Alongside the Battle of Britain and Dunkirk, D-Day holds a shrine in British history as a moment where the country’s heroism came head to head with the Nazi regime.

And as we mark the landings’ 80th anniversary today, the bravery and sacrifice of our Second World War soldiers is deservedly at the forefront of our public consciousness.

Politicians have taken a step back from campaigning, the royal family are out in force to pay tribute at remembrance events and Britons up and down the UK are recalling the fateful day.

Or so you might think – as MailOnline took to the streets to quiz Gen Z on the anniversary of the Normandy landings to see just how much they know about the Allied invasion of France.

Some admitted they ‘didn’t really listen’ as their grandparents tried to tell them about their history and others said they had ‘no idea’ what the moniker meant. One even believed it stood for Doomsday.

One girl in Birmingham laughed in embarrassment as she guessed that the infamous battle happened in 1970, while one Brighton resident said she thought it had taken place in London.

MailOnline took to the streets to quiz Gen Z on the anniversary of the Normandy landings to see just how much they know about the Allied invasion of France

MailOnline took to the streets to quiz Gen Z on the anniversary of the Normandy landings to see just how much they know about the Allied invasion of France

Erin Masson, 25

Oscar Burton, 23

Some became baffled as they struggled to remember their history, but others did their country proud – as they launched into forensic detail and answered a series of questions designed to test their awareness to its limits. Pictured: Erin Masson, 25 and Oscar Burton, 23

The King and Queen watched proceedings from the Royal Box after Charles had delivered his speech

The King and Queen watched proceedings from the Royal Box after Charles had delivered his speech 

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with D-Day veteran Eric Bateman after he delivered his address

The Prince of Wales shakes hands with D-Day veteran Eric Bateman after he delivered his address 

But others did their country proud – as they launched into forensic detail and answered a series of questions designed to test their awareness to its limits.

Speaking in Birmingham, Ash Robinson, 21, said he thought D-Day was ‘the bombing of Britain’ – although he admitted he didn’t ‘know exactly where in Britain’ this had happened. 

When pressed he later added that he though it had taken place in ‘Birmingham… I think it might have been some in London, but mostly Birmingham I think.’

While some youngsters managed to rattle off all the coded beaches where troops landed in France, several others listed London as the place they believed Allied troops had landed. 

Emily Painting, 25, who works for the Civil Service, added: ‘I actually don’t know. I have no clue.’ When asked when it had taken place, she continued: ‘I don’t know… 1970?’

Student Luke Marsden, 19, continued: ‘My great gran tried to tell me so much about it and I didn’t really listen! Maybe the day that there was some landings somewhere?’

And Mia Allen, 21, said: ‘No, I don’t know anything about it.’

But the historic event appeared to have been overshadowed for some – Ibrahim Abdullah, 24, told a reporter: ‘Doomsday is a day when the world ends, ok – so what do we define as the world ending?

‘It’s when you’re raised up from the dead and you’re all gathered to the plain of resurrection.’

Ash Robinson, 21, said he thought D-Day was 'the bombing of Britain' - although he admitted he didn't 'know exactly where in Britain' this had happened

Ash Robinson, 21, said he thought D-Day was ‘the bombing of Britain’ – although he admitted he didn’t ‘know exactly where in Britain’ this had happened

Emily Painting, 25, who works for the Civil Service, added: 'I actually don't know. I have no clue'

Emily Painting, 25, who works for the Civil Service, added: ‘I actually don’t know. I have no clue’

Student Luke Marsden, 19, continued: 'My great gran tried to tell me so much about it and I didn't really listen! Maybe the day that there was some landings somewhere?'

Student Luke Marsden, 19, continued: ‘My great gran tried to tell me so much about it and I didn’t really listen! Maybe the day that there was some landings somewhere?’

Mia Allen, 21, said: 'No, I don't know anything about it'

Mia Allen, 21, said: ‘No, I don’t know anything about it’

Ibrahim Abdullah, 24, told a reporter: 'Doomsday is a day when the world ends, ok - so what do we define as the world ending?'

Ibrahim Abdullah, 24, told a reporter: ‘Doomsday is a day when the world ends, ok – so what do we define as the world ending?’

He appeared slightly worried when asked when it had taken place. He continued: ‘When did D-Day take place? I don’t know. This is my analogy of Doomsday.’ With a shake of his head, he also said he didn’t know where it had taken place.

Looking even more bewildered, Ibrahim said it ‘marks the beginning of the Day of Judgement, I guess.’

In Newcastle youngsters questioned by MailOnline were more successful, with one group of four being able to talk fluently about D Day as they walked back from their food shop.

Noah Gleadow, Joanna Ingham, Lily Smith and Katie George, who were all 19, were able to describe what the historic day was, where it had happened and even name two of the four beaches.

While she was less confident, Derianna Thomas, 28, also knew that it was a landing during the Second World War.

Joe Peskett, 31 could even say that the landing happened on June 6, 1944. He added that it marked ‘the allied liberation of Nazi occupied Europe.’

Even Rian Brown, 21, who is not from the UK, knew that it was a ‘military operation’.

But not everyone in the Northern city were quite so knowledgeable. 19-year-olds Clemmie Pinkerton, Phoebe Nattress and Annabel Lynn covered their heads in their hands as they asked if it was ‘Dunkirk vibes’.

Noah Gleadow, Joanna Ingham, Lily Smith and Katie George, who were all 19, were able to describe what the historic day was, where it had happened and even name two of the four beaches

Noah Gleadow, Joanna Ingham, Lily Smith and Katie George, who were all 19, were able to describe what the historic day was, where it had happened and even name two of the four beaches

While she was less confident, Derianna Thomas, 28, also knew that it was a landing during the Second World War

While she was less confident, Derianna Thomas, 28, also knew that it was a landing during the Second World War

Joe Peskett, 31 could even say that the landing happened on June 6, 1944. He added that it marked 'the allied liberation of Nazi occupied Europe'

Joe Peskett, 31 could even say that the landing happened on June 6, 1944. He added that it marked ‘the allied liberation of Nazi occupied Europe’

Even Rian Brown, 21, who is not from the UK, knew that it was a 'military operation'

Even Rian Brown, 21, who is not from the UK, knew that it was a ‘military operation’

19-year-olds Clemmie Pinkerton, Phoebe Nattress and Annabel Lynn covered their heads in their hands as they asked if it was 'Dunkirk vibes'

19-year-olds Clemmie Pinkerton, Phoebe Nattress and Annabel Lynn covered their heads in their hands as they asked if it was ‘Dunkirk vibes’

Asked where it had happened they continued: ‘Around here somewhere? France? France!’ To the horror of her friends, Clemmie then answered that D-Day marked the end of the Cold War – which historians say continued until 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union.

In Brighton, an hour along the south coast from where King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Prince of Wales yesterday met veterans, Gen Zers did not seem any more clued up.

Erin Masson, 25, said she thought D-Day was the day the war ended. Asked where she thought it had happened, she quizzically responded: ‘London?’

Speaking in Churchill Square, she said: ‘I know it’s something to do with the war. Maybe it’s the day the war ended?

‘I know it’s something to do with the poppy, wearing a poppy. But no one is wearing a poppy so maybe not, I don’t know!’

Meanwhile, in London, Gen Zers gave their messages of thanks to D-Day veterans.

One, called Karis, said: ‘Thank you you so much for everything you have done for us.’

Another, Pari, added: ‘Thank you for all you have done for us.’

Erin Masson, 25, said she thought D-Day was the day the war ended. Asked where she thought it had happened, she quizzically responded: 'London?'

Erin Masson, 25, said she thought D-Day was the day the war ended. Asked where she thought it had happened, she quizzically responded: ‘London?’

In London, Karis, left, told D-Day veterans: 'Thank you you so much for everything you have done for us'

In London, Karis, left, told D-Day veterans: ‘Thank you you so much for everything you have done for us’

Pari, left, added: 'Thank you for all you have done for us', while her friend Zara, right, said: 'Thank you so much, like, we love you honestly, like, you're the best'

Pari, left, added: ‘Thank you for all you have done for us’, while her friend Zara, right, said: ‘Thank you so much, like, we love you honestly, like, you’re the best’

One 19-year-old, wearing an Italian football jersey, said: 'I would like to offer gratitude and condolences to everyone that's lost relatives during the battle'

One 19-year-old, wearing an Italian football jersey, said: ‘I would like to offer gratitude and condolences to everyone that’s lost relatives during the battle’

And her friend, Zara, added: ‘Thank you so much, like, we love you honestly, like, you’re the best.’

One 19-year-old, wearing an Italian football jersey, said: ‘I would like to offer gratitude and condolences to everyone that’s lost relatives during the battle.

‘I know it was significant, especially in France as well, the fact that they were stuck on the beaches, it was honestly…’

In reality, D-Day saw almost 160,000 British, US and Canadian forces embarking on the largest amphibious invasion in history.

On June 6, Allied troops crossed the English Channel by boat, aircraft and glider to attack and secure beaches in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord, with the end goal of liberating Nazi-occupied Europe and defeating Adolf Hitler’s German regime.

Thousands of ships carrying brave men, as well as tanks and other equipment needed to defeat Hitler’s forces, landed at five designated sites along the coast of Normandy – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. 

It marked the start of the Battle of Normandy. But despite gaining a vital foothold in northern France, the Allies did not succeed in all of their objectives on June 6, with the battle continuing for a further 12 weeks.

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