A question that I initially asked myself when I first learned of her tragic (unnecessary, stupid) demise, but didn't start seriously thinking about until I watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=988gFzW4U_8
Since then I also managed to find one other AU written online, but I don't remember which site it was nor will I bother looking for it right now. Instead, I want to know what you guys think would have happened. How accurate would you say the above video is?
My personal opinion is that Normandie, alongside the Queens, would have shortened the war by an even greater margin, long story short. Upon returning to civilian service, if the French really wanted her to compete with the Mary, they would have updated her interiors to be less extravagant and more comfortable for people from all walks of life.
If they wanted to still compete with her in speed, especially since plans for building her fleetmate, Bretagne, would have likely been financially impossible due to France still recovering from the war, then maybe they would've done something like what they did in the video, in giving her two funnels instead of 3, both to reflect Bretagne and also Ile de France which as we all know lost a funnel (which imo made her look better) and increasing her horsepower. Future post on that coming soon, but should they have done that, then I am all but certain she would have beaten the Mary for good.
All these changes made, she would go on to become a very popular and profitable ship, and come the jet age I feel she could've made a good change into cruising. At least briefly, before factors like her deep draft and high fuel consumption came into play. Upon retiring, I could see her being turned into a hotel. She was France's most famous ship after all. Something serious would've had to happen (like with the Norway) to prevent this.
By - Kaidhicksii