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
AEC 0860 Militant Mk1 10Ton Cargo (Lot No 306)
AEC 0860 Militant Mk1 10Ton Cargo (
Ford F15 15cwt GS (FSV 327)
Ford F15 15cwt GS (FSV 327)
Blackhawk UH-60 Utility Helicopter 9
Blackhawk UH-60 Utility Helicopter
AEC 0853 Matador (XKX 593)(Copyright ERF Mania)
AEC 0853 Matador (XKX 593)(Copyrigh
Eastern Front Collection 900
Eastern Front Collection 900
Eastern Front Collection 181
Eastern Front Collection 181
Dodge WC-54 Ambulance
Dodge WC-54 Ambulance
Willys MB/Ford GPW Jeep (FBO 550)
Willys MB/Ford GPW Jeep (FBO 550)
Bedford MJ 4 Ton PIPS (28 KF 48)
Bedford MJ 4 Ton PIPS (28 KF 48)
Oshkosh Close Support Tanker (BP 98 AB)(Copyright of ERF Mania)
Oshkosh Close Support Tanker (BP 98
Eastern Front Collection 533
Eastern Front Collection 533
Berlin May/June 1945 70
Berlin May/June 1945 70
Willys M38A1 MD Jeep (Q 763 PGT)
Willys M38A1 MD Jeep (Q 763 PGT)
AEC 0853 Matador (940 OM) 2
AEC 0853 Matador (940 OM) 2
Eastern Front Collection 143
Eastern Front Collection 143
US Anti-Aircraft Command Western Defense Command
US Anti-Aircraft Command Western De
Bedford OYD 3Ton GS (LGV 571)2
Bedford OYD 3Ton GS (LGV 571)2
Ford WOT 2H 15cwt GS (KPF 514 P)
Ford WOT 2H 15cwt GS (KPF 514 P)
Eastern Front Collection 1462
Eastern Front Collection 1462
AEC 0853 Matador (JSU 714)
AEC 0853 Matador (JSU 714)