Friday, July 21, 2017

Fullbore Friday

Inspired by a scene from "Dunkirk" and giddy that our friends from ThinkDefence have already done the work.

You make what you can with what you have.

First via the BBC;
A makeshift pier

After the first day or so we began to receive motorised units in La Panne, after which a new evacuation stratagem was devised. At low tide, the highest vehicles were to be driven out to a given point, and a pier formed by driving out and parking up more trucks alongside. From these, the troops would be able to clamber into the boats that were now able to come alongside.

The hard part was the organisation of the assembly of the pier between bouts of shelling, low-level bombing and machine gunning from enemy aircraft. Once it was done, though, this procedure was a most welcome break for us. It made filling the boats so much easier. There was no more brute force required to push out the boats and get wet through in the process.
The amazing thing - no one to this day really knows who idea it was.
The piers were built by various Royal Engineer units including 246 Field Company RE, 59 Field Company, 38 Field Company and divisional elements from 1 and 4 Division, read more here. I have also read that members of the Corps of Military Police took part, especially in driving the lorries onto the beach at low tide.

I suppose the reality of the situation was that anyone and everyone was involved to some degree although there are conflicting reports of whose idea it was, the balance of evidence seems to point to a Royal Navy Sub Lieutenant requesting a pier be built be who came up with the idea of using 3 ton trucks, I guess that is lost to history.
The piers enabled several thousand personnel to escape to fight another day.
Read it all ... and check out all the great pics.

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