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
"S"

SHAEF

Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.

Sherman tank

The most widely used Allied tank of the Second World War. Designed and built in the US and used by many other Allied countries.

SOE

Special Operations Executive. A British organisation that conducted espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe during the Second World War.

Special Operations Executive

A British organisation that conducted espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe during the Second World War. Also referred to as ‘SOE’.

Spring, Operation

The codename for a Canadian offensive between 26 and 27 July 1944. The objective was to break through the German defences south of Caen, at the same time as Operation Cobra further west.

Spud

The codename for pontoons that floated up and down with the tide. They were attached to the Whale roadways and allowed vehicles to unload from ships.

Supreme Allied Commander

The senior officer in command of all Allied Forces in the North-West Europe campaign. General Dwight D Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander.

Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force

The headquarters that was in overall command of the Allied forces on D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy. It was commanded by General Dwight D Eisenhower.

Sword Beach

The codename for the British landing beach close to Ouistreham. On D-Day the landings on Sword Beach were led by the British 3rd Division.