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Richelieu (cruiser)

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Richelieu (cruiser)

Postby shipstamps » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:39 am

SP 443.jpg
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Although stamp catalogues describe this vessel as the French Battleship Richelieu, the stamp actually depicts the anti-aircraft cruiser Colbert, in which President de Gaulle visited St Pierre & Miquelon. She has a displacement of 8,720 tons and a length of 597ft. A compliment of 977 and Parsons geared turbines driving twin screw shafts giving a speed of 32 knots.
The Colbert was built at Brest and laid down on March 24, 1956. She was commissioned on May 5, 1959
St Pierre SG443
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Re: Richelieu (cruiser) COLBERT

Postby aukepalmhof » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:16 pm

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Built as an anti-air cruiser by Chantiers Arsenal Brest at Brest for the French Navy.
December 1953 keel laid down.
24 March 1956 launched as the COLBERT (C 611) named after Jean-Baptiste Colbert.
Displacement 8,500 tons standard, 11,300 tons full load. Dim.180.47 x 20.31 x 7.9m. (draught)
Powered by 2 sets of CEM-Parsons geared turbines, 86,000 shp., twin shafts, speed 31 knots.
Range by a speed of 25 knots, 4,000 mile.
Armament: 16 – 127mm AA guns, 20 – 57 mm guns.
Crew 997.
05 May 1959 commissioned.

She was made part of a 15-ship squadron, with the main aims of protecting aircraft carriers from air attack, shore bombardment for ground operations, command hub for naval operations and evacuating French expatriates from overseas. In 1964 a naval reorganisation made her the flagship of France's Mediterranean squadron at Toulon, which was mainly made up of complementary units such as aircraft-carriers and frigates.
Her role as a foreign representative of France was important. In 1961 she repatriated the remains of Marshal Hubert Lyautey and she ferried General De Gaulle both on his 1964 South American tour and on his June-July 1967 official visit to Canada (the latter trip was the occasion of his famous "Vive le Québec libre speech” - the diplomatic row which followed put an end to the trip). During the Atlantic crossing on board Colbert De Gaulle signed a number of decrees, such as n°67-611 (23 July 1967, on interpreters in the army reserve) and n°67-612 (on interpreters in the naval reserve). The COLBERT also represented France at the bicentennial festivities in Australia in 1988.
Built too late, after the cruiser's time as the main arbiter of naval warfare had passed, the Colbert was superseded at the end of the 1960s by a new generation of ships better adapted to new threats. Her big-gun-based armament had become obsolete and inefficient against supersonic attack aircraft and thus between 1970 and 1972 she underwent extensive modifications in Brest to become a missile cruiser, with a double ramp of MASURCA (MArine SURface Contre Avions - Naval Surface to Air Missiles) missiles. Her armament after the refit: 4 – MM-38 Exocet systems, 1 Masurca missile system, 2 – 100mm AA guns, 12 – 57mm model 51 guns, 2 – 12.7mm AA guns
She once again became flagship for the Mediterranean squadron from 1976, but her duties from then on were mainly humanitarian or representative - Agadir in 1960 and the evacuation of Bizerte in 1961. She gained a reputation within the French Navy as a ship that had never fired a single shot in anger, with her only ever active service being in the 1991 Gulf War (operation "Salamandre") a few months before she was decommissioned on 24 May that year.
Between June 1993 and 2007, she was a museum and monument historique in the port of Bordeaux. During 2004 she was France's most-visited museum ship and the city's most-visited historic attraction. She was a private museum, belonging to the state but with the museum's running handed over to "The Friends of the Colbert" association. A visit lasted between 2 and 3 hours, with guided visits given access to parts of the ship closed off to the public, such as the engine rooms and cabins. The ship also housed several permanent exhibitions on the Navy, Météo-France and architectural models (in which one could see modelers at work). The ship's siren went off at midday every Wednesday and Sunday. A covered restaurant and dance-room was built on her foredeck, served by the ship's former kitchens. A "Colbert" stop on the quay by the ship was even planned on the city's tramway, allowing faster access to or from the city centre and thus increase visitor numbers, whilst the ship's presence led to the quays becoming highly developed.
However, the museum ship also had its critics in the city, such as those living by the quays (a "Let's Sink the Colbert" association even fielded a candidate in the municipal elections of 1995), and the ship also got into recurring financial problems - despite being the owner, the state did not pay its maintenance costs necessary to keep up the ship's security and image (to completely repaint the ship, for example, cost more than 500,000 €, too high a price for the museum's budget). Under pressure from the Mairie of the city and local associations, and without other funding forthcoming, the museum ship closed to the public on 2 October 2006.
She was towed on 31May 2007 to join the mothball fleet in Landevennec. Due to major technological similarities, the Navy takes parts from her from time to time (mainly from the engines) to supply the helicopter-carrier JEANNE D’ARC, which will be decommissioned in 2010, thus meaning the COLBERT can not be scrapped before.

St Pierre et Miguelon 1967 100f sg443, scottC36. 1999 3.00F sg?, scott? (Why Stanley Gibbons still gives her name as RICHELIEU, the profile of the ship is clearly that of the COLBERT.
Guinea 2012 15000 fg sg?, scott?
Source: The World’s Navies.
Last edited by aukepalmhof on Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Richelieu (cruiser)

Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:56 pm

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On 5 June 2016 COLBERT arrived under tow at Bassens, River Gironde for decontamination and demolition.

(TAAF 2019, €2.80, StG.?)
D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen
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