1. ITV Report

What does the 'D' in D-Day stand for?

The original D-Day landing date was June 5 1944. Credit: PA

The words "doom", "debarkation" and "deliverance" have all been suggested as meanings for the "D" in D-Day.

But the letter is derived from the word "Day" and means the day on which a military operation begins.

D-Day has been used for many different operations but is most closely associated with the Allied landings on Normandy’s beaches on June 6 1944.

The day before D-Day was D-1 and the day after was D+1.

It meant if the date for an operation changed, military staff would not have to alter all the dates in their plan.

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This happened during the Normandy D-Day landing operation, which was originally planned for June 5 - but bad weather delayed it by a day.

In the build-up to the Allied invasion, code names and acronyms were vital to help maintain the blanket of secrecy around the operation.

As well as D-Day signalling the date of the operation, other code words included:

  • H-Hour - The hour of the invasion.
  • Bolero - The build-up to D-Day in Britain.
  • Operation Overlord - The overall invasion plan.
  • Operation Neptune - The seaborne invasion.
  • Mulberry - Artificial harbours towed across the Channel.
  • Ham and Jam - The signal indicating the bridges at Benouville (Pegasus Bridge) and Ranville were secured by Allied forces.
  • Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword - Code names for the five landing beaches in Normandy.