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

Gustav the Pigeon

Before modern communication technologies, the armed forces were often reliant on pigeons to deliver important messages. Carrier pigeons performed a crucial role in wartime and during the Second World War in particular. On D-Day a pigeon called Gustav was aboard an Allied ship off the coast of Normandy when the invasion fleet was under radio silence to avoid enemy detection. At the appropriate time Gustav was released and he flew 150 miles across the Channel to RAF Thorney Island near Chichester in West Sussex where he delivered, five hours and 16 minutes later, the very first message that the Normandy landings had commenced.