Both before and after D-Day, large numbers of troops embarked onto landing craft at South Parade Pier.
Allied naval commander Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay and his staff had drawn up a detailed plan for the crossing of the English Channel, Operation Neptune. Before the assault could be launched, the troops had to board the thousands of landing craft and ships that would carry them to Normandy. Temporary piers were built from scaffolding alongside South Parade Pier for use by embarking troops, to increase the number of troops that could be loaded simultaneously.
Due to the number of Allied troops involved on D-Day, it took several days to load them onto the ships and landing craft that would take them to Normandy. This was done according to a detailed timetable, which was the result of a huge amount of planning. To prevent congestion and delays, troops were held at camps to the north of Portsmouth, only moving down to the embarkation points at the appointed time.
The Royal Beach Hotel, situated just behind the pier, was the wartime home of Portsmouth Corporation, after the Guildhall had been damaged by enemy bombing in 1941.
|Address||PO4 0SP, UK|
|Location type||Troop Embarkation Site|
|Site Ownership and Access Information||South Parade Pier is currently (2014) closed to the public, but can be viewed from the adjacent seafront. Plans are being formed to reopen the pier. A short distance from the pier, just to the east, is Portsmouth’s D-Day Memorial, which was opened by Field Marshal Montgomery in 1948.|
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