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Newly discovered images of storm-damaged Mulberry harbour

On 27 June 1944, a reconnaissance aeroplane flying over France photographed the damage to the artificial harbour at Vierville, Normandy, after a series of heavy storms. This harbour codenamed 'Mulberry A' was constructed of prefabricated sections which had been towed across the English Channel after D-Day and assembled to form breakwaters, unloading piers and floating pontoon roadways. 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. 'Mulberry B’, a second artificial harbour at Arromanches, survived the storm and continued to provide an invaluable service for many months afterwards.


These images from the aftermath of the storm show the sheer scale of the Mulberry operation in action, along with the growing Allied presence in France, from troop and cargo landings to temporary airfields and personnel tents.

23 December 2009