Directed by Louis Emile Galey and featuring a score by Georges Delerue, TECHNICIENS A POMPON ROUGE presents the French Navy in the aftermath of WWII. The film was likely made to promote the French Navy and demonstrate its return to greatness following the devastating losses of WWII. During the war many capital ships were destroyed by the Royal Navy and by the hands of its own sailors -- scuttled to prevent capture and use by the Germans. Here is the fleet as it appeared after considerable rebuilding, with ex-German and USA ships in use. The A461 Gustave Zédé (ex Kriegsmarine submarine tender Saar) is seen at 1:40 and 2:14, the light cruiser FS Georges Leygues is seen at 1:45, and the aircraft carrier Lafayette (R96) is seen at 2:03. Notably some of these shots were captured from a biplane, probably a naval observation aircraft. At 2:18 the S612 Bouan (ex Kriegsmarine Type IXC U-510) submarine is shown, followed at 2:23 by what looks like an Aurore class sub probably S606 La Créole. At 2:31 the La Galissonnière-class cruisers Gloire (with the extra comms mast aft) and Georges Leygues are shown.
The École Navale, the French Naval Academy in charge of the education of the officers of the French Navy, is seen at 4:50 and following. The École Navale and its research institute (IRENAV) are in Lanvéoc-Poulmic, south of the roadstead of Brest. Life is shown aboard various ships including many aspects and duties of sailors from navigation, to electronic guidance, ship operation, etc.
At 10:49 D601 Marceu (ex Kriegsmarine type 1936A destroyer Z31) is shown. At 13:50 a fleet visit to North Africa is shown, possibly Casablanca or Oran, with men of the Georges Leygues going ashore and exploring ancient marketplaces and marveling at local customs and inhabitants.
The aircraft carrier Lafayette shown conducting operations at 17:40 was an 11,000-ton Independence-class aircraft carrier that served the French Navy from 1951 to 1963. She was the first French vessel named after the 18th century general Marquis de Lafayette. She was originally the USS Langley (CVL-27), serving the United States Navy from 1943 to 1947.
The Georges Leygues was a French light cruiser of the La Galissonnière class. During World War II, she served with both Vichy France and Allies. In 1954, along with Montcalm, she was used for fire support in Indochina. In 1956, she took part in the Suez Crisis, during which she led a group of French warships providing fire support for Israeli ground forces in the Gaza Strip.
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