world war 2

what does the d in d-day stand for

IIRC, it doesn’t stand for anything. It’s simply the day after C-Day.

IIRC, however, stands for If I Recall Correctly, which I might not.

It stands for nothing besides being the first letter of “day.” Before definite times were set, they would operate on a relative basis: “we want to be here by D + 3 days [i.e. three days after D-Day].” The wording might not be right, there, but it’s the right idea. They also used M-Month, T-Time ("shuttle will launch in T- 10 seconds… 9… 8… 7).

It’s standard military parlance to describe the big day. Everything starts at H-Hour on D-Day for any big plan.

It’s De Day!

De Day ve get zee Germans?


As other have pointed out, it stands for nothing. But let me explain why.

Prior to the invasion, the Allied command wasn’t actually sure what day it would happen. They knew roughly when they could land - it had to be low tide - but not exactly what day; maybe it would be June 4, maybe June 5, maybe June 6, maybe later in the year. You see, the weather had to be good, or it could not be done.

But when they were planning the invasion, obviously things had to be planned very, very carefully, and certain things had to happen on certain days. This or that unit had to accomplish a certain objective withina certain number of days. Since they didn’t know what day it would start on they could not say “Well, this has to happen by June 22.” They’d just say “This has to happen by D-Day Plus 14,” that being 14 days after the invasion.

Although the term “D-Day” has become associated with the 1944 invasion of Normandy, it’s a term used all the time to describe the beginning day of a major operation.

From a newspaper article in the UK a while ago;

A-Day is any old day, B-Day is what the French use to wash their whatsits, C-Day is the name of a poet, D-Day was next on the list.

From my out-of-print book …

“D Day” The term used in planning for an as yet unspecified date on which military operations will begin. The time operations will begin is called “H Hour.” The first use of this term seems to have been in an operations order issued on 7 September 1918 by the American Expeditionary Force in France. The “D Day” designation is so convenient in military planning that its use has become universal. The most famous “D Day” is 6 June 1944 when the Allies invaded Normandy (OVERLORD). In the post-war era, to avoid confusion with the OVERLORD invasion, some military operations have avoided the “D Day” designation. The Allied invasion of Iraq and Kuwait began on “G Day.”

It didn’t stand for aynthing? Really? I was always taught that it stood for “Deliverance Day”. Wow.

… and here I thought it stood for Dunkirk, off from which the troops jumped.

I thought it was just the first initial in day, like H-Hour as previously mentioned.

some British WW1-era operations orders are written in terms of “Z-Day”. Evidently it appeared some time after that.
Not only do you want to conceal the actual day contemplated but, as others have indicated, it allows planning to commence when the actual date has not yet been fixed.
The invasion was originally fixed for June 5th but was postponed for twenty-four hours due to poor weather. Imagine the chaos if all the documents had had to be retyped at the last moment, with no one sure if they had the amended copy.


Would have ruined the element of surprise, since the Nazis held Dunkirk since 1939. They might have noticed Allied troops massing there.

… upon which the troops landed, then. :rolleyes:

Except that they landed in Normandy, which is a long way from Dunkirk.

1940, not 1939.

Right, thus totally takign the Germans by suprise, who no doubt assumed “D-Day” meant Dunkirk. :wink: