Jargon buster

What is a bogus map? What does BIGOT mean?

What was SHAEF? What does BARV stand for? What were hedgehogs doing on the Normandy beaches?

D-Day produced thousands of code names, acronyms, abbreviations and many other strange and unusual terms and names!

We have compiled a list of some of the most common terms related to D-Day. If you think something is missing, please let us know.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


H-Hour is the time at which the landings took place. On D-Day, H-Hour varied between 0630 and 0745, according to the tidal conditions at each beach.


A type of PLUTO pipe, short for the names of it’s manufacturers, Hartley-Anglo-Iranian-Siemens.


A type of PLUTO pipe, short for the names of its chief engineer H A Hammick and B J Ellis.


A type of glider designed by General Aircraft Limited. The Hamilcar was used by the British airborne forces to transport heavier cargoes such as light tanks.


The codename for a type of beach obstacle used by the German armed forces in Normandy. The hedgehog was constructed out of several pieces of angle iron welded together. Large numbers of hedgehogs were used as beach defences along the Normandy coast.


A German bunker complex inland from Sword Beach. On D-Day the British advance from Sword Beach towards Caen was seriously delayed at Hillman.


His Majesty’s Ship. The term HMS can be used to describe either a ship or a shore base or ‘stone frigate’.

Hobart’s funnies

An unofficial term for the group of specialist armoured vehicles used by the British 79th Armoured Division on D-Day, commanded by Major-General Sir Percy Hobart.


A type of glider, designed by the Airspeed Company and built by many different manufacturers in Britain. Used by the Allied airborne forces on D-Day.

Husky, Operation

The Allied landings in Sicily in 1943. The Allies landed in Sicily as they were not yet prepared to land in Northern France.