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Friday, August 21st 2015, 10:06pm

French News, Q1/1946

New Frigate Laid Down for Indochina - Gia Dinh Bao, Tuesday, January 1, 1946
The new frigate Trieu Thi Trinh was laid down earlier today for the Indochinese Naval Patrol. The new vessel will be largely identical to the force's current flagship, Tran Nhat Duat, but shall be completed with minelaying rails installed rather than cadet facilities. [1]

Ceremony Initiates Participation in International Geophysical Year - La Croix, Thursday, January 2, 1946
President Theisman spoke today at a ceremony marking the beginning of French participation in the International Geophysical Year, designed to encourage international collaboration in scientific advances. Theisman revealed a wide scope of scientific activities planned by French military and scientific bodies in the fields of earth sciences, rocketry, aviation, and oceanography.

French Army Begins Winter Exercises - Le Figaro, Wednesday, January 16, 1946
Units of the French Army began Exercise Borée today as the first of a series of four-part winter maneuvers that will continue through the month of March. Exercise Borée includes elements of several different corps of the French Army, including the 17e Division d'infanterie (HQ Colmar), the 2e Division Blindée (HQ Saint-Germain-en-Laye), the 27e Division Alpine (HQ Besancon), and the 2e and 3e Groupes de Anti Char de Corps d'Armée (HQ Nancy, Dijon).

Preparation Begins for Elections - La Croix, Thursday, January 24, 1946
Leaders of the Alliance républicaine political coalition began meeting today to make their final selection for presidential candidate for this year's elections. [2] Political observers favor Quentin Clemenceau, the current Vice-President of the Council ("deputy prime minister"), although Minister of the Interior Marcel Sébillot was also named as a possibility.

Meanwhile, the Front Républicain (center-left) Party opened talks with the Parti socialiste français (left) to run a single mutually-agreeable candidate to oppose the Alliance républicaine.

Armenia Orders French Military Equipment - Le Spectateur Militaire Weekly, Monday, January 28, 1946
AMX secured an export deal to provide a small quantity of refitted Char-8 'Montbrun' medium tanks to the Armenian Army. The deal is the first success of a military mission dispatched to Armenia in early 1945, and follows the announcement of neighboring Azerbaijan's acquisition of Russian-built "T-44-76" medium and T-80 light tanks. As part of the 2.4 million franc deal, the French Army's military mission will be expanded to assist in training Armenian troops in the maintenance and operation of their new vehicles.

Additionally, Schneider et Cie concluded a contract to provide design drawings and technical expertise to the K+W firm of Thun, Switzerland. K+W is allegedly engaged in designing a new indigenous tank gun based on Schneider's CN-90 F1 for the Swiss and Czech militaries, and contracted with the company for technical assistance.

Clemenceau to Face Rioux, Gouin in Elections - L'Humanité, Tuesday, January 29, 1946
In an unsurprising move, spokesmen for the Alliance républicaine party announced that current Vice-President of the Council Quentin Clemenceau would stand as the party's candidate for president in the May elections. Clemenceau will face Jean Andre Rioux of the center-left Front Républicain, and Felix Gouin of the Parti socialiste français.

Kingdom of Cambodia Achieves Independence - Agence Havas, Friday, February 1, 1946
At noon today, the French flag flying over the city of Phnom Penh was lowered for the final time, being replaced by the flag of the newly independent Kingdom of Cambodia. His Majesty King Norodom Suramarit addressed the nation by voice and radio, and inaugurated the first Cambodian parliament, which voted unanimously to approve the proposed national constitution.

A small number of French military units and civil servants remain in Cambodia, awaiting their replacement by Cambodian personnel.

Commenting on Cambodian Independence - Le Canard enchaîné, Wednesday, February 6, 1946
What the Bird Has to Say: in this week's editorials, leading French socialists criticized Cambodia 'taking a step back to the dark ages' by re-creating their monarchy after years of enlightened democratic rule.

Hotchkiss Artois for late 1946 Production - Monday, February 11, 1946
Hotchkiss et Cie announced that their new Artois four-door saloon, first demonstrated at auto shows last year, would soon enter production, with the automobile's official sales launch scheduled for October 1st, 1946.

Ouragan Enters Squadron Service - Le Spectateur Militaire Weekly, Monday, February 18, 1946
The Dassault MD.450 Ouragan fighter was officially inaugurated into squadron service this weekend, at a ceremony held at Dijon Air Base.

Foreign Ministry Expresses Concern to Damascus - Thursday, February 21, 1946
Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabriel Ducharme expressed the cabinet's concern to the Syrian government about the rise of armed militias or 'Greenshirts' loyal to the Syrian League of Nationalist Action party. The League of Nationalist Action is currently Syria's dominant political party following last year's collapse of the National Bloc. Syrian Prime Minister and LAN party leader Khalid al-Hafiz dismissed Paris's concerns.

Concours général agricole Opens in Paris - Le Matin, Friday, February 22, 1946
The Concours général agricole, Continental Europe's largest agricultural show, opened today at the new Centre des nouvelles industries et technologies (CNIT) in La Défense.

Parisians Call for 'Monumental' Addition to La Défense - Science-et-Vie, Wednesday, February 27, 1946
The commmittee tasked with overseeing the economic development of Paris's La Défense district has started pushing for funding to construct a visually unique architectural centerpiece to the growing national economic center. The committee desires an 'iconic and monumental' structure for a site located near the CNIT conference center. Five architectural firms have been instructed to prepare design proposals for review in December of this year.

Groupe Danone Breaks Ground in Saratov - La Provence, Monday, March 18, 1946
Ground was broken today for Groupe Danone's new diary food plant in Saratov, Russia. The plant is scheduled to begin limited production in the summer of 1947, although it shall not become fully operational until mid 1948.

Chinese Aircraft Intercepted near Hoang Sa Islands - Gia Dinh Bao, Friday, March 29, 1946
According to sources within the Indochinese Air Defense Group, floatplane fighters from the Aeronavale and jets from the Armee de l'Aire intercepted a Chinese reconnaissance aircraft yesterday, operating over international waters near the Hoang Sa Islands. The aircraft did not cross into Indochinese airspace at any point, although it seemed to be probing for a response from the Indochinese air defense forces. The Indochinese cabinet reportedly met to discuss the situation.

- Note [1]: Tran Nhat Duat's aft hull is designed with classrooms and cadet bunks, but the internal divisions are designed to be quickly removed in order to turn the ship into a minelayer. Conversely, Trieu Thi Trinh is equipped as a minelayer from the beginning, and doesn't have the knock-down internal divisions for extra crew.
- Note [2]: President Theisman, although still well-regarded after five years in office, cannot seek a second term due to the restrictions of the French constitution.