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Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, 1:24am

French News, Q2/1945

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.


Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, 3:43pm

The Philippine National Police, Constabulary and Action Service will be happy to share information with the authorities in Indochina regarding triad activities, and are most interested in the alleged links between the triads and Chinese intelligence organs.

Admiral Canaris and his people are monitoring the developments in Syria with some concern...


Tuesday, December 2nd 2014, 7:33pm


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.

Considering the era of racing and the fact that there is an extremely low chance that the driver was wearing a seatbelt, I guess whoever was driving at that moment has got to be extremely lucky not to get killed by that stunt of the other competitor...

A few useless stats (using figures from wiki)...
Prior to 1945, 75 drivers were killed which is an average of about 3 killed every 2 years (although it would probably have been more if it were not for two world wars).
Between 1945 and 1965, 138 drivers were killed which is an average of about 13 killed every 2 years.
Between 1966 and 1990, 187 drivers were killed which is an average of about 15 killed every 2 years.

1900-1909 - 1 driver killed every 913 days.
1910-1919 - 1 driver killed every 417 days (minus two years of WW1).
1920-1929 - 1 driver killed every 152 days.
1930-1940 - 1 driver killed every 100 days.
1946-1949 - 1 driver killed every 70 days.
1950-1959 - 1 driver killed every 54 days.
1960-1969 - 1 driver killed every 40 days.
1970-1979 - 1 driver killed every 55 days.
1980-1990 - 1 driver killed every 57 days.


Friday, December 5th 2014, 12:44am

DCNS Office at Ruelle, France - Date unknown
"Lachaussée, it's good to see you again, my friend! I hope you enjoyed your time away from the office?"

"Thank you, sir. I did enjoy the change of scenery. The weather in Petrograd is lovely at this time of year, and I had the opportunity for some relaxation aboard d'Estaing on the return trip."

"Good, good - because I'm afraid we must throw you back into the fire, now! I presume you heard about the failure of our prototype last week."

"I heard the brief report during my lunch with Admiral Kuznetsov, sir. He said 'Trident' exploded quite magnificently. What on earth happened?"

"Capitaine Amedee is still evaluating. I'll have him relate the technical problems to you, but you have the heart of it - 'Trident' self-detonated in a rather catastrophic and disheartening fashion. Given what happened, I ordered the testing program suspended until we've pinpointed the cause of failure."

"Was anyone hurt?"

"Miraculously, no serious injuries. Amedee caught a piece of shrapnel across the cheek, which just makes him look even more like a St. Malo corsaire than he usually does. A few other scratches here and there. Our safety procedures worked, thank God!"

"Has there been any response from Place de la Concorde?"

"There is some concern, of course, that we cannot meet our testing deadlines. DCNS has already slowed down the design of the trials ship in order to accomodate our earlier setbacks. They're concerned that if we fall further behind schedule, then funding for our trials ship will be held up a year or more by the parliamentary funding process."

"Um! That would put us behind the Russians, then! They've already funded the first trials ship - Project 79 - although detail design waits until 'Trident' has matured further."

"Nevsky Prospekt is still on-board with the project, then?"

"When Kuznetsov told me about the failure, he said 'such things happen, I suppose!' Of course they do things different in Russia - as long as nobody is killed it's just business as usual, and once they have their teeth into something they don't let go, no matter how bad an idea it turns out. But Ivanov - the special development chief of their Petrograd design bureau - is still eccstatic. Kiersereau tells me he talks about almost nothing else. And I heard from Novikov - and keep this between your ears! - that the high brass in Nevsky Prospekt wants to build a full class of four ships, not just a single prototype, in order to replace the Saratov and Tambov classes."

"Good! I hope they remain interested. We need this project to come to fruition, Lachaussée; and if the Russians are this eager, all to the better."

"I agree, sir. Revolution completes next year, after all, and too many other nations are buying into the concept. We have fallen behind."

"It is not as bad as that. La Vallée told me last Thursday, after delivering the latest from Dieuxeme Bureau, that Revolution will probably achieve only half her design cadence. I feel the worry in Place de la Concorde are premature, but in five years I think the Rosbifs will work their system out. I'm not that worried about the Rosbifs, of course; but once it's been done, what is to stop anyone else from doing it?"