Nationalisation of the Gnome & Rhône company: Limoges changes hands.

Founded in the early 20th century in the Paris area, the Gnome & Rhône company produced engines for boats, cars, aircraft and motorcycles. The rotating radial engine for aircraft established the company's reputation and contributed to the boom in aviation.

In 1940, after the Armistice, the new premises of Ateliers Industriels de l'Air in Limoges were leased to Gnome & Rhône, which took over all personnel and diversified production. As well as producing engines, the factory made gas generators and tools, and offered various truck repairs. After 1942, production was supervised by a German officer and was intended for the German army.

Gnome & Rhône engine, 1919

Heavily bombed in 1944, the factory was three-quarters destroyed. Gnome & Rhône did not survive the war. The company was nationalised on 29 May 1945, and led to the creation of SNECMA, the National Company for Design and Construction of Aircraft Engines, which took possession of the Limoges works.


Book : Michel Vivien, Limoges, de l'Arsenal à Renault trucks (Michel Vivien, Limoges, from the Arsenal to Renault Trucks), Lavauzelle, 2011

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