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Glossary of terms

Wed, 5 Jun 2019
Overview
Used in the handwritten D-Day headlines
Term

 

Explanation

 

11th U/B Flotilla

 

11th U-boat Flotilla. Based in Bergen, Norway.

 

1261

 

1261 Heeres Küsten Artillerie-Regiment (army coastal artillery regiment) controlled 10 batteries on the Normandy coast. Batteries were numbered 1/1261, 2/1261, etc.

 

2nd Defence Division

 

2. Sicherungsdivision. Commanded harbour defence forces such as minesweepers and patrol boats on the Channel coast.

 

319th Infantry Division

 

German infantry division garrisoning the Channel Islands

 

3rd Defence Division

 

3. Sicherungsdivision. Commanded harbour defence forces such as minesweepers and patrol boats on the Atlantic coast of France.

 

4th Defence Division

 

4. Sicherungsdivision. Commanded harbour defence forces such as minesweepers and patrol boats on the Atlantic coast of France.

 

A/C

 

Aircraft

 

A/S

 

Anti-Ship

 

Admiral CHANNEL

 

Admiral Kanalküste (Admiral Channel Coast), Vizeadmiral Friedrich Rieve. Responsible for the ‘Seekos’ of Normandy, Seine-Somme, Pas de Calais and the Channel Islands. Headquartered in Rouen.

 

Admiral SKAGERRAK

 

Admiral responsible for strait between Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

 

A-Flotilla/A-Boats

 

Artillerieträger – coasters or barges carrying heavy artillery or anti-air weaponry. 6th Artillerieträger-Flotille was based partially at Isigny in Normandy.

 

ALDERNEY

 

Channel island

 

ARROMANCHES

 

Coastal town in centre of invasion area. Captured by 1st Hampshires from Gold Beach on the evening of D-Day. Later site of the Mulberry harbour named ‘Port Winston’.

 

ASNELLES

 

Village, part of Gold Beach

 

AUTHIE

 

Village near Caen.

 

AZEVILLE (ASERVILLE)

 

Village near Utah Beach; site of German coastal battery.

 

BARFLEUR

 

Port in NW corner of Cotentin

 

Battleship

 

Heavy warship

 

BAYEUX

 

Town inland from Gold and Juno beaches.

 

BÉNOUVILLE (BENOUVILLE)

 

Village on Caen canal; location of the only crossing of the Orne between Caen and the sea, the famous Pegasus Bridge captured by the Ox. and Bucks. Light Infantry on D-Day.

 

BERCK-SUR-MER (BERK-SUR-MER)

 

Port on Channel coast south of Boulogne.

 

BLAINVILLE

 

Village on Caen canal NE of Caen.

 

BLITZ-SPERREN

 

Naval minefield to be laid as the situation demanded.

 

BORCHERS

 

Kapitänleutnant Rolf Borchers.Commanded U-276 on D-Day. At that time was at Stavanger, Norway.

 

BORDEAUX

 

Port city in western France

 

BOSTON

 

British medium bomber aircraft.

 

BOULOGNE

 

Port city in northern France

 

BREST

 

Port city in Brittany

 

BRÉVILLE-SUR-MER (BREVILLE)

 

Port in western Normandy

 

CABOURG

 

Norman port just east of the invasion area in Seine bay.

 

CAEN

 

Main city in Normandy. D-Day objective, but ultimately not captured until 21 July. Bombed on D-Day, killing several thousand civilians.

 

CAP DE LA HAGUE

 

Cape at NW of Cotentin

 

CAP LÉVI (CAP LEVI)

 

Cape at NE of Cotentin

 

CARENTAN

 

Town 5 miles inland between Utah and Omaha beaches, which controlled road links between the two.

 

CHERBOURG

 

City at north end of Cotentin. Captured by American forces on 29 June.

 

COLLEVILLE

 

Village behind Omaha Beach.

 

COTENTIN PENINSULA

 

Region in NW Normandy. Utah Beach was located in the SE.

 

COUTANCES

 

Town in western Normandy.

 

Cruiser

 

Medium warship

 

DEAUVILLE

 

Norman port east of the invasion area in Seine bay.

 

Destroyer

 

Light warship

 

DIEPPE

 

Port in northern France; site of Dieppe raid in August 1942.

 

DIVES

 

River to east of invasion area.

 

ÉMONDEVILLE (EMOUDVILLE)

 

Village in Cotentin

 

FOIC Western Defences

 

Konteradmiral Erich Alfred Breuning. Befehlshaber der Sicherung West (Flag Officer in Charge Western Sea Defences). Headquartered in Paris.

 

FORTRESS

 

B-17. American heavy bomber.

 

FRESVILLE

 

Village in Cotentin

 

FUM/FUMO/FUMG/FUMB

 

German naval radar systems

 

G.A.F.

 

German Air Force

 

GATTEVILLE

 

Village at NE tip of Cotentin

 

GBT

 

Gunboat

 

GES

 

Naval mine system

 

GRANDCAMP

 

Village west of Omaha Beach

 

GRANVILLE

 

Port in western Normandy

 

Gruppe WEST

 

Admiral Theodor Krancke commanded Marinegruppenkommando West (Navy Group Command West), responsible for all German naval forces in France, headquartered in Paris.

 

GUERNSEY

 

Channel island

 

HEERESGRUPPE B

 

Army Group B. Responsible for German troops in northern France. Commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

 

HOFFMANN

 

Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Hoffmann. Commanded 5th Torpedoboot Flotille based in Le Havre, which attacked ‘S Force’ – part of the Eastern Task Force of the Allied fleet of the Allied fleet – around 05.40 and sank the Norwegian destroyer HNoMS Svenner. Hoffmann continued to lead attacks on the Allied fleet over the following days.

 

ISIGNY-SUR-MER

 

Town between Utah and Omaha beaches.

 

ISLE OF WIGHT

 

Island of south coast of England.

 

IXth FLIEGERKORPS

 

Corps of the German Air Force fielding long-range bombers based in Coulommiers in northern France.

 

KARL

 

German naval officer, probably in 6. Artillerieträger-Flotille and based in St. Vaast.

 

Karl Galster

 

German destroyer.

 

KMA

 

Naval mine system

 

LA MADELEINE

 

Norman village close to UTAH Beach

 

LA PERNELLE

 

Village in NE Cotentin

 

LA ROCHELLE

 

Port city in western France

 

LE HAVRE

 

Port city on Seine bay, to east of invasion area

 

LE PORT BREHAY

 

Village in Cotentin

 

LES CASQUETS

 

Fortified island off Alderney

 

LEUCHTFÄCHER

 

Literally ‘light fans’ – an illuminating flare.

 

LIBERATOR

 

B-24. American heavy bomber.

 

LIGHTNING

 

P-38. American heavy fighter aircraft

 

LONGUES-SUR-MER

 

Village in centre of invasion area; site of German coastal battery

 

M/S

 

Minesweeper or Minensuchboote

 

MANNEVILLE

 

Village in the Cotentin

 

MARCOUF

 

The Marcouf battery, commanded Kapitän Sur Zee Walter Ohmsen. Also known as the Crisbecq battery. On D-Day its garrison was around 400 men, and its main armament was three 210mm guns.The battery came under sustained bombardment in the days before and during the landings, losing two of its three guns on D-Day. Ohmsen was recommended for the Iron Cross by Hennecke on the evening of D-Day. His men repelled American attacks on 7th and 8th June, during which Ohmsen was wounded in the hand, and broke out to the German lines on 11th. On 29th Ohmsen was captured when the garrison of Cherbourg surrendered.

 

MARCOUF ISLAND(S)

 

Fortified islands off the Normandy coast near Utah Beach. The first French territory to be liberated from the sea. Captured early on D-Day by 132 troops of US 4th Cavalry; although unopposed, 19 casualties were lost to mines.

 

M-Boats

 

Minensuchboote – mine-sweepers. Larger than R-boats.

 

MONTEBOURG

 

Town in Cotentin.

 

MORSALINES

 

Village in NE Cotentin. The lighthouse here was demolished late on D-Day as it was feared Allied ships were using it as an aiming point.

 

MOSQUITO

 

British fighter-bomber aircraft

 

NAU

 

Kapitänleutnant Herbert Nau, commanding 10. Räumbootsflotille based in Ouistreham.

 

NAU

 

Mine-laying ship

 

NOIC

 

Naval Officer In Command

 

ORNE

 

River in eastern Normandy. Along with the Caen Canal it formed the left flank of the beachhead.

 

OSTEND

 

Belgian port

 

OUISTREHAM

 

Port north of Caen at the mouth of the Orne. Site of Sword Beach.

 

PALMGREN

 

Fregattenkapitän Palmgren. Commanded 38. Minensuchflotille.

 

PAS DE CALAIS

 

Part of NE France closest to England. Hitler and most of his generals believed this would be the site of Allied landings, as it was heavily fortified as a result.

 

 PERCEE

 

Pointe et Raz de la Percée. Headland just west of Omaha Beach; site of German naval radar installation.

 

 PONT DU HOE

 

Pointe du Hoc. Headland west of Omaha Beach and site of German battery. Famously captured on D-Day by US Army Rangers who scaled the cliffs with ropes and ladders, only to find the guns they were tasked with destroying had been moved. The Germans counterattacked heavily and the Rangers were only relieved on the morning of 8th June.

 

PORT EN BESSIN

 

Port between Omaha and Gold beaches. Liberated on 8th June by 47 Royal Marine Commando.

 

PORTLAND BILL

 

Promontory on south coast of England.

 

QUINEVILLE

 

Village in the Cotentin north of Utah Beach.

 

RALL

 

Korvettenkapitän Viktor Rall. Commanded 15th Vorpostenflotille, which consisted mostly of adapted whalers used for harbour defence work and patrolling. His D-Day messages describe engaging ‘S Force’ – part of the Eastern Task Force of the Allied fleet – and the loss of V-1509, either to a shell from HMS Warspite or a mine.

 

RAVENOVILLE

 

Village in the Cotentin NW of Utah Beach.

 

R-Boats

 

Räumboote. Small vessels equivalent to British ‘motor launches’, used for minesweeping, minelaying, patrolling, convoy escort and air-see rescue.

 

ROYAN

 

Port in western France.

 

SAINTE-MÈRE-ÉGLISE (ST. MERE EGLISE)

 

Town in Cotentin peninsula centred on the US Airborne landing zones. Secured on morning of D-Day and defended from counterattacks until 7th June when troops from Utah Beach arrived.

 

SCHAD

 

Kapitänleutnant Friedrich Schad. Commanded 6. Artillerieträgerflotille

 

SCHUNK

 

Oberleutnant zur See
Hans-Norbert Schunck.
Commanded U-348 on D-Day. At that time was on patrol from Bergen, Norway.
Seeko BRITTANY

 

Kommandant der Seeverteidigung (Sea Defence Commander). Admiral responsible for coastal defence of Brittany.

 

Seeko CHANNEL ISLANDS

 

Kommandant der Seeverteidigung (Sea Defence Commander). Admiral responsible for coastal defence of the Channel Islands.

 

Seeko NORMANDY

 

Konteradmiral Walter Hennecke. Kommandant der Seeverteidigung (Sea Defence Commander) Normandy on D-Day. Responsible for naval defences between Brittany and the river Seine. Headquartered in Cherbourg, where he was taken prisoner on 29th June.

 

Seeko SEINE-SOMME

 

Kommandant der Seeverteidigung (Sea Defence Commander). Admiral responsible for coastal defence of the Seine-Somme region.

 

SEINE

 

River in northern France running through Paris and reaching the sea at Le Havre. The Normandy landings took place in the bay of the Seine.

 

S-Flotilla/S-Boats

 

Schnellboote­ ­­– torpedo boats known by the British as ‘E-Boats’.

 

S.O.

 

Senior Officer

 

SOMMER

 

German naval commander.

 

ST. LO

 

City in Normandy. Site of heavy fighting in June-July 1944 which left some 95% of the city in ruins.

 

ST. MALO

 

Port in Brittany.

 

ST. MARCOUF

 

Village in the Cotentin; site of German gun battery commanded by Walter Ohmsen.

 

ST. MARTIN DE VARREVILLE

 

Village in the Cotentin close to Utah Beach.

 

ST. PIERRE EGLISE

 

Village in northern Cotentin.

 

ST. VAAST

 

Port in NE Cotentin.

 

ST-VALERY-EN-CAUX

 

Port in northern France.

 

T/P

 

Teleprinter

 

THEVILLE

 

Village in northern Cotentin. Site of airfield.

 

THUNDERBOLT

 

American fighter-bomber aircraft.

 

TODT organisation

 

German paramilitary organisation involved in building coastal fortifications.

 

TOI

 

Time of Intercept – time given in GMT and starting at 00.58 (GMT+1/British Summer Time), the times the messages would have originally been intercepted at Bletchley Park on 6 June 1944.

 

TRONDHEIM

 

Port city in Norway.

 

TROUVILLE

 

Port east of invasion area.

 

TURQUEVILLE

 

Village in the Cotentin between St-Mère-Église and Utah Beach.

 

TYPHOON

 

British fighter-bomber aircraft.

 

VER-SUR-MER

 

Village just inland of Gold Beach.

 

VIERVILLE

 

Village just inland of Omaha Beach.

 

VIRE

 

River in western Normandy which met the sea between Utah and Omaha beaches.

 

WINTER

 

German naval commander.

 

WN

 

Widerstandsnest (‘resistance nest’). Coastal fortress with gun emplacements, trenches, bunkers etc providing all-round defence.

 

WOLDMANN

 

German naval commander.

 

W/T

 

Wireless telegraphy

 

ZEEBRUGGE

 

Belgian port city.

 

Z-Flotilla

 

Zerstörer (destroyer) flotilla. 8th Z-Flotilla was based in western France. On D-Day the flotilla was ordered to proceed to Brest to prepare for operations against the Allied fleet. On the night of 8/9 June two ships were lost in the Battle of Ushant.

 

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