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French cruiser Guichen
Guichen fpc126.jpg
Career (France)
Name: Guichen
Namesake: Admiral Comte de Guichen
Laid down: October 1895
Launched: 26 October 1897
In service: 1 January 1899
Out of service: 19 November 1921
Fate: Sold for scrap
General characteristics
Type: Protected cruiser
Displacement: 8,151 tonnes (8,022 long tons)
Speed: 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph)

Guichen was a protected cruiser of the French Navy launched in 1897, commissioned in 1899 and retired in 1921. It was constructed by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire at Saint-Nazaire.

Guichen first steamed from Saint-Nazaire to undergo sea trials out of Toulon. In September 1903 she carrieded President Émile Loubet to Britain for an official visit. In 1913 she was converted into a training ship for boatswains at Brest. She was in the Channel at the start of the First World War, but in 1915 she was transferred to the 3rd blockading squadron off Syria. In September, under Captain Joseph Brisson, she helped evacuate Armenian resistors from Musa Dagh after one of her crew spotted an Armenian flag flying over the fortress. She conveyed her refugees to Port Said. It was, according to Lord Bryce, "the only story ... with a happy ending" in his report on the ttreatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.[1]

In November 1916 Guichen and Lutétia transported a Russian expeditionary force to the Salonika Front. In 1917 Guichen transported some of the Armée d'Orient from Taranto to Bizerte. In 1919 she was sent to the Black Sea as part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, but she suffered a mutiny, led by Charles Tillon, future leader of the Communist Party.[2] She was retired in 1921, and condemned and sold at Brest in 1922.

Notes

  1. Merrill D. Peterson, "Starving Armenians": America and the Armenian Genocide, 1915–1930 and After (University of Virginia Press, 2004), 43.
  2. Marcel Monribot, Charles Tillon and Virgile Vuillemin, "The Black Sea Revolt" Revolutionary History 8, 2 (2002), trans. by Ian Birchall, originally published as "Les mutineries de la Mer Noire 1919–1969" in Les Cahiers de Mai (1969).

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