The D-Day Story Collection


An envelope which contained naval briefing orders for D-Day. It has 'On His Majesty's Service' printed on it. There is also a label which states: 'Top Secret', contains ISTD 50, 53 and supplement (ISTD stand for Inter-Services Topographical Department), and H.D. 380. The label also states 'Not to be opened until receipt of signal 'Open ON One'' ('ON' stood for Operation Neptune, and referred to the orders for that operation). The label indicates that the envelope original contained two coastal 'silhouette' booklets that had been produced by the ISTD (Inter Services Topographical Department) using sequences of photographs stitched together of the Normandy beaches, taken from low-flying Allied aircraft. Booklet ISTD 53 was entitled 'North Coast. Cherbourg Peninsula' and covered the coast from Trouville to Pointe de Barfleur (east of Sword Beach and at the tip of the Cherbourg peninsula respectively). Booklet ISTD 50 covered the coast between Franceville Plage and Langrune-sur-Mer (Sword and Juno Beach area). A handwritten note on the envelope indicates that it was issued to Landing Craft, Infantry (Large) or LCI(L) 266, of Force S, the assault forces for Sword Beach. No record has been found however showing an LCI(L) with that number being part of Force S. On the back of the envelope there are still traces of red sealing wax from where it was sealed for security reasons.

Location: On display at The D-Day Story


Reference: 1990/168