Archaeology of Mulberries

diddyriddick

Historum Emeritas
May 2009
14,692
A tiny hamlet in the Carolina Sandhills
#1
I stumbled across this site quite by accident and thought it might be interesting to some. It seems that an archaeological survey of the Mulberries of the Normandy beachhead has been undertaken.

In anticipation of the Normandy invasion in June, 1944, and assuming that they would not have access to any French ports for an indefinite period, the allies came up with the ingenious idea of artificial harbors called "mulberries." In the strictest sense, the mulberries were merely long piers and supplied the invasion beachhead until French ports at Cherbourg and Caen could be captured and stabilized.

I hope you all enjoy it!

This is the website for the proposed 2011 archaeological survey of the artificial harbour built off Arromanches, Normandy in June 1944.
 
Jul 2009
9,559
#2
I am looking forward to taking the time to review all this diddy. I am fascinated by military engineering (I know, how exciting! :) ).

I recently picked up a Naval Institute Press publication on War Plan Orange: The US Navy's Strategy to Defeat Japan. I don't yet know enough about the details, but essentially the USN took their own harbor, repair and base facilities with them as the Pacific war progressed across the Pacific. Three-four thousand miles from Pearl and no big islands or infrastructure to use. They had to take it with them. The engineers were very creative.
 

diddyriddick

Historum Emeritas
May 2009
14,692
A tiny hamlet in the Carolina Sandhills
#3
I am looking forward to taking the time to review all this diddy. I am fascinated by military engineering (I know, how exciting! :) ).

I recently picked up a Naval Institute Press publication on War Plan Orange: The US Navy's Strategy to Defeat Japan. I don't yet know enough about the details, but essentially the USN took their own harbor, repair and base facilities with them as the Pacific war progressed across the Pacific. Three-four thousand miles from Pearl and no big islands or infrastructure to use. They had to take it with them. The engineers were very creative.
Is that the one by Edward Miller? If so, it is quite instructive, though dry at times.

You are correct on the Pacific Fleet taking a port along. They had massive floating drydocks that could handle even Iowa class BBs and Essex class CVs. Moreover, they had to have a massive logistical lifeline of to provide the aviation fuel, food, ammunition, aircraft, and spare parts that are necessary to manage operations in an extended campaign. And that's just the navy.

Edit: One caution-Miller's book really doesn't much cover the nuts and bolts of naval operations. It's more a command study and how US Naval doctrine in the Pacific evolved. Still, it is a seminal study for understanding the war in the Pacific.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2009
9,559
#4
Is that the one by Edward Miller? If so, it is quite instructive, though dry at times.

You are correct on the Pacific Fleet taking a port along. They had massive floating drydocks that could handle even Iowa class BBs and Essex class CVs. Moreover, they had to have a massive logistical lifeline of to provide the aviation fuel, food, ammunition, aircraft, and spare parts that are necessary to manage operations in an extended campaign. And that's just the navy.

Edit: One caution-Miller's book really doesn't much cover the nuts and bolts of naval operations. It's more a command study and how US Naval doctrine in the Pacific evolved. Still, it is a seminal study for understanding the war in the Pacific.
Yes it is Miller's book. I am ok on the operational aspects, and I am interested to see how the strategy was developed and put in place.

I just started the book (along with four or five others that I am into). I am going to enjoy this one as it gets into the personalities and all the internal army-navy politics and the disputes of "thrusters" vs "cautionaries."
 

Belisarius

Forum Staff
Jun 2006
10,355
U.K.
#8
Indeed....You can see them with Google Earth. Look just northwest of Arromanches-les-Bains.
There's also working models in the Musee du debarquement if I recall. We stayed at a gite south of Caen and managed to do a tour of the area, "folowing in Monty's footsteps" so to speak. Happy days...:D
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,467
Amelia, Virginia, USA
#10
Very interesting, diddy, thanks for posting it.

Also, thanks for the book recommendation, already ordered and I've added it to the "to read" queue. I remember when this one came out, but somehow I missed reading it.
 

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