Citroënvie member James Rice sent us this photo he took at the French Army Museum in Paris, France. He says; “Surprising place to find a tribute to Andre Citroën.” Yes, surprising indeed they would mention 3 of the Autochenilles expeditions. (There was a 4th called the La Croisère Blanche that we featured in in Citroenvie; https://citroenvie.com/more-on-the-failed-la-croisere-blanche-canadian-expedition-of-1934/). We guess for many of the French on these Citroën expeditions it seemed like a military mission!
Click to enlarge.
Although primarily in memory of GM Haardt, killed on March 6, 1932 during La Croisère Jaune expedition across Asia to China, perhaps too this monument wall is, in some part, homage to André Citroën’s military accomplishments in WW1. Citroën was still a Captain in the Army Reserves and as the world war broke out, he returned to active service, this time in the artillery divsion. His engineering ability soon proved useful when he turned his attention to solving the ammunition shortage, of which he quickly became aware when his own unit was unable to return fire for lack of shells. He devised a scheme for applying his mass production processes to shell manufacture, which he presented to the General in charge of Artillery, who immediately commissioned him to implement the plan. The army provided land and funding. In 1915 he built a munitions plant whose production of shells reached 55,000 per day. After this success, he was given the responsibility of organizing the supplying of all French munitions plants with raw materials.
Is there no limit to Andre’s skills and talents? I never knew of this part of his “career.”