Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

24/7/2004

PLUTO’s D-Day ice cream disguise revealed

Over 1,000 secret photographs of PLUTO, DUMBO and BAMBI’s role in supplying 172 million gallons of fuel to the Allied forces during the D-Day landings have been released at The National Archives in Kew.

The PLUTO, or ‘PipeLine Under The Ocean’, project, supplied invaluable fuel to Allied troops via two routes. These were DUMBO, which ran from Dungeness to Ambleteuse near Boulogne and BAMBI, which ran from Hampshire, through the Isle of Wight, to Cherbourg. The photographs, which can be viewed, free, at The National Archives, show how the operation was kept a secret by disguising pumping stations as ice cream shops, garages and bungalows.

Stephen Twigge, Head of Research and Planning at The National Archives said:

“The whole success of Operation Overlord relied on the uninterrupted supply of fuel from the British mainland. Without PLUTO the breakout from the Normandy beaches and the advance into Nazi-controlled Europe would have been impossible. These photographs illustrate how the project was carried out with the utmost secrecy and inventive methods of disguise.”

PLUTO provided a supply network between Britain and France decades before the existing Channel Tunnel was even conceived. 780 miles of pipeline were laid between Britain and France supplying one million gallons of fuel a day.

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