Upcoming ‘Armour & Embarkation’ Event to Mark 80th Anniversary of D-Day Landings

Photo Credit: Geoff Moore / The Travel Trunk
Photo Credit: Geoff Moore / The Travel Trunk

A recreation of the movements of the American and British forces is scheduled to take place in the county of Dorset in Southern England to mark the contributions of all forces, marking this the 80th anniversary of D-Day build-up. Unfortunately, organizers have confirmed this will likely be the last year of the event, due to high costs.

World War II-era vehicles driving down a road
Photo Credit: Geoff Moore / The Travel Trunk

This year’s Armour & Embarkation event, a huge historic military vehicle road run and tour of the county, will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2024. Recreating the build-up to the D-Day landings, a convoy of around 100 World War II-era vehicles, including tanks, motorcycles, Jeeps and trucks, will head out from the Tank Museum in Bovington to the towns of Dorchester Weymouth and Portland.

The wartime vehicles will follow the routes the tanks and men used on their way to Weymouth and Portland harbors, which were used as embarkation ports for the invasion of Normandy and, in particular, Omaha Beach.

Men dressed as soldiers during the Second World War walking through a town
Photo Credit: Geoff Moore / The Travel Trunk

Event organizer Jack Beckett said, “We wanted to replicate the build up to D-Day in Dorset to commemorate those who went to war, and to give people an idea of what Dorset, its towns and villages would have looked like on the build up to D-Day, June 6, 1944. Armour and Embarkation gives us a chance to time travel back to 1944.

“With the help of military vehicle enthusiasts, the event aims to demonstrate the true scale of the operation behind one of this country’s most important events in modern history.”

World War II-era vehicles driving down a country road
Photo Credit: Geoff Moore / The Travel Trunk

Exact times have yet to be confirmed. However, the convoy is due to arrive in Dorchester in the afternoon. The public in the county of Dorset will be able to step back into wartime history with the crews and drivers greeting visitors, plus answering questions about the vehicles.

A spokesperson for the Dorchester Business Improvement District (BID), Mr. Phil Gordon, is also inviting the public to get fully immersed in the event by dressing in period clothing from the 1940s.

“When you’re dressed in the clothes of the time period and see all the vehicles which have survived since World War II, it really pulls at the heartstrings,” he said. “We want to invite as many members of the public as possible. It’s a chance for people to escape some of the real world today and feel part of living history.”

Men dressed as soldiers from the Second World War sitting in a Jeep
Photo Credit: Geoff Moore / The Travel Trunk

The towns of Weymouth and Portland are planning this and other events all around this period, too, so all three towns will be well worth visiting for the 80th anniversary period of D-Day this year.

More from us: Memorial Erected In Honor of American Troops Who Died In D-Day Rehearsal Exercise

Places like the D-Day Centre at Portland and the Tank Museum are well worth a visit.

Geoff Moore

Geoff Moore is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE