What Does the “D” in “D-Day” Stand For? – IOTW Report

What Does the “D” in “D-Day” Stand For?


On June 6, 1944, the largest land, sea, and air invasion in the history of the world took place on the beaches of Normandy, France. It was the first phase of Operation Overlord, an Allied plan to land hundreds of thousands of troops into French enemy territory, then move east and liberate the rest of Nazi-occupied Western Europe. The planners of the operation gave it a simple name: D-Day. But what exactly does the “D” stand for? 

The simplest and most widely cited explanation is that the “D” in D-Day stands for —


What do you think?

21 Comments on What Does the “D” in “D-Day” Stand For?

  1. My first wife was an assignment editor at a TV station. On the 40th anniversary of D-Day, there was a lot of discussion about it in the newsroom when I went to pick up my wife. The station was an ABC affiliate and Night Line did a whole show on the subject and we stood around watching it. D-Day seemed soooo long ago at the time.

    Now THAT night was 40 years ago. Excuse me as I feel my age.

  2. I went to the D-Day museum in 2007. One side was D-Day (Europe, i.e. Normandy), and the other side was the multiple D-Days of the Pacific operation.
    It was originally built by Louisiana but is now the official national WWII Museum.

  3. Actually, it was Montgomery who first called it “D-Day” and everyone followed suit because they didn’t want to point out his stutter, much less make fun of it. 🙄

  4. Let’s not forget that D-Day was a US Army deal (with Brits and Canucks), with help from their respective navies. The US Marines did the job in the Pacific, but the US Army can do beach assaults as well as the USMC. Europe and N. Africa was the army’s main area of operations.

    Even so, the US Army was the force that finally kicked the Japanese out of the Philippines, had a big role in New Guinea, Malkin (or Makin) Island, and a presence in Guadalcanal, and of course the US Army Air Corp obliterated some big Japanese cities.

    Marine General “Howlin’ Mad” Smith deprecated the US Army assault on Malkin, and got the army general booted off the island. Inter-service rivalry is dumb, certainly during a war. It’s OK in a football game.

    I see it as Smith’s love of the USMC and desire to see it remain and grow as an essential arm of the US Navy after the war. But deprecating the US Army was uncalled for.

  5. It means “day”. “The day”, if you like. In planning D=day, H=hour, T=time. So, D-4 (minus 4) would be four days before. In press reports later, it was then “D-Day.

    Compare spacecraft lift-off T-10… Etc.

  6. It was also D-Day at Salerno, Southern France, Sicily, and Anzio. Likewise Attu, Saipan in the Navy areas of the Pacific.

    In the Southwest Pacific, there were so many landings, they used all the letters. A-Day was Leyte, Z-Day was Biak, etc.

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