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Encyclopedia > Mulberry Harbour

A Mulberry harbour was a type of temporary harbour developed in World War II to offload cargo on the beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Free French Poland Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (land) Bertram Ramsay (sea) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (air) Omar Bradley (US 1st Army) Miles Dempsey (UK 2nd Army) Harry Crerar (Canadian 1st Army) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (Heeresgruppe B...

The Mulberry harbours were two prefabricated or artificial military harbours, which were taken across the English Channel from Britain with the invading army in sections and assembled off the coast of Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion of France. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 67 KB)A component of a Mulberry harbour, at Portland, as used off the WWII D-Day beaches. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 67 KB)A component of a Mulberry harbour, at Portland, as used off the WWII D-Day beaches. ... The Phoenix breakwaters were a set of reinforced concrete caissons constructed by civil engineering contractors around the coast of Britain in World War II. They were collected and sunk at Dungeness, the Cant, and Selsey Bay, and then towed across the English Channel to form the Mulberry harbour breakwaters together... Two RIBs at Castletown, Portland Harbour Portland Harbour is located beside the Isle of Portland, off Dorset, on the south coast of England. ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: La Manche (IPA: ), the sleeve) is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... Flag of Normandy Normandy (in French: Normandie, and in Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region in northern France. ... Land on Normandy In military parlance, D-Day is a term often used to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. ...

Contents

Background

The Dieppe Raid of 1942 had shown that the Allies could not rely on being able to penetrate the Atlantic Wall to capture a port on the north French coast, thus the Mulberries were created to provide the port facilities necessary to offload the thousands of men and vehicles, and tons of supplies necessary to sustain Operation Overlord and the Battle of Normandy. The harbours were made up of all the elements one would expect of any harbour: breakwater, piers, roadways etc. Combatants Canada United Kingdom Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts  ? Strength 6086 1500 Casualties Canada: 907 dead, 2340 captured; United Kingdom: 555+; United States:3+; Germany: 311 dead, 280 missing The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe or Operation Jubilee, during World War II, was an... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... German coast artillery in the Pas-de-Calais area, with laborers at work on casemate. ... The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. ... Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Free French Poland Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (land) Bertram Ramsay (sea) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (air) Omar Bradley (US 1st Army) Miles Dempsey (UK 2nd Army) Harry Crerar (Canadian 1st Army) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (Heeresgruppe B...


Development

The actual proposer of the idea of the Mulberry Harbour is disputed, but among those who are known to have proposed something along these lines is Hugh Iorys Hughes, a Welsh civil engineer who submitted initial plans on the idea to the War Office, Professor J. D. Bernal, and Vice-Admiral John Hughes-Hallett. Hugh Iorys Hughes (Born ???, died 1973) was a civil engineer who designed the Mulberry harbours used in Operation Overlord. ... Old War Office Building, Whitehall, London - the former location of the War Office The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. ... John Desmond Bernal (1901–1971) was an Irish-born scientist (from Nenagh, County Tipperary), known for pioneering X-ray crystallography. ... Vice-Admiral John Hughes-Hallett (December 1901 – 1972) was a British naval commander and politician. ...


At a meeting following the Dieppe Raid, Hughes-Hallett declared that if a port could not be captured, then one should be taken across the Channel. This was met with derision at the time, but in a subsequent meeting with Churchill, the Prime Minister declared he had surmised a similar scenario using some Danish Islands and sinking old ships for a bridgehead for an invasion in World War I. The concept of Mulberry Harbours began to take shape when Hughes-Hallett moved to be Naval Chief of Staff to the Overlord planners. Combatants Canada United Kingdom Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts  ? Strength 6086 1500 Casualties Canada: 907 dead, 2340 captured; United Kingdom: 555+; United States:3+; Germany: 311 dead, 280 missing The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe or Operation Jubilee, during World War II, was an... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: La Manche (IPA: ), the sleeve) is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert Henry Asquith Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow... The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. ...


A trial of the three eventual competing designs was set up, with tests of deployment including floating the elements, in Solway Firth, Scotland. The designs were by Hugh Iorys Hughes who developed his 'Hippo' piers and 'Crocodile' bridge units on the Conwy Morfa, using 1000 men to build the trial version; the Hamilton 'Swiss Roll' which consisted of a floating roadway; and a system of flexible bridging units supported on floating pontoons designed by Allan H Beckett. The tests revealed various issues (the 'Swiss Roll' would only take a maximum of a 7 ton truck in the Atlantic swell). However the final choice of design was determined by a storm during which the 'Swiss Roll' was washed away and the 'Hippos' were undermined; Beckett's floating roadway (subsequently codenamed Whale) survived undamaged. Beckett's design was adopted and manufactured under the management of J. D. Bernal and Brigadier Bruce White, under the orders of Sir Winston Churchill. Map of Solway Firth. ... Motto: (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots2 Government  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I 843  Area    - Total 78,772 km... Hugh Iorys Hughes (Born ???, died 1973) was a civil engineer who designed the Mulberry harbours used in Operation Overlord. ... The Conwy Morfa is a piece of originally marshy-sand based spit, north of the western end of the modern A55 entrance to Conwy. ... Brigadier is a rank which is used in different ways by different countries. ... Brigadier Sir Bruce Gordon White, KBE, CBE, |MBE, FCGI, FICE, FIEE (1885-1983) was one of the leading British consulting engineers of his generation. ... Churchill redirects here. ...


The proposed harbours called for many huge caissons of various sorts to build breakwaters and piers and connecting structures to provide the roadways. The caissons were built at a number of locations, mainly existing ship building facilities or large beaches like Conwy Morfa around the British coast. The works were let out to commercial construction firms including Robert McAlpine, Peter Lind & Company & Balfour Beatty who all still operate today. On completion they were towed across the English Channel to the Normandy coast at only 5 mph (8 km/h). The Mulberry Harbours cost more money to build than the Eurostar Channel Tunnel. In engineering, a caisson is a retaining, watertight structure used, for example, to work on the foundations of a bridge pier, for the construction of a concrete dam, or for the repair of ships. ... The Conwy Morfa is a piece of originally marshy-sand based spit, north of the western end of the modern A55 entrance to Conwy. ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: La Manche (IPA: ), the sleeve) is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... This article is about high-speed trains between London and Brussels / Paris. ... Map of the Channel Tunnel. ...


Deployment

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. While the harbour at Omaha was destroyed sooner than expected (due to it not being securely anchored to the sea bed), Port Winston saw heavy use for 8 months—despite being designed to last only 3 months. In the 100 days after D-Day, 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. June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... Combatants United States Germany Commanders Omar Bradley Norman Cota Clarence R. Huebner U.S. 1st Infantry Division U.S. 29th Infantry Division Dietrich Kraiss German 352nd Infantry Division Strength 34,000  ? Casualties 3,000 1,200 The build-up of Omaha Beach: reinforcements of men and equipment moving inland. ... Arromanches-les-Bains or simply Arromanches is a town in Normandy, France, located on the coast in the heart of the area where the Normandy landings took place on D_Day, on June 6, 1944. ... June 19 is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 195 days remaining. ...

Wrecked pontoon causeway of one of the "Mulberry" artificial harbors, following the storm of 19-22 June 1944.
Wrecked pontoon causeway of one of the "Mulberry" artificial harbors, following the storm of 19-22 June 1944.

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, and a section of it remains embedded in the sand in the Thames Estuary, accessible at low tide, about 100 m off the coast of the military base at Shoeburyness. Image File history File links MulberryA_-_wrecked_pontoon_causeway_after_storm. ... Image File history File links MulberryA_-_wrecked_pontoon_causeway_after_storm. ... Polish military engineers at work in Pakistan A military engineer is primarily responsible for the design and construction of offensive, defensive and logistical structures for warfare. ... The Thames Estuary is a large estuary where the River Thames flows into the North Sea. ... Location within the British Isles Shoeburyness is a town in southeast Essex, England, situated at the mouth of the river Thames. ...


Harbour elements and code names

Below are listed brief details of the major elements of the harbours together with their associated military code names. A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. ...


Corn cob

'Corn cobs' were block ships that crossed the channel either under their own steam or that were towed and then scuttled to create sheltered water at the five landing beaches of 'Sword', 'Juno', 'Gold', 'Omaha', and 'Utah'. Once in position the "Corn Cobs" created "Gooseberries". German battlecruiser Derfflinger scuttled at Scapa Flow. ... Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders General-Lieutenant Miles Dempsey, British 3rd Infantry Division Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter, German 716th Static Infantry Division Hans von Luck, German 21st Panzer Division Strength 28,845  ? Casualties 600 Unknown German defense at Ouistreham. ... This article is about the beach codenamed in WWII. For other uses, see Juno Beach (disambiguation) Combatants Canada Germany Commanders Major-General R.F.L. Keller, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter, German 716th Static Infantry Division Strength 15,000 7,771 Casualties 340 dead, 574 wounded Unknown Juno... Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey, British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter, German 716th Static Infantry Division Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, German 352nd Static Infantry Division Strength 24,970  ? Casualties 400 altogether Unknown This article is about a World War II invasion. ... Combatants United States Germany Commanders Omar Bradley Norman Cota Clarence R. Huebner U.S. 1st Infantry Division U.S. 29th Infantry Division Dietrich Kraiss German 352nd Infantry Division Strength 34,000  ? Casualties 3,000 1,200 The build-up of Omaha Beach: reinforcements of men and equipment moving inland. ... Combatants United States Germany Commanders Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. ...


Gooseberry

The sheltered waters created by the Corn Cob block ships. Two of the "Gooseberries" grew into "Mulberries", the artificial harbours.


Mulberry

Mulberry was the code name for the artificial harbours. These were the "Gooseberries" which metamorphosed into fully fledged harbours. There were two harbours, Mulberry 'A' and Mulberry 'B'. The 'Mulberry' harbours consisted of a floating outer breakwater called "Bombardons", a static breakwater consisting of "Gooseberries" and reinforced concrete caissons called "Phoenix", floating piers code named "Whale" and the pier heads code named "Spuds". These harbours were both of a similar size to Dover harbour. A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. ... Arms of Dover Borough Council This article is about the English port town. ...


Mulberry 'A'

The Mulberry harbour assembled on Omaha beach at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer for use the American invasion forces. Mulberry 'A' was so badly damaged by the Channel storms of late June 1944 that it was considered to be irreparable and its further assembly ceased. Combatants United States Germany Commanders Omar Bradley Norman Cota Clarence R. Huebner U.S. 1st Infantry Division U.S. 29th Infantry Division Dietrich Kraiss German 352nd Infantry Division Strength 34,000  ? Casualties 3,000 1,200 The build-up of Omaha Beach: reinforcements of men and equipment moving inland. ... Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer is a commune of the Calvados département, in the Basse-Normandie région, in France. ...


In American use the Mulberry harbour was thought of as a disposable item and only intended for use for a few weeks. The result of this being in their haste to construct it they failed to securely anchor the completed harbour to the sea bed, which is why Mulberry A was destroyed in the storm and Mulberry B survived.[citation needed]


Mulberry 'B'

The Mulberry harbour assembled on Gold beach at Arromanches for use by the British and Canadian invasion forces. Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey, British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter, German 716th Static Infantry Division Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, German 352nd Static Infantry Division Strength 24,970  ? Casualties 400 altogether Unknown This article is about a World War II invasion. ... Arromanches-les-Bains or simply Arromanches is a town in Normandy, France, located on the coast in the heart of the area where the Normandy landings took place on D_Day, on June 6, 1944. ...


Golden Arrow

'Arrow' the code name for the port at Arromanches and 'Golden' a reference to the Gold beach sector. Arromanches-les-Bains or simply Arromanches is a town in Normandy, France, located on the coast in the heart of the area where the Normandy landings took place on D_Day, on June 6, 1944. ... Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey, British 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter, German 716th Static Infantry Division Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, German 352nd Static Infantry Division Strength 24,970  ? Casualties 400 altogether Unknown This article is about a World War II invasion. ...


Bombardon

Large floating breakwaters fabricated in steel that were anchored outside the main breakwaters that consisted of Gooseberries (block ships) and 'Phoenix' (concrete caissons). During the bad storms at the end of June 1944 these broke loose, and possibly caused more damage to the harbours than the storm itself.


Phoenix

A Whale floating roadway leading to a Spud pier at Mulberry A off of Omaha Beach
A Whale floating roadway leading to a Spud pier at Mulberry A off of Omaha Beach

Reinforced concrete caissons constructed by civil engineering contractors around the coast of Britain, collected and sunk at Dungeness, the Cant and Selsey Bay, and then later re-floated and towed across the channel to form the "Mulberry" harbour breakwaters together with the "Gooseberry" block ships. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Combatants United States Germany Commanders Omar Bradley Norman Cota Clarence R. Huebner U.S. 1st Infantry Division U.S. 29th Infantry Division Dietrich Kraiss German 352nd Infantry Division Strength 34,000  ? Casualties 3,000 1,200 The build-up of Omaha Beach: reinforcements of men and equipment moving inland. ... Dungeness is the headland of a shingle beach on the Romney Marsh in Kent, England. ...


Whale

The dock piers were code named "Whale". These piers were the floating roadways that connected the "Spud" pier heads to the land. The roadways were made from purpose made torsionally flexible bridging units that had a span of 80 ft. mounted on pontoon units of either steel or concrete called "Beetles".


Beetle

Beetles were pontoons that supported the "Whale" piers. They were moored in position using wires attached to 'Kite' anchors.


Spud piers

The pier heads or landing wharves at which ships were unloaded. Each of these consisted of a pontoon with four legs that rested on the sea bed to anchor the pontoon, yet allowed it to float up and down freely with the tide.


Associated code names

Pluto

Pipe Line under the Ocean. Although 'Pluto' was not in itself an integral part of Mulberry, it was a vital part of the invasion technology. 'Pluto' consisted of four pipe lines, each 70 miles long, laid from the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg to supply fuel to the invading forces. The Isle of Wight is an English island and county, off the southern English coast, to the south of the county of Hampshire. ... Cherbourg is a city of Normandy, in northwestern France, in the Manche département, of which it is a sous_préfecture. ...


Further reading

  • J.Evans, R.Walter, E.Palmer, 'A Harbour Goes To War: The Story Of Mulberry And The Men Who Made It Happen'. Publisher - South Machars Historical Society (2000), ISBN 1-873547-30-7
  • Stanford, Alfred B., Force Mulberry: The Planning and Installation of the Artificial Harbor of U.S. Normandy Beaches in World War II, New York: William Morrow & Co., 1951 - details the design, assembly and construction of the American artificial harbor (Mulberry A) at Omaha Beach. Much of this book deals with the 108th Seabees, the unit which was responsible for construction of the Mulberry. Stanford was deputy commander of harbor during the invasion.
  • Hartcup, Guy, Code Name Mulberry: The planning, building and operation of the Normandy harbours, David & Charles (Publishers) Ltd, 1977 - This book covers the background to Mulberry Harbours as part of Operation Overlord, the prototypes, the testing and development, the building (including contributions of suppliers) plus the installation and running. A book that covers the whole project very well.
  • Institution of Civil Engineers, The Civil Engineer at War, vol 2. Docks and Harbours, 1959 - This is a collection of papers read at a symposium. They include a number of detailed plans and calculations contributing towards the final designs. Included are estimations of extracting power from waves by floating and stationary breakwaters.

See also

Operation Pluto (Pipe-Lines Under The Ocean) was a World War II operation by British scientists, oil companies and armed forces to construct undersea oil pipelines under the English Channel between England and France. ... The Phoenix breakwaters were a set of reinforced concrete caissons constructed by civil engineering contractors around the coast of Britain in World War II. They were collected and sunk at Dungeness, the Cant, and Selsey Bay, and then towed across the English Channel to form the Mulberry harbour breakwaters together...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mulberry (840 words)
A Mulberry was one of either of two artificial harbours designed and constructed by the British in World War II to facilitate the unloading of supply ships off the coast of Normandy, France, immediately following the invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944.
One harbour, known as Mulberry "A," was constructed off Saint-Laurent at Omaha Beach in the American sector, and the other, Mulberry "B," was built off Arromanches at Gold Beach in the British sector.
Mulberry was conceived after the failed amphibious raid on the French port of Dieppe in August 1942.
Mulberry harbour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1441 words)
A Mulberry harbour was a type of temporary harbour developed in World War II to offload cargo on a beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy.
The Mulberry harbours were two prefabricated or artificial military harbours, which were taken across the English Channel from Britain with the invading army and assembled off the coast of Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion of France.
Mulberry 'A' was so badly damaged by the Channel storms of late June 1944 that it was considered to be irreparable and its further assembly ceased.
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