jeudi 3 novembre 2022

The French presidential Citroën SM - English Version

 

La The French Presidential Citroën SM

 - English Version -

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

(Sorry if there are errors in the meaning, word or verb of the expressions). 

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France has had since the invention of the combustion car, different models that allowed the crowd to see the President of the Republic as well as his guests thanks to models of convertible vehicles, here, in the 30s, with the President of the French Republic Albert LEBRUN.
 


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And here, in the 60's, with french President Charles De GAULLE and his French Prime Minister at the time, Georges POMPIDOU.

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In 1972, France will welcome on its territory the Queen Elizabeth II of England. The French president Georges POMPIDOU, freshly elected, orders in the fall of 1971, two presidential sedans to CITROËN.
 
 
The brand with the chevrons turns to the coachbuilder Henri CHAPRON, to whom France had already ordered presidential Citroën 15/6 H.
 

He proposes to take a SM Opera with a longer rear overhang and a length increased to 5.60 meters.
 
  This one will be fully uncoverable.
 
Three examples were produced, two of which were delivered to the Elysée, French Presidency Palace, shown here next to the Citroën 15/6 H Chapron
 
The model is equipped with a black leather hood treated. Leather is also found throughout the interior of this convertible.
 
 
And at the time of the visit in May 1972 of the Queen Elizabeth II, this one parada at the side of the President of the french Republic Georges POMPIDOU on the Champs Elysées in PARIS...
 
President POMPIDOU will use it during the national celebrations of July 14,
 
He will also use it during visits, as here in his former constituency.

The President of the French Senate, Alain POHER, will be President of the French Republic by interim, from April 02 to May 27, 1974, and will also go up on board of the Presidential SM at the time of its institution, following the death of French President POMPIDOU in full exercise of the Power.
 
Thereafter, these Citroën SM Presidential were also chosen by the French Presidents of the Republic elected at the time of great gatherings or to move like here, at the time of a return of ceremony of French President Valéry GISCARD D'ESTAING.
 
   French President François MITTERAND will use it during his election in 1981. Here he is greeting the crowd while walking up the Champs Elysées in PARIS.
 

Jacques CHIRAC will do the same in 1995...
 
This one greatly appreciated the CITROËN

Here he is returning to the Elysée, the French Presidential House, after having greeted the crowd during his election in 1995.
 
Parade during the election of Nicola SARKOZY in 2007 in 607 Paladine
At the time of the election of the following French President in 2007, with the French President Nicolas SARKOZY, this one preferred a prototype realized by the coachbuilder HEULIEZ with this PEUGEOT 607 PALADINE.
 
DS5 Hybrid Presidential on May 15, 2012
The two following French presidents did not parade on board convertible models, but from classic cars with a sunroof. Here with French President François HOLLANDE.
 

Parade of President E. MACRON
from the Arc de Triomphe on the day of his inauguration
and here with French President Emmanuel MACRON.

 
  - English Version -
 
It can be noted that in past years, the SM Presidential was loaned in some occasions, as here with the English royal couple, during their four-day visits to France in May 1972.

Here they are greeting the crowd in Meudon.

Here with the Tunisian President BOURGUIBA, also in 1972
 
It was also used during the visit of Pope John Paul II in France on May 31, 1980.
 
French President François MITTERRAND used the SM Presidential, as President POMPIDOU had done in 1974, to receive Queen Elizabeth II to drive up the Champs Elysées in June 1992.

On this occasion, the two Citroën SM Présidential were used: one for the President of the French Republic and Queen Elisabeth II. The second one with Prince Philippe and the first lady of France, .
 
And what French President Jacques CHIRAC will also do, 8 years later, during the official visit of Queen Elizabeth II in Paris, in April 2004.
 

Ascent of the Champs Elysées of President François Mitterrand elected in 1981

We can notice a great number of motorcyclists during the displacements of the Presidential SM. The reason is an immediate protection against the risk of a terrorist act or of an unbalanced person who would approach the Presidential Car. Indeed, the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in FRANCE, in the city of MARSEILLE, on October 09th 1934, showed the risk of bad protections around the Car.

 

Departure of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the streets of Marseille on 09/10/1934

Back on this assassination to understand:

It was agreed that King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia parade, before leaving by train to PARIS, in several streets of MARSEILLE, on board a car with the back opened to be seen by the crowd, but also by the reporters, photographers and cameramen.


Departure of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the streets of Marseille on 09/10/1934

Initially planned with an escort of policemen on bicycles around the car, it was decided that two officers, with clear swords, would escort the car...

 

Departure of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the streets of Marseille on 09/10/1934

But hardly had he gone 200 meters, when a man came out of the crowd and fired a dozen bullets inside the King's Car killing him on the spot and mortally wounding the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Louis BARTHOU.

 

Shooter on the running board of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

When the cameramen are filming, the shooter has already fired. The officer on horseback on the right will arrive too late. Only the driver of the car on the right will have time to hold the shooter from inside the car as can be seen on this picture...

 

Shooter on the running board of the car of King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia

The officer will still shoot the gunman.

 

Shooter on the running board of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

Before the policemen stop him.

 

Departure of the car of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia after the shooting

But it was too late. Armed with a MAUSER semi-automatic pistol of 10 shots, this one allowed the assailant to shoot in burst in the car...

 

King Alexander 1st of Yugoslavia in the foreground and the Minister Louis BARTHOU

At that time, there were important risks of attack against this King...

Several mistakes were made:

1- A convertible car was easier for a killer to aim at his target

2- The windows of the car were lowered, which allowed the assailant to climb on the running board of the car and to spray the back of the car with his 10-shot pistol more easily...

3- Twelve police cyclists were supposed to surround the car and were replaced by two officers on horseback...


Here is a video of the time presenting this drama.

 

 Presidential Citroën DS 21 during a July 14th, early 70's
The principle of the motorized escort is to create a protective bubble which allows to adapt the speed of the motorcycle of escort to avoid any intrusion of a pedestrian in contact with the escorted car and thus to make a rampart between the aggressor and the VIP.  
 
Here is more information on this principle:

 
The threat can, for several years, arrive from the air with one or more drones, as seen above in this video during a speech by a Venezuelan president in 2018.
For this measures are taken in advance with jammers and observers.

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