Islam have sparked a rise in armed bands. The Islamic gangs have taken up river piracy, attacking rice and salt shipments on the Inner Niger Delta.

Wednesday, August 23, 1944
The Force Opérationnelle Atlantique departed Murmansk today for their return to Brest.

Friday, August 25, 1944
The film Bonsoir mesdames, bonsoir messieurs debuted in Paris cinemas.

Monday, August 28, 1944
The St. Dionysus Theological Institute is founded in Paris.

Tuesday, August 29, 1944
Bulgarrenault, a subsidiary of the Renault company located in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, rolled out their first production 4CV sedan.

Wednesday, August 30, 1944
The French aircraft carrier Clemenceau lost her certification to land naval combat aircraft this week after inspections showed faults in her arresting gear. The Marine Nationale has indicated that the Clemenceau will continue to serve solely as an aircraft transport ship until sometime next year, when she is scheduled for decommissioning. Clemenceau's crew will likely be transferred over to the carriers Zélé or Héros, which are under construction for completion at the end of 1945. Observers expect the Marine Nationale shall decommission another carrier, possibly Suffren or Gambetta, at approximately the same time.

Friday, September 1, 1944
A task force of ships from the Indochinese Patrouille Navale arrived at the Hoàng Sa Islands today to take possession of the territory, reverting at midnight from an Iberian League of Nations mandate to Indochinese ownership. The task force was led by the frigate Tran Nhat Duat, and included the aviso-drageur Chi Lang and salvage tugs Tam Sat and Hát Giang. The four ships, the largest vessels in the Patrouille Navale, rendered honors to the departing Iberian garrison, which has protected the islands against Chinese pirates. The small fleet carried a platoon of maritime defense troops who will form the island's garrison and lifesaving service, based on Phu Lam Island (aka Woody Island).

Indochinese Governor-General Truong Van Bao was present aboard the Tran Nhat Duat for the ceremonial handover, and extended his appreciation to the departing Iberian garrison in his speech.

Saturday, September 2, 1944
The Grand Prix des Nations cycling race opened today near Paris. This race is increasingly regarded as the unofficial time trial championship in the world.

Monday, September 4, 1944
The French Navy began Exercise Hercule today. This ten-day wargame is conducted individually by the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific, and Indian Ocean fleets, each of which receive their own unique challenges. The Force de Action Navale, which composes much of the Marine Nationale's strength, shall not participate in Exercise Hercule, and will instead conduct its own fleet exercise, Spartiate, later this year.

Tuesday, September 5, 1944
The Casino chain of market stores announced its intention to reform as "Groupe Casino" in a move designed to broaden their market shares in the national and international markets.

Wednesday, September 6, 1944
The French military announced the formation of Groupement Scipion, a light infantry battlegroup which will move to French Soudan to police the Inner Niger Delta region against a rise in extremist Islamic bandits. Groupement Scipion is built around the recently-commissioned 1er Régiment étranger de parachutistes (1er REP) with 1,287 men, but includes a number of other supporting formations. The total initial strength of the Groupement shall be 2,800 men. Air support shall be provided by four Escadrilles de Police et de Surveillance, based out of Timbouctou. The Groupement shall be commanded by Colonel Joseph Levavasseur.

Friday, September 8, 1944 - Science et vie, news section.
"ONERA has approved an ambitious new rocketry program based on a vehicle proposed by LRBA, with a total mass of 1,100 kg and payload of 60 kg. The program will build on the lessons learned by the failed EA-1941 rocketry team."

Monday, September 11, 1944
The Office National de la Navigation announced that a major renovation project would begin on the Canal du Rhône au Rhin and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, which have seen increased commercial and private traffic over the last three years. The renovation project will deepen parts of the canals to provide a uniform 2.0 meter depth and greater capacity for the locks, including the construction of several new locks of greater length. The modifications will be completed in four stages between December 1945 and April 1949, doubling the cargo capacity of the canal.

Tuesday, September 12, 1944
The Aeronavale unveiled a new program today establishing the Direction la sécurité des vols ("Flight Safety Directorate"). The DSV's objective is to reduce the accident rate to under three incidents per hundred thousand hours of flight time. The Directorate will have the authority to institute new flight rules, mandate and oversee safety training, and punish pilot infractions where guilt is proven. The Directorate will receive a staff of two hundred and sixty-five people to carry out its work.

Thursday, September 14, 1944
The Indochina Governing Council issued today a classified vote to the Indochinese Air Defense Force (GDPI) instructing collaboration with French aircraft manufacturers to purchase or otherwise acquire a squadron of turbojet-powered interceptor aircraft for the air defense of Hanoi. (OOC knowledge only.)

Friday, September 15, 1944
In the first action of the new parliamentary session, the Parlement français approved the creation of the Parc national des Pyrénées and the Parc national des Mont Nimba (in Guinea).

Saturday, September 16, 1944
Troops from Groupement Scipion began arriving by air in Tibouctou and Bamako today.

Monday, September 18, 1944
The Parlement français approved the next stage in the French national road network plan today. The bill substantially increased the number of route nationale and route 2+1 roads, but did not expand the current autoroutes. A section of the bill pushing for railway system upgrades was removed prior to the vote, and will be advanced sometime next week after further discussion.

Tuesday, September 19, 1944
The 2nd Composite Squadron departed Brest today to undertake Exercise Forger, a major deployment of naval forces to Cam Ranh Bay. The squadron will escort six troopships and one amphibious landing ship carrying military troops and equipment for delivery to Indochina.

Wednesday, September 20, 1944 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say (Gossip): "Prince Rainier of Monaco, continuing in the predations of his philandering father, has reportedly been seen keeping the company of French cinema star Madeleine Niel."

Saturday, September 23
The Lille Olympique Sporting Club (Lille OSC) association football club is founded in the city of Lille.

Monday, September 25, 1944
In an interview by the new French magazine L'Express, President Theisman reiterated his support for an independent Jewish state of Israel. In his comments to interviewer Gustave Poste, the president explained his belief that Biblical prophecy decrees a return of the Jewish people to Israel. "For eighteen hundred years this has been an almost unthinkable and laughable concept; especially to those bishops, cardinals and popes within the Catholic Church who argue that the Biblical blessings were transferred from the Jews to the Gentiles - in other words, the Catholic Church - at the time of the crucifixion. Yet a free-thinking student must see that this is not true." President Theisman continued to say "It now seems possible to contemplate a primarily Jewish state in their ancient land without stretching the imagination."

Tuesday, September 26, 1944 - Science et Vie
"Ten years after her keel-laying, the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique's ocean liner SS Marianne remains an astounding achievement of French shipbuilding. The ship's unique underwater hull design, patented by the masterful naval architect Mons. V. Yourkevitch, achieves greater speed on less engine horsepower and fuel than virtually all of her competitors. With the ocean-liner business now challenged by the much faster transatlantic aircraft fleets of Air France and Lufthansa, Marianne shows the way forward to the liner industry: CGE's platform of 'economy, panache, comfort' triumphs over 'speed, speed, speed'. In the last eight years since the liner's debut, CGE has never failed to turn a profit, and company hopes to continue that winning formula with the replacement for SS Île de France, currently under construction in Le Havre for a 1945 entry into service."

Thursday, September 28, 1944
The weekly fashion magazine Elle is founded by Pierre Lazareff and Hélène Gordon.

Friday, September 29, 1944
The Dassault company officially opened the new construction shed at the Atelier Industriel de l'Aéronautique d'Indochine plant in Saigon, today. The new facility, modeled on some of the most modern aircraft production plants of Europe and North America, shall construct MB.1052 Milan fighter planes for use in Indochina. The new ten thousand square meter facility is believed capable of producing up to forty aircraft a month, although the exact number is currently classified due to security concerns about the ongoing war in Asia; this more than doubles AIAI's total production capacity. Construction of the new plant was first proposed in early 1943, but the project was massively accelerated due to fears about being drawn into the increasingly vicious war between China, Japan, and Korea.

Saturday, September 30, 1944
The heavy cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc departed La Rochelle today, bound for the Pacific Ocean by way of Lyra, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Bahia Blanca, and Talcahuano. These two splendid cruisers, the newest in the Marine Nationale, made their first international appearance for King Edward's Birthday Review in June, where they contrasted extremely favorably with the most modern designs in the Royal Navy.


Wednesday, December 24th 2014, 4:31am


Monday, October 2, 1944
In a letter to the Catholic daily newspaper La Croix, French bishop Father Charles Ulliel attacked President Theisman for his September 26th comments to L'Express. Father Ulliel's letter charged that Theisman 'advocated for the common man to interpret Scriptures for themselves', rather than depending upon the Church to interpret for the common man.

Tuesday, October 3, 1944
The cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc arrived today in the Atlantean port of Illisus, on the island of Lyra, where they will spend a six-day port call before heading to Rio de Janeiro.

Thursday, October 5, 1944
French scientists working for the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique successfully achieved a "man-made, sustained nuclear reaction" in a reactor vessel. The official announcement did not disclose the date this event was achieved, nor the location of the reactor.

Friday, October 6, 1944
Thich Anh Hung, the Indochinese Minister of Health and Education, announced today his retirement from public service. Thich's public service in Indochina dates back to 1931. Although Thich's age and health likely has sped his departure from government service, he has also been one of the loudest proponents of both socialism and Indochinese independence and in Governor-General Van Bao's cabinet. His replacement as Minister of Health and Education will almost certainly be his deputy, Van Tuan Loan, a moderate.

Saturday, October 7, 1944
Rateau Anxionnaz began bench-testing a modified A.63 turbojet engine designed to operate with a bypass fan.

Monday, October 9, 1944
Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc depart Illisus.

Tuesday, October 10, 1944
The new and luxurious train ferry St. Germaine, leader of a three-ship class of ships entering service with the Societe Nouvelle d'Armement Transmanche, departed Dunkerque for the British port of Dover. The new ships will speed travel between Britain and France and improve competitiveness with international airline travel.

Thursday, October 12, 1944
The Bolloré group of Puteaux confirmed rumors that it had reached an agreement with the Syrian government to help fund and construct an oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Baniyas, in Syria, where a marine loading terminal will be constructed. An official agreement between the Syrian and Iraqi governments is expected by late November, and work on the loading terminal in Syria will begin shortly.

Saturday, October 14, 1944
Father Charles Ulliel, a senior bishop in the Roman Catholic Church in France, defended his October 2nd letter to La Croix where he criticized President Theisman for his belief that the common man could interpret Scripture without the aid of the Catholic Church. The bishop emphasized that his position is based in strong church tradition and has received the support of Rome. Father Ulliel noted that he had seen 'an incredible backlash' against his comments, which he attributed to 'communists, atheists, and protestants' in France.

Monday, October 16, 1944
The Indochina Governing Council today met for six hours in closed session to discuss security issues relating to the ongoing war in northeast Asia. Although the discussions were held under a rule of parliamentary silence, the Governing Council is reportedly weighing an offer by an 'unnamed European government' to lease Con Son island for the creation of a naval patrol station, similar to the long-term lease held by the Russian and French governments at Cam Ranh Bay.

Tuesday, October 17, 1944
The cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc arrived in the Brazilian port of Rio de Janeiro, where they will remain in a port call for the next six days before making a short stop in Montevideo. After that, they will move onward to make port calls in Argentina and Chile before crossing the Pacific to their new home station.

Wednesday, October 18, 1944 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: A pair of dueling editorials discuss the ramifications of the recent announcement by the CEA's success at generating a sustained man-made nuclear reaction. One article condemns the move as the brainchild of the 'militaristic right-wing capitalists in Paris', while the other article lauds the government for prioritizing development of inexpensive electricity sources for proletariat working class.

Thursday, October 19, 1944
The naval transport Téthys departed Toulon this morning carrying coastal artillery bound for the Indochinese coast. Included amongst the ship's cargo are two twin 152mm turrets taken from retired light cruisers, and a twin 340mm turret from the scrapped battleship Provence.

Friday, October 20, 1944
Russian virtuoso pianist Sviatoslav Richter made his first appearance in Western Europe to a packed crowd at Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet. Richter astounded the crowd with his outstanding performance of Brahms' Piano Concert No.2 and Bartók;s First Piano Concerto.

Saturday, October 21, 1944
With exactly one year remaining before the Indochina Plebiscite, pro-independence groups have a gloomy outlook for their success next October. Increased tensions with China, the news from the war in Korea, and the end of the Pan-Asian dream have all resulted in a fading of the fervor for independence. Now, moderate pro-independence groups even admit that 'some sort of continued mutual defense agreements with European partners' must be included in any independence deal.

Monday, October 23, 1944
The Groupe manganèse africaine was formally registered today in Accra with the objective of increasing the mining and export of manganese ore.

Tuesday, October 24, 1944
The 2nd Composite Squadron arrived today in Cam Ranh Bay, escorting six troopships and one amphibious landing ship to Indochina as part of Exercise Forger. The squadron shall remain overseas for three months conducting exercises before returning to the Metropole. The amphibious landing ship Destrées shall depart independently next week, returning to France by way of the Cape of Good Hope, stopping in British Nigeria in order to discharge two landing craft bound to join Groupement Scipion in Mali.

Friday, October 27, 1944
Édith Piaf's song Les Histoires de Coeur became the best-selling record of 1944.

Monday, October 30, 1944
Rumors from Villacoublay indicate that Avions Dassault intends to unveil a new military aircraft at this year's Paris Air Show.

Tuesday, October 31, 1944
The heavy cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc arrived today in the Argentine port of Bahia Blanca for a week-long port call.

Saturday, November 4, 1944
The Paris Air Show opened today with a record number of aircraft on display. The show will run from November 4th to November 12th.

Tuesday, November 7, 1944
The heavy cruisers Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc departed Argentina for the Pacific Ocean.

Friday, November 10, 1944
The amphibious landing ship Destrées departed Indochina for the mouth of the Niger River, with elements of the 2nd Dinassaut's riverine warfare element.

Saturday, November 11, 1944
France celebrates Remembrance Day.

Sunday, November 12, 1944
The Paris Air Show closed today after eight days.

Tuesday, November 14, 1944
The fifth issue of Voisin et Hennequin, released November 14th, continues the adventures of Lieutenants Claude Nicolas Hennequin and Wenceslas Voisin. The tribal rebels led by Abdul el-Hakim, aided by the mercenary fighter pilots led by Colonel Dirksen, have overrun the French airbase Voisin and Hennequin call home. Fleeing the attack, they join the Escadron de Lions, which has been sent to Côte Rocheuse to hunt down the mercenary fighter pilots. The 'Lions' encounter Dirksen's mercenaries in an aerial duel over a mountainous region known as Jebel Keshkal, but Dirksen lures them into a trap laid with dozens of antiaircraft guns. Voisin and Hennequin, ordered to stay behind as top cover, disobey their instructions in order to strafe the AA guns and save the rest of the squadron. Back at base, the squadron's second-in-command, hotshot pilot Capitane Demange, wants the pair written up for disobeying instructions, but the Lions' commander, Commandant Mathis, instead commends the pair for their gallantry.

Wednesday, November 15, 1944 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In the editorials, socialist editors critiqued the recent decision by the French Air Force to purchase Dornier Do330 maritime patrol aircraft, noting that the purchase of German-built equipment over locally-produced types stole bread from the mouths of the children of French laborers.

Monday, November 20, 1944
French composer Antoine Mariotte dies in Izieux, Loire.

Tuesday, November 21, 1944
The Société nationale d'études et de construction de moteurs d'aviation was inaugurated today by the merger of Lorraine (formerly Lorraine-Dietrich) with the Farman Company's aircraft-engine manufacturing division. Both companies have struggled over the past few years, as Farman license-built Hispano-Suiza engines and Lorraine license-built Argus engines. The newly-combined firm intends to begin developing turbojet engines for larger contracts while maintaining the licensed Argus line.

Wednesday, November 22, 1944
Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc arrived in Talcahuano. They will conduct a short port visit followed by two-week long exercises (Exercise ) with the Chilean Navy.

Saturday, November 25, 1944
The Indochinese Governing Council confirmed Van Tuan Loan's appointment as the Indochinese Minister of Health and Education.

Friday, December 1, 1944
Air France initiated its "air ferry" service between Paris-Orly and London's Gatwick Airport. Eventually, the airline intends to offer four daily flights between terminals.

Saturday, December 2, 1944
The Salon nautique international de Paris opened today.

Wednesday, December 6, 1944
The Menier Chocolate Company announced their intention to partner with the importer Martel-Lestrange S.A. of Le Havre to increase importation of cocoa from Cote d'Ivoire, Cote d'Or, and United Togo.

Friday, December 8, 1944
The film Cécile est morte! opened today in Paris theaters. The film stars Albert Préjean as Police Commissioner Maigret and Santa Relli as Cécile.

Saturday, December 9, 1944
The amphibious landing ship Destrées arrived today at the mouth of the Niger River. The landing ship will remain offshore for several days, offloading equipment to go up the Niger River to join Groupement Scipion.

Monday, December 11, 1944
The Louis Dreyfus Group initiated a regular cargo ferry service between Marseilles and the Iberian port of Barcelona with the 2,000-ton vessels Calanque de Sugiton and Calanque de Sormiou. Among the main cargoes expected for the new service is Iberian-grown oranges.

Wednesday, December 13, 1944
The Air Ministry confirmed that it had cancelled all further orders for the Dewoitine D.800 Flèche, citing poor performance.

Tuesday, December 19, 1944
Due to rising urban population, particularly in the region of Paris and Lyon, a movement advocating the creation of villes nouvelles ("new towns") has risen, echoing developments from Britain. The movement points to the construction in the quickly-expanding town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines as a potential model for the rest of the movement within France to follow.

Friday, December 22, 1944
Excerpt from a report by the Marine Nationale about the advisability of landing existing jet aircraft on aircraft carriers:
- Bf-262: German-built jet in French service. Not suitable for carrier landings or take-offs.
- Dewoitine D.800: Not suitable for carrier landings or take-offs.
- Arsenal VG.640: Capable of arrested carrier landings and takeoffs with proper preparation.
- Spartan Stormrider: Mixed-power Atlantean fighter. Single example loaned from Atlantis currently undergoing carrier trials with Atlantic Fleet. Acquire more for further trials.
- Dassault Ouragan: Not yet flown, no commentary yet available.

Thursday, December 28, 1944
German Foreign Minister Thomas Dehner arrived this evening in Paris for consultations with Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Pierre Murail. Rumored topics of discussion include East Asia.


Wednesday, December 24th 2014, 4:33am


Monday, January 1, 1945
The keel was laid for the new French fleet carrier Foudroyant. A second vessel, to be named Formidable, is expected to follow at some future point. Also laid down were new destroyers and a class of six new fleet submarines, developed jointly by DCNS and German shipbuilding firms. The Foudroyant is envisioned as an eventual replacement for older carriers, such as Clemenceau and Suffren, which are both being considered for retirement in the next two to three years. The new ship is envisioned as an enlarged Bucentaure class vessel with a number of modifications necessary to operate larger aircraft.

Wednesday, January 3, 1945 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: The article "A Colossus of Folly" from French Socialist Party representative Jacques Faneuf (Lille) lambasted the "heinous expenditures" set forth by the Belgian government on the recently-completed fixed fortifications covering the landward and seaward approaches to major Belgian urban centers. The article criticized the ruinous expense and lascivious waste of the project. Faneuf cited a recent study indicating that the tax load of the Belgian military on the average citizen is now higher than any other nation in Europe, and exhorted his comrades in the Belgian Socialist Party to "throw out the wasteful royalist warmongers and establish a peace-loving socialist paradise."

Friday, January 5, 1945
Construction has started on a new steelmaking facility on the outskirts of Dunkerque. The facility, to be owned and operated by Société Métallurgique de Normandie (SMN), is designed to utilize an oxygen process to allow better recycling of scrap steel. The facility is scheduled for completion in mid-1946.

Tuesday, January 9, 1945
The newly-formed 1er Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes received their colors today from Minister of National Defense Jean Lemarechal in a commissioning ceremony at their new caserne in the city of Tarbes. The 1er RHP's creation is part of the ongoing improvement and reorganization of the French Army.

Wednesday, January 10, 1945 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In the Clarifications and Retractions section, the editor addressed comments contesting the accuracy of the figures cited in last week's article by Jacques Faneuf.

Thursday, January 11, 1945
Authorities advised citizens living in northeastern France to take extra precautions due to unusually cold winter weather. Coal stocks for heating have been depleted at higher rates than usual over these last few weeks.

Friday, January 12, 1945
The Dassault MD.450 Ouragan made its first flight today at the Centre d'Essais en Vol.

Sunday, January 14, 1945
Elections take place in Indochina for seats in the Indochina Governing Council, a proto-parliament serving the autonomous overseas collectivity. The elections will be the final ones before the plebiscite scheduled for later this year, which shall determine whether or not Indochina desires full independence, or continued autonomy within the French Union. Early indications suggest that current Indochinese Governor-General Truong Van Bao, leader of the Viet Tan, will retain his position, but the primary elections have resulted in the party's shift away from hard-line pro-independence stances. It remains to be seen what affect this will have on the coming plebiscite.

Wednesday, January 17, 1945
Truong Van Bao's Viet Tan Party retained their party majority on the Indochina Governing Council with a total of twenty-six of the fifty seats. The opposition Viet Dan party holds twenty-two of the remaining twenty-four seats. Despite the Viet Tan victory, most of the new members of the Governing Council represent a centrist economic viewpoint and a moderate position on the question of independence, a stance which clashes with the socialist and pro-independence positions held by party leader Truong Van Bao.

Thursday, January 18, 1945
Schneider et cie announced they had purchased an interest in Fablok as part of a contract to construct one hundred and fifty D13 diesel locomotives for the Polish State Railways between 1945 and 1946. The A1A-A1A locomotives, designed by Schneider, will be powered by an Alsthom 1,350-hp V-16 diesel engine manufactured by Ursus of Warsaw.

Friday, January 19, 1945
The Dori extension of the Abidjan-Ouagadougou Railway opens. The line, running to Dori in Upper Volta, will allow for a massive increase in production by the manganese mines there.

Monday, January 22, 1945
Delahaye celebrated the construction of their five thousandth Model 171 today. Sales, particularly in French North Africa, Indochina, Asia, and South America, have increased over the last few years, despite Delahaye's failure to secure a production contract for the French military.

Wednesday, January 24, 1945 - Le Canard enchaîné
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's political cartoons, the paper lamented the 'watered-down socialism' of Indochina's new Viet Tan party representatives.

Friday, January 26, 1945
Morane-Saulnier confirmed rumors today that the company's designers were engaged in the design of a turbojet-powered aircraft, reportedly to fly sometime in the next two years. Outside observers believe the firm's design will also be tendered to Morane-Saulnier's foreign partners, Doflug (of Switzerland) and KEA (of Greece).

Monday, January 29, 1945
The 2nd Composite Squadron returned to Brest today following an extended cruise to the Far East.

Tuesday, January 30, 1945
Minister of National Defense Jean-Marie Lemaréchal announced today that the Armée de Terre had demobilized the 27e Division Légère d'Infanterie, completing the most recent part of the French Army's reorganization and modernization. The current series of reorganizations, underway since 1942, have reduced the overall active manpower of the Armée de Terre but have seen the creation of a highly modern mechanized army.

Wednesday, January 31, 1945
The Michelin Guide published its first volume covering the United States, specifically focusing on the New York City region. Six stars were awarded to different restaurants in the guide. The editing director of the Guide indicated that they would publish the first Guide for either Germany or Italy sometime in the next three years.

Friday, February 2, 1945
In a major decision reached today, the Indochina Governing Council formally outlined a process for expanding the armed forces of the autonomous state over the next two years. A cabinet-level Minister of Defense position shall be created, answerable to the Governor-General and empowered to oversee military activities within the state, including budget. The Governing Council's plan calls for a total strength of five regular divisions, one armoured brigade, one marine brigade, one paratroop brigade, and one air defense brigade to be full service by December of 1946. Further details about the expansion shall be released over the next few months.

Monday, February 5, 1945
Htochkiss displayed their prototype Véhicule léger de Découverte, a modern scout car, to military observers of the Armée Blindé Cavalerie at Saumer. Rival Panhard, which previously indicated their interest in preparing a competing design, declined to submit a prototype, while Renault's prototype did not meet requirements.

Thursday, February 8, 1945
French President Paul Theisman spoke today at an informal round-table discussion with several reporters, who inquired about the government's stance toward the Belgian-Dutch Confederation Plan. "An unworkable daydream," Theisman commented. "While the details are still under discussion, the current plan will not long survive if implemented. The plan as proposed gives too much influence to the financial and military heart in the Low Countries. But the compromises that must be made for the Confederation plan to appeal to the Muslim populations of the East Indies shall result in the marginalization of the rich Dutch and Belgian minority. Queen Wilhelmina can perhaps override her opponents and impose Confederation, but it will not long survive her, particularly if imposed by her force. This is a system designed to implode catastrophically due to competing priorities, and the Republic of France sincerely hopes cooler, wiser heads oppose it."

Tuesday, February 13
The sixth issue of Voisin et Hennequin released today, opening in the aftermath of the air battle at Jebel Keshkal against Colonel Abraham Dirksen's mercenary pilots. Voisin learns from an acquaintance that the prisoners taken by tribal warlord Abdul del-Hakim, including his girlfriend, Army nurse Joséphine Lalanne, may be imprisoned by the rebels at an oasis deep in the Er-Reg of Côte Rocheuse. Capitaine Demange, the Escadron de Lions' second-in-command, refuses Voisin and Hennequin's request to take their fighters out on an aerial reconnaissance of the suspected rebel camp. Demange takes the mission himself, flying off into the Er-Reg. After Demange leaves, a suspicious Hennequin convinces Voisin to surreptitiously follow their senior officer. Their suspicions are confirmed when Demange flies not toward the Er-Reg, but back to Jebel Keshkal, where the squadron previously tangled with Dirksen's mercenaries. Later that evening, Demange returns to base with aerial photographs that show the oasis and the suspected rebel stronghold do not exist. Voisin and Hennequin take a long walk around the airfield, discussing what to do about Captain Demange's apparent treachery, and Voisin finally announces with a smile, "I have a plan."

Wednesday, February 14, 1945 - Le Canard Enchaine
What the Bird Has to Say: In this week's satire cartoons, Queen Wilhelmina is depicted trying to walk a giant dog with a too-tight collar (labled 'Ethnic Minorities', including Walloons, Flemish, Javanese, Sumatrans, etc). "The collar is not too tight, it fits just right," the queen says as dog struggles to free itself.

Thursday, February 15, 1945
The French Army accepted the Canon de montagne Modele 1945 Schneider for production. This new 105mm pack howitzer will replace obsolete 75mm and 105mm mountain guns, some of them dating back to 1907, within the Divisions d'Infanterie Alpine, the 10e Division Parachutiste, and other select units within the Army.

Tuesday, February 20, 1945
French Army lieutenant Gustave Remy arrived today in the Kerguelen Islands aboard the frigate Sans Reproche with an expedition team of eleven men. Remy and his expedition team shall conduct a thorough survey of Kerguelen, focusing on everything from native flora and fauna to geography.

Wednesday, February 21, 1945
The French Parliament approved the dispatch of a military mission to Armenia, which will leave for Yerevan in two weeks. The mission will provide assistance with training and organizing the Armenian Army, as well as demonstrating potential French military exports. The mission comes as a counterpoint to Russia's patronage of neighboring Azerbaijan.

Thursday, February 22, 1945
Jean Jacques Barre and his team of engineers flight-tested the new Eole rocket today at the rocketry range at Biscarosse. The Eole, which entered static testing in 1943, has had a tortured development following Barre's unsuccessful EA 1941 series, which exhibited a marked tendency to explode on the launch pad. The larger and more advanced Eole underwent a more rigorous design testing process, launched successfully and reached sixteen thousand meters before... exploding.

Barre indicated that he would try again with a series of three launches in March. Observers of French rocketry have noted that for a Barre-designed rocket, this one was unusually successful.

Friday, February 23, 1945
The Concours général agricole, mainland Europe's largest agricultural trade show and one of the three largest agricultural shows in the world, opened today at the Parc des expositions de la porte de Versailles. Among the items showcased at the Concours is the work of an American, Mr. Norman Borlaug, who has been employed by the Ministry of Agriculture developing new strains of high yield disease-resistant wheat, which shall be tested this year at thirty-one experimental farms in northern Algeria, and shall be available next year for distribution in metropolitan France through Groupe Limagrain. Mr. Borlaug will be travelling to Indochina later this year to conduct similar research into the development of high-yield rice crops.

Among the noteworthy participants at the Concours was the Compagnie Landreville et cie, which is developing diesel tractor engines designed to operate on ground-nut oils, which are one of the major agricultural products of French sub-Saharan Africa. Other novel developments and inventions are showcased by manufacturers from France, Europe, and North America.

Tuesday, February 27, 1945
Construction crews broke ground today on the new Cogon River Dam in the Boke Region of Guinea. The 180MW hydro plant, once completed in 1948, will generate electricity for a local aluminium smelter.

Tuesday, March 20, 1945
Vice-President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean-Pierre Murail announced today that he intended to step down from his post, effective May 1st, in order to spend more time with his wife, who was recently diagnosed with memory loss. The Minister's resignation will leave a major hole in the government due to Murail's status as a highly respected international statesman and a close friend and advisor to President Theisman. Murail, along with Prime Minister Monnerville and President Theisman, has been one of the three principal leaders of the tripartisme Alliance Republicain party.

Wednesday, March 21, 1945 - Le Canard Enchaine
What the Bird Has to Say: Editorialists commented on the resignation of Foreign Minister Murail and speculated on candidates for his replacement, including Deputy Quentin Clemenceau and the assistant minister of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones, Gabriel Ducharme.

Thursday, March 22, 1945
The Societe Navale de l'Ouest confirmed an order with shipbuilders in Saint Nazaire and Nantes for six new motorships of 7,500 and 13,500 tons displacement

Friday, March 23, 1945
The annual Paris-Nice Cycling Race begins.

Wednesday, March 28, 1945
The second Eole rocket was launched today at Biscarosse, reaching ten thousand meters before... as usual... exploding.

However, the third Eole, launched in the afternoon, broke tradition by reaching twenty-six thousand meters altitude and travelled fifty-five kilometers downrange, where it was successfully recovered from the sea by the French Navy. It did not explode even once. As a result, this definitely qualifies as the crowning achievement for French rocketry.

Friday, March 30, 1945
French colonial authorities authorized a plan to build a new paved airport in the African city of Yamoussoukro to serve the growing city. Over the last six years, Yamoussoukro has seen almost exponential growth, rising from a large village of five thousand in 1935 to a city of eighty-five thousand, according to a survey released several weeks ago; yet growth shows no signs of stopping. Colonial experts are confounded at how to explain the city's massive growth. Starting in 1941, however, the colonial administration instituted a "planned city" scheme, aiming to provide sufficient road, water, and wastewater infrastructure for Yamoussoukro's growing population. The proposed new airport will feature an air-conditioned terminal and two paved runways, one of 1,900 meters and one of 850 meters length.

The runways will additionally be shared by military aircraft of the French Air Force.

Saturday, March 31, 1945
The fourth Eole rocket was launched and reached twenty thousand meters before..., it didn't explode. This time the engine cut out early and it landed in the Bay of Biscay, where it was recovered in pieces by the French Navy.


Wednesday, December 24th 2014, 4:34am


Construction Accelerates on Aircraft Carriers, Heavy Cruisers - La Provence, Wednesday, April 4, 1945
The shipyard workers of La Rochelle are putting the final touches on the new heavy cruisers Redoubtable and Renommée, with the goal of delivering the completed ships to the Marine Nationale for sea trials on September 1st of this year. These new heavy cruisers, armed with ten powerful and accurate twenty-centimeter guns, will join the Atlantic Fleet once they are completed. The half-sisters of the Redoubtable-class, the new light carriers Zélé and Héros, are currently under construction in Marseilles. Zélé and Héros are scheduled for completion in December of this year.

Indochinese Police Sweep Triads, Organized Crime, in Hanoi - Gia Dinh Bao, Monday, April 16, 1945
In the first week of April, the Indochinese Gendarmerie arrested fifteen senior leaders of Chinese organized crime rings operating in Hanoi and the Red River Delta region. According to unidentified sources within the government, two of the triad leaders operated in the pay of the Chinese military espionage branch, and were implicated in complicated spy rings in Hanoi, Singapore, Jakarta, and Hong Kong.

Clemenceau Appointed Vice President, Ducharme to Foreign Affairs - La Croix, Wednesday, April 25, 1945
President Theisman appointed parliamentary deputy Quentin Clemenceau to the post of Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, and selected Gabriel Ducharme, the current assistant Minister of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones, as Minister for Foreign Affairs. The two men replace Jean-Pierre Murail, who has simultaneously held both posts since 1941.

Seventh Issue of Voisin et Hennequin Released - L'Union, Tuesday, May 8, 1945
The seventh issue of the popular comic Voisin et Hennequin, narrating the adventures of two French ace aviators during a native revolt in the fictional colony of Côte Rocheuse, arrived in stores today to be purchased in record numbers. In the new issue, Voisin puts into motion a plan to entrap the squadron's second-in-command, Capitaine Demange, into revealing his treachery and collusion with the rebels. By entraping Demange, Voisin hopes to uncover the secret oasis where the tribal warlord Abdul del-Hakim is holding hostages, including Voisin's girlfriend Joséphine Lalanne, an army nurse. The trap fails to ensnare Demange and the traitorous pilot disappears, but while browsing the bazaar, Hennequin has an abrupt run-in with Galila el-Hakim, the warlord's daughter. Before disappearing, Galila reveals that the hostages are no longer at the oasis, but have been handed over to Colonel Abraham Dirksen's mercenaries and imprisoned in Dirksen's secret stronghold in Jebel Keshkal.

Forces Légères d'Attaque Exercise With Russian Allies in Mediterranean - L'Humanité, Thursday, May 10, 1945
The Forces Légères d'Attaque, the Mediterranean Fleet's elite squadron of destroyers and light cruisers commanded by Contre-Admiral Virgile Lapeyre, conducted major naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean with Russian destroyers of the Black Sea Fleet under Captain First Rank Sergei Gorshkov, prior to completing a joint port call to Beirut in April.

Monaco Grand Prix - Le Figaro, Saturday, May 19, 1945
Racing driver Colin Hervieux dit Lespérance drove his Bugatti Type 61 Féroce to victory in the 1945 Monaco Grand Prix, narrowly defeating rival driver Alphonse Faneuf in his Hispano-Suiza. The Grand Prix saw an attempt to enter another racer powered by a prototype Hispano-Suiza gas turbine, but the car caught fire during qualifiers and was irreparably damaged. The race was attended by Prince Rainier III and his sister Antoinette.

Eole Rocket Launches Complete - Science et Vie, Wednesday, May 30, 1945
Four more Eole rockets launched from the test range at Biscarosse over the course of April and May, achieving two unqualified successes, reaching altitudes of thirty-three kilometers. Eole #5 and Eole #8, however, suffered flight problems. Eole #5 lost a steering vane upon launch, and was remotely destroyed for safety by range personnel. Eole rocket #8, however, the final rocket in the sequence, exploded on the launch pad, two seconds after the main engine fired. The explosion heavily damaged the launch pad, drawing the launch series to an unceremonial conclusion. The French authorities have cancelled further development of the Eole in favor of more advanced rocket developments, to start test flights late this year. According to experts interviewed in April by Science et Vie magazine, the French rocketry program has seen considerable success in smaller-scale solid-fuel rockets, but has struggled immensely with liquid-fueled developments such as the EA-1941 and the Eole, particularly in comparison to the German and Atlantean programs, largely due to to the choice of unsuitable fuel.

24 Hours of Le Mans - Le Temps, Friday, June 8, 1945
Frenchman Alphonse Faneuf and his Swiss-Russian co-driver Vladimir Konstantinov placed second in their Hispano-Suiza for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, losing by mere seconds to Carroll Shelby and his Americans. Field favorite Colin Hervieux dit Lespérance and his co-driver Jean-Pierre Francillon were unable to complete the race following an accident that occurred on the first lap, when they attempted to overtake another competitor who forced their vehicle into the wall.

Tour de France Begins - Le Figaro, Monday, June 18, 1945
The world's premier cycling race began today, with twenty-eight teams from sixteen countries participating.

Syrian National Bloc Party Dissolves - Agence Havas, Tuesday, June 19, 1945
The Syrian National Bloc Party dissolved today following increasing internal strife. According to sources in Damascus, party leader and Syrian president Shukri al-Quatli was unable to maintain control of strong personality elements within the party. The National Bloc's primary platform was based on gaining independence from France, and not based on any political or philosophical alignment, which resulted in increasing disorganization within the party. Many former members appear poised to transfer their allegiance to the League of Nationalist Action, a Syrian nationalist party banned under the French Mandate, or to a nascent "People's Party", which represents the interests of the northern regions. The League of Nationalist Action has a strong appeal among the Syrian military and the middle class as the vanguard party of a pan-Arab renaissance, and with the dissolution of the National Bloc stands poised to become the country's dominant political party.

Ramjet Testbeds Flown at CEV - Le Matin, Monday, July 23, 1945
Representatives of the French Air Force revealed today that ONERA had begun conducting launches of the LeO-620 ramjet special test vehicle at the Centre d'Essais en Vol. The radio-controlled drone has reportedly conducted a dozen successful test flights following launch from its Bloch mothership.