Glossary of Terminology
Allied Expeditionary Force (AEF): The Allied force under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Twelve nations supplied troops and materiel for the AEF: United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
Allies: Countries that fought against the Axis Powers.
Axis Powers: The alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Belgian Gate: A large metal structure hidden by high tides and designed to rip the bottom out of larger landing craft.
Churchill, Sir Winston: Prime Minister of Britain during World War II.
Concrete Bunker: Steel-reinforced concrete casement providing cover and concealment for German guns and gunners.
DUKW: An amphibious 2 1/2 ton utility truck used to deliver supplies, ammunition, and weapons from ship to shore. Pronounced “duck,” the acronym reflects the date it entered the inventory (D[ate]: 1942); the kind of vehicle it is (U[tility], amphib.); its forward drive (K or front-wheel drive); and its rear drive (W or two rear driving axles).
Eisenhower, Dwight D.: Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force on D-Day. Eisenhower was named commanding general of the European theatre in June 1942 and the following November assumed command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces for the invasion of western Europe. In December that year, Eisenhower was promoted to the five star rank of General in the Army. He later became the 34th President of the United States.
Fortitude: The shadow operation conceived to conceal Overlord.
Gooseberries: Artificial harbors created by sinking Allied ships.
Hedgehog: Obstacles hidden by high tides and composed of three metal beams welded together designed to scuttle landing craft.
Home front: A term used to describe the United States mainland during W.W. II.
LCA: Landing craft, assault
LCI: Landing craft, infantry
LCM: Landing craft, medium
LCT: Landing craft, tank
LCVP: Landing craft, vehicle and personnel – (Higgins Boat) Capable of carrying up to 36 men.
LST: Landing ship, tank
Mulberries: Artificial harbors constructed by the British. They were made from caissons and steel sections that were towed across the Channel and positioned near Omaha and Gold beaches on D-Day.
Nazi: Abbreviation for the National Socialist German Workers Party.
Neptune: The code name for the naval operations supporting Overlord.
Overlord: Code name for the D-Day invasion, June 6, 1944.
Panzer: German battle tanks.
SHAEF: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Teller Mine: German antitank mine. “Waterproof” versions of the Teller mine were mounted atop poles. Hidden by high tides, these mines were formidable obstacles for landing craft.
Tetrahedron: An underwater obstacle taking its name from its geometrical shape; used by the Germans to scuttle landing craft.
UDT: Underwater demolition team.
WAAC: Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps.
WAC: Women’s Army Corps.
WASP: Women’s Air Service Pilots.