Mulberry Habours

THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1939-1945

THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1939-1945 IWM (H 35554)

A view along Stokes Bay, Gosport, showing a few of the 14 concrete caissons for the Mulberry Habours constructed at the site between 1943 and 1944. The caisson second from the camera has collapsed in its frame during launch.

 

Duplex Drive Tanks

THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1939-1945
THE BRITISH ARMY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1939-1945 IWM (H 35177)

Amphibious, Duplextanks of B Wing, 79th Armoured Division School lined up on the hardened loading ramp at Stokes Bay, Gosport prior to embarking aboard an LCT during exercises.

Stokes Bay and D-Day

D-Day Troops await embarkation at Stokes Bay

Stokes Bay Memorial

This plaque commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the building along the Stokes Bay shore of 14 concrete caissons (code name Phoenix) and the associated pierheads from October 1943 to April 1944. These formed part of the walls and floating piers of the Mulberry harbours which were a major contribution to the success of Operation Overlord and the ending of the Second World War in Europe.

 

The plaque was donated by The Gosport Society with financial support from Hampshire County Council and Gosport Borough Council.

The memorial plaque at Stokes Bay

 

 

 

Stokes Bay was closed to the public from May 1942 as a protected area. It was used by the Military for the top secret construction of 14 Phoenix units and other sections for the pierheads of Mulberry Harbours. These units were cast along the shore and then launched sideways into the sea. They were then moved to storage locations where they were partially submerged to avoid being observed by the enemy. They were towed across to Normandy and then fitted to floating harbours to be used by troops and equipment during the D-Day landings.
Chocolate blocks of Hard G1 in 2011
The West end of Stokes Bay was used for training troops in the use of special floating Duplex Driive tanks. This was the Salt Water School 'B Wing' of the 79th Armoured Division. Stokes Bay was used as an embarkation point for the D-Day landings and parts of the four embarkation hards still survive. In 1947 Stokes Bay was returned to Gosport Borough Council for public use once more but the military retained No.2 Battery and the west end of the bay for use by the Special Armament Development Establishment (S.A.D.E.) until 1950.
Hard G3 in 1950s