The most important weather forecast in History D Day June 6th

North Atlantic chart of weather for June 6th 1944.  Showing occupied Europe with observations obtained from the enigma machine

In 2014 or thereabouts I went to a play by David Haig which was based on the true story of weather forecaster James Stagg’s advice that the weather on June 6th 1944 would be the best day to go ahead.

The play was called Pressure and was great because it really conveyed the enormity of the decision that Ike, Churchill and others had to make.  To go ahead in bad weather risked enormous casualties and the failure of the Landings.  To postpone, might mean Hitler discovered the location of the invasions and disaster.

Major characters portrayed in the play included Ike and his driver, Kay Summersby with whom he was very close, and an American forecaster who disagreed with the British meteorologist James Stagg.  How much of the play was for dramatic effect and how much is true, I’m not entirely sure but it is a fascinating D Day story.

The maps were hand drawn and partially based on intercepted data decoded by the enigma machine.  Stagg recommended postponing the landings one day from the 5th to the 6th of June, when it was hoped the ideal combination of calm seas, low water at first light and a full moon would occur.

Maps used to present the data have recently been  up for sale and are discussed here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-68845546

I was reminded of the play by this article on the weather on D DAY on the BBC website https://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/articles/c2995n9wgz8o.

Please have a read.


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