History knows only one D-Day, 6
June 1944 when Allied forces landed in occupied
France and began the liberation of Europe. In reality
every Allied operation of the war had a D-Day when
it was scheduled to take place and an H-Hour when
it actually started. That simple code keeps the precise
date and time from the enemy and either side of the
operation time is counted down, and then up again.
Thus the day before D-Day is D minus one and the day
after, D plus one. 1
July 2003 is, therefore, D minus 341 to the 60th
Anniversary of D-Day – the countdown has begun.......
(click to enlarge picture)
Tanks on D-Day
Tanks played a key part in the invasion and, in particular
those peculiar, modified tanks known as Hobart’s Funnies.
For the next year or more this site will be devoted
to telling you all about those tanks, who Hobart was
and what was so special about his 79th Armoured
plan to cover many aspects of the invasion, from training
to action, with a mass of historical material, personal
recollections and stunning illustrations. We hope to
pick up every key anniversary in the saga, to identify
locations that you can still visit, books and audio-visual
material that you can buy, models you can make and events
you can attend.
The Story So Far.....
The plan to invade Europe, liberate
the occupied countries and defeat Nazi Germany has its
roots in a telegram from the British Prime Minister,
Winston Churchill, to U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
dated 25 July 1940. He wrote
…plans ought also to be made for coming
to the aid of the conquered populations by landing
armies of liberation when opportunity is ripe. For
this purpose it will be necessary, not only to have
great numbers of tanks, but also vessels capable of
carrying them and landing them direct on to beaches.
created a Combined Services Committee in 1942 to study
the possibilities and, at the Casablanca Conference
in January 1943 Churchill and Roosevelt agreed to create
the Anglo-American Inter-Service Headquarters to make
preparations for the invasion in readiness for the day
when a Supreme Commander could be appointed. In
the meantime Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan took
on the post of Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied
Commander (designate); he was known by the acronym
COSSAC. Everyone had their own D-Day story; some tank
men will be telling us theirs…