this is what I have written about Chants in the book that I am writing on the history of the government pipeline and storage system
'Stocks of 250,000 tons of petrol and diesel in packs and jerry-cans had been built up in supply dumps all around the country for the initial supply of the armies on the beaches. The next planned phase was to use a fleet of very small tankers which could supply fuel into small harbours, ports or into concrete barges that could in turn be landed on the beaches. The Americans began building large numbers of 600 ton tankers, known as ‘Y’ tankers, while the British had planned to construct sixty-nine 400 ton dual purpose ships, known as ‘’Chant’ tankers, which could carry fuel either in bulk or in packs. In fact, though, only thirty-nine had been constructed by D-Day.'
'On 6th June 1944 five allied divisions landed in Normandy from SWORD Beach in the east near Caen to UTAH beach in the Cotentin Peninsula. The German army was caught completely off-guard and landings were a complete success although nowhere did the allies penetrate as deeply inland as had optimistically been planned. The initial fuel supplies for the allied armies were delivered by dual purpose ‘Chant’ tankers carrying petrol in four gallon containers. In addition, in anticipation of bulk delivery, concrete storage barges, each capable of holding 180 tons of fuel, were towed across the Channel. '
'‘Chants’ and other small tankers of up to 1,300 tons were also used to take fuel directly into Port-en-Bessin. However, the weather and the sea was such that many of the pre-fabricated ‘Chants’ were too badly damaged for them to continue in operation. By 28th July, with the stalemate in Normandy finally ending with the success of the United States breakout code-named Operation COBRA, no less than sixteen of the thirty nine Chants were either being repaired or awaiting repair at Hamble in England where a tanker repair facility had been constructed.'
As I have set out in my post on PLUTO, it was not the success that it is popularly believed to be. I have given 3 talks on the system during WW" and in all cases just about everyone at the talks who had heard of PLUTO considered it to have been either vital or important to the success of the battle of Normandy.