Normandie Final Voyage photos


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Yannick KERSERHO

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The total earnings of Normandie was (for only 4 years of exploitation !!!) 713 113 081 francs (of this years) and gave a primary product of 288 485 783 francs. Deduction made of maintenance, insurances, refit and big repairs, the Normandie gave total which can be considered by the CGT as a net product of about 168 500 000 francs.
All of this can prove that Normandie was never the "Dette flottante" (the floating debt) as it was told before its building in France.
In consideration of the decrease traffic passengers, CGT has built (can we remembered it )Normandie as a "Floating Palace" product and the decrease of the number of passengers can be observed for all the Maritime Companies regarding the international economic situation and the looming war.




Regarding the "rolling" no liners were immune to this and ALL transatlantic passengers KNEW PERFECTLY that. However that was never a problem like the one observed on the Queen Mary. The rolling of Normandie was very progressive and he was never famed for the terrific type of slow recovering stability rolling of the Queen Mary.
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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Contrary to his competitor, Normandie was never forced to reduce his speed even in bad seas . That is the proof the great efficiency of his hull's design. There is no major complains regarding his rolling and no reports of destructions caused by a piano or mad bronze doors!

During his 8 hours of trial at high speed, Normandie has , with ease, reach the speed of 32,125 knots with less powerful engines (160 000) than Queen Mary (220 000). Always during his trial, in high speed of 31 Knots, Normandie has stopped in 1700 meters regarding his great power full turbo-electric engines and his steering capacity was also fully proved when it was decided to join the Brest Harbor passing by the passage of “Raz de Sein” passage as all French know as a very stretch and sinuous passage and always in strong wave.
The 4 to 7 of august 1937, during his voyage of coming back from New York to Le Havre, on the last day of crossing, the power is push to 195 850 worse power and the speed goes to 32.70 knots !!!



The important point I admire the most is the big space allowed to 1rst class passengers and that was never encountered on another liner ever (even in France III in 1962).Normandie was built in the only view to be a 1st class ship and it must be take in consideration that the cost of the decoration is .10,3 % of his total cost (and the same percentage will be observed on France III). The total cost of Decoration was about 90 millions of Francs. The publics rooms (said "as decorated") had cost 40 millions of francs (for instance the big dinning room cost was 8 200 000 Francs, the big lounge was 3 785 000 Francs and the big smoking room cost was 3 500 000 Francs.)
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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Regarding the apparent weak number of passengers transported, perhaps the politic factors of the Popular Front in France in 1936 and the turmoil created by some laws like 40's hours week and the repeated strikes suffered by the CGT has not helped Normandie's commercial performance (it’s status of 1 st class floating palace ship too with the socialist government in place too). Normandie was not longer seen with the same angle in France regarding all of that.

Jim regarding the time line of Mr Yves M. KEGUS established by Mr Charles Offrey and Mr Mazeirad Jean Pierre , no special voyage in England was organised (perhaps another year ????) but ... the 12 of June of 1935, coming back from New York, Normandie had made a call at Southampton from 5.05 am to 11.35 am which is for him a very long call
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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Repartition :

For the Normandie

1st class passengers : 848.
Tourist class : 665.
3rd class: 458.
Etat-Major and Crew : 1 355.

For the Queen Mary :
1st class passengers : 776
Tourist class : 784
3rd class: 579
Etat-Major and Crew : 1 174.

By betting on Tourist and 3rd it’s clear that Cunard White Star has made a wise choice. One could wonder what could have been observed if the French Line has changed his class’s repartition for Normandie. The changes made on the after deck was a sign of a new policy.

Yannick
 

Jim Kalafus

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Check out the Normandie pattern menu cards on the tables in the photo Yannick posted- particularly the one on the table at the right foreground. They are actually much nicer than the menu covers in the FIrst Class Dining room were, to judge from the dozen separate First Class patterns I've found.

The Tourist Class dining room was also amazing, but did not photograph well. It was "H" shaped, with the legs of the H decorated in bronze, and the two deck high, domed, arm linking them being decorated in black, dark green, and silver. The effect, as seen in artist's conceptions and tinted photos was quite spectacular, but in black and white simply looked gloomy. The silver columns photographed as black. The mirrors reflected black. The wall surfaces, likewise, photographed as flat black, and the clever contrast between the cool tones of the center section and the bright rich colors of the wings was totally lost.

Here is a CGT postcard showing it.
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Jim Kalafus

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Concerning the 1935 cruise- Richard Faber, the NYC Memorabilia dealer sold, as lot #278 in his last catalogue:

278. NORMANDIE Extremely rare moment by moment program for the only cruise that she ever did (aside from he two Rio Cruises) This is the four day trip soon after her entry into service- dated July 19-22 1935, with a cruise to England and back. The cover of this souvenier of the Voyage features the blue ribbon (sic) medallion together with a blue ribbon. This is very special and rare-exc. $85

I did not buy it, and regret not having done so. Mr Faber has been dealing in ship memorabilia for quite a while and is probably the most reputable in the business- he does not sell reproductions- so I believe in the legitimacy of the offering. I will contact him to see if he can supply any further details concerning what was in the program.
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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Yes Jim, I'm very curious cause nothing is said in the source I have ! They spoke only of the first call in Southampton the 29 of May 1935 and the great welcome from English people. Said that the french etat-major was touch by the english compliment cause they considered English as expert !!!

the bellow picture show the 4 independant division of Normandie, independant part considering the electricity and the ventilate system

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Jim Kalafus

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I contacted Mr Faber to see if the program is still available (which is not likely) and asked for any details he can remember from it if it has been sold. I will post whatever response he gives.

I have just under 100 photos taken aboard and of the maiden voyage arriving by mail tomorrow.
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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Whaaooouuuu !!!! 100 photos !!!

concerning the tourist sport deck its a pictur wich disturb me cause this show clearly the covert put on the private promenade deck. It doesn't appears on the picture you post !!! Humm......
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Jim Kalafus

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The snapshot I posted was in taken in September 1936. The cover was installed in the 1937-38 layup, and remained in place through the fire. What strikes me as curious, and can be seen clearly in the photo you posted and VERY clearly in a photo of mine which is in the archived part of the thread, is that a small gated bridge was built connecting the outer edges of the private terraces to the Tourist Class sports deck.
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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The closed it completly ...hum...curious ...I don't think too this is a improvement for this suite

Yannick
 

Jim Kalafus

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I have seen the financial figures claiming that the Normandie was well on her way to paying for herself in various books and articles, but do not understand how that could be possible. She spent more than half of her 1935-38 career laid up, and the average passenger load of 949 person per voyage out of a total possible load of 1971 was the numerical equivalent of saying that she spent her entire career with first class fully booked, 101 persons in tourist and not a soul in third. It is also the equivalent of saying that statistically she never had a voyage in which the passengers outnumbered the crew. I wasn't aware of the low cargo loads, but that adds to my scepticism. This is not intended as an attack on the Normandie, which after the Rex is my favorite ship, but I suspect that what is referred to in Hollywood as "creative accounting" was at play when those figures were compiled. For instance, creative accounting showed that Cleopatra, which cost $40 million 1963 dollars was actually a profitable film, and also showed that Forrest Gump which earned somewhere around $400 million WASN'T. In both cases the figures arrived at were what best suited the studio's interests, just as I suspect the Normandie's turning a profit was selectively drawn from a set of figures to reenforce the thesis of whomever was writing the book.
 
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Yannick KERSERHO

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I have to make you remember the two dates that Normandie was stopped for repair :
28 of October 1935 to April 1936 : intensive refit of the ship:
Change on the propellers's supports, changes of the four propellers, building of a new tourist lounge on the former 1rst class lounge emplacement.

The second refit was made during the winter 1936/1937 to use the technical stop necessary for the ship’s maintenance. During that refit, improvements were made under Chief Engineer Brard and Merot du Barré to Normandie’s boilers (due to permit the overpowering plant) and to fit the French wonder of new propellers with four blades.

For a service career from May 29th 1935 to August 28 1939 so more of four years of active service I don’t see where you find that Normandie has spent more than 1935/1938 period inactive. That’s pretty inaccurate… Regarding the honesty of Charles Offrey, that man was General Secretary of the line from 1935 to 1975 !! I don’t see the need to affirm such lies and to compare the true financial reports to some movies is quite strange. If you want to compare the amont of public money spent in the support of any liner I’m quite sure that the French government contributions aren’t so exagerated in opposition of Mussolini’s support for the Rex or the huge amount of the public loan for the Queen Mary. I feel insulted by this nasty remark and I will show this topic to the representatives of the Compagnie Générale Maritime ( heirs of the CGT) to know what do they think of such falses insinuations spreading on the Net and I’m not sure that this will be appreciate by people who had passed their life to Atlantique Service aboard prestigious paquebots such the ones of France. I’m sorry to be rude but if lies were made by the accounting service of CGT, I want to know how France had the possibility regarding the cruel damage of war to France wich had all her major harbor and installation destroyed, put in service after the WW2 Ile de France and Liberté and after had the possibility to build France III wich had more than 79% occupancy more than 20 years after the building of Normandie. Compagnie Génerale Transatlantique hasn’t lived on facificalted accounting repport !
 

Jim Kalafus

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Well, Yannick- I got the information that the Normandie was out of service for more than half of her first three years from the Press Release the French Line issued in June 1938 to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the Normandie's introduction into service, in which they gave a list of the ships achievements, one of which was that she had spent 529 days at sea since being introduced. There had been 1096 days since her maiden voyage (365X3, plus one day added for the leap year) which means that she spent 567 days not sailing. And that is from a press release issued in both the US and France. So, in her 650 odd days of active service (counting the remainder of 1938 and her abbreviated 1939 schedule) in order to repay her $60,000,000.00 PRINCIPAL cost, not counting maintainance fees, staff fees, provisioning fees, interest, and the massive 1936/'36 rebuild , she would have had to have earned a net profit of $92,307.69 (in 1935 dollars- multiply by 8 to get todays rate) every active day of her career. What I was saying, and I am sorry if I seemed antagonistic, is that it does not seem likely that she did. Shipping lines- particularly their publicity departments have always used figures creatively (witness the tonnage battle between Leviathan and Majestic) it is just a fact of the industry. Likewise, authors have been known, once or twice
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, to seek out statistics which reenforce their points while disregarding those which do not. Case in point- the 79% occupancy rate of the France. Impressive while standing on its own, but almost never included with that fact is the information that even at that O.R. she was only profitable while her government subsidy lasted, and when the government chose to discontinue it in favor of the Concorde in 1973-'74 she had to be withdrawn. That is the way with corporate statistics. As for WW2, I have no idea what the CGT accountants were doing during that time- the statistics for her 1935-'39 career were compiled in 1935-'39. The books for the second half of 1939 may have been disrupted by the onset of War- probably were- but the war would not have been a factor in the honesty or lack of honesty, of her financial figures in her first three and a half years of service.

Oh, and I used the movie analogy to illustrate what can be done by a clever accounting team when faced with unpleasant facts (in the case of Cleopatra, establishing that it had turned a profit was necessary because it had driven Fox Studios to the brink up bankruptcy, so figures were interpreted in such a way that still-shaky Fox could say to its investors "the big gamble paid off." In the case of the vastly popular Forrest Gump, the author had a percentage of the film's NET profits, and so it was desirable for the production team to claim that despite the $400,000,000.00 gross it lost money and had no net profit) which, to reiterate my point, is what I suspect was done on either a corporate level in the 1930s or on a revisionist level later.
 

Jim Kalafus

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And one other thing- show me in any one of my posts where I brought up the concept of "public money" being spent on the Normandie or any other liner. To what nasty remark are you referring? Please quote it exactly. I believe that my exact turn of phrase was "this is not meant as an attack on the Normandie which, after the Rex is my favorite ship." How did you gather from that any insult, or any parallels between Mussolini, Cunard and CGT? And since when is listing facts an "untrue insinuation?" Fact: Using the CGTS own figures, she statistically never ONCE had a voyage where the passengers outnumbered the crew. Fact: From Mr Offrey himself her cargo loads were low. Fact: From the CGT figures again, she spent more than half of her time out of service. Fact: Again, from their figures- her passenger loads were so low that numerically it was the equivalent of sailing with one whole class unoccupied and another with only 101 passengers, for every voyage of her career. Take those figures, think about them, and ponder how she could have been profitable. From where was the revenue coming? I have maintained throughout this that I DOUBT the Normandie was as lucrative as claimed. If you can explain to me how it was possible for her to have made money under those circumstances I will freely admit to being wrong.

Again, let me reiterate, this is neither a criticism of the Normandie nor of the CGT. I believe that the Normandie was beautiful externally and internally. I also believe that technologically she was far ahead of the Queen Mary and-particularly- the Rex. Yes, the service and the food were first rate. But to look at her figures, as provided by the line itself and say that she was a money maker seems to be wishful thinking. She definitely provided prestige, but money?

Out of respect to Mr Hind, the moderator of this thread, and those who are reading along, after you respond to this particular post on board please direct any other comments you may have for me, or about me, to my email address, as I have said all I CAN relevantly say on this topic.
 

Jim Kalafus

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On a more general note, ( my apologies to all for my half of that lengthy discourse and in effect provoking it) here is a snapshot of the NYC excursion boat Americana with quite a list on as the Normandie enters NY Harbor for the first time, June 1935.
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Ryan Thompson

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There are several classic accounts in print, written by frightened passengers and crew, of what happened aboard her during her first large storm- it did not seem like a fun experience- and the not well documented account of when she nearly capsized at sea during WW2 with a full compliment of troops aboard.

Wow! How odd. I'd love to hear the rest of that story.
 

Ryan Thompson

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This is the deck house that was added after completion, right? I can't see it in Yannick's sepia-tone photo.


http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/ragemanchoo/deckhouse.jpg
This must have been before the suites were put into those dark recessed spaces forward of the sports deck.

(The generic img src HTML tag ought to be allowed for these forums...I had to try to get this to post like 6 times and ended up going with a link.)
 
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