A SMALL wreath laid by the Inverloch RSL Sub-Branch at the cenotaph on June 6 to commemorate D-Day recognised a most significant event in the turning of the tide in the Second World War.

“The D-Day landing of allied forces on beaches in France was a magnificent well-planned operation. It was the largest amphibious invasion in history, with more than 4000 ships, 11,000 warplanes and 156,000 Allied troops,” Inverloch RSL Sub-Branch secretary Lindsay Guerin said.

“Planning for D-Day commenced in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the allies conducted deception operations to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the landing. The landing was first planned for June 5 but had to be held over 24 hours due to weather.

“The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30.

“But why ‘D-Day’? This is a military planning function. The D represents the day of the event, D minus 1 is the day before, -2 is two prior, D +1 is the day after and so on. The designator H is often used in planning to represent the hour of commencement. This is particularly required if planning an operation across several time zones.”