D-Day 75: What does the D stand for? When is D-Day and what happened during the Normandy invasion?

THE 75th anniversary of D-Day is almost upon us.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 4:59 pm

Portsmouth will be the focal point of the UK’s national celebrations in June of this year.

While the name D-Day is widely associated with the Normandy Landings in 1944, you might wonder what it’s origin is.

Here is what you need to know:

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Allied troops pictured storming the Normandy beach off St Aubin, D Day, Second World War

Why were the Normandy Landings called D-Day?

The nickname D-Day has become synonymous with the Normandy invasion and the allied liberation of France from Nazi Germany rule.

But what exactly does the D stand for?

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Well the U.S military used D-Day as a designation for when an operation would take place, they also used H-Hour for the hour when they would launch the operation.

So the D didn’t actually stand for anything specifically.

Planners would use pluses and minuses to designate time before and after the operation - with D+3 Day meaning three days after D-Day.

And although most of us associate D-Day exclusively with the Normandy Invasion, it has been used both before and after that.

The U.S military used the D-Day designation for operations during the First World War.

When was D-Day?

Originally D-Day was scheduled to take place on June 5, 1944 - the day of the anniversary celebrations in Portsmouth this year.

However due to bad weather it was delayed until June 6.

There will be a series of events in the UK – focusing on Portsmouth – and Normandy in June to commemorate the landings.

What was Operation Neptune?

This was the code name given to the first phase, the amphibious invasion of Normandy and attempt to secure a foothold in Nazi occupied territory.

Operation Overlord was the overall codename for the Battle of Normandy, which was the Allies successful mission to invade Western Europe which was under German control.