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Bérengier - Giannoni - Rastit (Shipping companies, France)

Last modified: 2006-12-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: berengier | giannoni | rastit | camel | letter: b (black) | letters: abc (white) | letters: cmng (white) | letters: gr (red) |
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History of Bérengier - Giannoni - Rastit

It is convenient to present the three shipowners Bérengier, Giannoni and Rastit under a common heading, since their respective careers are tightly interlaced. Rastit, the founder of the Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation was Giannoni's son-in-law, whereas Bérengier and Rastit were associates.

In the beginning of the XXth century, Bérengier operated a small sailing ship with an auxiliary engine in order to ship his products to Rabat and Salé (Morocco). In 1928, he set up an alliance with Giannoni and they bought SS Général-Dodds to operate a scheduled line to Oran (Algeria) and eastern Morocco. Although very old (1882), the ship was very successful but was deemed too small and put out to scrap and replaced by SS Sebaa (in Arabic, lion) in 1931. The company bought another, smaller ship, SS Boudjmel (in Arabic, camel) and set up a scheduled line between Marseilles, Sète, Nice and Oran. SS Sebaa was seized by Italy, renamed Forli, and sunk by a British submarine near Palermo (Sicily) in 1943, whereas SS Boudjmel was scuttled in the port of Oran in 1942.
Having completely lost their fleet, the two associates ended their alliance and founded separately two new companies, with the support of bigger shipping companies.

Bérengier was supported by the Union Industrielle et Maritime (UIM), which gave him one of its ships in 1946 and allowed him to rename her MS Boudjmel. Bérengier bought or was given by the UIM a series of small cargo ships, including MS Colomb-Béchar, which was sold to the Navy in 1965 for the Nuclear Trials Center in the Pacific Ocean. The ship was renamed Tarn and sunk in 1970 as a target. The independence of Algeria disrupted Bérengier's activity and his whole fleet was purchased by UIM in 1968.

Giannoni, helped by Worms and the Compagnie Méridionale de Navigation owned by his son-in-law Rastit, founded two small companies, Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Giannoni and Armement Giannoni-Rastit. In 1971, Giannoni attempted to open a line in New Caledonia with MS Nemours, renamed Capitaine-Tasman, but the line was not successful and Giannoni ceased operations.

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 Armement Bérengier, first and second version - 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 first ship, MS Boudjmel (in Arabic, camel).
From 1951 onwards, Bérengier uses a flag diagonally divided yellow-blue with the white letters A B C placed from the upper hoist to the lower fly. The letters stand for Armement Bérengier & Cie.

Source: Paul Bois (op. cit.)

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004

Compagnie Marseillaise de Navigation Gianonni

[Flag of Gianonni]         [Flag of Gianonni]

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

Bois (op. cit.) shows the house flag of 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 the book shows the letters in black whereas they are markd 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

According to P. Bois (op. cit.), the house flag of Armement Gianonni-Rastit is blue with a white diamond charged with the red, interlaced letters GR.

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2004