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The main image gives some indication of the sheer size of the 'Normandie' dock. The huge structure was constructed in the 1930s to allow the Blue-Riband liner Normandie to pass from her construction site on the banks of the Loire to her fitting-out berth in the Bassin de Penhoƫt. Holding 260,000 cubic metres of water, the dock could accommodate ships of up to 85,000 tons - making it an ideal bolt-hole for the German battleship Tirpitz should she require repair or maintenance while embarked on anti-shipping sorties in the North Atlantic. The access steps shown are on the dock's west side, immediately below the Pump House.

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The St. Nazaire Society


The image below shows the huge barrier constructed in the aftermath of the raid to allow the Normandie dock to be pumped dry. Eventually the outer caisson gate was replaced with the repaired inner gate; however, given that the lock is still operational and likely to remain so, a new, caisson gate has been installed in its place. -

The 'Normandie' dry dock