Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps
Major and Mrs Holt's
Battlefield Guide Books & Maps - D Day 6 June 1944
Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps

Illustrated guide books and maps of the First & Second World Wars


D DAY 6 JUNE 1944 - click at the bottom to see the beaches

Why 'D' Day?

At fairly regular intervals arguments erupt about the naming of 6 June 1944 as 'D' day and why 'D' was used. The answer is quite simple. 'D' stands for 'day'. The French used 'J' for 'jour'. Similarly 'H' was used for 'hour'.

By using letters in instructions it was possible to maintain secrecy as to the exact day that the operation would be launched. A further advantage was that orders could be produced using expressions such as 'D plus 3' without naming a specific date - most useful when operations were delayed.

And of course D Day was delayed

The Original Date.

The original date for D Day was 5 June and the seaborne forces set sail in anticipation of that date. Bad weather however made conditions too poor for the landings to be made and at 0415 on 5 June General Eisenhower delayed things by 24 hours.

At 0415 on 6 June Eisenhower had to make the final decision. It was now a matter of cancelling the invasion or going ahead. The troops at sea could not be left there any longer. After talking to his commanders Eisenhower said -

'OK we'll go'

Click below to see pictures of areas around each Beach