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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

Bolero

The build-up of US forces in Britain from early 1942 onwards.

Boston, Mission

The codename for the landings by the US 82nd Airborne Division on the western flank of the landing beaches in the early hours of D-Day, around the town of St Mère-Église.

British beaches

Sword and Gold beaches in Normandy, France where British forces landed on D-Day.

Calais

Calais is a town and major ferry port in northern France. England’s famous White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais. Calais is a major port for ferries and the Channel Tunnel link between France and England.

Charnwood, Operation

The codename for a British and Canadian offensive on 8 and 9 July 1944 to capture the city of Caen.

Churchill tank

A British heavy infantry tank used in the Second World War, best known for its heavy armour, large longitudinal chassis with all-around tracks with multiple bogies, its ability to climb steep slopes, and its use as the basis of many specialist vehicles. It was one of the heaviest Allied tanks of the war and was used at D-Day and Normandy campaign as the basis for many Hobart’s funnies specialist vehicles.

Churchill, Winston

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was a British statesman, army officer and writer, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. During his time as Prime Minister, Churchill led Britain to an allied victory in the Second World War.

Cobra, Operation

The codename for a US offensive between 25 and 31 July 1944. The objective was to break through the German defences in the west of Normandy.

collaborators

People living in countries occupied by Nazi German who co-operated with the German forces.

commando

A type of special military personnel whose have undergone special training. Commando units landed on D-Day, particularly on the flanks of landing beaches. Similiar to the US Rangers.

Commonwealth

The Commonwealth of Nations, also known as simply ‘the Commonwealth’, is a group of 52 member states that are mostly territories of the former British Empire. In the context of D-Day it is usually used to refer to countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand that fought alongside Britain in the Second World War.

Conundrum

The codename for large drums used for laying the PLUTO pipeline across the English Channel.

COPP

Ccombined Operations Pilotage Parties. COPP personnel took part in operations to the Normandy beaches to collect sand samples.

Corncob

The codename for blockships that were towed across to France and sunk to create breakwaters. Corncobs were mostly redundant or obsolete warships or merchant vessels.

COSSAC

Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander. Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Morgan was appointed as COSSAC in 1943, before a Supreme Commander had been appointed. His staff developed the early plans for the D-Day landings.

Crab

The codename for a variant of the Sherman tank that carried a rotating drum and flail chains that were used to detonate mines.

Crocodile

The codename for a variant of the British Churchill tank had a flamethrower as well as a main gun.

Cromwell

A British tank designed and built during the Second World War and used in the D-Day and Normandy campaign.

D-Day

The ‘D’ in D-Day does not stand for anything. It comes from the word ‘Day’, and ‘D-Day’ means the day on which a military operation begins. The term “D-Day” has been used for many different operations, but it is most well-known for the Allied landings in Normandy, France on 6 June 1944.

DD tank

Duplex Drive or swimming tank. The DD tank floated with the help of a canvas screen and was powered by a propeller.

de Gaulle, Charles

Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970) was a French general and statesman. He was the leader of Free France (1940–1944) and the head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (1944–1946).

Deadstick, Operation

The codename for the operation conducted by D Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire (Ox and Bucks) Light Infantry to capture Pegasus Bridge by glider assault in the early hours of D-Day.

DEMS

Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship. An Allied merchant ship that had defensive weapons fitted.

Dieppe

The Allies organised a raid on the French coastal town of Dieppe in 1942, using mainly Canadian troops.

Dragoon, Operation

The Allied landings in Southern France in August 1944. The Dragoon landings were designed to support the landings in Normandy by attacking the German forces in France from the south.