Then&Now,D-Day,Brixham Hards

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 !

Brixham Hard June 1944

Brixham Hard June 1944

Brixham Hard, July 2010

Brixham Hard, July 2010

Brixham Hard, July 2010, the road down

Brixham Hard, July 2010, the road down

Brixham Hard, July 2010, landing craft long departed

Brixham Hard, July 2010, landing craft long departed

Random Images From Collection
Dennis AM 30cwt 4x2 GS
Dennis AM 30cwt 4x2 GS
Eastern Front Collection 433
Eastern Front Collection 433
Scammell SV1T Breakdown (PSU 187)
Scammell SV1T Breakdown (PSU 187)
Eastern Front Collection 309
Eastern Front Collection 309
Scammell Crusader EKA Recovery (66 GT 87)
Scammell Crusader EKA Recovery (66
Eastern Front Collection 1470
Eastern Front Collection 1470
Austin 10hp Light Utility (ORE 89) 3
Austin 10hp Light Utility (ORE 89)
Ford Iveco Cargo 10Ton 6x4 (15 AY 45)
Ford Iveco Cargo 10Ton 6x4 (15 AY 4
Normandy 1944 Collection 706
Normandy 1944 Collection 706
Eastern Front Collection 1059
Eastern Front Collection 1059
Normandy 1944 Collection 909
Normandy 1944 Collection 909
AEC 0853 Matador (TFP 858 R)
AEC 0853 Matador (TFP 858 R)
Eastern Front Collection 1316
Eastern Front Collection 1316
Leyland Daf 4Ton Cargo (22 KJ 21)
Leyland Daf 4Ton Cargo (22 KJ 21)
Bedford MJ 4 Ton Office (76 KE 32)(Copyright ERF Mania)
Bedford MJ 4 Ton Office (76 KE 32)(
Scammell Explorer 10Ton Recovery Tractor (Q 405 XUX)
Scammell Explorer 10Ton Recovery Tr
Leyland Mastiff 4x2 Tractor (78 AN 22)
Leyland Mastiff 4x2 Tractor (78 AN
Eastern Front Collection 1269
Eastern Front Collection 1269
Leyland Hippo Mk2 10Ton GS (Q 300 JDV)
Leyland Hippo Mk2 10Ton GS (Q 300 J
Willys MB/Ford GPW Jeep (GOR 683)
Willys MB/Ford GPW Jeep (GOR 683)