On June 6, thousands will gather to mark the anniversary of the Normandy Landings that took place on the same day in 1944.

Often referred to as D-Day, 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of the historical event that saw Allied Forces come together to mount a large-scale invasion of Nazi-occupied France.

The Normandy Landings ultimately became a key plan that saw the course of the Second World War in the Allies’ favour.

Ahead of the historical occasion of D-Day, many have wondered what the ‘D’ stands for following suggestions that it means ‘doom’, ‘debarkation’ and ‘deliverance’.

What does the ‘D’ in D-Day stand for?

The ‘D’ in D-Day actually stands for the word “Day” and means the day on which a military operation begins.

Islington Gazette: Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses with wounded D-Day soldiers at Cowley Hospital in Oxford, UK. Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses with wounded D-Day soldiers at Cowley Hospital in Oxford, UK. (Image: PA Wire)

D-Day has been used for many different operations but is most closely associated with the Allied landings on Normandy’s beaches on June 6 1944.

The day before D-Day was D-1 and the day after was D+1.

It meant that if the date for an operation changed, military staff would not have to alter all the dates in their plan.

This happened during the Normandy D-Day landing operation, which was originally planned for June 5 – but bad weather delayed it by a day.

In the build-up to the Allied invasion, code names and acronyms were vital to help maintain the blanket of secrecy around the operation.

As well as D-Day signalling the date of the operation, other code words included:

  • H-Hour: The hour of the invasion
  • Bolero: The build-up to D-Day in Britain.
  • Operation Overlord: The overall invasion plan.
  • Operation Neptune: The seaborne invasion.
  • Mulberry: Artificial harbours towed across the Channel.
  • Ham and Jam: The signal indicating the bridges at Benouville (Pegasus Bridge) and Ranville were secured by Allied forces.
  • Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword: Code names for the five landing beaches in Normandy.

D-Day takes place on June 6, every year.