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Den Haag Links

June 2001
Memorial Weekend Tour - Somme, France
Assorted Great War Sites in the Somme Region
Beaumont-Hamel - Newfoundland Memorial
Normandy, France and the D-Day Invasion Beaches
Bayeux Invasion Museum
The Pointe-du-Hoc
Normandy American Cemetary - Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach - Charlie and Dog Green
Longues-Sur-Mer Battery
Mulberry-B Artificial Harbor
Wurzburg-Riese Radar Station
Caen: City of William the Conqueror
La Ferte Alais Airshow
Other Months
Index page

Mulberry-B Artificial Harbor
Wednesday, June 06, 2001; posted by Paris

We drove from the Longues-Sur-Mer battery to the Artificial Harbor - much of which can still be seen. The text below is taken from the following links:

A good illustration and text.

Very interesting illustrations of the artificial harbor.

Preparations for the Allied invasion of Normandy were unprecedented in scale and complexity. In addition to accumulating hundreds of thousands of soldiers and millions of tons of material in Britain, the Allies gathered hundreds of specialized landing craft in ports across southern England. These would play a critical role in delivering the Allied assault troops to the French beaches. Given the presumed difficulties in seizing French harbors from their German garrisons, the Allies designed and built huge metal and concrete artificial harbors--later called "mulberries"--for tow to the Normandy beaches. Once the American and Commonwealth assault troops had secured beachheads in France, the mulberries would make unloading cargo ships easier and faster than carrying supplies over the beach.

Arromanches was chosen to be the landing point for the artificial harbor for British troops and designated Mulberry B. Mulberry A, intended for use by U.S. forces, was established at Omaha Beach. Mulberry A was in use for less than ten days when it was destroyed in a severe storm during the period 19 to 23 June. Establishment of these artificial harbors involved the laying of 146 Phoenix caissons, 600,000 tons of concrete with 33 jetties and ten miles of floating roadways - all of it towed across the Channel at just over 4 mph. Around 9,000 tons of materiel was landed daily at Mulberry B until the end of August, by which time the ports of Antwerp and Cherbourg had been secured by the Allies and had begun to return to service.

The "Mulberry" artificial harbor was invented in England and its units were built in Scotland and England. The "Mulberry" was designed to provide a harbor on a coast which had no such natural features.

One of the great concrete sections of the main breakwater for a "Mulberry" floated at a fitting-out basin. Its hull of hollow and compartmented concrete, reinforced with tons of steel, had valves which permitted internal flooding as tugs nudged the sinking leviathan into its place in the breakwater of the man-made harbor on the Normandy coast.

The outermost auxiliary element of the "Mulberry" harbor was a line of floating breakwaters. These were long steel floats, cruciform in cross-section. They were moored to the bottom and so sluggish in buoyancy that they barely showed above the surface. They knocked down and absorbed the force of the seaward swells before they reached the main breakwater composed of phoenix units and block ships.

A view of the beach and in the foreground and background bits of the artificial harbor.

These break walls still encircle the area. Looking to the left on Gold beach.

Looking to the right of Gold beach from on top of a hill (formerly a gun and radar site).

Low tide has exposed this piece that has washed ashore. It is about 50 feet long and 12 feet wide and 15 feet high. The inside was exposed and it was filled with water and rusting metal.

Looking at the town from the Channel. Look similar to what we see in the old black and white landing films.