Destination List > Arromanches


Photo by Rennett Stowe

The history...

Arromanches is remembered as a historic place of the Normandy landings during World War II. It was on the beach of Arromanches that the Allies established an artificial temporary harbour to allow the unloading of heavy equipment. This port allowed the disembarkation of 9,000 tons of material per day.

Although Arromanches is located at the centre of the Gold Beach landing zone, it was spared the brunt of the fighting on D-Day so the installation and operation of the port could proceed as quickly as possible without damaging the beach and destroying surrounding lines of communication. The port was commissioned on 14 June 1944.

This location was one of two sites chosen to establish the necessary port facilities to unload quantities of supplies and troops needed for the invasion during June 1944, the other was built further West at Omaha Beach. The British built huge floating concrete caissons which had to be assembled to form walls and piers for the artificial port called the Mulberry harbour. Sections of the harbour still remain today with huge concrete blocks sitting on the sand and more can be seen further out at sea.

Key figures:

  • By 12 June 1944 more than 300,000 men, 54,000 vehicles, 104,000 tons of supplies had been landed.
  • During 100 days of operation of the port 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of material were landed.
  • The best performance of the port was in the last week of July 1944: during those seven days the traffic through Arromanches exceeded 136,000 tons or 20,000 tons per day.

Today, Arromanches is mainly a tourist town. Situated in a good location for visiting all of the battle sites and war cemeteries, there is a museum at Arromanches with information about Operation Overlord and the Mulberry harbours.

On 21 September 2013 Bradford-based sand sculpting company Sand in Your Eye created a tribute called "The Fallen 9,000". It was a temporary sculpture project—a visual representation of 9,000 people drawn in the sand which equates the number of civilians, German forces and Allies that died during the D-day landings. It coincided with Peace Day, and was washed away with the tide at the end of the day.


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