Blockship Assembly Location, Oban, Argyll and Bute

Address1 Railway Pier, Oban, Argyll and Bute PA34 4LW, UK
CountyArgyll and Bute
Location typeNaval Base
Site Ownership and Access Information?The site is still to this day a dock/port and cannot be accessed by the general public, but can be seen from the surrounding area.
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Leading up to D-Day, Allied Headquarters knew that an artificial harbour would have to be built in Normandy to immediately support the foothold in occupied France. The Mulberry Harbour was developed for this exact purpose. However protection for the Harbour was needed as strong currents and swash could leave the Harbour devastated with cargo floating out to sea as a result.

To combat this, an idea to place ‘Blockships’ also known as Gooseberries around the Harbour to act as a break and create a calm current for the pontoons was implemented.

Around 70 obsolete Merchant Vessels were amassed at Oban, where they were stripped down, ballasted and primed with explosive scuttling charges. All of the vessels sailed under their own steam towards Normandy, and were sunk at five locations, two of which were alongside the Phoenix Caissons.

Photographs courtesy of:,,

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