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Photographer's Note

Port-en-Bassin merged with the neighboring commune of Huppain in 1972 to form the commune of Port-en-Bessin-Huppain. With a population of 2141 (2009), it lies nine kilometres north of the town of Bayeux in the département of Calvados.

The port has been occupied since Roman times. After the foundation of the duchy of Normandy, it housed part of the shipyards of William the Conqueror as he prepared his fleet to invade England in 1066.

Port-en-Bessin was liberated on 6 June 1944 as part of operation Overlord. With effect from 16 June 1944, arrangements were in place to use the port to offload supplies of fuel much needed for the Allied war effort and the consolidation of the invasion. These allowed tankers to berth at Port-en-Bessin and discharge bulk supplies into tanks constructed on the quay side. Small tankers would berth inside the outer harbour and larger ships would anchor 1,000 yards outside the port and unload using submerged pipelines that connected ship to shore. This system was called "Tombola".

These arrangements continued until after the end of August 1944 by which time Cherbourg had been captured by the allies and underwater pipelines were installed between that port and the Isle of Wight across the English Channel in England. These arrangements were codenamed "PLUTO".

More information about Tombola and PLUTO can be had by clicking here.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6094 W: 61 N: 17718] (79791)
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