Arromanches Portable Harbour and Museum

Arromanches lies in the Gold beach sector of the landing beaches, but the allies did not land here instead they went around and attacked the town from the heights of St Come to the east. The town was liberated by the 1st Battalion of the Royal Hampshire Regiment  and surprisingly there was very little damage done to the town.

The town is best remembered for the harbour that was towed across the channel, this was called ‘Mulberry’. It was a simple idea and two were to be setup, one here at Arromanches and the other at Omaha beach. A line of sixty old ships were to be sunk to cause a breakwater on the landward side so the seas would be calmed, then a huge semicircle of hollow caissons codenamed ‘Phoenixes’ would be sunk to form a harbour wall.  The movement of men and materials was to be along flexible roadways named ‘whales’ running over floating pontoons. A storm broke out which lasted for three days destroying the one at Omaha but the one at Arromanches survived, bringing in thousands of tons of supplies.

The Museum

The museum was opened in 1954 and inside the main exhibit is a working model showing the landing beaches and Mulberry harbour and has a vast array of uniforms, weapons, a film on the area and the building of the harbour, a good gift and book shop. Outside you will find wartime vehicles and when the tide is out you can still see lots of the harbour still in place.

 

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