D-Day (military term)

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Soldiers in a landing craft
Soldiers of the 16th infantry regiment land at Omaha Beach, one of the five sectors for Operation Overlord

D-Day is a term used in military planning to mean the actual day a major operation or event is to begin. The days leading up to a D-Day are called D-1, D-2, D-3, etc. That allows scheduling a sequence of events before the start date is chosen. The days after a D-Day are D+1, D+2, D+3, and so on.[1]

Several different days in military history were named D-Day. However, the most famous D-Day was the Normandy landings during Operation Overlord, on the morning of June 6, 1944, when the largest naval attack in military history took place in France during World War II. Operation Overlord was led by US General Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Allies Britain, Canada, and America breached the Normandy coastline and broke through the German fortification chain, the Atlantic Wall. That was a turning point in World War II though over 3,500 men were lost.

The invasion started with airborne landings at 3:30 a.m. and the seaborne invasion started at 6:30 a.m. and took 19 hours. Operation Overlord had been planned for months and was scheduled for June 5 but was delayed for a day by bad weather.

Over the next several months, the Allies fought in France and took various useful ports such as Caen and later took Paris. After less than a year, the Allies entered Nazi Germany, which surrendered.[2]

An invasion of southern France was intended to start at the same time, but there were not enough landing craft for both invasions. The operation started on its D-Day, August 15.

References[change | change source]

  1. Hakim, Joy (1995). War, peace, and all that jazz. New York. ISBN 0-19-507761-X. OCLC 28853279.
  2. The Oxford companion to World War II (New ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2005. ISBN 0-19-280666-1. OCLC 61175901.

Other websites[change | change source]