North Devon Coast

National Landscape

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Army Training on Braunton Burrows

The vast expanse of Braunton Burrows has been used as a Military Training area as far back as the 19th century and it is still used today.

However, the biggest archaeological legacy, are remains from the 2nd World War. In September 1943 the Americans were given the coastline from the Taw Estuary to Morte Point to practice for D-Day. Originally allocated to the Americans, because the British Army did not want it, the coast here and in particular Braunton Burrows proved to be an excellent training ground, as the terrain very closely resembled the Normandy beaches in occupied France.

Many American units, in particular the Engineering Combat Battalions trained here and used the site until June of 1944, learning various techniques in amphibious warfare. Today, the Burrows are littered with remnants of that training, including the concrete landing craft at the south end of the Burrows, used by the Americans to practice loading and unloading procedures, which they would use on D Day itself.

For further information about the Training on Braunton Burrows visit Explore Braunton or Assault Training Centre Friends