Ships - like people. Each has its own destiny. They are born, live long, or not, life in a blaze of glory or a modest worker, and die, sometimes die tragically. Nowadays, more rarely ships used as a passenger vehicle - if you need to cross the ocean, it's easier and faster to do on the plane. And a huge ocean liners began to cruise, carry tourists on the seas, oceans, even to circumnavigate the globe. And until the second half of the twentieth century passenger ships were the cheapest mode of transport, if it was necessary to get from one continent to another.
Maritime powers sought to outdo each other by building huge ships and competing in the speed of delivery of passengers and cargo. Particularly acute struggle for the speed was between the Atlantic basin countries: Britain, France, Germany, USA. It was created for the Atlantic high-speed, comfortable and expensive trial, and it was here conceived and developed a tough fight for the challenge prize "Blue Riband", awarded to the liner, which is the shortest time overcame the way from the coast of England to the United States. Prize "Blue Riband" first purely symbolic, then as a silver goblet, lasted more than a hundred years, from 1840 to 1952, when the last time he was awarded the American liner "United jersey states».
It is in the fight for this prize captain, or rather infamous owner of "Titanic", ignored warning about the danger of a collision with an iceberg and did not change the course that led to the tragedy. In the history of the "Blue Riband" a lot of sad pages. This article - one of the largest and most expensive ships of the first half of the twentieth century - "Normandy", whose fate was such that he died not in the ocean, in the struggle against the elements, and in the harbor, at the quay wall.
Transatlantic liner "Normandie" was launched in October 1932 at the French shipyard "Pennoet" in Saint-Nazaire. Moreover, during the descent, when the giant ship the stocks included in the water, on the shore of a huge wave rushed and took more than a hundred workers and visitors, standing close to the stern. Fortunately, they were all saved. Although many saw the incident negative omen. In those thirties, the capitalist world was gripped by economic crisis, unemployment and the number of people wishing to cross the Atlantic has declined sharply, despite the fact that shipping companies to reduce the cost of tickets. Therefore, the shipowner, the company "French Line", postponed the first flight of a new vessel until 1935, partly explaining this completion and additional equipment.
"Normandy" had enormous size. The length of its body is 313, 75 meters, width - 35, 9 meters, depth - 28, while the average sediment to the waterline - 11, 2 meters. Gross tonnage - 83,400 registered tons (RT), the engine power - 160 000 hp For comparison, the legendary "Titanic" had a length of 269 meters, gross tonnage 46,300 RT, engine power 46 thousand hp. and significantly lower than all other parameters. If the "Normandy" stand upright next to the Eiffel Tower, the tower would have been lower in height to 15 meters! In his eleven decks could accommodate 1,972 passengers and 1,285 team.
"Normandy" for several years had been the largest vessel in the world. Although soon, in 1936, the UK has launched its gigantic ship - "Queen Mary» (Queen Mary), inferior "Normandy" in length by only 3 meters and displacement for a couple of tons, has the same engine power. But in terms of maneuverability and luxury interior decoration "Normandy" was the first! These two liner until the Second World War fought with varying success for the possession of the prize "Blue Riband". As one traveler put it: "Queen Mary" - an English lady in a tracksuit and "Normandy" - a young Frenchwoman in a ball gown ».
Despite the huge size, "Normandy" are easy and graceful yachts, easily gliding through the water at speeds of over 30 knots (knot - a nautical mile per hour), leaving little behind the waves. This was due to the ideal in terms of hydro- and aerodynamics hull form developed by the chief designer of the liner, Russian naval engineer VI Yurkevich (it needs a separate article). In designing the "Normandy" Yurkevich helped two Russian emigre engineer. Engines on the liner installed on the system engineer and inventor in the field of diesel engine V.P.Arshaulova, propellers - the system for a talented engineer, AN Kharkevich. A salons were painted the same Russian emigre artist Alexander E. Yakovlev.
One of the specific features of Korablin was turboelektricheskaya power plant. Ships with similar units if there were no more. In the first flight "Normandy" has surpassed all the best indicators liners of the time: the duration of the transition, average speed, daily run. In the last minutes of flight at the match hoisted a blue pennant, indicating that the "Normandy" has set a new record for the Atlantic, developing an average speed of about 30 knots and breaking way from Le Havre to New York for 4 nights for 3 hours and 5 minutes! All passengers received a medal with the image of "Blue Riband" and the words "Made in France". In honor of the first flight "Normandy" was released a special postage stamp. On board the liner passengers could send a letter in an envelope with a picture of a silhouette of the vessel, quenching brands produced a special postmark.