Labor of <i> L’Amour </i> for French Arms Dealer

From Reuters

Can sultry seductress Barbara fool sex-starved Martin into betraying the secrets of France’s revolutionary new tank to an evil foreign power? Or will faithful Francoise open his eyes before it’s too late?

French state-run arms exporter DGA (Delegation Generale pour l’Armement), which supplied Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with some of his best weapons, has decided that such soap opera fare could attract female recruits to the international arms trade.

In an unlikely partnership, the DGA has teamed up with the romantic weekly “We Two” (“Nous Deux”) to produce an illustrated love story for its recruitment campaign. Patriotism triumphs in the saga that starts publication next week.

In an action-packed 24 pages of photo-drama, including steamy bedroom scenes, arms engineer Martin Saint-Priest--"30s, elegant, charming"--is pursued by two determined women.


Tireless Francoise works at his side on the top-secret Leclerc tank program, her love undeclared, and unaware that Martin, too, yearns for her embrace.

Busty Barbara makes her entrance on the Isle of Levant, where the exhausted team are enjoying rest and recreation.

The trained Mata Hari seduces Martin and comes within an ace of stripping the veil of secrecy from the arms program. But suspicious Francoise spots her making an impression of his keys to the computer and the spies are caught.

The Leclerc, France’s main battle tank for the 1990s and beyond, makes cameo appearances in the tale. The spies marvel over its 120 mm gun, its 1,500-horsepower diesel engine, its speed, maneuverability, armor and night-sight.

DGA Director of Communications Patrick Lamarque said the agency decided to sponsor the project to persuade women that an exciting career in the arms trade may await them.

“We Two” sells 650,000 copies a week and is read by more than 1 million women, according to the publishers.