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- 07 June 2004
Here is the explanation provided by the Imperial War Museum's site at www.iwm.org.uk
'D-Day is a general military term for the day on which an operation or exercise is planned to commence. The choice of the letter D has no significance, and any other letter could equally be used. Its only purpose is to provide a point of reference from which all other dates can be reckoned. D - [minus] 1 would be the day before an operation commenced. D + 1 would be the day after D-Day, or the second day of the operation. This allows all aspects of the plan to be worked out in advance, even though the actual date of D-Day might remain to be decided.
The most famous D-Day was 6 June 1944, the beginning of the Allied invasion of France, although there were numerous others during the Second World War.
Similarly, H-Hour is a general military term for the exact time at which an operation or exercise is planned to commence. As with D-Day, the actual choice of letter has no significance. Other designations, such as Zero-hour, can also be used.'
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