Gallery - D-Day - Securing the Beachheads
With no deep-water port available for unloading supplies from large vessels, two artificial harbours were pre-fabricated and towed across the English Channel into position off the Normandy coast, at OMAHA and GOLD Beaches. Consisting of steel and concrete sections of breakwaters, floating roadways and unloading piers, they were named 'Mulberry A' and 'Mulberry B' respectively. These extensive temporary structures were vital to the Allied logistic effort in the absence of a deep-water port and played a major part in supporting the ongoing battle for Normandy.
During a storm on 19 June, many of the concrete sections of Mulberry A broke loose, wrecking the network of floating causeways and jetties. Imagery flown after the storm is presented here. Mulberry B, off Arromanches, survived the storm and continued to provide an invaluable service for many months afterwards.
In order to provide readily available close air support to troops fighting to expand the beachheads, a number of temporary airfields were constructed across the invasion zone. With runways of steel mesh, these Advanced Landing Grounds enabled Allied fighter-bombers to reach the battlefront quickly and to orbit for longer while waiting for targets of opportunity.