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This is a list of known World War II era codenames for military operations, and missions commonly associated with World War II. As of 2015 this is not a comprehensive list, but most major operations that Axis and Allied combatants engaged in are included, and also operations that involved neutral nation states. Operations are categorised according to the theater of operations, and an attempt has been made to cover all aspects of significant events including the Holocaust. Operations contained in the Western Front category have been listed by year. Operations that follow the cessation of hostilities and those that occurred in the pre-war period are also included. Operations are listed alphabetically, and where multiple aspects are involved these are listed inline.

Flags used are those of the time period.

Africa[edit | edit source]

Excluding North African campaigns

  • Appearance (1941) United Kingdom British Raj British Somaliland — Seaborne assault on Italian-held Berbera, in British Somaliland
  • Atmosphere (1941) United Kingdom — base established at Mersa Kuba to aid the capture of Massawa from the Italians
  • Begum (1941) United Kingdom — naval actions to deny supplies to Italian forces in Italian Somaliland
    • Breach (1941) United Kingdom — mining of Mogadishu by FAA aircraft
  • Camilla (1941) United Kingdom — British disinformation operation to mask action against Eritrea
  • Canned (1940) United Kingdom — British naval bombardment of Banda Alula, Italian Somaliland
  • Canvas (1941) South Africa Colonial Nigeria — Allied invasion of Italian Somaliland
  • Chapter (1941) United Kingdom British Raj — capture of Cape Guardafui lighthouse and adjacent area
  • Chronometer (1941) United Kingdom British Raj — Anglo-Indian capture of Assab
  • Composition (1941) United Kingdom — FAA attack on Massawa
  • Ironclad (1942) United Kingdom South Africa — The Battle of Madagascar
  • Menace (1940) United Kingdom Free French Forces — seaborne Free French and British attack on Dakar, French West Africa (Senegal)
  • Postmaster (1942) United KingdomSOE operation to capture three Axis vessels in the neutral Spanish island of Fernando Po
  • Supply (1941) United Kingdom — Allied anti-submarine naval patrol off Madagascar

Atlantic Ocean[edit | edit source]

Includes North Sea, Arctic Ocean and actions against naval vessels in harbour

Eastern Front[edit | edit source]

Mediterranean Sea[edit | edit source]

South West Pacific and Pacific Ocean[edit | edit source]

China[edit | edit source]

  • Alpha (1944) Taiwan United States — improvement of the defences of Kunming against Japanese threats
  • Ichigo (1944) Empire of Japan — Japanese campaign in eastern China to secure overland routes to Indo-China and airfields
  • Matterhorn (1944) United States — establishment of bases for US B-29 bomber aircraft
  • Sankō (1942–1944) Empire of Japan — Japanese campaign in five provinces of northeastern China to crush the Chinese resistance following the Hundred Regiments Offensive

South West, South, and South East Asia[edit | edit source]

Iraq, Syria, Iran, India, Burma, Malaya and Indo-China, and the Indian Ocean

  • Anakim (1943) United Kingdom United States Taiwan — proposed strategy to retake Burma and reopen the land route to China
  • Bajadere (1942) Nazi Germany AzadHindFlag.png — German special forces operation in India, including Free India Legion personnel
  • Balsam (1945) United Kingdom — photographic reconnaissance of southern Malaya and airstrikes against Sumatran airfields
  • BAN (1943) Japan — defensive scheme for Mandalay and Meiktila
  • Birdseed (1944) British Raj — anti-shipping raid against Ramree harbour area
  • Boarding Party (1943) British Raj — raid against German ships interned in neutral port of Goa.
  • C (1942) Empire of Japan — major Japanese naval incursion into Indian Ocean
  • Canned (1944) United Kingdom — search and destroy operation for German supply tanker
  • Capital (1943) United Kingdom — Allied capture of northern Burma
  • Cockpit (1944) United Kingdom United States Free French Forces Australia Netherlands New Zealand — Allied naval airstrike on Sabang, Sumatra
  • Collie (1945) United Kingdom — naval airstrikes against the Nicobar Islands and air cover for minesweeping forces near Phuket Island
  • Corkscrew (1944) British Raj — anti-shipping raid against Gwa area
  • Countenance (1941) United Kingdom British Raj Soviet Union — Allied invasion of neutral Iran
  • Crimson (1944) United Kingdom Free French Forces Australia Netherlands New Zealand — Allied naval airstrike and bombardment of Sabang, Sumatra
  • Culverin (1943) United Kingdom — proposed allied invasion of northern Sumatra
  • Curtain (1944) British Raj — naval bombardment of coast near Indin
  • Dracula (1945) United Kingdom — British amphibious assault on Rangoon, Burma.
    • Bishop (1945) United Kingdom — covering operation for Dracula
  • Diplomat (1944) United Kingdom United States Australia Netherlands New Zealand — Allied exercise in preparation for joint operations against the Japanese
  • Dukedom (1945) United Kingdom — British search and destroy operation for Japanese cruiser Haguro
  • Exporter (1941) United Kingdom Australia British Raj Free French Forces — British and Commonwealth invasion of Vichy French-held Syria
  • Foil (1945) United Kingdom — cutting of submarine telephone cables off Hong Kong
  • Franz (1942) Nazi Germany — proposal to establish sabotage teams in Iran
  • Ha-Go (1944) Empire of Japan — Japanese action to isolate and destroy Anglo-Indian forces in Burma
  • Jaywick (1943) United Kingdom Australia — Anglo-Australian attack on Japanese shipping in Singapore harbour
  • Krohcol (1942) United Kingdom — British move into Thailand to pre-empt expected Japanese action
  • Lentil(1945) United Kingdom — naval air attack on refineries on Sumatra
  • Livery (1945) United Kingdom — naval air strikes on northern Malaya and air cover for minesweeping operations
  • Longcloth (1943) United KingdomChindits advance into Burma
  • Matador (1941) United Kingdom — Planned British pre-emptive move into Siam from Malaya
  • Matador (1945) United Kingdom — British occupation of Ramree Island
  • Meridian (1945) United Kingdom — naval air attacks on installations on Sumatra
  • Pamphlet (1943) Australia — convoying of Australian troops from Suez to Australia
  • Pike (1940) United Kingdom France — planned air attack on Soviet oil installations at Baku
  • Pioneer (1944) British Raj — aborted anti-shipping raid against Kyaukpyu harbour
  • Rathunt (1944) British Raj — naval patrol of coast near Gwa
  • Rimau (1942) United Kingdom Australia — anti-shipping raid by special forces on Japanese shipping in Singapore harbour
  • Sabine (1941) United Kingdom British Raj — British and Commonwealth invasion of the Kingdom of Iraq to restore government ousted by Rashid Ali; including;
  • Sabre (1945) United Kingdom — cutting of submarine communications cable off Saigon
  • Sankey (1945) United Kingdom — landings by Royal Marines on Cheduba Island
  • Screwdriver (1944) British Raj — combined operations raid against a Japanese headquarters at Sitaparokia Rock
  • Scupper (1944) British Raj — anti-shipping sweep north of Gwa
  • Sheikh Mahmut (1943) Nazi Germany — failed attempt to establish bases in Iraq
  • Sleuth (1944) United Kingdom New Zealand — pursuit of German commerce raider in Indian Ocean
  • Struggle (1945) United Kingdom — destruction of IJN cruiser Takao in Singapore harbour, using midget submarines
  • Talon (1945) United Kingdom British Raj — Anglo-Indian capture of Akyab island and construction of supply airbase in support of Burma campaign
  • Thursday (1944) United KingdomChindits operation in Burma
  • Transom (1944) United Kingdom United States Free French Forces Australia Netherlands New Zealand — Allied naval air raid on Surabaya, Java
  • Turret (1945) United Kingdom British Raj — Anglo-Indian landings and capture of Taungup
  • U-Go (1944) Empire of Japan AzadHindFlag.png — Japanese assault on Imphal and Kohima
  • Zipper (1945) United Kingdom Planned British seaborne landing in Malaya.
    • Slippery (1945) United Kingdom deception operation for Zipper

Scandinavia[edit | edit source]

Axis[edit | edit source]

  • Birke ("Birch") (1944) Nazi Germany — German plan to withdraw from northern Finland prior to the Lapland War
  • Birkhahn (1945) Nazi Germany — German evacuation from Norway.[1]
  • Büffel ("Buffalo") (1940) Nazi Germany — German operation to relieve troops in Narvik, Norway.
  • Holzauge ("Wood knot") (1942) Nazi Germany — activities in Greenland
  • Ikarus (1940) Nazi Germany — planned German invasion of Iceland in response to British Operation Fork
  • Juno (1940) Nazi Germany — German naval operation to disturb allied supplies to Norway.
  • Kilpapurjehdus ("Regatta") (1941) Finland — Finnish naval operation for the militarization of the Åland islands.
  • Lachsfang (1942) Nazi Germany Finland — Proposed combined German and Finnish attack against Kandalaksha and Belomorsk.
  • Nordlicht [2] ("Aurora Borealis") (1944) Nazi Germany — German withdrawal from the Kola Peninsula into Norway
  • Renntier ("Reindeer") (1941) Nazi Germany — German occupation of Finnish Petsamo
  • Silberfuchs ("Silver Fox") (1941) Nazi Germany — German operations in the Arctic, including:
    • Blaufuchs 1 ("Blue Fox 1") (1941) Nazi Germany — Staging of German forces from Germany to northern Finland.
    • Blaufuchs 2 ("Blue Fox 2") (1941) Nazi Germany — Staging of German forces from Norway to northern Finland.
    • Platinfuchs ("Platinum Fox") (1941) Nazi Germany — German attack towards Murmansk from Finnish Petsamo
    • Polarfuchs ("Polar Fox") (1941) Nazi Germany — German attack towards Kandalaksha from Finnish Lapland
    • Renntier ("Reindeer") (1941) Nazi Germany — German occupation of Petsamo.
  • Sizilien (1943) Nazi Germany — German raid upon allied occupied Spitsbergen (Svalbard)
  • Tanne Ost (1944) Nazi Germany — failed German attempt to capture Suursaari from Finland
  • Tanne West (1944) Nazi Germany — planned German attempt to capture the Åland Islands from Finland
  • Weserübung ("Weser Exercise") (1940) Nazi Germany — German invasion of Denmark and Norway
    • Weserübung Nord ("Weser Exercise") (1940) Nazi Germany — German invasion of Trondheim and Narvik
    • Weserübung Sud ("Weser Exercise") (1940) Nazi Germany — German invasion of Bergen, Kristiansand and Oslo
  • Zitronella ("Lemon flavour") (1943) Nazi Germany — German raid against a Norwegian/British station on Svalbard.

Allies[edit | edit source]

  • Alphabet (1940) United Kingdom evacuation of British troops from Norway
  • Archery (1941) United Kingdom — British commando raid on Vågsøy, Norway
    • Anklet (1941) United Kingdom — raid on German positions on Lofoten Islands, Norway
  • Banquet (1940) United Kingdom — Reallocation of RAF training aircraft
  • Carthage (1945) United Kingdom — RAF bombing of the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Catherine (1939) United Kingdom British plan to gain control of Baltic Sea
  • Claymore (1941) United Kingdom — British raid on Lofoten Islands, Norway
  • Freshman (1942 United Kingdom) — attempted raid on a Norwegian heavy water plant at Vemork, see Gunnerside
    • Grouse (1942) Norway — Norwegian guide party for Freshman
    • Gunnerside (1943) Norway — 2nd raid on the Norwegian heavy water plant at Vemork
  • Fork (1940) United Kingdom — Invasion of Iceland by British.
  • Gauntlet (1941) United Kingdom Canada Norway — raid on Spitsbergen
  • Halfback (1945) United Kingdom — Naval operation that led to the Action of 28 January 1945
  • Jupiter (1942) United Kingdom — suggested invasion of Norway
  • Musketoon (1942) United Kingdom Norway — British/ Norwegian destruction of a power station in Norway
  • R 4 (1940) United Kingdom — Planned British invasion of Norway
  • Source (1945) United Kingdom Norway — British response to German operation Sizilien
  • The Sepals/Perianth Operation (1944) — OSS supported operation in Sweden
  • Wilfred (1940) United Kingdom — British plan to mine the Norwegian coast

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Rädda Danmark ("Save Denmark") (1945) Sweden — Swedish plan to liberate Denmark before the country was occupied by the Soviet Union (cancelled because of German surrender)

Western Front[edit | edit source]

Technology[edit | edit source]

Axis[edit | edit source]

  • Caesar (1945) Nazi Germany — transfer of technical plans and strategic materials to Japan, using U-864
  • Beethoven (1941–1945) Nazi Germany — German programme to develop composite aircraft (Mistel)
  • Prüfstand XII ("Test stand") (194?) Nazi Germany — German programme to develop submarine-launched V-2

Allies[edit | edit source]

  • Alsos ("Grove") (1940–1945) United States United Kingdom — Allied efforts to gather data on German nuclear fission developments.
    • Big (1945) — capture of an atomic pile at Haigerloch.
    • Harborage (1945) United States — US sweep up of German atomic assets ahead of French occupation.
    • Epsilon (1945) United Kingdom — Eavesdropping on incarcerated German scientists.
  • Aphrodite (1944) United States The use of B-17 bombers as radio-controlled missiles.
  • Backfire (1945) United Kingdom — launches of captured V-2 rockets.
  • Hawkeye (1944) United StatesRadar research by US Navy.
  • Lusty (1945) United StatesUnited Kingdom — US actions to capture German scientific documents, facilities and aircraft.
  • Manhattan Project (1941–1945) United States — program to build an atomic bomb.
  • Most III ("Bridge III") (1944) Poland United Kingdom — transfer of captured V-2 components from occupied Poland to Britain. Also known as Wildhorn III.
  • Paperclip (1945–) United States — capture of scientists, technical and German rocketry. Originally Operation Overcast sometimes called Project Paperclip.
  • Surgeon (1945–) United Kingdom — Similar to Paperclip; program to exploit German aeronautical scientific advances.
  • Stella Polaris (1944–) Finland Sweden transfer of Finnish SIGINT, equipment, and personnel to Sweden following end of Continuation war in 1944.
  • TICOM ("Target Intelligence Committee") (1945–) United States — seizure of intelligence apparatus, in particular cryptographic assets. See also Stella Polaris.

Special Operations Executive[edit | edit source]

Partisan operations[edit | edit source]

Includes some operations by regular forces in support of partisans.

Anti-partisan operations[edit | edit source]

Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Axis[edit | edit source]

  • Bernhard (194?) Nazi Germany— German plan to damage British economy using forged British banknotes.
  • Elster ("Magpie") (1944) Nazi Germany — landings of German agents on the US east coast with objective of gathering intelligence on Manhattan Project
  • Haudegen ("Broadsword") (1944) Nazi Germany — German intelligence collection in Spitzbergen, Norway
  • Hummer ("Lobster") series (1940 onwards) Nazi Germany — insertion of German agents into Britain. See also Hummer I
  • Kadella (1945) Nazi Germany — airdrop of agents near Marseilles
  • Plan Kathleen (1941) Nazi Germany — plan sent by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to Germany seeking support for activities. Dubbed "Artus" by German Foreign Ministry. See IRA Abwehr World War II for all IRA Abwehr involvement.
  • Karneval (1945) Nazi Germany — airdrop of agents near Brussels and Waaldisambiguation needed
  • Mosul (1944) Nazi Germany — air drop of agents and supplies near Mosul
  • Pastorious (1942) Nazi Germany — separate landings of German agents on the US east coast with objective of industrial sabotage.
  • Perlen-fischer (1945) Nazi Germany — airdrop of agents near Paris
  • Salaam (1942) Nazi Germany — insertion of German agents into the British-occupied Kingdom of Egypt
  • Seemöwe ("Seagull") series (1940 onwards) Nazi Germany — insertion of German agents into Britain and Ireland. See also Seagull I and Seagull II.
  • Taube ("Dove/Pigeon") (1940) Nazi Germany — mission to transport IRA Chief of Staff Seán Russell from Germany back to Ireland.
  • Wal ("Whale") (1940) Nazi Germany — aborted German plan to foster links with Scottish and Welsh nationalist groups.
  • Walfisch ("Whale") (1940) Nazi Germany — aborted German plan to land an agent in Ireland.

Allies[edit | edit source]

  • Cornflakes (1945) United States — insertion of propaganda into the German mail system.
  • SIGSALY (1943—1945) United States — secure speech system for highest-level Allied communications.
  • MAGIC (1939 —) United States — SIGINT resulting from Japanese cipher system PURPLE.
  • Ruthless (194?) United KingdomAdmiralty plan to capture an Enigma encryption machine.
  • Venona (1940—) United Kingdom United States — intelligence sharing resulting from spying on Soviets.
  • Ultra United KingdomSIGINT resulting from German cipher system Enigma.

Uncategorized[edit | edit source]

  • Alpenfestung Nazi Germany — plan for Nazi national Redoubt in Alps.
    • Werwolf (1945–50) Nazi Germany — guerrilla force to resist occupation by Allies.
  • Big Bang (1947) United Kingdom — demolition of defences of Heligoland
  • Bracelet (1942) United Kingdom — Churchill's flight to Cairo and Moscow.
  • Catapult (1940) United Kingdom — Royal Navy actions to seize, disable or destroy the French fleet after France's surrender.
  • Operation Sunrise (1945) Nazi Germany United Kingdom Switzerland United States — negotiations leading to German surrender in Italy.
  • Eiche ("Oak") (1943) Nazi Germany — German rescue from custody of Benito Mussolini
  • Frantic (1943) — The use of Soviet airfields by western Allied bombers.
  • Feuerzauber ("Fire Magic") (1936–39) — Transfer of planes, engineers, and pilots to fascist forces during Spanish Civil War.
    • Rügen (1937) Nazi Germany — Bombing of Guernica.
    • Bodden (1937–43) Nazi GermanyAbwehr intelligence gathering system operating from Spain and Morocco.
    • Ursula (1936–1939) Nazi GermanyKriegsmarine Uboat operations in support of Francoist and Italian navies.
  • Gaff (1944) — attempt to kill Erwin Rommel
  • Keelhaul (1945) United States United Kingdom — forced repatriation to the Soviet Union, by the western Allies, of Soviet prisoners of war
  • Magic Carpet (1945–1946) United States — American post-war operation to transport US military personnel home
  • Manna (1945) — Allied air drops of food to famine-ravaged Netherlands, with German cooperation
  • Margarethe (1944) Nazi Germany — German occupation of Hungary. Döme Sztójay, an avid supporter of the Nazis, become the new Hungarian Prime Minister with the aid of a Nazi military governor.
  • Panzerfaust/Eisenfaust ("Armored Fist") (1943) Nazi Germany — Kidnap of Hungarian leader Miklós Horthy's son to prevent defection of Hungary from Axis.
  • Peking (1939) Poland — removal of Polish warships to Britain, in advance of German invasion
  • Pied Piper (1939) United Kingdom — evacuation of children from British cities.
  • Rabat (1943) Nazi Germany — Plan to kidnap the Pope and diplomatic corp. from Vatican City.
  • Regenbogen ("Rainbow") (1945) Nazi Germany — rescinded order to scuttle Kriegsmarine.
  • Rösselsprung ("Knights Move") (1944) Nazi Germany — German attempt to capture Josip Broz Tito
  • Safehaven (1944) — allied efforts to capture fleeing Nazis and seize German resources abroad
  • Symbol (1943) United Kingdom — Churchill's flight to Casablanca.
  • Tabarin (1943) United Kingdom — British Antarctic expedition.
  • Operation Walküre ("Valkyrie") (194?) Nazi Germany — Plan to deal with general breakdown of civil order within German following the death of Hitler and the seizure of power by other Nazi officials or the SS; a cover for clandestine action by the German resistance.
  • Worek ("Sack") (1939) PolandPolish naval defence of the Polish coast
  • Rainbow War Plans (1920s-30s) United States — Global US War planning between the World Wars.

Propaganda, war crimes, and genocide[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. pp.138-139, Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961 [1]

External links[edit | edit source]


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