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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


A six-wheeled amphibious truck used during the Second World War. Designed and built by General Motors Corporation, it was used by the Allies during the D-Day landings. Its name refers to its model names – D for designed in 1942, U for Utility, K for all-wheel drive and W for dual-tandem rear axles.


A town in North-East France. In 1940 the British and French armies were forced bacl to Dunkirk by the German armed forces and thousands of troops were evacuated back to Britain.


Small German fast attack craft. E-boats were a threat to allied ships on D-Day and sank the Norwegian ship Svenner.

Eastern Front

The campaign between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in Russia and Eastern Europe from 1941 to 1945.

Eastern Task Force

A group of naval vessels that supported the US landings on D-Day. It included bombarding warships, minesweepers escorts, assault ships and landing craft.

Eisenhower, Dwight

An American Army general and statesman, President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

El Alamein, Battle of

Two battles were fought at El Alamein in Egypt during the North African campaign of the Second World War. The Second Battle of El Alamein led to the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa. The British Eighth Army was commanded by Field Marshal Montgomery and the Axis forces were commanded by Rommel.

embarkation point

Places where troops boarded landing craft or ships to sail to France.


Codename for a type of cipher machine used by the German armed forces and intelligence agencies to send secret messages. The Enigma code was broken by codebreakers at Bletchley Park, allowing the Allies to read Enigma signals.

Epsom, Operation

The codename for a British offensive between 26 and 30 June 1944. The operation aimed to outflank and capture Caen from the west. The operation ended after the Battle of Villers Bocage.

Fabius, Exercise

A series of exercises before D-Day that acted as a last ‘dress rehearsal’ for the troops who would land on D-Day itself.

Falaise Pocket

After the Allies advanced from the Normandy beachhead in late July and early August 1944 a large number of German units were surrounded near the town of Falaise. This area became known as the Falaise Pocket.


A British modification of the Sherman tank that replaced the 75mm gun with a British 17-pounder gun.

Fortitude, Operation

The codename for a deception plan developed by the Allies before D-Day. Fortitude created fake armies in south-east England and Scotland to convince t he Germans that the Allies were planning to land in the Pas-de-Calais region of France or in Norway.


Officially the French Republic, France is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in western Europe, as well as several overseas regions and territories. France was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1940 and liberated by the Western Allies in 1944. While France was occupied many French people had escaped and joined the Free French Forces and fought with the Allies.


The codename of the double-agent Juan Pujol Garcia. Garbo was a Spanish citizen who became both a British and German secret agent. He fed false information to the Germans in the run-up to D-Day to deceive them as part of Operation Fortitude.

Glimmer, Operation

The codename for a deception operation that took place on the night before D-Day. Glimmer simulated an invasion force sailing towards the Pas-de-Calais.


The codename for the British landing beach close to Arromanches. On D-Day the landings on Gold Beach were led by the British 50th Division.

Goodwood, Operation

The codename for a British offensive between 18 and 20 June 1944. The operation aimed to outflank Caen from the east and capture the south bank of the city.


The codename for breakwaters that were formed to create calmer water for ships to shelter and unload in. Some gooseberries were part of a Mulberry harbour.

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.


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.