Dummy landing craft, Dover Harbour

AddressPort of Dover, United Kingdom
Location typeNaval Base
AccessPublic Access
Site Ownership and Access InformationParts of the port area, and most of the seafront, is publicly accessible. The nearby Dover Castle played an important part in the 1940 Dunkirk Evacuation, and is open to the public. In 1940 it was the headquarters of Admiral Ramsay, who masterminded the Evacuation. In 1944, Ramsay was the Allied naval commander for D-Day.
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In order to deceive the Germans as to the planned location of the D-Day landings, 255 fake landing craft were moored in Dover Harbour. From a distance – for example, from an enemy aircraft flying past at high speed – the dummy craft could be mistaken for the real thing. In fact they were only made from wood and canvas, or inflatable rubber stiffened with metal struts!

This was only one of a series of Allied deception plans, which came under the titles of Operation Fortitude and Operation Bodyguard. They also included double agents (spies) sending false messages to the enemy, dummy tanks positioned in Kentish fields, and radio messages broadcast from Kent, when the units issuing them were actually much further to the west.

View on the D-Day On Your Doorstep map