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Inauguration of La Place de la Minerve found
in memory of Alain Michel
in Sainte Foy lès Lyon

On Saturday December 4, 2021, Mrs Véronique Sarselli, Mayor of Sainte Foye Lès Lyon inaugurates the "Place de la Minerve Retrouvée - in memory of Alain Michel".

She evokes, with perceptible emotion, the youth of the young sailor who disappeared at the age of 19  who, orphaned at 14, spent part of his youth in Ste Foye Lès Lyon where he had taken in members of his family.


Hervé Fauve surrounded by the family of Anlain Michel - Mr and Mrs Camenish - Liotard family


Place de la Minerve found

in memory of Alain Michel

December 4, 2021



That day, aboard the “Minerve” everyone was smiling.They were twenty years old on averagefor sailors, twenty-five for officers and petty officers. They lived there,  more than 50 in a corridor 5 meters wide, but all had volunteered for this existence despite the harsh discipline it required.

January 27, 1968, between 7:55 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. the attack submarine La Minerve disappeared body and goods off Cap-Sicié with52 sailors on board. Officers, petty officers, quartermasters and sailors.... They were children, spouses, fathers, brothers, friends....

The last message emitted by the submarine is the one spoken by the voice of the second radio master who asks for confirmation of the end of an exercise. Technological flagship of the time, this ancestor of future nuclear submarines evaporated, leaving bereaved families and suffering unanswered questions.

Among the victimswas a 19-year-old Fidesiannamed Alain Michel who had embarked as helmsman.


Here are the words of Charles de Gaulle during this drama:

“Sailors have died at sea. They were volunteers, that is to say that they had accepted the sacrifice in advance and had made a pact with danger. It is for this in particular that the submarine Minerve has left a deep memory in the heart of the whole of France, and has its armies, an example that will last.! »

Research was carried out in 1968 and then in 1970; the neck brace was then indeed the only French military vessel missing at sea since 1945 whose wreckage was not located...these searches proved fruitless... The fight of the families began to understand what had happened.

The wreckage was finally found in 2019 during new searches.

by the Ministry of the Armed Forces........ after the long fight of the families. ....... a fight to know... a fight to mourn …. a fight for the truth .... a fight of father, mother, brother, sister that is transmitted to children, grandchildren ...

We know that the building rests by2,370 m deep, 45 km off Toulon. Families finally have a place to attach the memory of their children. In December 2020, an investigation report mentioned the probable cause of the sinking which would be due to a collision with a surface ship.

The city of Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon cultivates this shared destinybetween the history of this warship, its army, its sailors and their families and the Fidesians.

We were gathered onFebruary 3, 2018in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon for the awarding ceremony of the pennant to the 47th class of Lyon marine military preparation as well as for theCommemoration of the 50th anniversary of the shipwrecke, under the chairmanship of Wing Vice-Admiral Charles-Henri de la Faverie


This is the reason why at the municipal council meeting of December 19, 2019, it was unanimously decided that this space Chemin de la Croix Pivort at the entrance to our city bears this name:“Place de la Minerve rediscovered – in memory of Alain Michel”.

Speech delivered by Mrs. Véronique Sarselli, Mayor of Sainte Foye Lès Lyon

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