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Normandie and Ile De France

Normandie and Ile De France

This postcard shows the Normandie entering the dry dock at her home port of Le Havre in 1938. The three stacker docked on the left is the Ile De France. Despite the 10,000 ton difference between the two ships, the Ile is often mistaken for the three funneled French Liner Paris in this image, becau

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To me, no liner ever so successfully combined both grace AND powerful appearance as well as she did. She looks in her element at sea every bit as at home as a dolphin. Every component of her lines is cohesively "of a kind" and the purity of her form is all the more evident with all the clean decks with machinery designed from the get-go in sheltered spaces out of sight.

Only France came close, borrowing much from Normandie, but with a sleek grace of her own. Where Normandie earns the edge in my eyes is in her machinery (even the orderly, artful layout of it all), the forward superstructure (where France's could almost have come from a "supertanker"), and the terraced afterdecks (where I think France would have been better served by similar treatment, even if her lines were curves inverted relative to Normandie's, like on her boat deck--they could have been consistent, rather than mismatched for shape).

I give Normandie the edge on all of them because of that perfect unity of her style, with no incongruous bits, from keel to top, stem to stern, inside and out. Her form brought sculptural "art" to utility of purpose, not mere "decoration", with cleanliness of form that only results from a purposeful attention to planning of every detail. To me, she will always be the "masterpiece" of naval architecture for a passenger ship. Just watching her at speed on the sea and the form of the waves as those carefully contemplated curves of the hull parts it is enough for me to put her in a class all her own, truly unrivalled, before or since.
 

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In attendance is CGT tug/tender "Minotaure" (1918, 889grt) She was built on the Clyde as the Admiralty tug "Rollcall", converted for commercial use and purchased by French Line in 1929.
Details here:http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=110
 

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Thanks Eddy, Your knowledge about tugboats of the past is really impressive; if I ever manage to get my own copy of this card, I'll make notations on the back to identify the tug shown in the picture.

Clyde (cunard61)
 

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Hello Clyde, Thanks but such "knowledge" I do not possess. Just curiosity, persistence and google!
 

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Please don't forget her service as ROMSEY in Southampton with Alexandra Towing Co. 1922 - 1929.

As built... ROLLCALL she had two funnels. A real 'beast' of a tug!
 

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Hi Stephen. Yes despite spending a lot on her conversion its interesting that Alexandra disposed of her and had a new "Romsey" built instead. (1930, 509grt)
Pic of Rollcall as built: http://www.photoship.co.uk/JAlbum%20Ships/Old%20Ships%20R/slides/Rollcall-01.jpg
 

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Passenger Liners & Cruise Ships
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