D-Day embarkation point, Portland

AddressDT5 1PP, UK
Location typeTroop Camp
AccessPublic Access
Site Ownership and Access Information?The area is mostly public access. Please respect the privacy of residents.
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Portland Harbour was used as an embarkation point for personnel camped in Marshalling Area D. Portland also hosted a Port Workshop, a Field Hospital and a Prisoner of War Cage for enemy troops captured in Normandy. Inland from Portland, during the weeks leading up to D-Day, the troop camps of Marshalling Area ‘D’ mainly held US forces who embarked around Weymouth.

Troops were based at many of these camps for weeks or even several months before D-Day. At the end of May, the camps were sealed, meaning that the troops inside were not allowed to leave. This was a step to minimise the risk that enemy spies – or the British public – might realise that D-Day was drawing very near. From 31 May onwards, and according to a highly detailed timetable, troops began to make their way down to the coast and embark onto the ships and landing craft that would take them to Normandy. Vehicles were often loaded earlier, and troops on foot embarked only just before D-Day. Once the troops landing on D-Day itself had left the camps, forces who would be landing on subsequent days took their place, forming a steady stream moving down towards the south coast that in many places continued for months. Later on, some of the camps were reused for other purposes, such as for holding enemy prisoners of war.

View on the D-Day On Your Doorstep map