Start Bay

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For the Royal Navy frigate, see HMS Start Bay (K604).
Start Bay looking north east

Start Bay is the bay in the English Channel in Devon, England between the River Dart's estuary and Start Point. On the coast, from south to north, are Hallsands, Beesands, Torcross, the Slapton Sands, Strete, Blackpool Sands and Stoke Fleming. The South West Coast Path covers much of the coastline.

Role in D-Day training[edit]

In preparing for the Normandy Invasion, the United States Army conducted various training exercises at Slapton Sands in Start Bay and in the nearby Tor Bay, beginning on December 15, 1943. Slapton was an unspoiled beach of coarse gravel, fronting a shallow lagoon that was backed by bluffs that resembled Omaha Beach. After the people in the nearby village were evacuated, it was an almost perfect place to simulate the Normandy landings. The training was long and thorough. The culmination of the joint training program was a pair of full-scale rehearsals in late April and early May.[citation needed]