The “D” is derived from the word "Day". “D-Day” means the day
on which a military operation begins. The term "D-Day" has been
used for many different operations, but it is now generally only
used to refer to the Allied landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944
In October 1941 Winston Churchill told Captain Lord Louis
Mountbatten to start thinking about an invasion of Europe.
“Unless we can go on land and fight Hitler and beat his forces on
land, we shall never win this war.”
Lt-General Sir Frederick Morgan was appointed Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied
Commander (COSSAC) and in April 1943 was told to prepare for a ‘…full scale
assault against the continent…’
On 7th December 1943 President Roosevelt met with US General Dwight D.
Eisenhower in Tunis and told him he would be commanding the invasion
Eisenhower was put in charge of SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force)
and started work on coordinating and carrying out the Normandy landings.
All information pertaining to the invasion were marked
‘Bigot’. A classification even more secret than ‘Top
The SHAEF top table:
Standing (left to right) Bradley, Ramsay, Leigh-Mallory, Beddell-Smith
Sitting (left to right) Tedder, Eisenhower, Montgomery
D-Day was originally set for 5th June but was delayed
24hrs due to poor weather
In the months running up to D-Day,
Eisenhower smoked up to four packets
of Camel cigarettes a day
In contrast, Montgomery was completely
sober. He did not smoke or drink.
In the preparation and execution of D-Day
around 17,000,000 maps were drawn up.
Commander in Chief of the German army in the West
was Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt