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D-Day Diary - 2nd Week of May 1944

8 May 1944. Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay informs General Eisenhower that in respect of weather and tides Monday 5 June 1944 or Tuesday 6 June 1944 would be most suitable for Operation Overlord. Eisenhower provisionally accepts 5 June as D-Day.

10 May 1944. Today British railways commenced the enormous task of moving stores and heavy equipment to the coastal ports. The programme was divided into three phases; in the first those items that would be shipped by landing craft, then those to be carried in small coasters and finally stores that would be carried in larger cargo ships.

Over the three weeks leading up to D-Day 9,679 special trains were run, the most in one week being 3,636.

tank trainsThese trains carried everything the Armies might need, among them some 7,000 vehicles, including tanks. Tanks presented a special problem since many were classed as 'out-of-gauge loads' so tank trains could only run under special arrangements to avoid disrupting other traffic.

Most of this work fell, ultimately, to the Southern Railway which fed most of the south coast ports. Yet this was all achieved without any serious delays to regular passenger services.





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