For this assignment you may use a dictionary or English-language Internet sources to help you.
a Find out and write down what the word “D-Day” stands for.
b D-Day in World War II was a big historical event.
Name 3 other big historical events you know of. Write down:
– When they happened.
– Where they happened.
– Some details of the impact they had.
c Read and remember the following five words:
– seaborne: by sea
– commemoration ceremony: a special meeting to remember a great person or event
– voyage:a long journey to a foreign or distant place, especially by sea
– flotilla: a group of warships
– underprepared: not well enough prepared
75 Years Ago
World leaders have gathered to remember D-Day — 6 June 1944 — one of the most significant days of World War II. On that day 75 years ago, 150,000 allied soldiers swarmed across the English Channel from England to France to take back Europe from Germany.
The big invasion was the largest ever seaborne military operation. It was planned in secret for months with the code name Operation Neptune.
Hundreds of D-Day veterans joined Queen Elizabeth II, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and other world leaders at a D-Day commemoration ceremony at Portsmouth, UK.
They remembered the many soldiers on both sides of the battles who fought, including those who were killed and injured. They also remembered the thousands of people who worked to plan and support the operation.
Three hundred veterans from the many countries that took part, all more than 90 years old, attended the commemorations. After the ceremony, the veterans departed Portsmouth on the ship MV Boudicca to Normandy, France, retracing the voyage they made across the English Channel 75 years ago. The ship was met by a flotilla of Royal Navy ships with sailors lining the decks in salute and one Spitfire flew overhead before more commemorations on land in France.
Planning began in 1943 for a big invasion from the UK to France called Operation Bodyguard. Operation Bodyguard was a big, elaborate trick. It was to fool the German Army into thinking the armies it was fighting were going to launch an invasion at a particular time and place.
German spies and code breakers listened in to false radio conversations. They intercepted false coded messages and then started planning to fight against Operation Bodyguard.
All the while — in absolute secrecy — Operation Neptune and the D-Day invasion was being planned. When it happened, on 6 June 1944, Germany was underprepared.
Allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy in the early hours of 6 June 1944. D-Day was just the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, which continued for two-and-a-half months until the end of August.
Intense fighting meant many soldiers and local people were killed and injured and homes, farms, and towns — including medieval cathedrals and monuments — were destroyed.
A tiny tin clicker helped save the lives of many D-Day soldiers. The device, about the size of a person’s thumb, makes a metallic clicking sound. It was given to soldiers for the D-Day landing.
The idea was that soldiers could click once if they saw another soldier but it was too dark to know if they were on their side or were on the opposition. If the soldier clicked back twice, they knew they were on the same side.
Based on: reuters.com; thesun.co.uk
Read the text. For each definition, find the word or expression it describes in the text. Write it down.
a. moved across in a big group……..
b. a name that is used to keep the real name a secret……..
c. former soldiers……..
d. going back along the same course that someone has taken earlier……..
e. people who work on a ship as part of the crew……..
f. in greeting by raising the hand to the cap……..
h. to begin……..
i. people who secretly collect and report information about the activities of another country……..
j. cut off or listened into……..
k. written or sent in code……..
l. relating or belonging to the Middle Ages……..
a What happened 75 years ago on 6 June 1944?
1. A group of 90-year-old veterans sailed to France to free Europe.
2. President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel started the European Union.
3. Thousands of allied soldiers crossed the Channel to invade German-occupied Europe.
4. World leaders gathered to meet hundreds of veterans at Portsmouth in the UK.
b What was Operation Neptune?
1. A military exercise to prepare for the Battle of Normandy.
2. A trick operation to make the German Army believe in a fake attack.
3. Intense fighting which continued for many months and started World War II.
4. The code name for secret preparations to invade France by sea in 1944.
c How did a tin clicker help save lives?
1. It helped soldiers identify their friends and enemies.
2. It made a soft clicking sound that only D-Day soldiers could hear.
3. It was very tiny so that the enemy could never find it.
4. With it soldiers could see better in the dark.