A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  SearchSearch  

Share | 
 

 Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2
AuthorMessage
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae


Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Mon 30 Jul 2018, 17:35

Britain Introduces New Measures to Conserve Fuel

Britain meanwhile undertook yet another round of measures to try and reduce fuel consumption.  A campaign was launched from January 1942 to reduce fuel used for retail deliveries; the slogan was ‘Carry Your Shopping Home’.  From 1st March all issues of fuel to goods vehicle operators were linked to specific tasks and it was then illegal to use that vehicle for any other task.  The well-known composer and singer Ivor Novello was sent to prison for four weeks for using petrol not for the purpose intended.  

The relationship between the public concern over the fuel situation and the loss of tankers to U-boats is perhaps best illustrated in the controversial drawing by the cartoonist Zec.  This appeared in the 6th March 1942 edition of the Daily Mirror, it was intended to be an attack on profiteering and illustrate how wasting fuel could have grave consequences in terms of lives lost.  However, many in the government, including the Prime Minister, were infuriated considering it to be suggesting the petrol companies were profiteering at the expense of British lives.  The 1943 film The San Demetrio tells the story of a tanker struggling to deliver its fuel to Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic.  Having finally reached port safely the captain commented “That ought to be enough to take quite a few race-goers to Newmarket.”  Three men from Burton on Trent were to be fined £1200 for hiring a taxi to attend the races, although not at Newmarket but at Doncaster.

During the summer of 1942 there were further cut backs in bus and coach services.   In anticipation of the ending of the basic petrol ration for private motor cars, it was cut and there was a media campaign against its continuation.  It was declared in one newspaper that ‘The further restriction on the private use of petrol will be warmly welcomed by public opinion’.   Finally, on 1st July 1942, the basic ration for private motor vehicles ended.   Some people were able to claim a ‘domestic allowance’ if they lived in rural areas for activities such as attending a hospital, shopping, taking children to school or even for attending church.  However, only around 40,000 vehicles qualified for the ‘domestic allowance’ and the ending of the ‘basic ration’ reduced consumption by 180,000 tons a year, more than had been expected.   Following the ending of the basic ration, police would regularly raid race meetings to quiz drivers as to how they had acquired the petrol they had used to attend the meetings.   Overall, private petrol consumption was cut from 823,000 tons in 1940 to 301,000 tons in 1943.

Another cost saving measure undertaken was the reuse of waste lubricating oil, although its effects was nowhere near the public perception of what it would achieve.  Supplies of heating oils for buildings not directly aiding the war effort were cut, as were supplies of paraffin to dealers.   In certain areas it was just not possible to cut civil use, for example the amount of land used for growing crops had increased from thirteen million acres in 1938 to eighteen million.  As a result the number of tractors had also increased from 53,000 to 120,000 and ninety percent of them used paraffin as a fuel.  However, it was also clear that farmers, in order to save on petrol, were using their tractors for activities for which they would normally have used petrol driven vehicles.  A campaign was undertaken to try and reduce paraffin consumption by tractors by ten percent.  However, it was not enough just to cut civil usage for military requirements were increasing.

Sources
  D.J.Payton-Smith: Oil – A Study of War-time Policy and Administration
  The Times 13 March 1942.
  N.Longmate: How We Lived Then 
  Juliet Gardener: Wartime Britain 1939 – 1945
  Angus Calder: The People’ War: Britain 1939 – 1945
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Tue 07 Aug 2018, 08:57

The PLUTO Pipeline Myth

To the extent that the government pipeline network became publicly known after the war and still is known, it is most likely to be with regards to the PLUTO cross-channel pipelines laid in 1944.  The author was contacted in the 2000s by a national organisation with regards to a storage depot near the Stanlow refinery in the Wirral.  The organisation assumed that the depot had originally been built as part of the PLUTO pipeline network.  In fact the depot had been built in the 1950s and had nothing to do PLUTO.

It would probably be also true to state that the perception of those who have heard of PLUTO is that it was a great success and that the Normandy invasion might not have succeeded without it.  This perception was started almost immediately after the end of the war in Europe when the secret of the PLUTO pipelines was made public.  For example, Henley Cables ran an advert referring to ‘Operation “PLUTO” the petrol pipe-lines that made V.E. possible’.  Captain Hutching, Senior Naval Officer Commanding Force “PLUTO” wrote to all members of Force “PLUTO” advising them that they had ‘contributed not a little to the final victory’.  The Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower descibed it as ‘second only in daring to the Mulberry artificial harbours’.  
  
This view has scarcely changed over time.  For example the message from Sir Winston Churchill at the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the laying of the PLUTO pipelines described it as being ‘crowned by complete success’.  In 1995 Lord Prior in his introduction to Adrian Searle’s book on the PLUTO pipelines, wrote that ’possibly because a pipe-line is essentially a prosaic object, largely unseen and uninspiring to the eye – unlike, for example, the floating prefabricated Mulberry harbours - PLUTO has perhaps not received its due recognition in the context of our wartime victory.’   An online article on PLUTO based on information provided by Captain F.A.Roughton  states ‘Soon after D Day, a continuous flow of petrol to meet the heavy demands of the liberation armies and air fleets was maintained by the ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.’   From an obituary in The Times in 2004 'Frank Stone played a crucial role in the construction of Pluto the principal means by which the allied armies and air forces were kept supplied as the campaign unfolded.'  A BBC Hampshire news item on 8th June 2010 described PLUTO as a ‘key contribution to victory in World War II’.  The BBC interviewed the then Chairman of the Bembridge Heritage Society , who, according to the BBC, declared “If PLUTO had not worked, there is a chance we wouldn’t have won.”

For the reality of the contribution of the PLUTO pipelines to the success of the invasion of Normandy and Victory in Europe, one needs to consider how much fuel was actually delivered by PLUTO at the various key changes of the invasion.  This is set out in the list below:


6th June 1944 D Day 

27th June United States forces capture Cherbourg 0 tons

18th to 20th July British and Canadian Forces capture Caen 0 tons

25th to 30th July United States forces breakout from Normandy 0 tons

20th/21st August Closing of the Falaise Gap 0 tons

25th August Liberation of Paris 0 tons

4th September British forces reach Antwerp in Belgium 0 tons

17th September Start of Operation Market Garden, Paratroopers land at Nijmegan and Arnhem in the Netherlands 0 tons

It was not until 22nd September 1944, three and half months after D-Day that gasoline first flowed through PLUTO,  by which times the allies had reached the Netherlands.  The question then is as to why the common perception of PLUTO is so at odds with the reality and why did PLUTO not achieve that perception?
 
Tim
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 16 Aug 2018, 22:56

Tim, will comment tomorrow...too late this evening...and the wife a crack in the hipbone, in fact the hipsocket...adding to the workload at home..she has not to lean on that hip...but we had already a wheelchair from before...

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Sat 18 Aug 2018, 22:59

Tim,


"Britain Introduces New Measures to Conserve Fuel"
thanks for another interesting message about measures to conserve fuel in 1942.
I did first research for your second message about the operation PLUTO and wanted to ask wherefore that stood, as I didn't find it on the first sight in your messages, but during my research I found it all.
But then returning to this message I wanted to make the comparison with Belgium during the occupation about fuel, but didn't find that much as fuel had to be used in cars our trucks and that was easely to track down by the occupier and those Belgians working with them, and also the  normal police, which wasn't pleased with the black market, which was on the back of the poor and of the city population, which had less access to benefits of the more rural surroundings...get entangled in all this during the rest of the evening...
And yes a lot of black market even at the risk of dead penalty...and after 1942 with the requisition of workers for Germany, obliged work "service?" the mix between resistance movement, black marketeers and straight criminals was a thin line...as it is all in Dutch and French it is even not worth a thread as to make summaries in English for me...

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Sat 18 Aug 2018, 23:13

@Tim of Aclea wrote:
The PLUTO Pipeline Myth

To the extent that the government pipeline network became publicly known after the war and still is known, it is most likely to be with regards to the PLUTO cross-channel pipelines laid in 1944.  The author was contacted in the 2000s by a national organisation with regards to a storage depot near the Stanlow refinery in the Wirral.  The organisation assumed that the depot had originally been built as part of the PLUTO pipeline network.  In fact the depot had been built in the 1950s and had nothing to do PLUTO.

It would probably be also true to state that the perception of those who have heard of PLUTO is that it was a great success and that the Normandy invasion might not have succeeded without it.  This perception was started almost immediately after the end of the war in Europe when the secret of the PLUTO pipelines was made public.  For example, Henley Cables ran an advert referring to ‘Operation “PLUTO” the petrol pipe-lines that made V.E. possible’.  Captain Hutching, Senior Naval Officer Commanding Force “PLUTO” wrote to all members of Force “PLUTO” advising them that they had ‘contributed not a little to the final victory’.  The Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower descibed it as ‘second only in daring to the Mulberry artificial harbours’.  
  
This view has scarcely changed over time.  For example the message from Sir Winston Churchill at the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the laying of the PLUTO pipelines described it as being ‘crowned by complete success’.  In 1995 Lord Prior in his introduction to Adrian Searle’s book on the PLUTO pipelines, wrote that ’possibly because a pipe-line is essentially a prosaic object, largely unseen and uninspiring to the eye – unlike, for example, the floating prefabricated Mulberry harbours - PLUTO has perhaps not received its due recognition in the context of our wartime victory.’   An online article on PLUTO based on information provided by Captain F.A.Roughton  states ‘Soon after D Day, a continuous flow of petrol to meet the heavy demands of the liberation armies and air fleets was maintained by the ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.’   From an obituary in The Times in 2004 'Frank Stone played a crucial role in the construction of Pluto the principal means by which the allied armies and air forces were kept supplied as the campaign unfolded.'  A BBC Hampshire news item on 8th June 2010 described PLUTO as a ‘key contribution to victory in World War II’.  The BBC interviewed the then Chairman of the Bembridge Heritage Society , who, according to the BBC, declared “If PLUTO had not worked, there is a chance we wouldn’t have won.”

For the reality of the contribution of the PLUTO pipelines to the success of the invasion of Normandy and Victory in Europe, one needs to consider how much fuel was actually delivered by PLUTO at the various key changes of the invasion.  This is set out in the list below:


6th June 1944 D Day 

27th June United States forces capture Cherbourg 0 tons

18th to 20th July British and Canadian Forces capture Caen 0 tons

25th to 30th July United States forces breakout from Normandy 0 tons

20th/21st August Closing of the Falaise Gap 0 tons

25th August Liberation of Paris 0 tons

4th September British forces reach Antwerp in Belgium 0 tons

17th September Start of Operation Market Garden, Paratroopers land at Nijmegan and Arnhem in the Netherlands 0 tons

It was not until 22nd September 1944, three and half months after D-Day that gasoline first flowed through PLUTO,  by which times the allies had reached the Netherlands.  The question then is as to why the common perception of PLUTO is so at odds with the reality and why did PLUTO not achieve that perception?
 
Tim

Tim thanks for this survey.

As I didn't know where PLUTO stood for I wanted to aks you about it, but started a quick research on the "internet" and found it immediately. But in the meantime found this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pluto
And from this link:


  1. ^ Tim Whittle: Fueling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network p1 and p84 2017. ISBN 9780992855468
  2. Jump up ^ Searle, Adrian (2004). PLUTO : pipe-line under the ocean (2nd ed.). Shanklin, Isle of Wight: Shanklin Chine. ISBN 0-9525876-0-2
  3. Jump up ^ Sir Donald Banks: Flame over Britain p197
  4. Jump up ^ Tim Whittle: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network p79 to 80 2017. ISBN 9780992855468
  5. Jump up ^ Tim Whittle: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network p84 2017. ISBN 9780992855468







Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Mon 20 Aug 2018, 07:56

Hi Paul

after my book was published, I became a Wikipedia editor and I corrected some of the entry for PLUTO and referenced my book.  I also virtually entirely rewrote the entry for the pipeline network which was mostly incorrect with references both to my book and the sources I had used.

Below is the link to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLH_Pipeline_System

I have also edited other Wikipedia entries adding information on storage depots to entries on various places in the UK.  I have rather put this on hold at the moment but will resume when I have finished my studies for this year.

Concerning the origin of the word PLUTO, this is from my book:

The most well-known code associated with the whole project is however that of PLUTO.  It is widely accepted that this was an acronym for ‘Pipe-Line (sic) under the Ocean’, but according to the Official History it was ‘PipeLine Under Water Transportation of Oil’.   However, Sir Donald Banks noted that when product finally flowed through PLUTO he received a telegram from the Quarter-Master General declaring ‘Well done the King of the Underworld’ referring to Pluto, god of the underworld.   Additionally, one of the ships used in the PLUTO project was given the name HMS Persephone after the queen of the underworld.  Given that both acronyms rely on the unnecessary hyphenation of pipeline,  it seems most likely that the project was originally code named Pluto after the god of the Underworld.  An acronym of Pipeline Underwater Transportation of Oil  was then given but widely substituted by the somewhat less tongue tripping but also less accurate ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.  Later on the name PLUTO became to be associated with the Disney character Pluto and this is reflected in the Pluto cartoon taken from Bank’s book and still later from other related codenames associated with the whole project.

regards

Tim
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Mon 20 Aug 2018, 23:05

@Tim of Aclea wrote:
Hi Paul

after my book was published, I became a Wikipedia editor and I corrected some of the entry for PLUTO and referenced my book.  I also virtually entirely rewrote the entry for the pipeline network which was mostly incorrect with references both to my book and the sources I had used.

Below is the link to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLH_Pipeline_System

I have also edited other Wikipedia entries adding information on storage depots to entries on various places in the UK.  I have rather put this on hold at the moment but will resume when I have finished my studies for this year.

Concerning the origin of the word PLUTO, this is from my book:

The most well-known code associated with the whole project is however that of PLUTO.  It is widely accepted that this was an acronym for ‘Pipe-Line (sic) under the Ocean’, but according to the Official History it was ‘PipeLine Under Water Transportation of Oil’.   However, Sir Donald Banks noted that when product finally flowed through PLUTO he received a telegram from the Quarter-Master General declaring ‘Well done the King of the Underworld’ referring to Pluto, god of the underworld.   Additionally, one of the ships used in the PLUTO project was given the name HMS Persephone after the queen of the underworld.  Given that both acronyms rely on the unnecessary hyphenation of pipeline,  it seems most likely that the project was originally code named Pluto after the god of the Underworld.  An acronym of Pipeline Underwater Transportation of Oil  was then given but widely substituted by the somewhat less tongue tripping but also less accurate ‘Pipelines Under the Ocean’.  Later on the name PLUTO became to be associated with the Disney character Pluto and this is reflected in the Pluto cartoon taken from Bank’s book and still later from other related codenames associated with the whole project.

regards

Tim


Tim, thank you very much for the link and for the explanation of the word PLUTO...

And now I see why Wiki, as a first entry before more in depth research, is so interesting, if competent people like you are correcting the errors of the subject...go on with your contributions in this thread, I learned a lot of them...

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 23 Aug 2018, 13:19

Thank you Paul for your response.  Next from my book considering why PLUTO was not the success usually imagined.

PLUTO and Cherbourg

The plan for Operation PLUTO was to lay the first pipeline from the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg eighteen days after D-Day.   This was based on phase lines that had been drawn up by the staff of 21st Army Group, which would initially command all the allied armies involved in the Normandy invasion.  The River Seine was expected to be reached by D-Day+90.  They were designed for logistic purposes, but it is questionable whether General Montgomery, the 21st Army Group Commander, would have expected such lines to be adhered to over such a long time period.  
On the basis of the planned phase lines, Cherbourg would in theory have been occupied within eight days.  However, the commander of the American army charged with capturing the port, General Omar Bradley, was furious when he saw the map with the phase lines and never accepted them.  Bradley set his own timetable to capture Cherbourg of between ten and thirty days after D-Day.  The port was in fact taken on 27th June, within Bradley’s own timetable.  The over-optimism of the planned phase lines, at least in the initial period of the invasion, can best be seen in that, according to them, the British and Canadians were supposed to have captured Caen on D-Day.  It was in fact not completely occupied until the 20th July, that is D-Day+44.  The United States Corps commander, Major-General Collins, was one of the best and most thrusting of allied corps commanders and the German forces defending the Cotentin Peninsula and Cherbourg were second grade units.  It is difficult to see how Cherbourg could have been captured any quicker.  Hitler had expected Cherbourg to hold out for months and was furious when he heard of its surrender.   General Eisenhower, in his report to the Chiefs of Staff commented that, if the Germans had retreated there earlier, ‘Cherbourg might have been able to hold out as long as Brest did subsequently.’  
While the PLUTO team were not responsible for the time taken to capture Cherbourg, the programme for getting the PLUTO pipelines operational was clearly unrealistic. The next delay in PLUTO’s timetable, however, seems inexplicable and reflects a seriously inadequate level of planning for possible differing outcomes.  Prior to Cherbourg’s capture, the Germans had systematically demolished all the port facilities such that it was not to be until late September that Cherbourg reached anything like full operational capacity.   This was hardly surprising and General Eisenhower wrote that ‘the thunder of the German demolitions in the port area reverberated from the surrounding hills.’ 
The intention had been to run the PLUTO lines into the harbour but, with that wrecked, over a month was lost in debate.  Should the pipeline terminal now be located outside the breakwater, which would increase the difficulties with discharging the fuel, or inside which might endanger the harbour with possible fuel spillages, fires or explosions?  Eventually it was decided to run the lines to a terminal sited in the bay of Urville-Nacqueville, outside of Cherbourg.   Surely effective plans could have been put in place for such an eventuality prior to D-Day?  

regards Tim
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1515
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 23 Aug 2018, 13:41

Deleted.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 23 Aug 2018, 14:01

Thank you for your concern LinR, but fear not.  My book is 130,000 words long and so I can assure you that I am only posting small sections.  There are also many maps, diagrams and something like 200 photos in it, none of which I am posting.

best wishes

Tim
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1515
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 23 Aug 2018, 14:57

Actually I'd thought better of my previous post and had already deleted it - you must have been typing your reply when I logged out before.  I had listened to a podcast where someone was promoting a book and the subject of the interview said to the host (not nastily) that he had to keep some of the content of his book out of the discussion on the podcast because he didn't want potential readers to feel it wouldn't be worth their while to buy it.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Fri 24 Aug 2018, 08:26

On another website I am on which is run by the 'Airfield Research Group', there is a section devoted to the wartime and 'Cold War' pipeline network and the associated storage depots.  One of the topics was concerning the vast salt cavities built in Plumley in Cheshire in the 1950s for strategic storage of fuel, both crude and refined.  Someone was only on the site as he was specifically researching about them.  I did suggest that he bought my book and certainly did not post all that was in the book, there is quite a lot, on the site.

Tim
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1515
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Fri 24 Aug 2018, 09:49

I remember someone I had contact with when I did temporary work (more than 20 years ago) moving house in Cheshire and mentioning that the "local search"for his new house had flagged up something about salt extraction.  There was some salt extraction to the north end of Stafford at one time though that was piped to the factory which is not so far as the crow flies from where I live.  In fact the site of the former "salt bridge" [only for the salt pipe but sometimes climbed by naughty children] is not too far (though not in the exact spot) from where a bridge for pedestrians and bikes was erected over the river a few years ago.  The workings were causing some sinkage of housing in the north end so they were closed and are nowadays either the site of an industrial estate or the town tip (I've seen and heard conflicting reports) - maybe they were extensive enough for both.  The former salt extraction factory is now a mobile home site.  Back in the day we had some "Royal Brine Baths" in Stafford - of course some wag painted a "U" round the "B" - those baths were demolished long ago and the town swimming baths are located in a different site.  Besides the airforce presence at 16MU (now taken over by the army) there was a wartime air field at Coton Clanfield in Staffordshire.  One year in the 1980s The Newsletter - local newspaper - ran an April 1st story about the airfield being reopened commercially and that a special tunnel for the local natterjack toads would be built under the airfield.  At least one person I met thought it was true!!!
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3504
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Wed 29 Aug 2018, 18:46

Not directly relevant to PLUTO, Tim, but do you know much about FIDO (‘Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation’, or later changed to, ‘Fog, Intensive, Dispersal of’)?

As I’m sure you know this was as system developed by the RAF to disperse fog and so keep airfields operational in poor weather conditions and essentially consisted of two long lines of kerosene or petrol burners along both sides of the length of the runway, supported by a network of supply pipes, storage tanks and pumps. When operated it could burn through a colossal amount of fuel (wiki suggests 100,000 gallons an hour – twice that for long runways) and it often necessitated the installation of a railway connection to be able to bring in sufficient quantities of fuel on a regular basis. I don’t know how widespread its use was on the continent after D-Day but it was certainly installed at Epernoy (20 kms SW of Arras in the Pas de Calais) as my dad (ground crew) was there in late December 1944 when the airfield was bombed, the FIDO tanks were hit and the whole lot burned for many hours. (Immediately after having helped put that out he was transferred to Melsbroek near Brussels, arriving mid-morning on 1st January 1945 only to find that field ablaze too having just been hit in the Bodenplatte raids - but that’s another story).

Presumably FIDO’s extravagant consumption of fuel was deemed worth it in terms of reduced aircraft damaged and pilots injured or killed, and in keeping critical airfields operational. Certainly pilots said the sight of an airfield lit up was a very welcome one when lost in fog and struggling to find somewhere to land. However as ground crew my Dad commented that when the system was fired up and running for several hours, they were also clearly indicating to German aircraft the exact position of an important airfield. Moreover with the airfield criss-crossed by pipelines and dotted with storage tanks containing tons of fuel, it was ripe for the whole lot to go up if a pipe was ruptured of a fuel tank was hit.

On the continent I’m only aware of FIDO being operated at Epinoy. I wonder if it was used anywhere else or was its use rather limited until the fuel supply situation was improved.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 30 Aug 2018, 09:42

Hi LIR

My understanding is that we get most of our salt from Cheshire.  As well as salt caverns being constructed for petroleum storage, British gas also constructed salt caverns for high pressure gas storage, although this was not in Cheshire.

regards

Tim
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 30 Aug 2018, 09:48

Hi MM

my book does include a paragraph on FIDO.  One of my most important sources for the war period was 'Flame Over Britain' by Sir Donald Banks.  He was in charge of the Petroleum Warfare Department and that oversaw FIDO and later on PLUTO.  He has a chapter on both and the chapter on PLUTO is invaluable.

regards

Tim
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Tue 04 Sep 2018, 07:36

Further PLUTO Delays
In view of Operation PLUTO now being so far behind programme some naval authorities suggested that the whole project should be cancelled.   It was, however, decided to continue with the project and eventually on 10th August HMS Latimer set out to lay the first HAIS cable.  The ship sailed to Cherbourg and on 12th August started laying cable from Urville-Nacqueville to Sandown.  On what was a fine, calm day the HAIS cable was laid in only twelve hours.  However, one of the escorting warships managed to catch the cable with her anchor such that it was damaged beyond repair.  A second cable lay was carried out by HMS Sancroft on 14th August but that also ended in disaster.  As Sir Donald Banks wrote, ‘The technique of cable laying had been mastered but we were not yet sufficiently versed in the practice of connecting the shore ends, nor in effecting repairs to the undersea leaks which were caused fairly close inshore through these faulty concluding operations.’
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Wed 12 Sep 2018, 11:26

Operation PLUTO was continuing to be delayed by various failures and it was not until 18th September that a HAIS cable was finally water-tested and commissioned.  On 22nd September it was brought into operation.   Sir Donald Banks recorded that he received a telegram from the Quarter-Master General declaring “Well done the King of the Underworld.”  However, the cable was only providing about 250 tons per day,  at a time when the ‘Red Bull Express’, the American trucking columns were consuming 1,000 tons per day just keeping their army supplied.   The original planning had been that at full capacity the BAMBI lines would provide 3,300 tons per day.  The first successful lay of a HAMEL pipe took place using HMS Conundrum II on 29th September and pumping now proceeded using both systems.  On 3rd October an attempt was made to increase the pressure in the HAIS cable from 50 to 70 bar.  At first all went well, but suddenly the pressure fell to nothing indicating that the cable had failed, shortly afterwards the HAMEL pipe also failed.  Sir Donald Banks recorded how ‘elation was changed into funereal gloom.’    On 4th October the BAMBI operation was abandoned and all efforts were shifted to DUMBO.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 13 Sep 2018, 23:40

Tim,

thank you very much for your two messages about the delaying of the Pluto system.
Searching for "dumbo" I found this German forum and there is a lot in it about your book and perhaps some interesting links although most don't "work" anymore, but perhaps one can reconstruct them via Google?
https://www.geschichtsspuren.de/forum/gpss-government-pipeline-and-storage-system-t19588.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Refinery
And from the German forum:
http://www.combinedops.com/pluto.htm


Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Fri 14 Sep 2018, 14:11

Thanks Paul for your response

Concerning the 3 links:

My German is none to good but I have been contacted by a German through LinkedIn who has bought my book.

I have carried out a small edit on the kent refinery entry in wiki

the combinedops entry has several errors in it despite being based on an eye witness.  I have two other eyewitness accounts that are also incorrect in certain aspects of PLUTO.

I will be posting on DUMBO in due course.

regards

Tim
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Fri 14 Sep 2018, 19:16

Thank you very much for the immediate response and looking forward for your comments about DUMBO.

From the links I provided it seems that Dumbo was included in the NATO network? Or was it Pluto?

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 20 Sep 2018, 18:57

An Assessment of BAMBI

A huge amount of engineering effort and resources had been poured into BAMBI, but despite the best endeavours of everyone involved, it had only delivered 3,300 tons of fuel.  This was equivalent to only one day of PLUTO pumping in the original planning  and only enough fuel to keep the allied armies supplied for a few hours.  Compared to the total amount of fuel stored and used in the war effort, 3,300 tons was miniscule.  For example, by 1944, the Aldermaston storage depot, on its own, could store up to 180,000 tons  and most ’Greyhound’ tanker could carry 16,700 tons.  The total amount of fuel delivered to the allied armies in North-West Europe from D-Day to 10th May 1945, when organised German resistance ceased, amounted to 5.2 million tons.  BAMBI had delivered less than 0.1 percent of this, but at a huge cost in resources.  As the official history states ‘PLUTO contributed nothing to Allied supplies at the time that would have been most valuable – that is when no regular oil ports were available on the Continent and the Allies were relying on the unsatisfactory Port-en-Bessin.

Lord Prior in his foreword to Adrian Searle’s book claims ‘That Operation PLUTO was one of the outstanding engineering achievements of the Second World War is beyond question.’   Searle, himself, is too good a historian to ignore the figures contained in the official history and comments ‘It cannot be denied that, judged against initial operational targets and objectives, the pipe-line in the original BAMBI guise did fall way below expectations.’   Searle does point out, as does Sir Donald Banks, that Operation PLUTO had originally been conceived when the expectation was that the invasion would be in the area of the Pas de Calais.  However, neither they nor other supporters of Operation PLUTO draw the obvious conclusion from the near total failure of BAMBI.  Once the decision was made to carry out the invasion in Normandy, then the concept of supplying the initial stages of the invasion by pipeline from England should have been abandoned.  If Arnhem was ‘a bridge too far’, then Cherbourg and BAMBI was ‘a pipeline far too long’.  Operation PLUTO has been compared to Mulberry, the artificial harbours constructed in England with a labour force of 45,000 and then towed over to Normandy; and it is perhaps a reasonable comparison.  The storm of 19th to 21st June wrecked the American Mulberry and damaged the British one.  Despite this the Americans were able to unload supplies over the beaches after 21st June at a rate which was comparable to that before the storm.   It could be questioned as well as to whether Mulberry justified the resources expended on it any more than BAMBI.
As the PLUTO pipelines into Cherbourg were closed down, another pipeline was expanding out of the port.  Army engineers were rapidly building a pipeline out from Cherbourg running south of Paris to carry fuel to the front.   This pipeline was eventually to be extended into Germany. It was, however, not supplied by undersea pipelines as Figure 9 [in my book] would seem misleadingly to imply, but by ocean tankers and so cannot be considered an extension of the PLUTO pipeline network as implied in some accounts
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1515
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Edit: Noticed something that autocorrect had changed in original post.   Fri 21 Sep 2018, 11:55

I always enjoy these posts even though I maybe don't have the technical knowledge to 100% take it all in at once.  The book is on my "to get" list once I've bounced back from the expenditure for the new fridge and the proposed roof repairs (and the window).  The most recent post was timely (for me anyway) in that I can relate to the storm of 19th - 21st June having recently experienced (and still experiencing to some extent) some overnight buffeting by wind and some ongoing rain.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Tue 02 Oct 2018, 07:45

Thank you for your response LinR

DUMBO
Those in charge of Operation PLUTO hoped that, with the much shorter run from Dungeness to Boulogne, DUMBO would be more successful than BAMBI.  The original plan had been that the DUMBO lines should be terminated at a beach at Ambleteuse near Boulogne, but this was found to be heavily mined.  It was instead decided to utilise the outer harbour area of Boulogne even though this would make the approach for the cable-laying ships more difficult and that harbour area had also been mined.   The first run was made by HMS Sancroft on 10th October, but while the HAIS cable laying was carried out successfully, great difficulty was encountered in securing the cable at Dungeness.   With the weather deteriorating, it took until 27th October for pumping of gasoline to start. By mid-December a total of six HAIS cables had been laid (four 3 inch and two 2 inch), but only four of the cables were operational.  The performance of these was also well below what had been expected of them.  This was due to them operating at between 20 and 30 bar pressure instead of the planned 99 bar.  As a result daily deliveries averaged around 700 tons instead of the planned 3,300 tons.  According to the official history ‘There were frequent changes of plans and the enthusiasm of the PLUTO force gradually dwindled.’  In December the Royal Navy asked whether DUMBO like BAMBI should also be shutdown.   If that had happened then presumably Operation PLUTO could never have been perceived as the success it generally was considered to be after the war.  DUMBO was still well below its planned capacity when the Germans launched their final offensive in the West on 16th December in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxemburg, catching the allies completely by surprise.  The target of that offensive was not the DUMBO terminal at Boulogne, but the port of Antwerp.  The offensive had no realistic possibility of success and, but was hampered by a severe lack of fuel caused by the loss of the Romanian oil fields and allied precision bombing of the German synthetic oil plants.  The panzers had to rely on capturing allied oil dumps.  On 19th December the Germans came within a quarter of a mile of the huge allied fuel dump at Stavelot.  It contained over 9,000 tons (2,500,000 gallons) of fuel, more than one hundred times greater than the largest dump the Germans had yet managed to capture.  By 26th December many of the German forces were stranded due to a lack of fuel.   On 2nd January, with the Battle of the Bulge largely over, a committee ruled that DUMBO should continue and that all the available HAIS cables should be laid in an attempt to reach the originally planned throughput of 3,300 tons.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Tue 02 Oct 2018, 20:16

Tim,

thank you again for your interesting message about DUMBO...of course everyone asks now how it went further with DUMBO...
My question stays:
From the links I provided it seems that Dumbo was included in the NATO network? Or was it Pluto?
Or will that be your third reply Wink ?

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Tue 02 Oct 2018, 21:40

Hi Paul

I will post more about them but pipelines were run from both Boulogne and from Cherbourg to supply the allied armies at the front.  they were, however, run above ground and in a great hurry.  I have never been involved with the NATO pipelines, but even if they followed the same route they would have been relayed under ground.  The actual pipelines that were laid under the Channel were removed after the war.  PLUTO includes both BAMBI and DUMBO but also tends to be used quite loosely.  I would think that it should be used primarily of the submarine pipelines.

I will be posting more on DUMBO.

best wishes

Tim
Back to top Go down
LadyinRetirement
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1515
Join date : 2013-09-16

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Wed 03 Oct 2018, 11:58

Tim, you probably know I made a journey down conspiracy theory lane when I was laid low and depending on the internet to keep me entertained.  There's one group of conspiracy theorists who think that jet planes run on air and that there is no fuel in the wings.  Why they think that when there are lots of clips of the fuel being pumped into the wings I don't know.

Getting back on topic, it must have been difficult to run the pipelines from Boulogne and Cherbourg when people were working on the hoof as it were.  I may have mentioned somewhere here before that there used to be pipes near where I lived carrying brine from the north end of town to the works which were more on the south-east of the town.  There used to be bridges carrying the brine pipes over the river and then a bit further on over the canal.

The valley had a river, a road, a canal and a railway running through it (the three last no doubt took advantage of the (quite gentle) river valley).  The brine works (well the "salt works" as they were known) were beside the railway so no need to cross that.  Since then the brine excavations were stopped  because they were causing subsidy in the northern end of the town and the site of the salt works is now a mobile home site.
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Wed 03 Oct 2018, 21:23

@Tim of Aclea wrote:
Hi Paul

I will post more about them but pipelines were run from both Boulogne and from Cherbourg to supply the allied armies at the front.  they were, however, run above ground and in a great hurry.  I have never been involved with the NATO pipelines, but even if they followed the same route they would have been relayed under ground.  The actual pipelines that were laid under the Channel were removed after the war.  PLUTO includes both BAMBI and DUMBO but also tends to be used quite loosely.  I would think that it should be used primarily of the submarine pipelines.

I will be posting more on DUMBO.

best wishes

Tim

Tim, I thank you so much for all your efforts.

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 04 Oct 2018, 17:12

LinR no I did not know that you were laid low.  If Jets do not need aviation fuel then I am not clear as to what the airports did with all the fuel we kept pumping there 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  The exception being when the Islandic volcano went up and the entire pipeline network ground to a halt.

The continental pipelines that were above ground were constantly guarded there is a Pathe news film showing this.  I could not use the photos in my book because of copyright.

The pipeline network in England had a number of pipebridges were it crossed rivers.  One an Intelligent Pig got stuck in a pipebridge over the River Wey which did not please either the National Trust, they owned the land, the owner of the Pig, the pipeline operator or us, the managing agents.

regards

Tim
Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2854
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 04 Oct 2018, 22:01

Tim,

if I understand it well, there is family of yours now on the board. When I did my sextieth anniversery in a small castle Wink  I started to study my family tree starting with Saint Riquier in Abbeville, but I met also by searching in the names with a phone number, my, how you call it in English, grandcousin? (the grandson of our granduncle, the brother of our grandfather). And old stories came again at light, as that his parents  lived only a ten kilometer from my parents during WWII on both sides of the border of West and East-Flanders..and that they helped each other...

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Mon 08 Oct 2018, 16:55

Hi Paul


yes I am aware that my 1st cousin David is on the site as he sent me a private message to which I have responded, a son of a 1st cousin (Andrew Smith) - 1st cousin once removed - was also on the site a while ago and someone, not a relative, contacted me about using my father's writings for a book he was proposing to write on Quenby Hall where my father was a servant in 1938.

Concerning the naming of other relatives in English: the children of my nephews and nieces are called great-nephews and nieces and I am their great-uncle.  If I live long enough for any of them to have children (the oldest is 15) then I will be their great-great-uncle.

regards

Tim
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Thu 11 Oct 2018, 09:28

Attempts to deploy the remaining HAMEL pipe utilising the Conundrums ran into difficulties because of the worsening weather.  One of the Conundrums went out of control near Dungeness and ended up being driven onshore, the mass of unwound cable adding to the wreckage.  It was eventually realised that it was best to fix a length of HAIS cable to the ends of the HAMEL pipe as the HAIS cable, being more flexible, made it easier to be brought ashore.   It was not, however, until late January 1945 that the new technique for laying HAMEL pipes was mastered.   


PLUTO Pipeline Network
A pipeline network was extended out from Boulogne running to Calais, Ghent, and Antwerp.  At Antwerp the pipeline split, going to both Eindhoven and Maastricht in the Netherlands.  Both lines were eventually extended into Germany.   Unlike the pipeline running from Cherbourg, these lines could truly be considered an extension of the PLUTO system and gasoline was eventually able to flow from the Mersey through PLUTO to Germany.   Due to the rapidity with which the pipelines were built there were losses due to damage, spillage and theft of around 1.8 per cent.  This was a loss rate that certainly would not be accepted on any modern pipeline system, in fact no loss is considered acceptable, but perhaps such a loss was understandable under the circumstances in which it was built.  The author was approached in the early 2000s by the Defence Estates concerning a claim for compensation from the British government by the Belgian government for the pollution caused by the pipeline network.  The author’s suggestion that the British government should charge the Belgian government for the cost of their liberation was probably not acted upon.

Sir Donald Banks relates in his book how he, Geoffrey Lloyd, and various other dignitaries attended a ceremony near Termonde, north of Brussels.  The final piece of pipeline was laid to connect the Rhine with the Mersey.  A band of the Royal Canadian Engineers celebrated the occasion with suitably martial music.  Banks related how the Belgians were perplexed about how the British ‘could succumb to such emotions about a prosaic bit of piping’;  an enthusiasm for pipelines that the author can share
Back to top Go down
Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 441
Join date : 2011-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   Mon 12 Nov 2018, 17:51

DUMBO Operations after VE-Day

DUMBO lines continued to be laid right up until the German surrender and even after the war in Europe had ended.  A 3 inch HAIS cable was laid on 24th May 1945 as the most expedient method of getting the cable off the ship.  The lines continued to be used up to the end of July 1945 to help supply the occupying forces but were then closed down to free up the technical manpower required to operate them.   Major- General Tickell commented that ‘it became increasingly obvious that it was far simpler to import direct to Antwerp’ , reflecting the continuing problems running the PLUTO lines.  According to the Official History a total of ten HAIS cables and six HAMEL cables were laid of which eleven cables and pipes were operational giving, at peak, a flow-rate of 4,000 tons per day.   However, according to Sir Donald Banks there were eleven HAIS cables laid and this is reflected in maps such as Figure 9 (in my book).   The HAMEL pipes, though had only a limited life expectancy before they failed.  According to Donald Banks they lasted from between 55 and 112 days while according to the Official History they only had an average operational life of 56 days.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015   

Back to top Go down
 

Fuelling the Wars - PLUTO and the Secret Pipeline Network 1936 - 2015

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 2Go to page : Previous  1, 2

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of things ... :: Technology and human invention-