OLD WAR MOVIES

OLD WAR MOVIES

OLD WAR MOVIES

...The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

D-Day Operation Mulberry

 

 

D-DAY OPERATION MULBERRY

 

 

'Port Winston' Mulberry harbour built off Normandy after D-Day is uncovered on the seabed 69 years later

Large chunks of Mulberry B have been found by British scientists. 3D images show it remains despite being battered by Channel since 1944. For six months after D-Day Mulberry became the world's busiest port. It is widely considered one of the greatest-ever engineering feats. These ghostly images reveal the forgotten harbour built off the coast of Normandy that for six months after D-Day became the world's busiest docks. British scientists have found the remnants of Mulberry B on the Channel seabed, which allowed the Allies to land troops, vehicles and equipment on French soil without having to capture a port first.

The makeshift harbour, nicknamed Port Winston because it was the brainchild of Churchill, was the size of Dover and is considered to be one of the greatest military achievements of all time.

Discovery: The foundations of an breakwaters of Mulberry B - the celebrated World War Two harbour of Normandy - has been found by British scientists

Discovery: The foundations of an breakwaters of Mulberry B - the celebrated World War Two harbour of Normandy - has been found by British scientists

Remarkable: The temporary harbour (pictured in 1944) was Churchill's brainchild and allowed troop, vehicles, weapons and supplies to be brought into France with ease

Remarkable: The temporary harbour (pictured in 1944) was Churchill's brainchild and allowed troop, vehicles, weapons and supplies to be brought into France with ease

Vast: A vertical aerial photograph of Mulberry B taken by 541 Squadron on 27 October 1944 shows its scale and design

Vast: A vertical aerial photograph of Mulberry B taken by 541 Squadron on 27 October 1944 shows its scale and design

Its development was even described by Albert Speer - Hitler's architect and armaments minister - as 'genius'.

It allowed 220,000 men, 50,000 vehicles and 600,000 tones of supplies to be landed in France and undoubtedly helped win the war.

Experts from the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), which is part of the Ministry of Defence, have found that its structure still remains remarkably intact just months before the 69th anniversary of its construction.

They fired a 'multi-beam echo sounder' at the sea bed off Arromanches Sur Mer and the 3D images it produced show that large sunken 'beetles', which supported floating roadways, can be found at a depth of five metres.

There are also large chunks of breakwater structures. which protected it from storms.

'It was amazing to discover how much remained despite being pounded by the sea for all those years,' said Chris Howlett, who was leading the UKHO research.

Structure: This 3D image shows a concrete beetle resting upright on the seafloor just north of the historic harbour

Structure: This 3D image shows a concrete beetle resting upright on the seafloor just north of the historic harbour

Haunting: The long length of breakwaters and floating 'beetles' has been found at a depth of five metres off the Normandy coast

Haunting: The long length of breakwaters and floating 'beetles' has been found at a depth of five metres off the Normandy coast

Mulberry B Harbour map.psd

Winston Churchill had proposed a similar concept in World War One but it became a reality in the next war thanks to Welsh engineer Hugh Iorys Hughes.

Mulberry B was one of two temporary harbours built after D-Day.

Mulberry A was installed at Omaha Beach, for American invasion forces; Mulberry B was set up at Arromanches (Gold Beach) for the British and Canadians.

Only two weeks after D-Day, a massive storm destroyed Mulberry A. Mulberry B also sustained some damage, but was reinforced to keep it operable at least until the end of October.

Winston Churchill personally ordered the temporary harbours,

Winston Churchill personally ordered the temporary harbours, sending a directive on May 30, 1942 to Admiral Mountbatten (centre), the head of combined operations. Hitler's architect Albert Speer (far right, with the Fuhrer) called the jetties 'an idea of simple genius'

Mulberry B was left open until November 19 and Hughes was involved throughout, making adjustments and reinforcements.

The pre-fabricated harbours were towed across the English Channel in chunks and put into place on the Normandy beaches.

The plans were drawn up during an intensive seven-week period, from June 17 to August 6, 1942 - two years before D-Day.

Churchill personally ordered the temporary harbours, sending a directive on May 30, 1942 to Admiral Mountbatten, the head of combined operations.

It stated curtly: 'Piers for use on beaches. They must float up and down with the tide. The anchor problem must be mastered. Let me have the best solution worked out. Don’t argue the matter. The difficulties will argue for themselves.'

Defence: A photo taken from the gun turret at high tide, probably showing Mulberry B's western breakwater. Note the open tops and gun turrets, equipped with a 40mm anti aircraft gun

Defence: A photo taken from the gun turret at high tide, probably showing Mulberry B's western breakwater. Note the open tops and gun turrets, equipped with a 40mm anti aircraft gun

Pride: Phoenix caissons being built in a dry dock in Britain, probably in Southampton before they were shipped across the Channel

Pride: Piers being built in a dry dock in Britain, probably in Southampton, before they were shipped across the Channel

Hughes was chosen to head the project with instructions to prepare plans for 'prototypes of landing piers to be towed across the Channel and sunk into place'.

The piers were to be 'capable of carrying the heaviest tanks and artillery ... [and] of being towed from one assault beach to another....'

He would also have to account for projected tidal and wind conditions at the beaches in France.

Tasked with validating the plans, Hughes selected the estuary of the River Conwy in North Wales as a test site.

Historic: This original sketch is by Welsh engineer Hugh Iorys Hughes, who devised two types of device, codenamed 'Hippos' (concrete caissons that could be anchored in as pierheads) and 'Crocs' (steel roadways linking them together)

Historic: This original sketch is by Welsh engineer Hugh Iorys Hughes, who devised two types of device, codenamed 'Hippos' (concrete caissons that could be anchored in as pierheads) and 'Crocs' (steel roadways linking them together)

Today: Remains of Mulberry B at Arromanches (Gold beach) in Normandy, used by the British and Canadians during WW2

Today: Remains of Mulberry B at Arromanches (Gold beach) in Normandy, used by the British and Canadians during WW2

In late 1942 and early 1943, he recruited almost a thousand workers for the construction and testing of the mobile harbours.

The project was so secret that even the men working on it were unaware of its true purpose.

Hughes devised two types of device, codenamed 'Hippos' (concrete caissons that could be anchored in as pierheads) and 'Crocs' (steel roadways linking them together).

These were subsequently towed to another secret test site in south-west Scotland. There, Hughes’ efforts were integrated with prototypes developed by two other teams.

The work at Garlieston, Wigtownshire in Scotland included development and testing of breakwaters, the idea for which came from engineer Robert Lochner.

He had noticed while having a bath that when he made waves on one side of the flannel, on the other side the waters were calm.

The Mulberry harbours were completed by May 1944 and successfully launched with the use of tug boats soon after.

They were, as Churchill later wrote, 'to form a principal part of the great plan'.

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Pontoon from the WW2 Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches

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Stranded Pontoon at Arromanches

Mulberry "B" - What's Left

Mulberry Harbour: D-Day + 68 Years

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Mulberry B - Port Winston at Arromanches

The remains of a section of Mulberry B clearly visible during low tide at Arromanches, Normandy.

By 9 June 1944, just 3 days after D-Day, two harbours codenamed Mulberry "A" and "B" were constructed at Omaha Beach and Arromanches, respectively. However, a large storm on 19 June destroyed the American harbour at Omaha, leaving only the British Mulbery B which came to be known as Port Winston at Arromanches.

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Longues-sur-Mer battery

The Longues-sur-Mer battery formed a part of Germany's Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications during WW2 and is one of the most complete examples remaining. The site consisted of four 152-mm navy guns, each protected by a large concrete casemate, a command post, shelters for personnel and ammunition, and several defensive machine-gun emplacements.

Strategically situated between the D-day landing beaches Omaha and Gold, the battery was subject to heavy bombing from allied air forces and by bombardment from the French cruiser Georges Leygues as well as the U.S. battleship Arkansas. The battery itself fired a total of 170 shots throughout the day, forcing the flagship HMS Bulolo to retreat to safer water. Three of the four guns were eventually disabled by British cruisers Ajax and Argonaut, though a single gun continued to operate intermittently into the evening. The 184 crew of the battery finally surrendered to the Devonshire Regiment the following day.

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Canadian DD Sherman tank

Sunk off Courseulles-sur-Mer, Juno Beach, on D-Day June 6 1944, this Canadian DD Sherman tank was recovered from the sea and restored at the end of the 1970s.

The DD or Duplex Drive tanks, nicknamed "Donald Duck tanks", were a type of amphibious swimming tank and one of the many specialised assault vehicles, collectively known as Hobart's Funnies, devised to support the planned invasion of Europe.

This Sherman Duplex Drive tank serves as a commemorative monument and is dedicated to the Canadian units who landed at Juno Beach on D-Day.

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Slapton Sands

Surrounded by tranquil countryside, it is hard to believe the importance of this Devon coastline to the Allies' preparations for D-Day. This operation required rehearsals and Field Marshall Montgomery noted Slapton Sands' striking similarity to the most westerly of the 5 invasion beaches, Utah, and selected it as a training ground.

In December 1943 over 3,000 inhabitants and livestock were evacuated from their villages & farms. Given 6 weeks to pack & leave, for the next 10 months the area was handed over to the military for live battle training.

It was here, during Excercise Tiger, that one of the great tragedies of WWII occured. The first assult troups completed their practice landing on the moring of 27 April, 1944, however, in the dark morning of the 28th April, 9 E-Boats attacked 8 Landing Craft transporting a follow up force of trucks and heavy engineering equipment. 749 soldiers and sailors died that night, many more than actually lost their lives in the actual landings on Utah beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

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Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches

It was my pleasure to take a party of Merchant Navy Association members including WW2 veterans to Normandy in 2004. This was my second visit and the photos here were taken on the first as I took video on the second one. We stayed in Caen and visited all of the usual sites of interest. The high points were the two short ceremonies of remembrance that we held. The first at the Naval Memorial at Hermanville-sur-Mer, the site of Sword Beach. This memorial was the brainchild of David Cotterell of Bristol who was serving in HMS Swift when she was sunk by a mine off the beach on 24th June 1944. We had our Standard Bearer with the Red Ensign with us and our guest Lt Comdr Tolfree RD RNR spoke at this ceremony. The second commemoration was at the Merchant Navy memorial plaque located on the sea wall near the museum at Arromanches. Again this was a great success and we were moved by the respect shown to us by the French people who stood silent for the service.

My own personal favourite was when on my first visit we went to some of the places associated with the Falaise Pocket, in particular St Lambert-sur-Dives. In the fields near this place there were still the remains of allied fighter cannon shells as a reminder of the intense combat here. Finally it was fascinating to find the pockmarks made by his Sten Gun bullets on the church at Ranville, exactly where

Transformation of the Army to a capabilities-based force that can respond immediately to any global threat cannot occur without first transforming the logistics systems that have been used since World War II.

Soldiers load Redball Express trucks with rations bound for front-line troops.

Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches

The remains of the temporary harbour built on Gold beach, a good description. The roadway part of one of the floating pontoon roadways used to land troops, vehicles and equipment in the Normandy Landings after D Day in 1944. It was part of the 'Mulberry Harbor'.

The amazing thing about the harbour is it's size - twice the size of the Port of Dover, & the fact it was up & running just a few days after D-day. These two photos were take approximately at it's midway point but no photo can do the size justice

Although not as popular or as widely studied as tactics, logistics has been the key to every major conflict since the dawn of modern warfare. World War II provided the backdrop for the biggest logistics operation ever attempted. The D-Day landing and force buildup alone involved millions of tons of supplies, thousands of ships, and hundreds of thousands of personnel. To carry out this massive logistics operation, planners used supply point and throughput resupply operations, which involve stockpiling supplies at depots in the rear, transporting them to forward depots, and moving them to the units.

The logistics buildup in Kuwait before the invasion of Iraq this spring was reminiscent of the logistics techniques used by First U.S. Army in World War II and repeated in the Korean War and the Gulf War of 1991. This article will look at the First Army's logistics buildup and sustainment operation from D-Day through its race across France into Germany and at current and future battlefield logistics. It also will examine the validity of moving from a supply-based logistics operation to the real-time logistics operation proposed in the Army Transformation.
Gearing Up for War

Preparations for the World War II invasion of France began 2 years before the actual operation. From January 1942 to June 1944, the United States shipped over 17 million tons of cargo to the United Kingdom. Included in the shipments was everything from general supplies and equipment to 800,000 pints of blood plasma, 125 million maps, prefabricated harbors (known as Mulberries), a replacement rail network, cigarettes, and toothbrushes.

The invasion operation divided the Allied forces into five task forces—three British and two American. The invasion forces landed on 6 June 1944 at five beaches in Normandy: Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword. At Omaha and Utah, the two American beaches, only 6,614 of the planned 24,850 tons of cargo were discharged in the first 3 days, which is indicative of the difficulties the Americans experienced in beach resupply operations.

The 12 quartermaster units that arrived with the assault forces provided everything from general supplies to transportation to graves registration. Although the Americans took several days to link up with the British forces, it was quite apparent by 7 June that the invasion was a success. Once the landing forces secured the beaches of Normandy, they had to organize to receive the supplies, equipment, and troops needed to sustain the invasion forces.

Good logistics alone can't win a war. Bad logistics alone can lose it.

—General Brehon B. Somervell
Commanding General
Army Services Forces, 1942

Port Discharge Problems

Shipments of supplies to the United Kingdom for the Normandy invasion not only had to compete with other combat operations in the European theater but also were restricted by the amount of supplies British ports could handle. By December 1943, steady shipments of supplies were flowing into the United Kingdom. By July 1944, more than two million tons had been shipped to the United Kingdom, which taxed the capability of the port facilities to hold and process the supplies. Supplies and equipment bound for France could not be discharged quickly enough to accommodate the new supplies, so a logjam developed.

Docking facilities were critical to the quick discharge of supplies and equipment in France. Mulberries were used to receive the tons of supplies and equipment needed to keep the invasion force moving forward. When the quantity of supplies coming in exceeded the number of Mulberries available, the remaining supplies were offloaded using logistics over-the-shore operations.

As the supply operation matured, 56,200 tons of supplies, 20,000 vehicles, and 180,000 troops were discharged each day at Omaha and Utah beaches. That was slightly less than half of the supplies, nearly two-thirds of the vehicles, and all of the troops that had been projected for offload each day. Performance on the American beaches improved rapidly as a more favorable tactical situation developed and, by 11 June 1944, all of the area up to the Aure River was under V Corps control. Until the securing of fixed port facilities at Cherbourg, Le Havre, Rouen, and Antwerp, Belgium, resupply and staging operations consisted entirely of Mulberries and logistics over-the-shore operations.

By the end of June, over 289,827 tons of supplies had been offloaded onto the Normandy beaches. However, shortages still occurred because supplies could not be discharged from British ports quickly enough and ships could not be turned around fast enough to keep up with the requirements of the landing forces. Therefore, by 15 June, supplies were being shipped directly to Normandy from the United States. At Normandy, supplies were stockpiled on the docks and beaches and then moved to forward units by truck.

The longer it took U.S. forces to secure the port of Cherbourg, the more supplies, equipment, and troops piled up on the beaches waiting to be trucked forward. In early August, the port at Cherbourg was cleared and opened so large quantities of supplies and equipment (more than 20,000 tons a day) could be loaded and moved forward by truck and rail. General William Whipple, Jr., USA (Ret.), former Chief of the Logistics Branch, G–4, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, wrote in a 16 May 1967 letter to Brigadier General Eugene A. Salet, Commandant of the Army War College—

Up to September, U.S. forces were supported largely across the beaches, but the U.S. beaches were known to be substantially unusable after 1 October on account of the weather. U.S. had the port of Cherbourg, which could handle about 20,000 tons a day; but this was inadequate, and was a long way from the front. Ports of Le Havre, Rouen, etc. . . . were so damaged as to be largely unusable, and such channel ports as were available had to be reserved with first priority for British use.

Port discharge problems led the way for the second major logistics problem in the logistics of invasion—moving supplies from the port to the front-line troops.

Soldiers load some of the approximately 20 million 5-gallon cans that were used to refuel vehicles during World War II.

Logistics on the Move

Once U.S. and British forces broke out of the hedgerow country and began to race across open terrain, supply lines lengthened and resupply became more difficult. Allied commanders were frustrated because logistics transportation constraints prevented them from taking advantage of a favorable tactical situation. In August and September of 1944, supply forces set up a ground and air logistics express system to move food, fuel, ammunition, barrier materials, medical supplies, and equipment to forward units quickly by air, rail, and roads. Petroleum and ammunition accounted for half of the daily supply requirements.

Aerial resupply was useful for supporting airborne operations and emergency resupply operations, but most supplies were moved by truck and rail. As the war progressed, aerial resupply improved remarkably, as did road and rail transportation. However, resupply by air dropped off dramatically following the emergency missions to supply the 500,000 Americans participating in the Ardennes counteroffensive. After February and March 1945, air transport was used mainly for medical and petroleum resupply.

In both First and Third Armies, the resupply requirements far exceeded the ability of the transportation network to move supplies forward. In fact, by the end of August 1944, 90 to 95 percent of all supplies were still in Normandy beach depots nearly 300 miles from the forward units. To deal with these operational supply shortfalls, logisticians set up a priority system based on the amount of supplies that could be hauled by truck and rail instead of which army had priority.
Fuel Shortages

Petroleum is the lifeblood of a mechanized army. By mid-September 1944, First and Third Armies were experiencing critical fuel problems, not because of a lack of fuel at the ports and beachheads but because of a shortage of transportation to move the fuel. To help solve the problem, the Allies built a pipeline to move the petroleum 140 miles forward from the beach-head and port of Cherbourg. Once fuel reached the end of the pipeline, trucks moved it to forward supply bases. However, by 9 September, daily consumption outstripped daily receipts as Allied forces moved forward. Planned consumption was significantly underestimated, and units consumed the fuel as soon as it got to the front line. The increase in consumption rates and the lack of truck transportation were the largest contributors to the petroleum shortages. Nevertheless, fuel shortages accounted for only half of the critical shortages in the European theater. Ammunition was the other half.
Ammunition Shortfalls

Ammunition is the hardest supply to push on the battlefield because of its various types and different configurations. Ammunition arrives in theater in bulk and is broken down and loaded on trucks in configurations that maximize the space available. Problems such as a shortage of trucks, disputes over consumption rates, artillery round shortages, and production rates in the United States that couldn't keep up with demand, compounded the usual challenges of ammunition resupply.

A top secret 20ft long panorama of the Normandy coastline taken during daring spy missions just months before D-Day has emerged for sale almost 70 years later. The photos were snapped by highly-skilled Spitfire pilots who recorded the landscape as seen from the sea ahead of the pivotal beach invasion. The annotated images identify key landmarks along the five-mile section of 'Gold' beach, where British troops landed on June 6, 1944 and where around 1,000 people lost their lives.

Top secret: This is part of a fascinating 20ft-long panorama of the French coastline taken during daring spy missions just before D-Day, which will be sold at auction next week

Top secret: This is part of a fascinating 20ft-long panorama of the French coastline taken during daring spy missions just before D-Day, which will be sold at auction next week

Vital preparations: This photograph from 1944 shows a British amphibious tank going ashore on Gold Beach on D-Day at the portion of the beach likely to be the one above

Vital preparations: This photograph from 1944 shows a British amphibious tank going ashore on Gold Beach on D-Day at the portion of the beach near the one above. The archive is made up of 21 plates, each measuring 8ins by 11ins. When pieced together they make a panorama that is almost 20ft long. Officers studied them to familiarise themselves with the landscape and to look for where German gun emplacements were and beach exits for the soldiers. They would also have been used to create highly detailed maps and three dimensional models of the D-Day landing zones. Marked on the pictures, which cover the coastline from Arromanches-les-Bains to La Riviere, are landmarks including a tower, a lighthouse and a coastguard station.

Key target: The town of Arromanche-Les-Bains was one of the key targets on June 6 1944 and this annotated images identifies its key features

Key target: The town of Arromanche-Les-Bains was one of the key targets on June 6 1944 and this annotated images identifies its key features

Incredible: Spitfire pilots and other planes and vessels used sophisticated technology at the time to plot exactly a five mile stretch of beach and surrounding hills occupied by the Germans

Incredible: Spitfire pilots and other planes and vessels used sophisticated technology at the time to plot exactly a five mile stretch of beach and surrounding hills occupied by the Germans

Detail: An officer has pointed out points like the lighthouse at this point on the Normandy coast which forms part of a giant panorama

Detail: An officer has written on this photo and highlighted the lighthouse at this point on the Normandy coast, stitched together to form part of a giant panorama

Dangerous: This is the beach at Mont Fleury, home to one of the a huge gun battery that could fire on both Gold and Juno beaches, making it one of the key targets at the start of the invasion

Dangerous: This is the beach at Mont Fleury, home to one of the a huge gun battery that could fire on both Gold and Juno beaches, making it one of the key targets at the start of the invasion

Important: St Come de Fresne, pictured here from the sea, was considered an important foothold for the Allies just east of the heart of Gold beach

Important: St Come de Fresne, pictured here from the sea, was considered an key foothold for the Allies just east of the heart of Gold beach

Plot: The Germans were completely unaware that this plotting of the landscape was taking place and it formed a key element of the June 1944 invasion

Plot: The Germans were completely unaware that this plotting of the landscape was taking place and it formed a key element of the June 1944 invasion

Into battle: The images are being sold by the son of Captain Alexander Rodger, commander of infantry landing ship HMS Empire Crossbow (pictured) in the D-Day operation

Into battle: The images are being sold by the son of Captain Alexander Rodger, commander of infantry landing ship HMS Empire Crossbow (pictured) in the D-Day operation. The photos were taken by brave airmen who flew just 10ft above the sea, 1,000 yards from shore and in broad daylight. They are being sold by the son of Captain Alexander Rodger, commander of infantry landing ship HMS Empire Crossbow in the D-Day operation. The ship carried two companies from the Royal Hampshire Regiment onto Gold beach, where they went on to capture their targets of Arromanches and La Hamel.

Daunting: This series of pictures taken on the eve of D-Day shows how high the cliff were along Gold Beach. At points soldiers were forced to climb them, with some reaching 200ft

Daunting: This series of pictures taken on the eve of D-Day shows how high the cliff were along Gold Beach. At points soldiers were forced to climb them, with some reaching 200ft

Detail: Part of the success of D-Day was the amount of planning that had been involved. The Allies carefully plotted landmarks and buildings, like the Coast Guard here, to ensure soldiers were fully prepared when going into battle

Detail: Part of the success of D-Day was the amount of planning that had been involved. The Allies carefully plotted landmarks and buildings, like the Coast Guard here, to ensure soldiers were fully prepared when going into battle

Remarkable: Spies had accurately plotted the length of Gold Beach (pictured), by putting together small photographs to make a 21ft panorama that could be viewed like a soldier coming in from the sea

Remarkable: Spies had accurately plotted the length of Gold Beach (pictured), by putting together small photographs to make a 21ft panorama that could be viewed like a soldier coming in from the sea

History: The scene and memorial at Arromanches (Gold beach), with the remains of Mulberry Harbour B a temporary harbour used by the British and Canadians to bring in troops and equipment after D-Day

History: The scene and memorial at Arromanches (Gold beach), with the remains of Mulberry Harbour B a temporary harbour used by the British and Canadians to bring in troops and equipment after D-Day. Captain Rodger passed the images on to his son as a keepsake following the war.

FIGHT FOR GOLD BEACH: HOW TAKING IT HELPED WIN THE WAR

At the heart of the plan on D-Day was Gold Beach and the neighbouring Omaha Beach because it was where the Allies wanted to set up temporary harbours after the invasion. This meant the Allies could land troops, vehicles and equipment on French soil without having to capture a port first.Mulberry A, as it was called, was installed at Omaha Beach, for American invasion forces; Mulberry B was set up at Arromanches (Gold Beach) for the British and Canadians. The pre-fabricated harbours were towed across the English Channel in chunks and put into place on the Normandy beaches. The Mulberry harbours were completed by May 1944 and successfully launched with the use of tug boats soon after.

It allowed 220,000 men, 50,000 vehicles and 600,000 tones of supplies to be landed in France and undoubtedly helped win the war. The photographs are tipped to fetch £400 when they go under the hammer. Ian Carter, curator of the photographic archive at the Imperial War Museum, said the spy photos were commissioned by the Inter-Services Topographic Department, a joint intelligence organisation, and taken in March 1944. Mr Carter said: 'In the run-up to D-Day the ISTD used reconnaissance photos such as these along with other sources of information to build up a complete picture of the area. 'Highly-skilled pilots would fly very low level missions in Spitfires, Mosquitos or F5 Lightning planes to get the photos needed. 'They were very dangerous sorties. 'The pilots not only faced the possibility of attack from German planes and flak from ground troops but also the inherent dangers of flying 10ft above the waves. 'The planes had cameras mounted in the noses and it was vital the pilots got pictures of every inch of coastline. 'To avoid arousing suspicion among the Germans as to where the landings were going to take place, photos were taken of the coastline from Normandy right up to Belgium and Holland. 'These particular photos show the Gold area from Arromanches-Les-Bains to La Riviere. 'As well as highlighting primary landmarks, the images would have been used to identify the location of German emplacements and possible beach exits. 'They would have been seen by only the highest ranking officials and from them highly detailed maps and 3D models were drawn out and handed to officers.

By mid-September, Allied forces faced serious shortages and began rationing 155-millimeter howitzer and 81-millimeter mortar ammunition to the combat forces. As the war progressed, artillery expenditure rates changed from one army to the next and from one battle to the next. This made it difficult to predict the required supply rate. The Army eventually solved this problem by establishing a required supply rate and a combat supply rate. The required supply rate was the amount of ammunition a commander expected to need for a particular combat operation, while the combat supply rate was the amount of ammunition the supply system could support.
Other Supply Deficits

Although providing food, water, construction materials, and clothing to forward troops was less difficult in World War II than providing petroleum and ammunition, logisticians still faced some challenges with sustainment. Providing hot "chow" to forward units was time consuming, and it was difficult to serve units on the move. However, hot food was as big a morale boost for combat forces then as it is now.

Limited transportation made it difficult to move barrier materials to the front. It was hard to justify moving construction materials when there was not enough transportation available to move ammunition or fuel.

Clothing challenges involved everything from design and development to production problems to transportation shortages. Distribution of winter uniforms to the troops was delayed because line units did not provide the right requisitioning numbers. Winter uniforms were a very low requisitioning priority until October. By then, it was too late for every soldier to receive enough winter gear for the cold weather in December and January. Blanket requisitions did not include the needs of the civilian population, prisoners of war, and French free forces. There was a deficit of almost a million blankets by the winter of 1944.

World War II logistics was a continuous process of initiatives and experimentation to try to fit the right logistics system with the right circumstances. When logisticians found roadblocks at the strategic level, they overcame them as quickly as their communication systems could respond. At the operational level, logistics initiatives included Mulberries to serve as expedient piers, pipelines to move fuel, and the "Red Ball Express" to push logistics to the front lines. A beachhead was established to accumulate supplies, a series of supply bases was set up along a 300-mile main supply route, and, simultaneously, air, truck, rail, and pipeline transportation was used to move supplies across the battlefield.

"Red Ball Express" was the Army code name for a truck convoy system that stretched from St. Lo in Normandy to Paris and eventually to the front along France's northeastern borderland. The route was marked with red balls. The Army Transportation corps created the huge trucking operation on 21 August 1944. Supply trucks started rolling on 26 August and continued for 82 days. On an average day, 900 fully loaded vehicles were on the Red Ball route around the clock, with drivers ordered to observe 60-yard intervals and a top speed of 25 miles per hour. When the program ended in mid-november 1944, Red Ball Express truckers had delivered 412,193 tons of food, gasoline, oil, lubricants, ammunition, and other essential supplies.

Timeless Logistics Lessons

Military logistics operations in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War employed much of the same methodology: secure a port of debarkation, build up a supply base, and then push supplies forward by whatever means available. Even today, the commander's first strategy is typically to build up supplies and combat power over months in a theater of operations, conduct tactical operations, and then hope that supply lines remain open and capable of keeping up with the combat forces. However, as any good planner knows, "hope is not a method."

Transformation of the logistics structure must begin with the renovation of its systems, including changes in transportation and maintenance, as well as in the supply of food, water, fuel, ammunition, and barrier materials. The bottom line is: The military needs to lighten its equipment and supply loads in order to reduce its logistics tail, cut lift requirements, and, at the same time, increase force sustainability.
More Multipurpose Vehicles

The Army has already begun to reduce the weight of its combat systems by using the light armored vehicle (LAV) to increase the survivability of the light forces and increase the maneuverability of the heavy forces with a decrease in fuel consumption. Industry can take the LAV chassis one step further by using it for logistics vehicles that will replace the wide variety of cargo- and liquid-carrying vehicles now used. A LAV chassis, enhanced with a 5-ton cargo bed and a crane for loading and unloading 463L pallets and redesigned to be C–130 transportable, is essential.

Today's family of cargo transportation vehicles consists of four distinct types: dry cargo, wet cargo, perishable cargo, and ammunition. None of these vehicles are very fuel-efficient. The newest versions are complicated to maintain, and several different types of mechanics are required to maintain them. They do not all have the same load capabilities, and they are not survivable on the modern battlefield.

If the same medium-weight chassis were used for both cargo vehicles and combat vehicles, the number of mechanics needed to repair them would be reduced. Such vehicles could keep up with the combat forces while maintaining a small degree of self-protection. A LAV equipped with a cargo bed or a pallet-mounted 3,000-gallon fuel or water tank could move cargo, fuel, or water anywhere on the battlefield. This system also could be equipped with a crew-served weapon that would provide high-volume direct fire from within the vehicle's cab.
Subsistence Transformation

Transformation of rations and the way rations and water are provided would reduce the number of personnel required to support combat forces, decrease the number of cargo vehicles needed, and reduce the overall logistics footprint on the battlefield.

The way to redesign field rations is to combine meals, ready to eat (MREs), tray rations, and unitized group rations into a "super MRE." The super MRE would be packaged, heated, and prepared much like the current MREs but would have the nutritional value, variety, and taste of fresh A rations.

The super MREs would eliminate the need for cooks, provide forward combat units with hot meals, and reduce the need for transporting large quantities of rations across the battlefield. At the same time, super MREs would ensure that even the soldiers on the most remote part of the battlefield receive a hot meal.

Water is another challenge for logisticians. Water purification and bulk water transportation across the battlefield are difficult and time consuming. Also, it is difficult to get water to soldiers in the most remote areas of the theater.

Three concepts for future water production and transportation could reduce the problems inherent in water resupply. The first is a water-production system already in concept development that extracts water from a vehicle's fuel system, purifies it, and stores it in a separate tank. This not only will increase the fuel efficiency of combat vehicles by removing wastewater but also will provide forward combat soldiers with water systems in their individual vehicles.

The second method of providing water to forward combat units is to equip each squad with a small, vehicle-mounted reverse-osmosis water purification unit with a 100- to 200-gallon storage tank.

The third method is to purchase more hard-wall bulk water tanks that mount on 463L pallets. Currently, bulk water distribution is limited to 3,000-gallon water bags hauled on trailers. These bags have to be either full or empty when hauled and cannot be easily dismounted and recovered. The hard-wall tanks could be filled with any quantity of water, dropped off anywhere on the battlefield, and picked up when empty. These tanks, which would be similar to the new "Hippo" water tank rack system, would provide more flexible water distribution. Modern technology could replace the metal tanks with composite plastic tanks, which would reduce the weight of the tank, minimize mildew buildup, and eliminate rust in the tank.

Other potential water innovations range from a personal hydration system to a solar-powered water chiller-heater that would fit inside a flak jacket. The device's solar-powered motor would chill water in hot climates and warm water in cold climates to add to the wearer's comfort and safety.
Liquid Logistics

Petroleum is the other "liquid logistics" commodity that puts a huge strain on both combat forces and logistics forces trying to move it. Until technology can provide a viable hydrogen-powered engine, petroleum will continue to be the primary fuel for powering military vehicles. Therefore, military vehicles must be lighter weight and more fuel efficient. Industry can assist with meeting these goals by equipping the new generation of combat and combat support vehicles with a simple-to-maintain battery-fuel combination engine or one that operates on fuel cells.

Another innovation for moving fuel on the battlefield is the Load-Handling System (LHS) Modular Fuel Farm (LMFF). It consists of ten 2,500-gallon tank racks and one pump rack. Like the Hippos, the LMFF tanks can be transported when full, partially filled, or empty. By using two tank racks—one on the truck and one on the trailer—a palletized load system and LHS can transport up to 5,000 gallons of bulk petroleum per trip.
Bulky Cargo

Barrier materials such as lumber, sandbags, and barbed wire are a strain on transportation systems because they are bulky, oversized, and difficult to load. The biggest problem with this type of cargo is that it comes in many different shapes and sizes, which makes it difficult to establish a standard load for a cargo vehicle.

The first step to more efficient resupply of barrier materials is the development of standard packages that would be used Army-wide. Barrier materials could be broken down and configured into lettered and numbered sets much like they are in most active-duty combat units. All packages would be assembled and configured for specific purposes, such as platoon defense, roadblock, or mine emplacement.

These configured and labeled packages would be shipped from the United States to a theater of operations, where forward combat forces could order them by citing the appropriate letter and number of the configuration they need. Preassembled, preconfigured barrier materials could be brought into the theater quickly.

The LMFF is mobile when full, partically full, or empty, which decreases its deployment and recovery time.

Building Better Bullets

The last class of supply needing transformation is ammunition. The first of two big problems is the many different kinds of ammunition that are required on the battlefield. Having so many different kinds of ammunition makes it difficult to provide the correct ammunition during combat. The second problem is determining how much ammunition to move onto the battlefield without moving too much or too little. Too much would tie up transportation assets, and downloading unneeded ammunition would be an added burden. A shortage of ammunition would pose a serious threat to combat units during a fight. There are many different sizes and types of ammunition in the U.S. military's inventory. To reduce the overall signature of large-caliber ammunition (above .50 caliber), for example, technology must combine similar caliber ammunition into a few interchangeable types. For example, artillery ammunition could be interchangeable with tank and large mortar ammunition, reducing at least six types of ammunition to one. Missile, rocket, and smaller mortar ammunition could be combined into another type. A standard conversion kit could accompany the two types of ammunition so they could be used quickly for whatever purpose necessary. The biggest advantage to a revolution in ammunition development is the reduced need to carry multiple types of ammunition across the battlefield. Only high-use ammunition would flow on resupply trucks, and it would stay uploaded until it was needed by combat forces. This would help keep the combat forces supplied and allow them to stay mobile on the battlefield. The only necessary reconfiguration of the ammunition would take place at the firing point.

Effective logistics capabilities provide the foundation that combat operators need to be persistent and decisive. Therefore, a transformation of combat operations cannot be carried out without first transforming logistics operations.

As the current U.S. military moves from a platform-based force to a capabilities-based force, logistics will play a key role in determining the success or failure of that transformation. A real logistics transformation will require new equipment, new planning techniques, and a logistics information architecture that supports the combat force.  Real-time information that enables supply requisitioning and tracking from the factory to the battlefield is critical to the success of any equipment innovations. Without such a system to complement the capabilities-based equipment, the logistics system will remain a cumbersome supply-based operation. Real-time information would eliminate many of the problems experienced during World War II, when it took months to respond to requisition changes from the front.  As recent transformations initiatives have stressed, successful capabilities-based logistics systems must be "sense-and-respond" systems that comprise two key ingredients: information and capability. Unfortunately, both the information architecture and the capabilities-based logistics equipment and systems needed for logistics transformation are still in the developmental stages. Without both ingredients, combat commanders soon will lose confidence in the ability of logisticians to provide "just-in-time" logistics and resort again to building an "Iron Mountain" of materiel as in previous conflicts. Until a global information network and a capabilities-based logistics system are implemented and validated, logistics sustainment will remain a "just-in-case" operation.

Mulberry harbour caissons, Arromanches

The Mulberry harbour ('Mulberry B' or 'Port Winston') at Arromanches on the Normandy coast in France was an artificial harbour constructed from prefabricated concrete sections. There was another Mulberry harbour at Omaha Beach to the west but this was destroyed by bad weather just days after its construction.

The Mulberry harbours were used to land men, armaments and equipment for the invasion of Normandy in the Second World War in the days following D-Day. They had been built in Britain and then towed in sections across the English Channel to their final location.

Several sections still remain at Arromanches, such as the long series of 'caissons' seen here.

Logistical Problems for the D-Day Invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

In support of operation OVERLORD it had been proposed at the Casablanca Conference that an assault against Southern France be mounted from the Mediterranean to coincide closely with the timing of the assault against Northwest France. I had been engaged in the planning phase of this operation, known initially as ANVIL and subsequently as DRAGOON, prior to leaving my command in the Mediterranean, and felt then that its contribution to the downfall of the enemy would be considerable. I continued to recognize its importance after leaving the Mediterranean Theater, fully conscious not only of the psychological effect upon the enemy and upon Europe as a whole of the double assault, but of the great military value the southern blow would have in splitting all enemy forces in France and of thus assisting OVERLORD.

Initially we had hoped that the ANVIL assault could be mounted with three divisions or, at the worst, with 2 divisions, building up to a strength of 10 divisions in the follow-up. However, on 23 January 1944, it became necessary to recommend to the Combined Chiefs of Staff that some consideration be given to reducing the ANVIL assault to one division, maintaining it as a threat until enemy weakness justified its employment. This recommendation was necessary because of our shortage of assault craft for the enlarged OVERLORD operation. We hoped that craft in the Mediterranean, originally allocated for ANVIL, would thus be freed for our use.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff did not agree with this proposal and on the basis of planning data available to them stated that sufficient craft would be on hand to mount an OVERLORD assault of seven divisions (including the two follow-up divisions) and an ANVIL of two divisions. These figures did not coincide with those of my own planners and the discrepancy was explained to the planners at Washington by my Chief of Staff. It was pointed out that the divisions involved in the assault each actually represented a division plus a regimental combat team and included the armor attached to it. Additionally, a number of subsidiary assaults by Commandos and Rangers necessitated craft for 5,000 personnel. Beyond this, the nature of the terrain, the heavy beach defenses, and the large rise and fall of tide in the Channel demanded the use of a very much larger number of engineer personnel and personnel for work on the beaches than would have otherwise been necessary. The scale of the problem may be understood by the fact that we intended on D-day and D-plus-1 to land 20,111 vehicles and 176,475 personnel. The vehicles included 1,500 tanks, 5,000 other tracked fighting vehicles, 3,000 guns of all types, and 10,500 other vehicles from jeeps to bulldozers.

This explanation helped to clarify our needs, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff recognizing the situation, met it by suggesting that the ANVIL assault be postponed rather than mounted simultaneously with OVERLORD. Field Marshal (then General) Sir Maitland Wilson, as Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean Theater, and the British Chiefs of Staff in London, had at one time suggested that the ANVIL operation be canceled chiefly because of weakness in the initial assault and the length of time required to build up sufficient forces. However, this was held to be inadvisable from the strategic point of view and contrary to the decisions reached at Teheran. The military advantages to be gained through a force of an additional ten or more divisions operating on our right flank after clearing Southern France would, I believed, be of extraordinary value later in the campaign. Accordingly, on 24 March, ANVIL was postponed from a target date of 31 May to one of 10 July, some four weeks after the OVERLORD assault, and the craft necessary to round out our full needs were in part drawn from Mediterranean resources and allocated to our use. Although the question of ANVIL was to reappear and the target date to be again postponed to 15 August, our problem in the mounting of OVERLORD had been settled and the priority of our needs in the larger operation established.

While the problem of assault craft was being resolved, the build·up of American troops and supplies in the United Kingdom continued under the direction of Lieut. Gen. John C. H. Lee. Planning for BOLERO, the name by which this logistical program was known, had begun in the United Kingdom as early as April 1942. The small original staff was divided for the North African (TORCH) operation, but expanded in 1943 and 1944 as the OVERLORD task became larger until, by D-day, the Communications Zone establishment contained 31,500 officers and 350,000 enlisted personnel. By July 1943 some 750,000 tons of supplies were pouring through English ports each month and this amount was steadily increased until in June 1944 1,900,000 tons were received from the United States. Much of this material was used to supply the troops already arrived in England, and other amounts were stored for use as OVERLORD progressed, but the stock pile earmarked for the American forces, over and above basic loads and equipment, was a full 2,500,000 tons for the invasion alone. By, June also, the number of U. S. Army troops in the United Kingdom had risen from 241,839 at the end of 1942 to 1,562,000.

The operation of transporting supplies from the United States to the United Kingdom was facilitated by the fact that cargoes were discharged through established ports and over established rail lines. Additionally, large quantities of materials for the invasion were made directly available from British resources within the United Kingdom itself. These conditions could not, of course, exist on the Continent and plans were accordingly made to overcome the difficulties envisaged. It was recognized that the major tonnage reception on the Continent would be over the Normandy beaches during the first two months, with the port of Cherbourg being developed at an early date. Successively, it was anticipated that port development would proceed in Brittany, the major effort in that area to be an artificial port at Quiberon Bay with complementary development of the existing ports of Brest, Lorient, St-Nazaire, and Nantes. While these were being brought into use the Row of supplies over the beaches was to be aided by the two artificial harbors (Mulberry "A" and Mulberry "B"). As the campaign progressed, it was anticipated that the bulk of American supplies would Row directly from the United States through the Brittany ports, while the Channel ports to the north, including Ostend and Antwerp, would be developed for the British armies. These expectations, however, did not materialize, due primarily to enemy strategy and the vicissitudes of the campaign. That both the American and British supply systems were able, in spite of this, to support the armies to the extent they did is a remarkable tribute to the flexibility of their organizations and to their perseverance in a single purpose.

The importance of the steady supply of our forces, once landed, may be gauged by reference to German strategy. This was intended to insure that our supplies should never be permitted to begin Rowing into the beachheads. The German philosophy was: "Deny the Allies the use of ports and they will be unable to support their armies ashore." For this reason the chain of Atlantic and Channel ports from Bordeaux to Antwerp was under orders from Hitler himself to fight to the last man and the last round of ammunition. The Germans fully expected us to be able to make a landing at some point on the Channel coast, but they were nevertheless certain that they could dislodge us before supplies could be brought ashore to maintain the troops. They had no knowledge of our artificial harbors, a secret as closely guarded as the time and place of our assault. The impossible was accomplished and supplies came ashore, not afterwards to support a force beleaguered on the beachheads, but actually with the troops as they landed. The Germans were, by virtue of our initial supply, denied the opportunity of dislodging us and were subsequently, throughout the campaign, under sustained attack as the result of the feats of maintenance performed by our administrative organizations.

A captured enemy document, written by a division commander, perhaps pays as great a tribute to all the forces responsible for supply of the front· line troops as could be found. He wrote: "I cannot understand these Americans. Each night we know that we have cut them to pieces, inflicted heavy casualties, mowed down their transport. We know, in some cases, we have almost decimated entire battalions. But-in the morning, we are suddenly faced with fresh battalions, with complete replacements of men, machines, food, tools, and weapons. This happens day after day. If I did not see it with my own eyes, I would say it is impossible to give this kind of support to front-line troops so far from their bases."

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remains of Mulberry harbour, Arromanches at low tide

The Mulberry harbour ('Mulberry B' or 'Port Winston') at Arromanches on the Normandy coast in France was an artificial harbour constructed from prefabricated concrete sections. There was another Mulberry harbour at Omaha Beach to the west but this was destroyed by bad weather just days after its construction.

The Mulberry harbours were used to land men, armaments and equipment for the invasion of Normandy in the Second World War in the days following D-Day. They had been built in Britain and then towed in sections across the English Channel to their final location.

Several sections of the harbour still remain at Arromanches; the one in the foreground lies closest to the shore and is completely exposed at low tide. A series of others can be seen in the background, out to sea.

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beachcombing at Arromanches

Arromanches is a small town on the Normandy coast in Northern France.

The Mulberry harbour ('Mulberry B' or 'Port Winston') at Arromanches was an artificial harbour constructed from prefabricated concrete sections. There was another Mulberry harbour at Omaha Beach to the west but this was destroyed by bad weather just days after its construction.

The Mulberry harbours were used to land men, armaments and equipment for the invasion of Normandy in the Second World War in the days following D-Day. They had been built in Britain and then towed in sections across the English Channel to their final location.

Several sections still remain at Arromanches, such as the long series of 'caissons' seen here.

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Mulberry B harbour, Arromanches

Les caissons Phoenix du Port Winston (Mulberry B). Beaucoup sont encore visibles de nos jours au large d'Arromanches.

By June 9, just 3 days after D-Day, two harbours codenamed Mulberry 'A' and 'B' were constructed at Omaha Beach and Arromanches, respectively. However, a large storm on June 19 destroyed the American harbour at Omaha, leaving only the British harbour which came to be known as Port Winston at Arromanches.

A complete Mulberry harbour was constructed out of 600,000 tons of concrete between 33 jetties, and had 10 miles (15 km) of floating roadways to land men and vehicles on the beach. Port Winston is commonly upheld as one of the best examples of military engineering. Its remains are still visible today from the beaches at Arromanches.

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Mulberry B harbour, Arromanches

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Mulberry B harbour, Arromanches

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Mulberry B, Arromanches, Normandy, France

Mulberry B harbour at Arromanches, Normandy , France, august 2011.

Mulberry B was one of two artificial harbours (the other one (Mulberry A) being at Omaha beach - it was destroyed during a storm on june 19, 1944) developed in World War II to offload cargo on the beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy. It was called "Port Winston" by the British in which zone it was situated and saw heavy use for 8 months—despite being designed to last only 3 months. It was used to land over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tonnes of supplies providing much needed reinforcements in France. The most element still visible to this day are the "Phoenix elements"; reinforced concrete caissons constructed by civil engineering contractors around the coast of Britain.

 

Longues Battery. Sited above Longues-sur-Mer (near Arromanches - see bleow) this is the observation and commnd bunker on the cliff-edge. Actually used in the filming of "The Longest Day".

Utah Beach. Peaceful now , not on the 6th June 1944.

Striking then-and-now photographs that capture how northern France was devastated 70 years ago – and how it has recovered

  • With anniversary of Normandy Landings approaching next week, Getty Images have created striking a juxtaposition
  • D-Day on June 6, 1944, marked the start of the European invasion during the Second World War
  • Thousands of allied troops landed on French beaches initiating efforts to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation
  • In total 75,215 British and Canadian troops and 57,500 US troops were landed by sea on D-Day

Today they are picturesque scenes of tranquility, but seventy years ago these sites in Northern France were the bloody stage for the D-Day landings.

With the anniversary of the Normandy Landings approaching next week, Getty Images have created a striking juxtaposition of the scenes in 1944 and now in 2014.

The images show how the pretty market square of Trevieres once had the dead body of German solider splayed out across the street and how the quiet beach of St Aubin-sur-Mer was once the scene of thousands of Royal Marines marching through the waters.

Next week the anniversary of the amphibious assault on June 6, 1944 will be marked with events on several of the Normandy beaches.

D-Day marked the start of the European invasion during the Second World War after five years of war with Germany.

Thousands of allied troops landed on the beaches in Northern France initiating the effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation.

In total 75,215 British and Canadian troops and 57,500 US troops were landed by sea on D-Day. They began an attack that lasted for eleven months and took them all the way to Germany.

The body of a German soldier belonging lies on the Market Square in Trevieres, 15 June, 1944. The two jeeps in the centre of the photo and the two GIs at the left are part of the MP Platoon of the 2nd Infantry Division

The body of a German soldier belonging lies on the Market Square in Trevieres, 15 June, 1944. The two jeeps in the centre of the photo and the two GIs at the left are part of the MP Platoon of the 2nd Infantry Division

A group of American soldiers stand at the village fountain on 12 June, 1944. A woman is walking away with two pitchers while three children are watching the scene, and an old man is fetching water next to a GI expected to wash his bowls. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, was liberated by a group of paratroopers of the 501st and 506th Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division

A group of American soldiers stand at the village fountain on 12 June, 1944. A woman is walking away with two pitchers while three children are watching the scene, and an old man is fetching water next to a GI expected to wash his bowls. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, was liberated by a group of paratroopers of the 501st and 506th Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division

A Canadian soldier is directing traffic in Bernieres-sur-Mer on 6 June, 1944. The Canadians landed at Juno Beach which is nearby. Nearly 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their live in the battles for the beachhead

A Canadian soldier is directing traffic in Bernieres-sur-Mer on 6 June, 1944. The Canadians landed at Juno Beach which is nearby. Nearly 14,000 Canadian soldiers were put ashore and 340 lost their live in the battles for the beachhead

After the assault at the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc by the 2nd Ranger Battalion (D, E and F Company) Colonel James E. Rudder establishes a Post Commando on Omaha Beach, in Normandy. German prisoners are gathered and an American flag is deployed for signaling. The heaviest fighting was on Omaha beach

After the assault at the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc by the 2nd Ranger Battalion (D, E and F Company) Colonel James E. Rudder establishes a Post Commando on Omaha Beach, in Normandy. German prisoners are gathered and an American flag is deployed for signaling. The heaviest fighting was on Omaha beach

An older couple watch a Canadian soldier with a bulldozer working in the ruins of a house in the rue de Bayeux, Caen, 10 July, 1944. The church towers in the background have survived the Allied bombing intact

An older couple watch a Canadian soldier with a bulldozer working in the ruins of a house in the rue de Bayeux, Caen, 10 July, 1944. The church towers in the background have survived the Allied bombing intact

A French armoured column passing through the small French town of St Mere Eglise on D-Day, gets a warm welcome from the inhabitants

A French armoured column passing through the small French town of St Mere Eglise on D-Day, gets a warm welcome from the inhabitants

Three soldiers of the 23rd Field Ambulance of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division place flowers on graves in Saint Georges de Basly. Two soldiers wear the armband for the Red Cross. In the background is the church of Saint Georges de Basly. The four temporary graves are for a Scottish, a Canadian and two French civilians

Three soldiers of the 23rd Field Ambulance of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division place flowers on graves in Saint Georges de Basly. Two soldiers wear the armband for the Red Cross. In the background is the church of Saint Georges de Basly. The four temporary graves are for a Scottish, a Canadian and two French civilians

The British 2nd Army: Royal Marine Commandos of Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, make their way from LCI(S)s (Landing Craft Infantry Small) onto 'Nan Red' Beach, JUNO Area, at St Aubin-sur-Mer at about 9 am, 6 June, 1944

The British 2nd Army: Royal Marine Commandos of Headquarters, 4th Special Service Brigade, make their way from LCI(S)s (Landing Craft Infantry Small) onto 'Nan Red' Beach, JUNO Area, at St Aubin-sur-Mer at about 9 am, 6 June, 1944

A view of Omaha Beach near Vierville sur Mer, France. American troops stand by with stores on Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings

A view of Omaha Beach near Vierville sur Mer, France. American troops stand by with stores on Omaha Beach after the D-Day landings

A view of a town square, stockpiled with supplies and ammunition earmarked for the impending D-Day invasion of France, in Moreton-in-Marsh, England, May 1944. The building at the extreme left is the Rededale Arms Hotel

A view of a town square, stockpiled with supplies and ammunition earmarked for the impending D-Day invasion of France, in Moreton-in-Marsh, England, May 1944. The building at the extreme left is the Rededale Arms Hotel

US troops on the Esplanade at Weymouth, Dorset, on their way to embark on ships bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day landings in Normandy, June 1944

US troops on the Esplanade at Weymouth, Dorset, on their way to embark on ships bound for Omaha Beach for the D-Day landings in Normandy, June 1944

Boats full of US troops waiting to leave Weymouth, Southern England, to take part in Operation Overlord in Normandy, June 1944. This location was used as a launching place for Allied troops participating in the invasion of Nazi-occupied France on D-Day, 6 June, 1944

Boats full of US troops waiting to leave Weymouth, Southern England, to take part in Operation Overlord in Normandy, June 1944. This location was used as a launching place for Allied troops participating in the invasion of Nazi-occupied France on D-Day, 6 June, 1944

 

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Mulberry Harbour

The remains of the temporary harbour built on Gold beach, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulberry_harbourfor a good description. The tower on top of the caisson housed a gun

The amazing thing about the harbour is it's size - twice the size of the Port of Dover, & the fact it was up & running just a few days after D-day

1 comment:

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