On our recce for the Last Days of WW2 battlefield tour we came across a Mulberry Whale roadway section still being used in the village of Horbourg-Wihr in the Vosges on the border with Germany. The Vosges saw heavy fighting in 1945 and was liberated by Free French and US Forces. Indeed in nearby Colmar is a memorial to the Free French Forces.
Post war many areas of France were devastated by the fighting and hundreds if not thousands of bridges had been destroyed. Mulberry Whale roadway sections were brought from the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches and used as replacements. This one was put in place in 1947 and known locally as the ‘Pont des Americans’ – American Bridge.
Very few exist today and the one at Horbourg-Wihr was brought to my attention by French journalist Stéphanie Trouillard who reported on Twitter that the bridge was under threat of collapse. This seems to not be the case now and I am pleased that this very rare WW2 artefact is intact and in good condition.
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Very happy to discover on your site a photo of the “Bridge of Americans ” of Horbourg-Wihr.
As mayor of the city, I can assure you that it is the local emblem of the Franco-American friendship since its installation after the liberation of our city by the American and French armed forces in 1945.
It was recently, at the 70th anniversary of the liberation, honored and visited by the United States Consul, Mrs. Amy Westling who honoured me with her presence.
With all my friendships.
Mayor of Horbourg-Wihr.