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The Mulberry Harbour Port Winston

Listed under Military Ruins in Normandy, France.

Photo of The Mulberry Harbour Port Winston
Photo by flickr user Mike Knell
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Towards the end of the Second World War the Allied forces needed to push the Germans back though France, but to do so they needed to invade the coast, so the Germans built the Atlantic Wall and gathered their forces around the Norman ports ready for the Allies.  But instead the Allies developed a way to make their own temporary harbours.  These were called Mulberry Harbours, basically concrete boxes that could be towed across the channel then filled with water and sunk off the Normandy coast, and these harbours were some of the key weapons in the D-Day invasion, June 6th 1944. 

A complete Mulberry harbour was designed to have 33 jetties, and ten miles worth of floating road arranged to land men and supplies on the beach, and there were plans for two.  One of them was destroyed when a storm hit mid construction, but the other, Port Winston, the British port, has survived, and saw prolonged use over the next eight months, even though it was only designed to survive for three, and can still be seen off the beach at Arromanches.  The tide here is pretty dramatic, but the concrete boxes and some of the ramps and roads protrude from the ocean at low tide.  

 

Written by  Toby Bright.

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