Areas in English Channel for D-day

Discussion in 'History' started by Metman, Jun 26, 2010.

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  1. I have the log of one of the British forecasters who contributed the forecasts prepared for D-day. It contains a number of references to areas which I think might be identifying zones in the English Channel; they are:

    A, B, E, F, G, H, I, J, N and O.

    For example one entry reads:

    "The warm front over Ireland at 9 am on Saturday will travel through areas I, F, H and G .... "

    Unfortunately this means nothing without the key map to which they refer. Is it possible that someone has a contemporary map, or any other source, that will help define the areas?

  2. Thank you Soleil; I had already seen the link, but unfortunately it is a (poor) attempt to replicate the weather sequence with a modern computer. What I'm really seeking is a contemporary base map that would have been used by the SHAEF planners; I've reason to believe that I and N refer to the English side of the Channel, but the belief is rather tenuous.

  3. Looking at it as a puzzle, I ask myself why there is no mention of Areas C, D, K, L and M.

    I imagine that, if you drew a line from Ireland towards Normandy, that line would cut through the areas I F H and G in that sequence and in a south-easterly direction .......... ergo, I would be an area close to Ireland and so on.

    When I first glanced at that cluster of letters, I asked myself they could stand for countries, but dismissed that as that assumption doesn't tie in with the other letters.

    I'm trying to apply lateral thinking to this, partly because I've perused a few Operation Overlord maps over the last half hour, trying to work this one out, and can't see one divided up into areas labelled with these letters. Not yet, anyway ................
  4. Thank you both Soleil and TD. I wasn't aware of the D-day Museum so an email will be winging its way towards Portsmouth within a few minutes.

  5. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    I do wonder whether J, N and O are something to do with Juno Beach, or perhaps why it was so named. Indeed I have oftened wondered how the beach names were chosen.
  6. Seaweed

    I dug this up:

    Major General David Belchem, head of Montgomery's Operations Staff, says in his book Victory in Normandy that he chose 'Gold', 'Sword', and 'Juno', "from an Army pamphlet which gave a list of code names that could be understood without any risk of confusion against a background of heavy radio interference, between operators with accents ranging from Texas to Glasgow,"and that Major General J. Lawton Collins, the VII Corps commander, chose Utah and Major General Leonard T. Gerow, Omaha for V Corps."

    See this too:
  8. Metman

    My research this afternoon is strongly suggesting that these were Drop Zones for Parachutists.
  9. Could they be the embarkation areas for the various assault forces ?
    Force B - S Wales/Falmouth.
    Force U - S Devon.
    Force O - Weymouth/Solent.
    Force G - Weymouth/Pompey.
    Force J - Newhaven/Sussex.
    Force L - Thames/Felixstowe.
    IIRC,l=Lenton and College's book "British Warships of World War II" gives a breakdown of these forces in the Landing Ships and Landimg Craft section. (Can't find my copy, Herr Indoors has been tidying up again.)
  10. Thank you gentlemen; your suggestions about the drop-zones and embarkation areas are both attractive and give me something to get my teeth into.

    My thanks also Sarking - I'd heard a couple of versions of the story before, there's one (woefully inaccurate) at

    Although Ireland was a neutral country a way had been found at the beginning of the war for a collective of Irish observations to be sent to the British but not the Germans. The Belmullet (aka Blacksod Point) observations formed part of the Irish collective that was sent routinely to the Met Office. However, one observation alone doesn't make a forecast and it was the changes that occurred with time at all the Irish stations - not just one - that allowed the Allied forecasters to detect - and time - the change to favourable conditions for the 6th.

    I'm not sure what forecast actuals are, but there is no way that SHAEF would have phoned the citizen of a neutral country for such information. The lighthouse attendent was simply that, an attendent, and would not have had the knowledge to make a forecast. The preliminary decision to proceed on 6 June was actually made on the evening of the 4th.

  11. I live to learn. :D Did you know we had a SAR armed trawler based in the Irish republic during the war.Think it was called the 'Robert Hastie' based somewhere on the west coast. know anything about it?
  12. I think you are right; it was based in Killybegs:

    (page down a bit to find the mention)
  13. No, but to return your quote "I live to learn" and a quick Google soon tells the story at

    My interest in D-day only came about because I'm writing the biography of one of the British forecasters involved and I confess that my learning curve in respect of the meteorological aspects has been extremely steep.

    As an aside, the frigate HMS Hoste, which was on a weather reporting patrol to the west of Ireland for 37 days, was awarded Battle Honour for Normandy even though she was nowhere near the English Channel.

  14. Thanks for that Soleil. intresting article.would say theres a book in that story.
  15. Thanks for that Brian, again an intresting article. think i saw the the top met officer for D day being interviewed on the 'world at war'. you should be able to you tube it, if its of any use to you.
  16. Hi know this is an old post but as a note of interest my grandfather was the skipper of the trawler HMS Robert Hastie during its time in Killybegs and when she was caught smuggling in Londonderry
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016

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