|The Mulberry Harbor in Arromanche, also known as Gold Beach|
|Gold Beach and the Mulberry remnants today|
The harbors were loosely based upon the World War I German strategy of using sunken ships as jetties. In the months leading up to the D-Day invasion British engineers experimented with various designs for the proposed harbors. The design was to include a series of caissons, or water containing structures, which would create breakwaters, piers and interconnected roadways which would be used to move equipment from ships to the nearby shore. Not only would they have to hold up to the heavy weight of the tanks and other artillery that would cross their spans, they also had to withstand the heavy sea swells that were common along the Normandy coast. The caissons would be built in England then transported across the English Channel before being reassembled on the Normandy Beaches. It was an ambitious and forward thinking plan but three days after the Allied forces landed in Normandy, two sets of Mulberry Harbors were indeed constructed.
The first, located off of the American landing spot on Omaha Beach, was quickly destroyed by a fierce Atlantic storm. The second one, constructed of 600,000 tons of concrete spread over 33 jetties and spanning a total of ten miles of floating roadways, off the coast of Arromanche, or Gold Beach, withstood the storm. Over the next eight months more than 2.5 million troops, 500,000 vehicles and 4 million tons of supplies rolled ashore along this series of jetties and roadways.
|Remnants of the "harbor" today|
If you go:
Arromanches Cinema Circulaire
(33) 02 31 06 06 45
5 Euro for adults, 4 Euro for children and seniors
Place du 6 Juin
(33) 02 31 22 34 31
7.90 Euro for adults, 5.80 for children and students
Reduced rates for military members