Moreover, Operation Fortitude, a decoy invasion to trick the Nazis, was launched from the Kent port of Dover in 1944. It sought to persuade the Germans that the Allies’ counterattack would land in Calais, France, just across the English Channel. Meanwhile, 185,000 troops were successfully deployed to Normandy.
But Kent’s importance to the U.K. goes much further back than WWII. In fact, the county played a vital role in the development of Britain’s maritime history. As early as 1567 the town of Chatham was being used a Royal Dockyard. Queen Elizabeth I herself even visited it in 1573. And the likes of HMS Victory, built at the yard and helmed by one Horatio Nelson, really cemented the country’s – and the county’s – naval prowess.
The dockyard in Chatham remained in use for over four centuries. Such was its place in the British psyche that it even appeared, albeit in disguise, in several Charles Dickens novels. The quintessential British author cemented the yard’s place in history. And although it’s no longer the powerhouse that it once was, the site does house a maritime museum and even once had a Dickens theme park.