Dungeness, located in Kent on the south-east coast of England, became a key site in Operation Pluto. During this operation, 700.000.000 litres of fuel were delivered through pipelines beneath the Channel to the Allied troops in mainland Europe. This was one of wartime’s greatest feats of engineering.
Operation Pluto was hugely important for the successful invasion of Europe from Allied forces in June 1944. To guarantee progression after the landing, an enormous amount of fuel was needed for all the generators, tanks, jeeps and other vehicles. Transport of fuel through oil tankers was far too vulnerable to enemy attacks and changing weather conditions. Therefore, a plan was drawn to lay pipelines under the ocean between Southern England and locations in France - one from Shanklin on the Isle of Wight to Port-en-Bessin and the second from Dungeness to Ambleteuse.
At Dungeness, components for the Pluto line were delivered along the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Kent. The pipeline that ran from here was given the codename Dumbo. Many camouflaged pumping houses were built to pump the fuel through the pipelines to France. Pluto Cottage, a pumping house that was built to look like a small house, is now in use as a Bed and Breakfast. Many other surviving buildings can still be seen across the area and on the beaches of Romney Marsh even remnants of the pipeline itself are still visible.