Normandy heads for the scrapyard

Fire and Salvage

Cover for Normandie book Volume 5A hardback book covering the sad demise of French Line’s historic liner Normandie. This is the fifth volume in a monumental series.

Following the tragic events of September 1939, Normandie was laid up at New York. She was  carefully guarded pending the outcome of the situation in Europe. Once America had entered the war in 1941, plans were drawn up for the best use of Normandie. Ideas included an aircraft carrier, aircraft transporter, hospital ship or troopship.

Conversion of Normandie

Finally conversion work to a troopship, to be known as Lafayette, was started. Following a series of incompetent decisions and careless workmen, tragically she caught fire. Despite heroic efforts, she rolled over at her pier. The fire and capsize is thoroughly covered in detailed text and photographs.

The world’s largest salvage operation

Too badly damaged to be worth trying to save, the decision was taken to undertake the largest salvage operation to date. After months of planning and discussions, the near super-human task of salvaging Normandie began. She lay on her side, deep in the mud at New York City’s pier 88. Following lengthy and often dangerous work by divers and salvage crews, the hulk was righted. Finally she was towed off to be scrapped at the Lipsett scrapyard in New Jersey.

Her demolition brought an end to the story of what was arguably the greatest ocean liner ever.  

Other books in this series cover the design and construction, the Art Deco interiors, the maiden season winning the Blue Riband on the North Atlantic and the following years of service.

A marvellous resource (the full Normandie set) – I wish this had been available years ago! John Maxtone-Graham

Your Normandie books hold a revered space on my bookshelf. Mario Pulice

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152 pages with 550 photographs. £38.00 plus shipping



recording the history of famous liners in beautiful hardback books