THE ILE DE FRANCE by Don Stanford


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In part reminiscent of two other fine books of the sea, A Night to Remember, and Collision Course, this exciting and moving tale is at once a story of modern sea adventure and the biography of a single beautiful ship, one of the most famous liners of our day. Never the largest nor fastest ship afloat but in her time the most luxurious and best beloved, the Ile de France made her first triumphal entry into New York in June, 1927, and in the years before the war knew princes and smugglers, beauties and stowaways, financiers and gamblers and statesmen. Escaping to Singapore when France surrendered, she was reconditioned in Australia as a troopship, carrying mutinous Australian soldiers to Africa and mutinous Germans to Australia, Americans to various ports, and officials everywhere. Welcomed a second time in triumph when she sailed in war garb into New York for a second reconditioning, she returned again to the Atlantic run, beloved by her passengers and famed for many rescues, the most dramatic that of some 700 passengers from the sinking Andrea Doria, the most dangerous her rescue, in a howling storm, of 24 seamen from a foundering freighter, the Greenville. Worn out at last, she was sold by France in 1959 to Japan to be scrapped, only to be purchased, against the terms of sale, by a Hollywood movie magnate, who sank her ignominiously in the making of a picture. Carefully documented and written in clear and unadorned prose, this book will appeal to all lovers of ships and the sea, to armchair and saltwater sailors, and to travelers who like to read good books in transatlantic planes; a tale to remember.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1960
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts