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SS L'Atlantique, owned by the Compagnie de Navigation Sud Atlantique (a subsidiary of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique or French Line) was the largest and most luxurious ocean liner on the Europe-South America run until her untimely destruction by fire.
L'Atlantique's keel was laid on 28 November 1928 at the Chantiers et Ateliers shipyards in St. Nazaire, France for service between France and South America.[She was launched on 15 April 1930, making her maiden voyage between 29 September and 31 October of the same year.In 1932, her funnels were raised by 16.5 feet.
]In early January 1933, while traveling between Bordeaux and Le Havre to be refitted, the liner caught fire around 25 miles (40 km)from the Isle of Guernsey.The blaze was believed to have started in a first class stateroom, and was discovered by the ship's crew at around 3:30 in the morning.The fire spread rapidly, and by early morning the ship's captain, Rene Schoofs, ordered the crew of 200 to abandon ship.[Four freighters responded to the ship's distress call, one of which, the SS Achilles, a Dutch steamship, rescued the entire crew.During the afternoon, L'Atlantique began listing to port, and on 5 January the French Ministry of Marine issued a statement saying the ship was considered a total loss.The liner was towed to Cherbourg, where the fire was extinguished on 8 January, and she remained docked while the ship's owners and insurers debated her fate, eventually resulting in the payment US$6.8 million to Compagnie de Navigation Sud Atlantique for the loss.In February 1936, she was sold for scrap, and broken up by the firm of Smith & Houston in Glasgow.
L'Atlantique weighed between 40,000[ and 42,500 gross tons, and was 733 feet long, with a beam of 92 feet and a draft of 29.5 feet She was powered by four triple-expansion steam turbine engines with a total of 45,000 shaft horsepower driving four propellers at a speed of 21 knots (24 mph). She could carry 1,238 passengers, of which 488 were in first class, 88 in second class and 662 in third class, and 663 crew. Unusually for the time, she was built with very little sheer and camber.
The ship was built with a largely art deco interior built on an unusual axial floor plan with a wide hallway up to 20 feet in width on each of the passenger decks and a foyer at the center of the ship three decks high.Interior decorations were largely made of glass, marble, and various woods, making for a more subdued atmosphere than was present in other Compagnie Générale Transatlantique ships like the SS Ile de France. The interior furnishings were designed by Albert Besnard and Pierre Patout et Messieurs Raguenet et Maillard.
Product Code: 22665
Author: Lee Streater
Format: SB 120 pp
Published Price £19.99
Shipping Time: This item is usually dispatched Next Day
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