A Mulberry Harbour was a British designed temporary harbour developed during World War II to offload cargo onto beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy. Two prefabricated or artificial military harbours were taken across the English Channel from Britain with the invading army. The harbour was towed across in sections and then assembled off the coast of Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion of France in 1944.
3 days after D-Day two harbours codenamed Mulberry “A” and “B” were constructed at Omaha Beach and Arromanches, respectively. The one shown here is part of the harbour at Arromanches. However, a large storm on 19 June destroyed the American harbour at Omaha, leaving only the British harbour operating. The Arromanches harbour saw heavy use for 8 months – despite being designed to last only 3 months. In the 10 months after D-Day, it was used to land approximately 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tonnes of supplies. Thus providing much-needed reinforcements in France. In response to this longer than planned use the Phoenix breakwater was reinforced with the addition of extra specially strengthened caisson
The Royal Engineers built a complete Mulberry harbour 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. The harbour at Arromanches is commonly upheld as one of the best examples of military engineering. Its remains are still visible today from the beaches at Arromanches. Another section of it remains embedded in the sand in the Thames Estuary, accessible at low tide, about 1,000 m off the coast of the military base at Shoeburyness.
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