• Sarah


When we think of D-Day, we all have mental images of troops waiting aboard landing craft at sea, landing on the beaches of Normandy under heavy gun fire, of the paratroopers who were the advance wave, or of the military cemeteries and their rows of pure white headstones and crosses that herald the tragic ending for so many.

D-Day is synonymous for most of us with northern France and the start of the Allies changing the tide of the war.

However, what about where they left from?

D-Day was months in the planning and preparations, all of which took place in the UK. The troops, vehicles, equipment didn’t just amass without organisation, it all had to be assembled, equipment constructed, troops had to be trained, detailed military plans were made, and all of it had to be hidden from the enemy. The south of England was taken over in the preparation for D-Day, and traces of this have been left behind all over the country.

A round concrete block lop sided on a beach with the sea behind it.
A pill box on the beach in Studland.


Operation Overlord, the name given to the establishment of creating a second front on the continent, was agreed upon in 1943 by the Allied commanders. Unable to take place until the necessary equipment had been built and the troops trained and assembled, large scale deception operations were established to encourage the Germans to think that an invasion would take place in the Pas de Calais region of France (Operation Bodyguard), Norway (Operation Fortitude) or Bordeaux (Operation Ironside). These left the Germans very unprepared for the invasion when it eventually came.