24 octobre 2008

Arromanches: Vestiges du port artificiel


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En Normandie, le temps n'est pas toujours propice à la photographie, et il a bien fallu donner à cette diapo de la plage d'Arromanches et des vestiges du port artificiel, un petit coup de pouce pendant le traitement.

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Pourquoi des ports artificiels ?

Lors des premières journées de l'invasion en Normandie, la tête de pont alliée devait à tout prix être alimentée par des quantitées considérables de matériel : armes, munitions, essence, vivres, hôpitaux de campagne, quartiers généraux avancés... Il semblait donc nécessaire de posséder un port pour permettre l'utilisation de navires de gros tonnage, afin de tout acheminer sur le théâtre des opérations.

La Normandie n'offre que deux ports en eau profonde : le Havre et Cherbourg. Mais ces deux ports sont loin des zones de débarquement.

D'où l'idée de Mountbatten: Créer deux ports artificiels transportables que l'on pourrait assembler en un temps record sur deux plages de Normandie: Vierville et Arromanches, which came to be known as Port Winston. Nom de code de l'opération :"Mulberry".

Arromanches est épargnée par les bombardements de l'artillerie navale le jour du Débarquement, et aucune opération ne se fera en face de cette localité afin de simplifier le travail que devra effectuer le Génie militaire pour installer les éléments du port artificiel.

Les caissons "Phenix", les plateformes "Whales" et les jetées flottantes sont remorqués un à un pour la traversée de la Manche. Au soir du jour J, les premiers bateaux qui sont chargés de se saborder afin de servir de brise-lames contre le courant (nom de code : "Gooseberries") arrivent en position et sont coulés. Dans les jours qui suivent, le "Mulberry" est mis en place.

Déclaré opérationnel le 18 juin 1944, Port Winston permit de débarquer dans les 100 jours suivants, 400.000 hommes, 88.000 véhicules et 800.000 tonnes de matériel.

Conçu pour durer les 3 mois de l'été, il continua d'être utilisé jusqu’au 19 novembre 1944.


(Extrait de: http://www.dday-overlord.com/ports_artificiels.htm)

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In Normandy, the weather is not always favorable for photography, and sometimes a good boost is needed in processing, as is the case for this slide of the beach at Arromanches with the remains of the artificial harbor.

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Why artificial harbors?

During the first days of the Normandy invasion, it would be necessary to bring huge quantities of materiel to the bridgehead: weapons, ammunition, fuel, food, field hospitals, medical supplies... A deep-water port was therefore required to be able to use large ships to bring these supplies to the battlefield.

In Normandy, there are only 2 deep-water harbors: le Havre and Cherbourg. But they are far from the landing beaches and would not be liberated for several weeks, at best.

Lord Mountbatten came up with the idea of building from scratch two artificial harbors to be assembled very quickly on or near the landing beaches, at Vierville (Omaha Beach) and Arromanches, which would be known as Port Winston. Code name for the operation: "Mulberry".

Arromanches was spared the naval artillery bombings on D-Day, and it was not one of the landing beaches, making it easier to put in place all the elements of the artificial harbor.

The "Phenix" concrete caissons, the "Whales" platforms and the floating jetties were towed across the English Channel. By the evening of D-Day, the first ships that were to be sank to form a breakwater against currents and storms (Code name: "Gooseberries") were in position. The "Mulberry" was put together in the following days.

Port Winston was declared operational on June 18, 1944. In the next 100 days, 400,000 men, 88,000 vehicles and 800,000 tons of supplies would pass thru the artifical harbor.

Designed to last 3 months, Port Winston would be used until November 19th, 1944, long after Cherbourg and Le Havre were put back in service.


(From: http://www.dday-overlord.com/ports_artificiels.htm)

3 commentaires:

Gavin Hart a dit…

Claude, you have some really excellent images on your blog. I find them to be outstanding among photo blogs.However, your comment form only allows for comments from Google Blogger and Open ID. There are many other bloggers who like to make comments and identify themselves with a name and URL. The identity choice that you have is very restrictive - many people would just turn away because they can't enter their URL. I am sure you would receive a greater number of comments if your comment form allowed 'name/url' not just 'registered users'. Kind regards!

Claude a dit…

Gavin,

Thanks for your comment. I had completely forgotten about these settings.
My apologies to all of you who tried to leave a comment earlier
Je m'excuse aupres de tous ceux qui ont essaye de laisser un commentaire.

Jean-François a dit…

et quel magnifique traitement !!!!!!!!!!!