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    The French Navy in Djibouti

    No one

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    Posted (edited)

    Dear Gentlemen,


    Historique des Relations Franco-Djiboutiennes jusqu’à l’indépendance (...) - La France à Djibouti (ambafrance.org)


    (only the fist paragraph, translation Google)


    History of Franco-Djiboutian relations until independence (1977)

    By the turn of the 1850s, the shores of the Red Sea were directly or indirectly under Ottoman sovereignty.
    Nevertheless, two regional states - Egypt and Ethiopia - coveted the outlets of the trade and pilgrimage routes that passed through their territories.
    A few enterprising Europeans, following Rochet d'Héricourt, were sinking inland, attracted by the fame and riches of the Abyssinian Empire.

    With the construction of the Suez Canal, competition between the European powers was revived.
    The British took a certain lead by a triple anchorage - the port of Aden occupied in 1839, the islands of Perim (1854) and Socotora (1859) - they sealed the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.
    The French government pursued a less maritime, less systematic policy, interested as much in commercial penetration in Ethiopia as in a relay to the Indian Ocean.

    In 1857 it fell to the Frenchman Henri Lambert, who had interests in the sugar plantations of Mauritius, to initiate the first contacts with the traditional chiefs of Tadjoura. This initiative was brutally stopped by his assassination in 1859. This murder prompted Napoleon III to intervene, entrusting Commander Fleuriot de Langle with the mission of punishing the culprits and making official contact with the sultans of the region.
    This mission was a success - the treaty, signed in Paris in March 1862, between Dini Ahmed Aboubeker and Jean Thouvenel, Minister of Foreign Affairs, recognized France's purchase of a concession around Obock, for the sum of 10,000 thalers.
    Although the tricolour flag flew over a hut, entrusted to a single native guard, Paris was in no hurry to consolidate its interests there, a phenomenon amplified by the defeat of 1870.

    Obock, left to his fate, nevertheless attracted a few adventurers, eager to enrich themselves by inserting themselves into the dynamic commercial networks (Soleillet, Arnoux, Barral, Chefneux, etc.) while others, such as Arthur Rimbaud, settled in Harar to trade coffee, ivory and hides, directly exported to Aden.

    Under the pressure of the international situation, France's disinterest came to an end.
    Indeed, in 1883, the French fleet, engaged in a conflict for the conquest of Tonkin, was unable to coal in British ports, including Aden; this decision was taken by London as a sign of neutrality in the Franco-Chinese conflict. In response, the Republican government reconsidered its policy in the Red Sea.
    Obock was to become the port demanded both by the imperatives of steam navigation and by the needs of colonial expansion in Asia and Madagascar. It was convenient for Léonce Lagarde, who had been appointed commander of Obock, to apply this policy.

    If in 1884, the advantages of the first French post seemed positive, the disadvantages turned out, in practice, to be shallow and poorly protected from seasonal winds, drinking water but too salty, a poor outlet for caravans which, in fact, stopped at Tadjoura.
    On the other hand, opposite Obock, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Tadjoura, the madreporic site of "Gaboutus", devoid of any settlement, offered better prospects.

    From 1884 to 1888, Léonce Lagarde led a skilful and dynamic policy to establish France around the Gulf of Tadjoura, while forging ties of friendship with the King of Shoa who, under the name of Menelik II, became Emperor of Ethiopia in 1889.
    Similarly, he favoured the birth of Djibouti, which was to become the head of a railway penetration. By decree of May 20, 1896, the French colony of the Somalis, with Djibouti as its capital, which irretrievably dethroned Obock.
    In addition to its administrative activities, Djibouti was to combine port and railway activities.
    At the dawn of the twentieth century, apart from Ethiopia (at Adua, in March 1896, Ethiopia preserved its independence by defeating the Italians), the Horn of Africa had lost its independence.
    To the north of the CFS, in Eritrea, the Italians had settled; to the south, the British and Italians colonized Somaliland and Somalia respectively. By negotiations with the neighboring powers, France delimited the 23,000 km2 of her possession. This division of territories, the lands of the Issas and Afar pastoralists, remains fraught with threat.

    (for more see the link above)




    The French Naval Base of Djibouti, also known as the Heron Naval Base, is a planned naval base of the French Navy in East Africa, located in the capital city of Djibouti.

    The French military port is a support point for all the ships of the French Navy passing through the Horn of Africa and operating in the northern Indian Ocean theater, thus constituting essentially a naval support and logistics base.


    The French Navy has two equipment transport barges (CTM) at all times, as well as navy commandos prepositioned on site (special forces).


    -Note: The Heron maritime base would have been coveted by China. In 2015, the Djiboutian president reportedly asked the French to free the FFDJ base, on the Héron islet, so that the first Chinese contingent could settle there. Well, they got Obock instead:

    China’s First Overseas Military Base in Djibouti | Vivekananda International Foundation (vifindia.org)

    Accidental friction on the Belt and Road | The Strategist (aspistrategist.org.au)

    People's Liberation Army Support Base in Djibouti - Wikipedia


    Presentation of insignia of the French Navy in French Somali Coast* Drago Paris:

    * Marine en Côte française des Somalis / Marine CFS






    - no insignia for the French Territory of the Afars and Issas period


    - presentation of insignia of the French Navy in Djibouti* (since independence) Drago Paris:

    *Marine Djibouti

    -Note: This badge was banned from wearing by the Djiboutian President because it reads TFAI in international maritime signal flags






    - key ring:




    - 21 F.* PATMAR** Artimon Daguet Segalen 1991 #162:

    *Flotilla 21F is a French naval aviation flotilla created on 27 June 1940 and still active  Flottille 21F — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)

    **PATMAR = patrouille maritime = maritime patrol




    - Opération Artimon: Opération Artimon — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org) 

    Operation Artimon is the name given to the participation of the French Navy in ship control missions following the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by UN Resolution 661.


    - Opération Daguet: Opération Daguet - Wikipedia

    Operation Daguet is the name given to the participation of the French army in the international coalition formed following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in the Gulf War in 1990-1991.


    - Amicale des anciens marins et des marins anciens combattants de Djibouti /  Association of former sailors and veteran sailors of Djibouti pin's:




    Your sincerely,

    No one

    Edited by No one
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    Dear Gentlemen,


    The patches:


    - Marine Djibouti: 




    Note: like the insignia, this patch was banned from wearing by the Djiboutian President because it reads TFAI in international maritime signal flags


    - Marine Djibouti white:




    - Marine Djibouti grey:




    - Marine Djibouti yellow and smaller:




    - the three patches:




    - Intervention Fusiliers Marins GIR* / EPE** / PAID***

    *GIR = Groupement d'Intervention et de Renfort = Intervention and Reinforcement Group

    **EPE = Equipes de Protection Embarquées = Embedded (on board) Protection Teams

    ***PAID = Port Autonome International de Djibouti = International Autonomous Port of Djibouti:




    - Fusiliers Marins Commando Arta décembre 2011 ~ avril 2012:




    - Détachement Fusiliers Djibouti:




    - Porte Avions Nucléaire Charles de Gaulle - Agapanthe 2007:

    Task Force 473 — Wikipédia (wikipedia.org)




    - SNA Casabianca: French submarine Casabianca (S603) - Wikipedia




    - SNA Perle: French submarine Perle (S606) - Wikipedia




    - not identified, MSN505 juin 2011, may be not French, the use of the "F" word is shocking:

    (The Nabro is a volcano of Eritrea which has erupted in June 2011):




    Yours sincerely,

    No one

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    Posted (edited)

    Dear Gentlemen,


    The Jules Verne was a workshop ship of the French Navy, named in honor of Jules Verne.

    Commissioned in 1976, she was withdrawn in 2009.

    Her home port was Djibouti from October 7, 1976 to November 30, 1997.

    She was featured on the 10 000-Djiboutian francs banknote.


    French ship Jules Verne (A620) - Wikipedia

    Histoire du BAP Jules Verne (netmarine.net) (4 pages in French)


    The insignia of the BAP* Jules Verne F.I.A Ed.Lyon:

    *Bâtiment Atelier Polyvalent / auxiliary - maintenance - repair ship






    - Tape de bouche 'Marine en Mer Rouge et Golfe d'Aden' / tampion or tompion 'Navy in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden'




    The insignia of the Marine en CFS 4e ESC.VP*

    *4ème escadrille de vedettes de port / 4th squadron of port launches is assigned to the naval command in Djibouti and consists of VP 9 (ex HDML 1127), VP 16 (ex HDML 1139)







    - sticker 'Saphir II':




    Mission Saphir II:

    After a referendum on 8 May 1977 (98.8% of "yes"), the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became independent on 27 June 1977 under the name of the Republic of Djibouti while the French fleet, during Operation Saphir, deployed up to 17 ships in the area, including its Clemenceau aircraft carrier relieved by the Foch, the largest fleet deployed by France in this region, since the Second World War II.

    Saphir II had to ensure the integrity of this territory at the time of its independence.


    Yours sincerely,

    No one

    Edited by No one
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    No One,


    Your posts are always informative and filled with great pictures of badges, patches, maps, etc. Thanks for sharing!



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    Posted (edited)

    Dear TracA,


    Thank you, I'm pleased to see that you find them to be enjoyable.


    Your sincerely,

    No one

    Edited by No one
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