Dassault Aviation 1945-1965 - Re-Establishing Dasault
Having been absent from the aircraft building industry since 1940, Marcel Bloch brought himself up to date as regards developments in techniques. On his return from deportation, his only wish was to get back into business as an aviation manufacturer. Still convalescent, he began to rebuild a team and his company. From May to December 1945, he purged the accounts of Société Anonyme des Avions Marcel Bloch (SAAMB) and then reorganized it incorporating the Saint-Cloud, Boulogne and Talence factories.
Times were difficult and industrial activity was held back by economic difficulties: rationing of raw materials, energy and premises. As Guy Audrain recalled, the initial successes were all the more praiseworthy in view of the precarious working conditions of the time: "Telephone trunk lines were virtually unusable, journeys were long and exhausting, office supplies were delivered in dribs and drabs - when there were any -. We sometimes had to buy our own drawing pins and there was no paper for notes, calculations or schedules other than on the back of obsolete drawings; we only had one tiny lever-operated calculator, that was reserved for the accounting department moreover"
Georges Brian, test pilot at Bordeaux-Mérignac, describes the working conditions as he saw them: "We had a quarter of a bombing-gutted hangar that we shared with Air France and the Chamber of Commerce coaches. The roof had holes all over the place. One morning, we found the prototype [MB 303] three quarters covered with snow! The winter of 1946-1947 was cold and we warmed ourselves up in Maurice Fayant's [the runway chief's] storage room with a home-made stove running on old sump oil. Some time later, the flight trials section was set up in a room in a wooden shed located behind the old airport. One night, I was awoken by a phone call from the caretaker telling me: "Mr Brian, your office has gone. The building burned down during the night. It's now only 6 inches tall!"
In Talence, the factory used to do some subcontracting work for the Latécoère, SNCASE and SNCASO companies, while the design office worked on a two-engined military training and liaison aircraft. The Saint-Cloud factory developed prototype propellers and engines with the participation of the Boulogne establishments. On November 10, 1945, the shareholders of Société Anonyme des Avions Marcel Bloch, meeting during an extraordinary general assembly observed that "the société anonyme company form did not correspond to the nature of their group in which relations between people were becoming prevalent".
They then decided to change the company to a limited liability entity called Société des Avions Marcel Bloch (SAMB). To facilitate the managing of his Company, the factories of which were spread between Saint-Cloud, Boulogne and Talence, Marcel Bloch set up subsidiaries.
The Société des Avions Marcel Bloch company became what is known as a "holding" company, leasing its factories (land and buildings) to subsidiaries. Thus on December 6, 1945, the Société des Avions Marcel Bloch company set up the Société des Moteurs et Hélices Marcel Bloch company, the head office of which was located in Saint-Cloud. From December 12, onward it was known as Saint-Cloud Avions Marcel Bloch. On the same day, the companies Boulogne Avions Marcel Bloch in Boulogne-Billancourt (Seine) and Talence Avions Marcel Bloch in Talence (Gironde) were set up in accordance with the same articles of association.
The Marcel Bloch company became Marcel Dassault on January 20, 1947.