D-Day 80th anniversary 6 June 2024


The 80th anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy in France will be celebrated this Thursday. Coach John looks at the historic event.

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Useful Vocabulary

turning point: (n) a point at which an important change takes place, a critical point

to land: (v) to go or come ashore from a ship or boat

to target: (v) to direct toward a target and/or an objective

to trick: (v) to deceive

to split: (v) to divide and split

to speed up: (v) to increase the rate of speed of (something or someone)

wireless: (n) Old name for a radio. Also, having no wire (adj)

to get back: (v) to recover or retrieve, to return, esp to a former position or activity

dire: (adj) causing or involving great fear or suffering; terrible, indicating trouble, disaster, urgent; desperate

D-Day 80th anniversary 6 June 2024

The 80th anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy in France will be celebrated this Thursday. Coach John looks at the historic event. 

D-Day was a huge turning point in World War Two. Beforehand, the Allied troops had no access to Western Europe. But after this victory, they had a way to send troops to fight back against the Germans and start to free countries like France and Belgium, which had been occupied by the Nazis. Ultimately, it allowed the Allies to take the war to Germany and defeat them in Berlin.

In 1940, Germany had taken over Western Europe by force, capturing France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

To fight back and free these countries, the armies of Britain, America and Canada joined together in the largest military operation on sea, air and land ever attempted.

This operation would become known as D-Day. On June sixth 1944, thousands and thousands of American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches. Supported by aeroplanes and ships, they managed to take control of all five of the beaches they had targeted. This was made easier because in the weeks ahead of the attack the Allies had tricked Germany into thinking they would invade a different part of the French coast. When the Allies arrived in Normandy, the Germans were unprepared.

At the time, the Nazis were also locked in desperate fighting on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union, what is today Russia and the countries around it in Eastern Europe. After D-Day, the Nazis had to split their armies between two fronts, the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union and the Western Front against the other allies.

This weakened their forces and sped up the end of the war.

Below is the transcript of the announcement of D-Day on the BBC. Listen here

This is the BBC Home Service – and here is a special bulletin read by John Snagge. D-Day has come. Early this morning the Allies began the assault on the north-western face of Hitler’s European fortress. The first official news came just after half-past nine, when Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force issued Communique Number One. This said: ‘Under the command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France’.

Adapted from a BBC report by ECP coach John Hird

  1. Summarise the texts (To answer the questions you will need to read both texts on pages 1 and 2)
  2. Who were the Nazis fighting on the ‘Eastern Front’?
  3. Why is it called D-Day? 
  4. What was the military codename for D-Day? 
  5. What is the word that Peter (who remembers hearing about D-Day when he was a child) says was used for the radio in 1944?
  6. What purpose does an anniversary like D-Day serve?
  7. Listen to the original BBC announcement of D-Day. How does the English sound?