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Friday, May 27th 2016, 9:55pm

French News, 1947

Renault Vehicle Enters Production
Friday, January 10, 1947 - Renault's commercial vehicle division showed off the first production examples of a new 1000kg van and derivative truck for military and civilian service. Equipped with an avancée cabin, the vehicle could be configured either with a van body or as a truck, with multiple sub-variants of each type.

Peugeot and French Army Team Up for Rally Competition
Monday, January 13, 1947 - Peugeot rally car driver Marcel Thériault and French Army lieutenant George Beaulieu will represent France in the first "Silk Way Rally" to be held in China. The two participants will drive a Peugeot VLR all-terrain car

New Voisin et Hennequin Volume Released
Wednesday, January 15, 1947 - Following their action-packed arrival to the small oriental kingdom if Ti'en in the first issue, ace pilots Wenceslas Voisin and Claude Nicolas Hennequin slow down to take in the sights as they carefully investigate the brewing conflict between the Sultan of Ti'en and his half-brother.

Reorganization of Security Forces in Liban
Wednesday, January 15, 1947 - The Lebanese Parliament, meeting this morning in Beirut, voted to reorganize police and civil protection groups into the Security Forces (Forces de sécurité libanaises), a paramilitary unit reporting to the Minister of the Interior. The Security Forces will take over all internal police duties, as well as select border guard responsibilities, within the state of Lebanon. [1] The vote was opposed in Parliament by the Sunni-dominated National Party of Lebanon, whose spokesman predicted that the new security troops would be used to ensure the continued domination of the Phalanges Party in the national political scene.

Last French Officials Leave Cambodia
Sunday, January 19, 1947 - Nearly a year after his country achieved full independence as the Kingdom of Cambodia, His Majesty King Norodom Suramarit finally appointed and swore in native replacements for the Army Chief of Staff, Minister of Economics, and Surgeon-General. These posts had, up until this point, been filled by French officials who were carrying on their duties from pre-independence days. Former Surgeon-General Charles d'Amours dit Louvières, who is highly-regarded in country, will remain in Phnom Penh as the French ambassador to Cambodia.

First Stage of Tema Port Development Completed
Tuesday, January 28, 1947 - The Tema Development Company officially completed construction on a the first half of a major project necessary to turn Tema, Côte-de-l'Or, into Africa's largest man-made port. Five kilometers of breakwater provide shelter for twelve deepwater berths. In the second stage of development, highly modern port facilities will be constructed, including a civil drydock, marine railway, and repair yard for merchant ships. Due to the job opportunities offered by the ongoing construction, a planned city is growing up around the harbor region.

Once completed, Tema will be poised to become one of the main import and export hubs in southwest Africa, rivaled only by Abidjan and Monrovia. Some clouds still remain on the horizon, however, as the planned Tema aluminum smelter and Akesombo Dam are not yet approved to begin construction.

Winter Weather Strikes Western Europe
Thursday, January 30, 1947 - Northern France continues to see a combination of extreme cold and unusually heavy snow, part of a winter weather system that has struck Western Europe over the last week. Caen and Rouen reported fourteen centimeters of snow accumulation over the past week, while Calais recorded fifteen centimeters. In the southern part of the country, warmer temperatures mean the precipitation has instead fallen as heavy rain.

French Army Transfers Recruiting Responsibility to Indochina
Tuesday, February 4, 1947 - The French Army leadership officially ceased all recruiting efforts for the Indochina region, transferring those responsibilities to the Army of the Autonomous Republic of Indochina. From this point forward, all Indochinese natives entering the armed forces will be directed solely to the AARI. Indochinese locals will still be able to enter the Foreign Legion, however.

With the continued expansion and professionalization of the Indochinese military forces, the French Army's manpower available in Indochina, in the form of the 3e Armee, has dropped substantially. However, the 3e Armee's objective is now to provide a strong deterrent against foreign aggression, supporting the Autonomous Republic.

Concours général agricole
Saturday, February 8, 1947 - Europe's largest agricultural exhibition opened today at the Parc des expositions de la porte de Versailles in Paris. The Concours will run until February 16th, and showcases both upcoming developments in the agricultural sector as well as recent achievements from around Europe.

La Gravière Completed at La Rochelle
Saturday, February 15, 1947 - The DCNS shipyard in La Rochelle has completed the twentieth Forbin-class destroyer, the La Gravière, and handed the ship over to the ship's new crew to begin builder's trials. Another eight vessels of this type, called the Dumont d'Urville subgroup, are currently in construction or on order at La Rochelle.

SFG Helicopter Demonstrated to Army
Monday, February 17, 1947 - A twin-rotor fourteen passenger helicopter, the SH.30 Perdrix, was demonstrated at Toulouse to French Army observers. The Perdrix, designed by SFG for a French Army requirement, has been beset by development issues which culminated in a crash last April on its first flight. SFG's designers attempted to prepare the next prototype for display at the Paris Air Show, but were delayed due to manufacturing concerns. Despite its long development, Army observers indicated the helicopter performed "mostly satisfactorily" in the six-day trials.

Cold Weather Continues to Strike
Monday, February 24, 1947 - Cold temperatures and snowfall have continued across northern France, mirroring conditions found elsewhere in northwestern Europe. Over the weekend, temperatures rose just enough in Paris that ice became a more immediate concern, causing a number of local power outages due to fallen or damaged power lines. Ice was also a concern in the Manche, where ferry service to England was disrupted by ice floes. The Russian reserve fleet icebreaker Alexsei Chirikov, making a port call in northern France as part of an international training exercise, was engaged to assist in keeping the ferry service between Cherborg-Octeville and Poole open.

Indochinese Naval Patrol Secures Funding for Expansion
Tuesday, February 25, 1947 - The Indochinese Patrouille Navale has secured funding from Hanoi to order larger surface warships later this year. According to sources within the Ministry of Defense, the PNI is interested in ordering four destroyers, to be built by DCNS at La Rochelle. If the expansion is carried out according to current plans, the PNI's leadership expects to increase their manpower requirements by nearly 33% over the next two years, leading to significant opportunities for rapid promotion of officers and enlisted rates.

Dassault Acquires Arsenal
Monday, March 3, 1947 - Avions Dassault formally purchased the government-owned parastatal Arsenal de l'Aéronautique to become the largest aircraft-manufacturing company in France, and one of the largest in the world by workforce and production capacity. The company's portfolio ranges from civil aircraft and airliners (represented by the Avions Bloch division) to cutting-edge military planes, such as the Dassault Ouragan jet fighter.

Aluminium Industry Achieves First Export Shipments From Brazilian Smelter
Saturday, March 8, 1947 - The Société des Produits Chimiques d'Alais et de la Camargue announced that their aluminium facilities in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil have begun producing aluminium for export to the growing South American metals market. The company has invested significantly in developing a modern smelting facility as well as training a native Brazilian workforce.

Voisin et Hennequin
Wednesday, March 12, 1947 - Following a strange encounter in the bustling Water Market in Ti'en, ace pilots Voisin and Hennequin become convinced that the Sultan's half-brother Bilan is conspiring with disgruntled generals and a band of foreign mercenaries known as the 'Seven Yellow Pennants' in order to overthrow the Sultan and profit from Ti'en's supposed oil reserves.

Schneider and Fablok to Deliver Locomotives to Bulgarian State Railways
Friday, March 14, 1947 - Schneider et Cie announced that they had secured a contract to deliver forty D15 A1A-A1A diesel locomotives and ten streamlined 4-6-2 steam locomotives to the Bulgarian State Railways. The new steam locomotives will be used to pull fast inter-city passenger trains, while the D15s will be used for shunting duties. A number of major components will be manufactured in France, while assembly shall be subcontracted to one of Schnieder's industrial partners, Fablok (Pierwsza Fabryka Lokomotyw w Polsce Sp. Akc) of Chrzanów, Poland.

First Mousquetaire Delivered to French Air Force
Friday, March 21, 1947 - The French Air Force received its first jet bomber, the Dewoitine D.830 Mousquetaire, in a ceremony held today at an air base near Dijon.

New Traffic-Control Device Enters Use
Saturday, March 22, 1947 - A Dutch tourist travelling on the N1 motorway north of Paris bore the unfortunate distinction of being the first motorist in Europe to be pulled over as a result of a "radio speed teledetector" currently being trialed by French police. The new device, constructed by CSF Thomson, uses radio waves to measure an automobile's overall speed, and can be mounted in a special patrol vehicle. At the present time, French gendarmes are instructed to use the device only to issue warnings and not citations; but if the device demonstrates a high enough level of accuracy and effectiveness, that decision will be reviewed and more radio speed detectors will be procured for use.

* * * * *

- Note [1]: Although it is still technically a League Mandate under French protection, Lebanon is essentially run as an autonomous collectivity and protectorate of the overall French Union. Lebanon has no military at the present time, with external security being provided by a small brigade of the French Foreign Legion.


Wednesday, November 30th 2016, 9:09pm

Long-Delayed Q2/47 news! Huzzah!

Success of Third 'Sahara Run'
Thursday, April 3, 1947 - A grueling eleven-day "rally-raid" finished today in Dakar. The offroad rally was the third event hosted by the French Army's command in North Africa, originally designed to test the endurance of motorized reconnaissance troops assigned to Algerie, Maroc, and Tunisie, as well as sub-Saharan Africa, and was open both to motorcycles and four-wheel drive cars. This year marked a change from previous years, as the French Army moved from being the event organizer to the official event sponsor; this change resulted in French civilians having the opportunity to enlist for the rally. Despite this move, over half of the teams were still put forth by the Army and the French Foreign Legion, with all of the Armée d'Afrique's nine divisions entering a team in the motorcycle category, and seven entering a four-wheel drive team. A further eight teams were organized by civilians, although one dropped out before the beginning of the race. The motorcycle category was won by Sergeant Tahar Feraoun of the 3e Division d'Infanterie Algérienne, who rode a Gnome-Rhone. Lieutenants George Beaulieu and Edmond Pépin dit Laforce, racing on behalf of the 6e Division légère blindée, managed to narrowly achieve success in their four-wheel drive Peugeot VLR. The race was reported to be 'extremely tough' and 'grueling', with over half of the teams withdrawing either due to exhaustion or mechanical failure.

Easter Holiday
Sunday, April 6, 1947 - After a particularly brutal winter and a soggy start to spring, the Easter holiday's fine weather proved to be a considerable relief, particularly for those living in waterlogged northern France. Cleanup and recovery efforts have proven easier than in the British isles, which were hit harder by the combination of weather systems.

Tour de Normandie
Wednesday, April 23, 1947 - The Tour de Normandie bicycle race finished today in Caen.

Monaco Grand Prix - L'Union
Saturday, May 3, 1947 - Italian driver Giuseppe Farina achieved a second victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, driving a yellow Simca. A crowd of rowdy Italian fans once again disrupted the victory celebrations, pulling Farina from his vehicle and carrying him on their shoulders across part of the course. The fans also reportedly stripped his racecar for personal trophies, and Farina later told L'Union that someone walked off with two of the car's four tyres, detached and removed the steering wheel, and took his windscreen.

Voisin et Hennequin
Wednesday, May 14, 1947 - In the fourth episode of Voisin et Hennequin launches to explosive action as kidnappers target the two French pilots as they leave Ti'en's famous Water Market with information pointing to certain treachery by the Sultan's half-brother, Prince Bilan. Gagged and hooded, they are taken to Bilan's remote country house, where they are told to expect 'imminent death'. The issue closes on the revelation that Voisin has concealed a pocket knife and is cutting through his bonds.

Cannes Film Festival Opens
Monday, May 19, 1947 - The Cannes Film Festival opens today in Cannes, with the arrival of cinema stars from around France, Europe, and the world.

French Starlet Bitten by Cobras
Wednesday, May 28, 1947 - French cinema starlet Madeleine Niel, who is romantically linked to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, was reportedly bitten by a cobra while in her home in Nice. She called for help and was hurried to receive medical assistance. According to police in Nice, the actress had just returned home after attending the Cannes Film Festival. A detailed search of Niel's home by police inspectors revealed no less than six live cobras. Speaking to reporters, Nice police inspector Jean-Charles Blanc acknowledged that the snakes were 'almost certainly placed with malicious intent', but that French police had no suspects at the present time. Due to prompt medical assistance, Mle. Niel is expected to fully recover.

This is not the first time that Mle. Niel has been targetted by unsavory characters. Last December, Mle. Niel's driver was replaced by an unidentified stalker who drove her from her home in Nice to a gala held by Prince Rainier in Monaco. The stalker was not apprehended.

Jet Airliner Enters Service Between Paris and Petrograd
Friday, June 6, 1947 - Despite a delay of nearly two months from its original intent, Air France initiated its first air passenger service today with a jet aircraft, the MB.164T Boreas. The Boreas, developed jointly by Marcel Bloch and Air France, is capable of carrying thirty-two passengers, all first class, at a cruising speed of over four hundred knots. Bloch, the aircraft's chief designer, the president of Air France, and Minister of the Air Jean-François Jannekeyn embarked aboard the aircraft for its maiden flight to Petrograd. The service is advertised to appeal to first class passengers who want a smoother, quieter, faster ride than the current generation of propeller-driven passenger aircraft.

Air France reportedly intends to begin offering "Jet Service" to Berlin, London, and Rome before the end of this year. According to rumors from within the airline, setting up the service has proven more difficult than expected, since the Boreas operates on a completely different type of fuel than other aircraft, necessitating the construction of a dedicated infrastructure to service them at their turnaround point.

French Mountaineers Visiting Bharat - Le Figaro
Tuesday, June 10, 1947 - Several months ago, a small party of French mountaineers including Gustave and Patrice Remy have reportedly traveled to Bharat to collaborate with Bharati climbers in a joint summit attempt of an unknown mountain. Le Figaro now has good information from sources close to the expedition that the mountaineering team reportedly seeks to log a first ascent of an eight-thousander (a mountain of over eight thousand meters height), probably Annapurna or another remote peak in the Karakorams.

Payen PA.30 Crashes
Thursday, June 12, 1947 - The sole Payen PA.30 delta-winged experimental aircraft crashed yesterday following a belly-landing. According to ONERA, which operated the aircraft, the pilot reported that the landing gear would not lower following a routine testing flight. All efforts to lower the landing gear failed, and the pilot jettisoned all of his remaining fuel and successfully bellied the plane on a grass landing strip. The pilot walked away with minor cuts and bruises, but the aircraft shows visible signs of damage. ONERA will make the determination whether or not to write off the one-of-a-kind craft or repair it.

Suspect in Niel Cobra Case Found Dead in Genoa
Wednesday, June 18, 1947 - Three weeks after cinema starlet Madeline Niel was bitten by a cobra, one of six apparently placed in her house by an attacker, Italian police in Genoa attempted to arrest a 'person of interest' in the case, who was spotted in the vicinity of Mle. Niel's home the night before her return. Acting on a request from French investigators, two Italian officers repeatedly knocked on the door of the man's hotel room, and after several minutes, entered the room to find the man dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Nice police inspector Jean-Charles Blanc, in charge of the case, revealed that the suspect (who remains unnamed at this time due to the ongoing investigation) crossed the Italian border the same night as the attempted "cobra murder" and has spent the last three weeks living in hotels in Italy.

24 Hours of Le Mans
Saturday, June 21, 1947 - Colin Hervieux dit Lespérance and his co-driver Jean-Pierre Francillon successfully achieved their first victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although favored to win two years ago in the 1945 Le Mans, Lespérance and Francillon were knocked out due to an accident.

Salon des Tuileries
Monday, June 23, 1947 - The Salon des Tuileries art and sculpture show has opened in Paris.

Air Force Officials Delay Procurement of Cargo Helicopter
Wednesday, June 25, 1947 - Senior officials of the Armee de l'Aire decided to extend their procurement timeline for a fourteen-passenger cargo helicopter. The only current entry, the SFG SH.30 Perdrix, meets the basic recommendations, but officials have reportedly expressed some concerns about safety factors in the design, and recommended a list of forty-nine engineering changes.

French Navy Will Not Buy Revolutionary Sea-to-Air Missile - Le Spectateur Militaire Weekly
Monday, June 30, 1947 - The French Ministry of National Defense indicated today that it was terminating plans to construct warships armed with the "Trident" ship-to-aircraft guided missile. This novel weapon system was designed to permit a surface ship to fire at an inbound aircraft at long ranges, whereupon it would be guided to the target by DEM. The missile was designed jointly by a group of aviation industry leaders organized by Liore et Olivier, with funding provided jointly by the French and Russian navies. According to the Ministry's official statement, Trident is not expected to become a viable weapon-system ready for field deployment.

The Ministry's decision means that Trident will continue to receive funding for experimental purposes up until the point that a replacement program becomes viable, but that funds for the construction of a warship will probably be re-allocated. It is unknown how the French government's decision will affect the Russian Navy, which co-funded the program and laid down two warships to test their own version, labeled 'Amur'.


Wednesday, November 30th 2016, 10:13pm

IC Comments

The German Ministry of Transport is willing to enter into discussions regarding the technical requirements of the special fuel stores necessary for the MB.164T Boreas on the proposed route to Berlin.

The Kriminalpolizei is most concerned regarding the attack on Mme Niel and the novel method employed; so too is the Abwehr, given the link to the ruling house of Grimaldi and previous Italian-oriented terrorist attacks on Monegasque interests.

OOC Comments

Cobras? Surely asps are the better choice for killing off the beautiful leading lady. ;)


Thursday, December 1st 2016, 9:41am

BOAC is more than willing to co-operate on jet-fuel infrastructure within Europe given its intentions to operate a fleet of Comets from 1949/50.
The new Heathrow will have jet-fuel stocks and fuelling equipment, but I think turboprops would be the most economical choice for cross-channel operations and that's the way British airlines are going.

How does one guy carry around six cobras around and not get noticed?


Thursday, December 1st 2016, 12:13pm

How does one guy carry around six cobras around and not get noticed?

He impersonates an ice cream delivery man with his little refrigerated cart. The snakes would be dormant and easier to handle. :D


Thursday, December 1st 2016, 3:16pm

The new Heathrow will have jet-fuel stocks and fuelling equipment, but I think turboprops would be the most economical choice for cross-channel operations and that's the way British airlines are going.

Agreed. The French and Russians are developing turboprops, too (the Russians have been fielding two different turboprop-powered civil aircraft for a short while, now) and the Boreas has very limited routes where it will be economically-viable, even in the long-term.


Thursday, April 6th 2017, 8:03pm

Growth of the Indochinese Navy
Tuesday, July 1st, 1947 - The destroyers Ly Thuong Kiet and Ngo Quyen were laid down today at the FCM shipyards in Marseilles. The two destroyers, the first vessels of that type ordered for Indochina, are expected to be delivered near the end of 1948.

Voisin et Hennequin
Wednesday, July 9, 1947 - Left bound and hooded in the cellar of the treacherous Prince Bilan, French pilots Voisin and Hennequin make every effort to escape. Voisin manages to free his hands using his pocketknife, and the duo escape in Prince Bilan's own car, pursued by motorcyclists.

Bastille Day
Monday, July 14, 1947 - France celebrated the national holiday today with fireworks, military parades, and all of the other traditions.

Carrousel de Saumur
Saturday, July 19, 1947 - This year's Carrousel de Saumur opened with a demonstration by the French Armoured Cavalry branch showing the last thirty years of French tank development. The Saumer museum showed off their freshly-restored Schneider CA1, the oldest operational tank in the world, and compared it to the French Army's latest AMX-40 Char-13 Tigre. Other tanks and armoured vehicles from around the world were likewise on display, either in the exhibition halls or in the demonstration arena.

Italy Protests French Training Flight
Friday, August 22, 1947 - The Italian government expressed their displeasure after a pair of French Air Force Dewoitine D.832 Mousquetaire jet bombers flew a training mission that took them over the Tyrrhenian Sea. According to the Armee de l'Aire, the two Mousquetaires departed Ajaccio (Corsica) and flew to Sidi Ahmed (Bizerte) in French Tunisia, taking a dogleg course over the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Italian government declared that the two aircraft were tracked by radio-detection systems on Sardinia and never flew over Italian soil, but objected that the flight was "provocative". In response, the French Air Force noted that training flights between Ajaccio and Sidi Ahmed have taken place for several years without any issues. However, this was the first time the Mousquetaire jet bomber had participated in the missions.

Voisin et Hennequin
Wednesday, September 10, 1947 - Defeating pursuit by Prince Bilan's henchmen, Voisin and Hennequin return swiftly to the French mission in Ti'en's capital. Although they lack evidence of Prince Bilan's treachery, they discover the prince has fled to the northern islands of Belitung Mangkal, where his rebel forces have been joined by the mercenaries of the Seven Yellow Pennants, led by a dangerous pilot known only as 'Jinlung'.

Kossou Dam Completed
Saturday, September 13, 1947 - The Kossou Dam on Côte d'Ivoire's Bandama River, located near the city of Yamoussoukro, has officially completed. The dam will create a reservoir called Lake Kossou, and shall provide electric power to the growing city of Yamoussoukro.

Leak: Training Flight Interrupted Italian Electronics Test?
Le Spectateur Militaire Weekly | Monday, September 15, 1947 - According to an anonymous source who spoke to the Italian newspaper Il Mattino, the French Air Force's August 21st training flight over the Tyrrhenian Sea interrupted a test of an Italian radio-navigation bombing aid. According to the anonymous source, the bombing guidance system is apparently able to mimic the French civil aircraft radio-navigation system, which the two Mousquetaires were using for their training flight. According to aviation experts, had French civil airliners been in the region at the time, they could have been misled into following false radio navigation beacons, possibly with serious consequences. While the Aeronautica Militare wished to cover the incident up, the Italian government felt that the Armée de l'air had intentionally interrupted the exercise in order to discover the capabilities of the new Italian system, thus driving their protest.

Il Mattino has not published the full account of the interview, as the Italian government allegedly ordered Il Mattino's editors to suppress the story or face legal action.

French Diver Dies Attempting Depth Record
Wednesday, September 17, 1947 - French Navy Petty Officer Maurice Fargues was pronounced dead following an experiment to establish a new depth record for aqualung diving. Petty Officer Fargues reached a depth of 120m, whereupon he apparently became affected by issues with the extreme depth, losing his breathing mouthpiece and drowning. The mission commander ordered Fargues pulled to the surface when he stopped responding on his safety line, but it was too late to revive the diver.

Fargues' death is the first known time a diver has died while employing the aqualung.

Grand Prix des Nations
Saturday, September 20, 1947 - The Grand Prix des Nations cycling race completed today.


Friday, April 7th 2017, 5:44pm

Hmmm... surprises me that the "anonymous source" was not found dead the next day, having 'accidentally' cut off his head while shaving... It is the Italian way after all. :)


Friday, April 7th 2017, 6:49pm

Hmmm... surprises me that the "anonymous source" was not found dead the next day, having 'accidentally' cut off his head while shaving... It is the Italian way after all. :)

No, the Italian way is to sit down in the barber's chair for the shave and to be 'accidently' shot, multiple times, by several assailants, whom no one noticed.


Wednesday, May 31st 2017, 3:57am

French Government Responds to Italian Protest
Thursday, October 2, 1947 - An official spokesman for the Armée de l'air asserted today that they would not discontinue training flights between Ajaccio and Sidi Ahmed, Tunisie, despite the recent Italian protests. However, the Armée de l'air declared that they would provide Italy with twenty-four hours notice before conducting a training flight. At the same time, the spokesman delivered a stinging rebuke to the Italian Aeronautica Militare, objecting to their test of a system 'designed to disrupt international civilian radio-navigation' and their 'childish oversensitivity' about military flights over international waters.

Meanwhile, Italian social left newspaper Il Mattino denied rumors that the Italian government had ordered them to suppress their reporting on the story, claiming that they had published what they felt was appropriate and no more; the paper remains the only Italian publication to print the story.

What the Bird Has to Say - Le Canard enchaîné
Wednesday, October 8, 1947 - In an incindiary exposé, Le Canard enchaîné accused French prime minister Joseph Delattre of 'gross misconduct' in his personal affairs, ranging from his expense record to an allegation of misbehavior with minors.

French PM Named in Misconduct Case - La Croix
Thursday, October 9, 1947 - Following allegations of misconduct leveled by Le Canard enchaîné, President of the Council (Prime Minister) Joseph Delattre became the subject of a formal investigation. Delattre, speaking directly to the press, denied the rumors in absolute terms, and declared that the investigation would demonstrate his case.

Political observers note that regardless of the result of the investigation, Delattre's position in the cabinet is particularly weak. Delattre is a member of the center-left Front Républicaine, which formed a coalition government with the center-right Alliance Républicaine following the 1946 elections. The Front Républicaine charged a high price for their participation, demanding and receiving the premiership in the cabinet. The Leftist Delattre, who lacks experience in international politics, was one of the only candidates that both parties could accept, and heads a center-right cabinet which he cannot control. The balance of governmental power instead lies in the hands of President Quentin Clemenceau and Vice President of the Council Edmond Michelet, with Delattre widely regarded as a 'spare wheel' in the political scene.

Syrian Army Increases Military Build-up
Tuesday, October 14, 1947 - In a press release made public yesterday evening, the Syrian government announced its intention to order another eighty-eight medium tanks from China, as well as solidifying their intent to license-manufacture the type under the name al-Walid. The expanded Syrian order will be sufficient to equip two more tank battalions. The Syrian Army is also rumored to be interested in the Yugoslavian-built M47 motor infantry carrier.

Lambert Expedition Departs Toulon
Thursday, October 23, 1947 - The research ship Naturaliste departed Toulon today, bound for the Antarctic coast in order to deliver an expedition team to Charcot Station. The expedition, headed by Capitaine de Corvette Mathieu Lambert, plans to construct a brand new central building at Charcot Station, featuring a twelve-man dormitory, permanent research quarters, and a wireless station. The old central building at Charcot Station - a four-man temporary structure constructed in 1937 - will be decommissioned and turned into a storage shed.

French Army Ends Operation Scipion
Monday, October 27, 1947 - In a final report released today, the French Army disbanded Groupement Scipion, the Légion étrangère's mission to the Inner Niger Delta region. Groupement Scipion, consisting principally of the 1er Régiment étranger de parachutistes (1er REP), the 1er Régiment étranger de génie (1er REG), and several other support units, was activated in September of 1944 in order to suppress Islamic bandits in sub-Saharan Africa. As no combat has occurred since July of this year, the Army senior command declared an end to Operation Scipion, transitioning full control back to local authorities.

In the Army's official report, released today, the conflict was officially named the Inner Niger Delta Insurgency, with the response by the French colonial authorities and local officials falling under the catch-all name "Operation Scipion". Overshadowed in the popular press by the violent and bloody anticolonialist operations against the Dutch in Oubangi-Chari, the conflict pitted a small number of Islamic combatants - believed to number no more than fifteen hundred men at their peak - against the skill of the French Foreign Legion and the locally-raised Senegalese Tirailleurs. In the final accounting set out by the Scipion Report, the French Army indicates the following statistics:

According to the official report (titled Report on Operation Scipion), the insurgency was primarily carried out by a loosely-organized group called the Frères de Mahomet (FM), which was started by a group of Islamic Arabs who came in from Libya or possibly Egypt. Recruiting locally, often by force, the FM began operating in the difficult-to-traverse Inner Niger Delta, operating in the countryside and attempting to build up power and authority by controlling food sources (principally rice), either through raiding villages or pirating river traffic. The militants rapidly overwhelmed local village law enforcement, resulting in the necessity of employing the military, in the form of the locally-recruited Senegalese Tirailleurs and the French Foreign Legion.

Groupement Scipion, composed of the French Foreign Legion troops and supporting members of the French Air Force and Navy, took the lead in combatting the FM and other related groups, while the Senegalese Tirailleurs cordoned off secured areas to prevent the spread of the insurgency. Recognizing the overwhelming material superiority of the military forces, the insurgents avoided combat and focused their efforts on controlling the local populace. The French Army combatted this by protecting villages and rice shipments, ensuring the local population remained unsympathetic to the insurgent forces.

French Airliner "Stalked" by Italian Jet
Wednesday, October 29, 1947 - An Air France Bloch MB.970 Transatlantique airliner, with 92 passengers and 7 crew, was reportedly shadowed by an Italian Cinghiale jet fighter while on a flight from Paris to Athens, during which it flew its filed flight-plan over Italian territory. The Transatlantique's pilot first noticed the jet midway through the flight, and flashed the aircraft's landing and navigation lights to indicate discomfort at how close the Italian pilot got to the airliner. The jet then reportedly dropped back into the airliner's aft quarter, where the aircraft crew had a great deal of difficulty observing its movements. After nearly thirty minutes, the jet disengaged and dove away.

French Government Issues Complaint to Rome
Friday, October 31, 1947 - President Clemenceau summoned the Italian ambassador to the Palais de l'Élysée to demand a formal explanation for the October 29 airliner incident, alleging that an Italian military jet endangered a French civilian airliner during a scheduled flight over the Italian peninsula. The focus of the French complaint was leveled at the proximity of the two aircraft, which the pilot and crew felt was too close for safe operation.

Delattre Resigns
Monday, November 3, 1947 - Prime Minister Joseph Delattre resigned his post in the government today, attributing the move to his inability to control the cabinet he is appointed to lead. The resignation briefly fueled rumors regarding the likely result of a misconduct investigation; however, the French parliament announced their findings barely two hours after Delattre's resignation became public knowledge. The head of the Ethics Committee announced that he had found no serious justification for the charges exposed by Le Canard enchaîné in early October. With regard to the accusation of mishandling public funds and improper behavior with minors, the investigation declared that Delattre had made 'some questionable calls', but that they found no ethics violations meriting legal action.

The Front Républicaine advised President Clemenceau that Delattre's replacement must come from the ranks of their own party, or they would leave the coalition they have formed with the center-right Alliance Républicaine.

Voisin et Hennequin
Wednesday, November 12, 1947 - In the seventh issue of Voisin et Hennequin, the heroes find themselves assisting the Sultan of Ti'en to defeat his rebellious half-brother, Prince Bilan, who has taken refuge on the island of Belitung Mangkal. Supported by a band of mercenary airmen known as the Seven Yellow Pennants, Prince Bilan seizes several French and British oil tankers travelling through the narrow Mangkal Straits, threatening to cause more damage unless the French and British support him against the Sultan. While the diplomats hesitate, Voisin and Hennequin propose an aggressive action to defeat Jinlung, the mysterious ace leader of the Seven Yellow Pennants, and permit the Sultan's loyal troops to reconquer the island of Belitun Mangkal.

President Names New PM Candidate
Thursday, November 13, 1947 - President Quentin Clemenceau nominated Front Républicaine politician Bastien Maillard, currently a deputy in the lower house of Parliament, as a replacement for Joseph Delattre.

Sahara 'Rally-Raid' to be Opened to International Competition
Friday, November 21, 1947 - Organizers announced that the 4th Sahara Run - an automotive offroad 'rally-raid' between Algiers and Dakar sponsored by the French Army, will be open to foreign competitors for the 1948 race, scheduled to begin on March 20th of next year. As with French civilian entries, foreign competitors are required to either present qualifying credentials from their national motorsport organization, or have sponsorship from their national military, a vehicle manufacturer, or other reputable automotive organization.

Sébillot Resigns
Thursday, December 11, 1947 - Minister of the Interior Marcel Sébillot resigned from his post in the Cabinet today, citing that he wished to step out of political life after serving over six years at Place Beauvau, serving both under President Clemenceau and President Theisman.

Unconfirmed rumors, however, indicate that the true reason for Sébillot's departure might instead lie with 'irreconciliable differences' with recently-placed Prime Minister Bastien Maillard. According to reports circulated by Le Figaro, Sébillot tendered his resignation directly to President Clemenceau; the President initially refused it and then offered to name Sébillot as the Ambassador to Belgium, which Sébillot declined. Le Figaro also noted a rumor from the Palais de l'Élysée that Madeline Barthelemy, the Minister of Finance, offered her resignation yesterday to the president, but was talked into retracting it after speaking with Clemenceau.

Annual Events
Friday, December 12, 1947 - The Salon nautique international de Paris (a nautical trade show) and the Salon du Cheval opened simultaneously at the Centre des nouvelles industries et technologies in the La Défense district of Paris.

Maillard Resigns
Tuesday, December 23, 1947 - Less than two months after being appointed prime minister to replace Joseph Delattre, Bastien Maillard resigned his post, citing 'a complete inability' to work with the other members of his cabinet and with President Clemenceau. Maillard's resignation puts the coalition cabinet in difficult straits, as the leading Alliance Républicaine continues to depend on their coalition with the center-left Front Républicaine to maintain a majority government.

Miscellaneous 1947 News
Taos Amrouche publishes her first novel (autobiographical), Jacinthe noir.

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4th Sahara Run
Background: The Sahara Run was first organized by French Army officer Captaine Thierry Giraudeau, principally as an informal way of challenging motorized troops based in French North Africa. In 1941, Giraudeau led a grueling military vehicle testing and desert-mapping expedition traversed West Africa, starting in Abidjan and ending in Algiers. Giraudeau organized an unsponsored race between units of the XIe Corps d'Armée in January of 1942. In December 1942, another race of approximately 2,300km was organized by the Tirailleurs Senegalaise between Dakar and Timbuktu; the winners challenged XIe Corps to a cross-Sahara race. Giraudeau organized an event for 1943, but the Army leadership opposed the idea. In 1945, Giraudeau argued convincingly for military support, resulting in an Abidjan-to-Algiers rally-raid as the 1st Sahara Run. The Tirailleurs Senegalaise repeated their Dakar-Timbuktu rally in 1943 and 1944, but in 1945 merged their event with Giraudeau's Sahara Run. In 1946, Giraudeau instituted the car/truck and motorcycle divisions, and the course began in Dakar and ended in Algiers; this pattern has been repeated in following years. In 1947, the race allowed French civilians to enter provided they were sponsored by a manufacturer or motorsport organization (although most entries were still from the French Army), and in 1948 the event was opened to international participation, again requiring sponsorship.

Rules as of 1948:
-- Car/Truck Class: one vehicle with a driver and a navigator.
-- Motorcycle Class: one motorcycle with a rider.
-- Start Date: March 20th.
-- A team may possess two chase trucks; they must have all spare parts and supplies used by the team and their vehicles (including the chase trucks themselves) for the duration of the race. The crew of the chase trucks is not limited, but must not be exchanged during the race.
-- Teams must carry their own fuel, including for the chase trucks. A fuel dump may be pre-placed in Timbuktu (halfway point) for resupply.
-- The vehicle and the chase trucks must have a working wireless radio (to call for assistance if stranded).
-- At least one member of the team must qualify as a field medic (to address injuries and ensure proper nutrition/hydration, etc).
-- The team members must submit to a daily health inspection to ensure proper rest, nutrition, and hydration. The inspector may invoke a twelve-hour or twenty-four hour penalty on the basis of health concerns. Two penalties, regardless of length, result in disqualification from the competition.
-- Ramming and sabotage is not permitted and grounds for disqualification (potentially of both teams, if fault cannot be proven).
-- Teams are permitted to carry firearms for security, if desired.
-- If the vehicle is damaged beyond repair, the team is disqualified with a 'did not complete' mark.
-- If a team member is injured in such a way as to require medical attention, the team is disqualified with a 'did not complete' mark.
-- Each division of the French 2e Armée (Armée d'Afrique), and each regiment of the Tirailleurs Senegalaise, is guaranteed one spot in the car and motorcycle classes. The French Foreign Legion is guaranteed three spots in both categories to fill at their discretion.
-- Civilian and foreign competitors must present qualifying credentials from either a recognized national motorsport body, a recognized automotive manufacturer, or their nation's armed forces.