A DOCUMENTARY has “conclusively proved” that two wrecks found in Poole Harbour are D-Day veterans.

History Hit worked with historian Stephen Fisher to uncover the truth behind the two wrecks.

Through a painstaking research process which involved drawing on resources including a postcard aerial photo of Poole Harbour in the 1950s and an out-of-print book, the wrecks have been identified as landing craft.

The wrecks would have once been used to deliver tanks ashore on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day itself.

Dan Snow, of History Hit, said: “The discovery and identification of this wreck is a triumph of historical research and a good dose of luck.

“Stephen Fisher has scoured the archives for any aerial pictures of this area and found a postcard from the 1950s showing the D-Day landing craft in position as a breakwater.

“It shows just how many landing crafts were left over after the war. They were sold as scrap or to be used as jetties or breakwaters.

“But despite all his research, there was still a question as to exactly which vessels were the ones whose wrecks now lay on the bed of Poole Harbour.

“The breakthrough came when Stephen stumbled across an out of print, privately published memoir in a second-hand book shop.

“It was written by a veteran called John Baker. He served on LCT 940, a landing craft with carried tanks to the Normandy beaches on D-Day.

“In this memoir, he reports on the last page that he has heard that his landing craft is now a breakwater in Poole Harbour.

“Movingly, the last sentence of the book says, ‘I hope my book does justice to her life and will keep her memory alive for a few more years’.

“The good news is that his book has done exactly that. A rotting wreck, ignored for decades, now has its wartime identity restored, thanks to his book."

The discoveries were found just as a landing craft tank had been restored and opened as the centrepiece of the D-Day story, a museum in Portsmouth.

The History Hit documentary aired on June 4, more information can be found at historyhit.com.