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On Board the Charles de Gaulle, by Benjamin Decoin

In this book, the mythical French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle opens its doors to us and introduces us, in pictures, to the men and women who make it live.

The capital ship of the French navy, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is an extraordinary structure. A floating city that never rests. Engaged in multiple missions since 2001 and with a crew of two thousand men and women, the “Charles” and its carrier group have shaped this aircraft carrier into a historic vessel. The photographer Benjamin Ducoin and the journalist Cyril Holstein embarked during the Arromanches III operation in Syria and Iraq to meet these special sailors, engineers ,air traffic controllers, nuclear technicians, pilots, ground crew, mechanics, firefighters, marines, cooks and bakers who work in shifts day and night and in all weathers to ensure the success of their mission.They have succeeded and communicating with their words and pictures the team spirit that drives this forty-two thousand five hundred tonne steel giant, capable of travelling one thousand kilometres in a day. “This beautiful book, in the great tradition of photo-reporting, gives us a passionate immersion into the daily lives of the men and women who work on the Charles de Gaulle”, writes the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo in the preface. “By linking text and photographs, it pays a tribute to these heroes in giving them a face and showing, above and beyond the diversity of skills represented, the collective feeling of work on the aircraft carrier – symbol of a commitment that unites and makes them surpass themselves.”

Cyril Hofstein


Benjamin Decoin, A bord du Charles de Gaulle
Published by EPA