List of World War II military operations
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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 2008[update] 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. 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.
- 1 Africa
- 2 Atlantic Ocean
- 3 Eastern Front
- 4 Mediterranean Sea
- 5 South West Pacific and Pacific Ocean
- 6 China
- 7 South West, South, and South East Asia
- 8 Scandinavia and Finland
- 9 Western Front
- 10 Technology
- 11 Special Operations Executive
- 12 Partisan operations
- 13 Anti-partisan operations
- 14 Intelligence
- 15 Uncategorized
- 16 Propaganda, war crimes, and genocide
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Excluding North African campaigns (see below, under Mediterranean Sea)
- Appearance (1941) — Seaborne assault on Italian-held Berbera, in British Somaliland
- Atmosphere (1941) — base established at Mersa Kuba to aid the capture of Massawa from the Italians
- Begum (1941) — naval actions to deny supplies to Italian forces in Italian Somaliland
- Camilla (1941) — British disinformation operation to mask action against Eritrea
- Canned (1940) — British naval bombardment of Banda Alula, Italian Somaliland
- Canvas (1941) — Allied invasion of Italian Somaliland
- Chapter (1941) — capture of Cape Guardafui lighthouse and adjacent area
- Chronometer (1941) — Anglo-Indian capture of Assab
- Composition (1941) — FAA attack on Massawa
- Ironclad (1942) — Allied landings on Madagascar
- Menace (1940) — seaborne Free French and British attack on Dakar, French West Africa (Senegal)
- Postmaster (1942) — SOE operation to capture three Axis vessels in the neutral Spanish island of Fernando Po
- Supply (1941) — Allied anti-submarine naval patrol off Madagascar
Includes North Sea, Arctic Ocean and actions against naval vessels in harbour
- Alacrity (1943) — Allied naval patrols around Azores
- Berlin (1941) — Atlantic cruise of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau
- Catechism (1944) — final RAF air attack on Tirpitz
- Cerberus (1942) — escape of German capital ships from Brest to home ports in Germany (Channel Dash)
- Croquet (1944) — Allied anti-shipping off Norway
- Cupola (1945) — British anti-shipping operation off Norway
- Deadlight (1945) — postwar scuttling of U-boats
- Dervish (1941) — first of the Arctic Convoys to the Soviet Union
- Domino (1943) — second aborted Arctic sortie by Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and destroyers
- Doppelschlag ("Double blow") (1942) — German anti-shipping operation off Novaya Zemlya by Admiral Scheer and Admiral Hipper
- Drachenhohle (1944) — aborted attack on Home Fleet at Scapa Flow, using Mistel composite aircraft
- Drumbeat (1942) — part of "Second Happy Time" (Paukenschlag)
- EJ (1941) — British anti-shipping operation off Norway
- Enclose (1943) — British anti-submarine air offensive in Bay of Biscay (also Enclose II)
- Foxchase (1945) — British anti-shipping operation off Norway
- Fronttheater (1943) — first aborted Arctic sortie by Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and destroyers
- Goodwood I, II, III & IV (1944) — sequence of 4 carrier-borne air attacks on Tirpitz
- Holder (1943) — British special naval transport to Murmansk
- Husar (1943) — cancelled German anti-shipping operation in Kara Sea by Lutzow
- Leader (1943) — antishipping operation off Norway by USS Ranger
- Lucid (1940) — attempt to destroy German invasion barges
- Mascot (1944) — failed carrier-borne air attack on Tirpitz
- Nordseetour ("North Sea Tour") (1940) — first Atlantic operation of Admiral Hipper
- Obviate (1944) — RAF air attack on Tirpitz
- Ostfront (1943) — final operation of Scharnhorst to intercept convoy JW-55B
- Paderborn (1943) — third and successful transfer of Scharnhorst and destroyers to Norway
- Paravane (1944) — RAF air attack on Tirpitz
- Paukenschlag ("Drumbeat", "Beat of the Kettle Drum", "Second happy time") (1942) — German U-boat campaign against shipping off the United States east coast
- Planet, Brawn and Tiger Claw (1944) — cancelled carrier-borne air attacks on the Tirpitz
- Posthorn (1944) — British naval air attack on shipping off Norway
- Potluck (1944) — Allied anti-shipping patrol off Norway
- Primrose (1941) — capture of U-110's Enigma cypher machine and documents by HMS Bulldog
- Regenbogen ("Rainbow") (1942) Germany — failed German attack on Arctic convoy JW-51B, by Admiral Hipper and Lutzow
- Rheinübung ("Exercise Rhine") (1941) Germany — planned German attacks on Allied shipping conducted by Bismarck and Prinz Eugen
- Rösselsprung ("Knights Move") (1942) — German naval operation (including Tirpitz) to attack Arctic convoy PQ-17
- Roundel (1945) — British convoy escort to Murmansk
- Source (1943) — British X class submarine (midget submarine) attacks on German warships based in Norway
- Sportpalast (1942) — aborted German naval operation (including Tirpitz) to attack Arctic convoys PQ-12 and QP-8
- Stonewall (1943) — Allied operation to intercept blockade runners in the Bay of Biscay
- Teardrop (1945) — anti u-boat operation
- Tungsten (1944) — carrier-borne air attack on Tirpitz
- Tunnel (1943) — standard British plan to intercept German blockade runners
- Wikinger (1940) — foray by German destroyers into the North Sea
- Wunderland (1942) — German anti-shipping operation in Kara Sea by Admiral Scheer
- Zarin (1942) — German mining action off Novaya Zemlya by Admiral Hipper and destroyers
South West Pacific and Pacific Ocean
- Alpha (1944) — improvement of the defences of Kunming against Japanese threats
- Ichigo (1944) — Japanese campaign in eastern China to secure overland routes to Indo-China and airfields
- Matterhorn (1944) — establishment of bases for US B-29 bomber aircraft
- Sankō (1942–1944) — 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
Iraq, Syria, Iran, India, Burma, Malaya and Indo-China, and the Indian Ocean
- Anakim (1943) — proposed strategy to retake Burma and reopen the land route to China
- Bajadere (1942) — German special forces operation in India, including Free India Legion personnel
- Balsam (1945) — photographic reconnaissance of southern Malaya and airstrikes against Sumatran airfields
- BAN (1943) — defensive scheme for Mandalay and Meiktila
- Birdseed (1944) — anti-shipping raid against Ramree harbour area
- Boarding Party (1943) — raid against German ships interned in neutral port of Goa.
- Boomerang (1944) air raid on Palembang
- C (1942) — major Japanese naval incursion into Indian Ocean
- Canned (1944) — search and destroy operation for German supply tanker
- Capital (1943) — Allied capture of northern Burma
- Cockpit (1944) — Allied naval airstrike on Sabang, Sumatra
- Collie (1945) — naval airstrikes against the Nicobar Islands and air cover for minesweeping forces near Phuket Island
- Corkscrew (1944) — anti-shipping raid against Gwa area
- Countenance (1941) — Allied invasion of neutral Iran
- Crimson (1944) — Allied naval airstrike and bombardment of Sabang, Sumatra
- Culverin (1943) — proposed allied invasion of northern Sumatra
- Curtain (1944) — naval bombardment of coast near Indin
- Dracula (1945) — British amphibious assault on Rangoon, Burma.
- Bishop (1945) — covering operation for Dracula
- Diplomat (1944) — Allied exercise in preparation for joint operations against the Japanese
- Dukedom (1945) — British search and destroy operation for Japanese cruiser Haguro
- Exporter (1941) — British and Commonwealth invasion of Vichy French-held Syria
- Foil (1945) — cutting of submarine telephone cables off Hong Kong
- Franz (1942) — proposal to establish sabotage teams in Iran
- Ha-Go (1944) — Japanese action to isolate and destroy Anglo-Indian forces in Burma
- Jaywick (1943) — Anglo-Australian attack on Japanese shipping in Singapore harbour
- Krohcol (1942) — British move into Thailand to pre-empt expected Japanese action
- Lentil (1945) — naval air attack on refineries on Sumatra
- Livery (1945) — naval air strikes on northern Malaya and air cover for minesweeping operations
- Longcloth (1943) — Chindits advance into Burma
- Matador (1941) — Planned British pre-emptive move into Siam from Malaya
- Matador (1945) — British occupation of Ramree Island
- Meridian (1945) — naval air attacks on installations on Sumatra
- Pamphlet (1943) — convoying of Australian troops from Suez to Australia
- Pike (1940) — planned air attack on Soviet oil installations at Baku
- Pioneer (1944) — aborted anti-shipping raid against Kyaukpyu harbour
- Rathunt (1944) — naval patrol of coast near Gwa
- Rimau (1942) — anti-shipping raid by special forces on Japanese shipping in Singapore harbour
- Sabine (1941) — British and Commonwealth invasion of the Kingdom of Iraq to restore government ousted by Rashid Ali; including;
- Sabre (1945) — cutting of submarine communications cable off Saigon
- Sankey (1945) — landings by Royal Marines on Cheduba Island
- Screwdriver (1944) — combined operations raid against a Japanese headquarters at Sitaparokia Rock
- Scupper (1944) — anti-shipping sweep north of Gwa
- Sheikh Mahmut (1943) — failed attempt to establish bases in Iraq
- Sleuth (1944) — pursuit of German commerce raider in Indian Ocean
- Struggle (1945) — destruction of IJN cruiser Takao in Singapore harbour, using midget submarines
- Talon (1945) — Anglo-Indian capture of Akyab island and construction of supply airbase in support of Burma campaign
- Thursday (1944) — Chindits operation in Burma
- Transom (1944) — Allied naval air raid on Surabaya, Java
- Turret (1945) — Anglo-Indian landings and capture of Taungup
- U-Go (1944) — Japanese assault on Imphal and Kohima
- Zipper (1945) Planned British seaborne landing in Malaya.
- Slippery (1945) deception operation for Zipper
- Broadsword Planned offensive to northern Malaya following Operation Zipper.
- Mailfist Planned offensive to liberate southern Malaya and Singapore following Operation Zipper.
- Birke ("Birch") (1944) — German plan to withdraw from northern Finland prior to the Lapland War
- Birkhahn (1945) — German evacuation from Norway.
- Büffel ("Buffalo") (1940) — German operation to relieve troops in Narvik, Norway.
- Holzauge ("Wood knot") (1942) — activities in Greenland
- Ikarus (1940) — planned German invasion of Iceland in response to British Operation Fork
- Juno (1940) — German naval operation to disturb allied supplies to Norway.
- Kilpapurjehdus ("Regatta") (1941) — Finnish naval operation for the militarization of the Åland islands.
- Lachsfang (1942) — Proposed combined German and Finnish attack against Kandalaksha and Belomorsk.
- Nordlicht  ("Aurora Borealis") (1944) — German withdrawal from the Kola Peninsula into Norway
- Renntier ("Reindeer") (1941) — German occupation of Finnish Petsamo
- Silberfuchs ("Silver Fox") (1941) — German operations in the Arctic, including:
- Blaufuchs 1 ("Blue Fox 1") (1941) — Staging of German forces from Germany to northern Finland.
- Blaufuchs 2 ("Blue Fox 2") (1941) — Staging of German forces from Norway to northern Finland.
- Platinfuchs ("Platinum Fox") (1941) — German attack towards Murmansk from Finnish Petsamo
- Polarfuchs ("Polar Fox") (1941) — German attack towards Kandalaksha from Finnish Lapland
- Renntier ("Reindeer") (1941) — German occupation of Petsamo.
- Sizilien (1943) — German raid upon allied occupied Spitsbergen (Svalbard)
- Tanne Ost (1944) — failed German attempt to capture Suursaari from Finland
- Tanne West (1944) — planned German attempt to capture the Åland Islands from Finland
- Weserübung ("Weser Exercise") (1940) — German invasion of Denmark and Norway
- Zitronella ("Lemon flavour") (1943) — German raid against a Norwegian/British station on Svalbard.
- Alphabet (1940) evacuation of British troops from Norway
- Archery (1941) — British commando raid on Vågsøy, Norway
- Banquet (1940) — Reallocation of RAF training aircraft
- Carthage (1945) — RAF bombing of the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark
- Catherine (1939) British plan to gain control of Baltic Sea
- Claymore (1941) — British raid on Lofoten Islands, Norway
- Freshman (1942 ) — attempted raid on a Norwegian heavy water plant at Vemork, see Gunnerside
- Fork (1940) — Invasion of Iceland by British.
- Gauntlet (1941) — raid on Spitsbergen
- Ibrox (1945) — cancelled SAS raid to destroy railway bridge near Trondheim
- Halfback (1945) — Naval operation that led to the Action of 28 January 1945
- Jupiter (1942) — suggested invasion of Norway
- Musketoon (1942) — British/ Norwegian destruction of a power station in Norway
- R 4 (1940) — Planned British invasion of Norway
- Source (1945) — British response to German operation Sizilien
- The Sepals/Perianth Operation (1944) — OSS supported operation in Sweden
- Wilfred (1940) — British plan to mine the Norwegian coast
- Rädda Danmark ("Save Denmark") (1945) — Swedish plan to liberate Denmark before the country was occupied by the Soviet Union (cancelled because of German surrender)
- Caesar (1945) — transfer of technical plans and strategic materials to Japan, using U-864
- Beethoven (1941–1945) — German programme to develop composite aircraft (Mistel)
- Prüfstand XII ("Test stand") (1945) — German programme to develop submarine-launched V-2
- Alsos ("Grove") (1940–1945) — Allied efforts to gather data on German nuclear fission developments.
- Aphrodite (1944) The use of B-17 bombers as radio-controlled missiles.
- Backfire (1945) — launches of captured V-2 rockets.
- Hawkeye (1944) — Radar research by US Navy.
- Lusty (1945) — US actions to capture German scientific documents, facilities and aircraft.
- Manhattan Project (1941–1945) — program to build an atomic bomb.
- Most III ("Bridge III") (1944) — transfer of captured V-2 components from occupied Poland to Britain. Also known as Wildhorn III.
- Paperclip (1945–) — capture of scientists, technical and German rocketry. Originally Operation Overcast sometimes called Project Paperclip.
- Surgeon (1945–) — Similar to Paperclip; program to exploit German aeronautical scientific advances.
- Stella Polaris (1944–) transfer of Finnish SIGINT, equipment, and personnel to Sweden following end of Continuation war in 1944.
- TICOM ("Target Intelligence Committee") (1945–) — seizure of intelligence apparatus, in particular cryptographic assets. See also Stella Polaris.
Special Operations Executive
Includes some operations by regular forces in support of partisans.
- Anthropoid (1942) — assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.
- Burza ("Tempest") (1944) — a series of local uprisings by the Polish Home Army
- Canuck (1945) — SAS operation near Turin to train and organise Italian resistance fighters.
- Carpetbagger (1943) — US airdrops to several national Resistance forces
- Główki ("Heads") (1943–1944) — a series of assassinations of Nazi personnel by the Home Army
- Montagnards (1944) — FFI action to establish base in Vercors Massif
- Josephine B (1941) — Free French attack the transformer station at Pessac
- Savannah (1941) — Free French attempt to ambush and kill Luftwaffe pathfinder pilots in France
- Taśma ("Belt") (1943–1944) — action of the Home Army against German border guarding stations
- Wieniec ("Garland") (1942) — action of the Polish Związek Odwetu against German railway transport
- Zamość Uprising (1942–1944) — series of operations of the Polish resistance against the Germans
- Bernhard (1944) — German plan to damage British economy using forged British banknotes.
- Elster ("Magpie") (1944) — landings of German agents on the US east coast with objective of gathering intelligence on Manhattan Project
- Haudegen ("Broadsword") (1944) — German intelligence collection in Spitzbergen, Norway
- Hummer ("Lobster") series (1940 onwards) — insertion of German agents into Britain. See also Hummer I
- Kadella (1945) — airdrop of agents near Marseilles
- Plan Kathleen (1941) — 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) — airdrop of agents near Brussels and Waal
- Mosul (1944) — air drop of agents and supplies near Mosul
- Pastorius (1942) — separate landings of German agents on the US east coast with objective of industrial sabotage.
- Perlen-fischer (1945) — airdrop of agents near Paris
- Salaam (1942) — insertion of German agents into the British-occupied Kingdom of Egypt
- Seemöwe ("Seagull") series (1940 onwards) — insertion of German agents into Britain and Ireland. See also Seagull I and Seagull II.
- Taube ("Dove/Pigeon") (1940) — mission to transport IRA Chief of Staff Seán Russell from Germany back to Ireland.
- Wal ("Whale") (1940) — aborted German plan to foster links with Scottish and Welsh nationalist groups.
- Walfisch ("Whale") (1940) — aborted German plan to land an agent in Ireland.
- Cornflakes (1945) — insertion of propaganda into the German mail system.
- SIGSALY (1943—1945) — secure speech system for highest-level Allied communications.
- MAGIC (1939 —) — SIGINT resulting from Japanese cipher system PURPLE.
- Ruthless (194?) — Admiralty plan to capture an Enigma encryption machine.
- Venona (1940—) — intelligence sharing resulting from spying on Soviets.
- Ultra — SIGINT resulting from German cipher system Enigma.
- Alpenfestung — plan for Nazi national Redoubt in Alps.
- Werwolf (1945–50) — guerrilla force to resist occupation by Allies.
- Big Bang (1947) — demolition of defences of Heligoland
- Bracelet (1942) — Churchill's flight to Cairo and Moscow.
- Catapult (1940) — Royal Navy actions to seize, disable or destroy the French fleet after France's surrender.
- Operation Sunrise (1945) — negotiations leading to German surrender in Italy.
- Eiche ("Oak") (1943) — 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 nationalist forces during Spanish Civil War.
- Gaff (1944) — attempt to kill Erwin Rommel
- Keelhaul (1945) — forced repatriation to the Soviet Union, by the western Allies, of Soviet prisoners of war
- Magic Carpet (1945–1946) — 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) — 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) — Kidnap of Hungarian leader Miklós Horthy's son to prevent defection of Hungary from Axis.
- Peking (1939) — removal of Polish warships to Britain, in advance of German invasion
- Pied Piper (1939) — evacuation of children from British cities.
- Rabat (1943) — Plan to kidnap the Pope and diplomatic corp. from Vatican City.
- Regenbogen ("Rainbow") (1945) — rescinded order to scuttle Kriegsmarine.
- Rösselsprung ("Knights Move") (1944) — German attempt to capture Josip Broz Tito
- Safehaven (1944) — allied efforts to capture fleeing Nazis and seize German resources abroad
- Symbol (1943) — Churchill's flight to Casablanca.
- Tabarin (1943) — British Antarctic expedition.
- Operation Walküre ("Valkyrie") (194?) — Plan to deal with general breakdown of civil order within Germany 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) — Polish naval defence of the Polish coast
- Rainbow War Plans (1920s-30s) — Global US War planning between the World Wars.
Propaganda, war crimes, and genocide
- Operation Himmler (1939) — A false flag SS & SD operation. Attacks were made against German buildings, near the Polish-German border, to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany. This was to then be used as propaganda to justify the German invasion of Poland.
- Reinhard (1943) — Phase I of the "Final Solution" targeting Jews across Europe.
- Tannenberg (1939) — plan to exterminate Polish intelligentsia involving Einsatzgruppen.
- Sonderaktion Krakau (1939) Operation to murder members of the intelligentia at universities in Kraków.
- Generalplan Ost (1942) plan for ethnic cleansing across Europe. See Also Barbarossa.
- pp.138-139, Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand