The Unsung Heroes of D-Day: The RAF Weathermen

It might just be that the most important weather forecast that was ever made was the one for D-Day, the Allied invasion of France. And it wasn’t due to just one brilliant solitary forecaster, but rather a group of forecasters who imitated the weather. They shoved each other, yelled, scribbled things down, and cast nasty looks at one another. They fought it out and ultimately took a vote. In the end, they were right just enough.


Troops of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, and 1st Infantry Division are assembling on a narrow strip of “Omaha Beach” during the invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944. Photo by Granger / Shutterstock

D-Day had the potential to be one of the biggest disasters in military history. But thanks to the decisions of a Scottish weatherman named James Stagg and data received from an RAF (Royal Air Force) squadron based on a little island off of Scotland’s west coast. It was Stagg, the chief meteorological adviser, who convinced General Eisenhower to change the date of the invasion.

This is why the RAF weathermen deserve a nod for their unspoken contribution to D-Day.

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