D-Day marshalling area camps D8, Downwood and D9, Bincombe

AddressBincombe, Weymouth, Dorset DT3 5PT, UK
Location typeTroop Camp
AccessPublic Access
Site Ownership and Access Information?The site can be seen from nearby public roads.
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This pair of troop camps were located near to each other. Camp D8 at Downwood had a capacity of 1,500 personnel and 220 vehicles. The site of the camp is in the fields to the east of the road running north from Bincombe. Camp D9 at Bincombe had a capacity of 2,100 personnel and 220 vehicles. The camp was located in fields to the north of the village. In 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.

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