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Bérengier - Giannoni - Rastit (Shipping companies, France)

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: berengier | giannoni | rastit | camel | letter: b (black) | letters: abc (white) | letters: cmng (white) | letters: gr (red) |
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Presentation of the Bérengier, Giannoni and Rastit companies

The three shipowners Bérengier, Giannoni and Rastit had tightly interlaced business. Rastit, the founder of the Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation was Giannoni's son-in-law, whereas Bérengier was his associate.

In the beginning of the 20th century, Bérengier operated a small sailing ship with an auxiliary engine to ship his products to Rabat and Salé (Morocco). In 1928, he set up a partnership with Giannoni to buy SS Général-Dodds, built in 1882, to be operated on a scheduled line serving Oran (Algeria) and eastern Morocco. Very successful in spite of being so old, the ship, deemed too small, was put out to scrap and replaced in 1931 by SS Sebaa (in Arabic, "Lion"). The company bought another, smaller ship, SS Boudjmel (in Arabic, "Camel") and set up a scheduled line between Marseilles, Sète, Nice and Oran.
Seized by Italy during the Second World War and renamed Forli, SS Sebaa was sunk in 1943 by a British submarine near Palermo (Sicily), whereas SS Boudjmel was scuttled in 1942 in the port of Oran.
Having lost their fleet, the two associates ended their partnership and founded two new companies, each on his own with the support of bigger shipping companies.

Bérengier was supported by the Union Industrielle et Maritime (UIM), which transfered to him in 1946 one of its ships, renamed MS Boudjmel. Bérengier subsequently bought, or was transferred by the UIM, a series of small cargo ships. Among these ships, MS Colomb-Béchar was sold in 1965 to the Navy for the Nuclear Trials Center in the Pacific Ocean; renamed Tarn, the ship was sunk in 1970 as a trial target. The independence of Algeria disrupted Bérengier's activity, whose remaining fleet was purchased in 1968 by the UIM.

Giannoni, helped by Worms and the Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation owned by his son-in-law Rastit, founded two small companies, the Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Giannoni and the Armement Giannoni-Rastit. In 1971, Giannoni attempted to open a line in New Caledonia with MS Nemours, renamed Capitaine-Tasman; after the failure of the line, Giannoni withdrew from business.

Source: Paul Bois. Armements marseillais - Compagnies de navigation et navires à vapeur (1831-1988), published by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille-Provence [boi03].

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

Armement Bérengier

[Flag of Berengier]         [Second flag of Berengier]

House flag of the Armement Bérengier, first and second versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

Bérengier's first house flag, used from 1946 to 1951, is white with four triangles in the corners, blue at hoist and red at fly, and a black "B" and a camel (indeed a dromadary) in the white field. The camel recalls the name of Bérengier's ship, MS Boudjmel (in Arabic, "Camel").
From 1951 onwards, Bérengier used a flag divided yellow-blue by the ascending diagonal and charged with the white letters "A B C" placed from the upper hoist to the lower fly and standing for "Armement Bérengier & Cie".

Source: Paul Bois [boi03]

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Gianonni

[Flag of Gianonni]         [Flag of Gianonni]

House flag of the Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Gianonni, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 12 November 2005

P. Bois [boi03] shows the house flag of the Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Gianonni as horizontally divided blue-white-blue with the letters "CMNG" in the white stripe. The colour plate in the beginning of Bois' book shows the letters in black whereas they are marked with "b" (for blue) on the black and white drawing of the flag shown p. 366.

Ivan Sache & Neale Rosanoski, 12 November 2005

Armement Gianonni-Rastit

[Flag of Gianonni-Rastit]

House flag of Armement Gianonni-Rastit - Image by Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

P. Bois [boi03] shows the house flag of Armement Gianonni-Rastit as blue with a white diamond charged with the red, interlaced letters "GR".

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004