Brixham Hards, South Devon, England, UK
The invasion of France in 1944 was a huge task, and the biggest armada of ships ever collected for a military invasion. We will never see such a thing again, which is a huge relief I’m sure you will agree !
All along the Southern coast of England there are all sizes of ports and harbours. To mount such an invasion meant embarking thousands of troops into landing craft of all sizes and transporting them to Normandy, or as our American cousins call it, the far shore.
The D-Day landings in Normandy consited of five main landing beaches. The British landed on Sword and Gold beaches in the East, the Canadians at Juno in the middle and the Americans landed at Utah and Omaha beaches in the West. So it made good logistical sense for the Americans to use the ports and harbours in the South West of England in the counties of Cornwall and Devon. Such towns as Falmouth, Weymouth, Torquay, and Brixham were all places filled with landing craft and the GI’s with all their equipment.
There’s one famous photo featured in most books of the D-Day landings of some US Army vehicles driving down to the hards to embark onto the landing craft. We wanted to find this location and see if anything is still left. Success ! Below are comparable photos along with a few additional photos of the road down and the hard itself. Doesn’t seem to have changed much, does it ? Just imagine how these GI’s were feeling as they drove down this road. Oh, I forgot to mention where it was… Brixham !