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Lorient (lôryăNˈ) [key], town (1990 pop. 61,630), Morbihan dept., NW France, a port and naval station on the Atlantic Ocean. A great shipbuilding center, Lorient also produces textiles, furniture, and navigational equipment. Established (17th cent.) as a port to serve the French East India Company, it was developed as a naval base by Napoleon I and became the country's chief naval yard. In World War II it was the Germans' major submarine base on the Atlantic. Almost totally destroyed by Allied bombs in 1942–43, it has been rebuilt.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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