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PLUTO - 3 | by D-Day Museum, Portsmouth, UK
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PLUTO pipeline could be laid by ship - as in this case - or by a Conundrum (see other photos). This is H.M.S. Persephone, and you can see the huge drum fitted to her for laying HAMEL type pipe.


PLUTO (Pipeline Under the Ocean) was invented to create a secure way of transporting fuel from the UK to Normandy. The original plan was to lay PLUTO 18 days after D-Day (24 June), but it was delayed until 22 September, first by damage caused by the Germans to Cherbourg before surrendering the city, and then by problems laying the pipe. Eventually four pipelines were laid between the Isle of Wight and Cherbourg in France, and from 27 October onwards 17 pipelines from Dungeness in Kent to Boulgone. The longest pipeline was 500 miles, from Normandy to Germany. For a while, PLUTO pumped 1 million gallons per day (equivalent to 250,000 jerry cans). But only 10% of fuel used from D-Day to end of war went by PLUTO – the rest went across mainly by tanker ships. So although it was a good idea, it didn’t really reach its full potential, and came into use too late to effect the Battle of Normandy (June to August 1944).


Reproduction rights: D-Day Museum, Portsmouth. Do not copy.

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Taken on November 23, 2008