• 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    A recent BBC article on code-naming military operations:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-29482455
    4 October 2014
    What makes a suitable military code name?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    OPERATION: Jih-Splat

    or

    OPERATION: Endslam

    Would be good, and appropriately offensive.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Or OPERATION: AS-IS RIPPED

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    OPERATION: Jih-Splat

    or

    OPERATION: Endslam

    Would be good, and appropriately offensive.

    :lol: :lol:

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Speaking of hindquarter-kicking names, a U.S. Representative (John S. Williams, of Mississippi) once made the following motion when Congress was debating a proposal to lay down America’s first all-big-gun battleship class, in response to Britain’s introduction of the first such warship, HMS Dreadnought: “That whereas the battleship sea monster we are imitating has been named the Dreadnought – an archaic name – this man o’war is hereby named the Skeered o’ Nothin’ as an expression of our true American spirit: provided further, that it is hereby made the duty of the first captain who shall command her to challenge in the nation’s name the so-called Dreadnought to a duel a l’outrance, to take place upon the sea somewhere in sight of Long Island, and upon that occasion of the combat the President and his Cabinet … shall be entertained on the quarter deck as guests of the ship and the nation.”

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    To me, a true and classic military operation code name has very little or nothing to do with the operation itself. It does not really describe the operation, the title is seemingly random though the component words may themselves stand for something (eg. Market Garden - "market = air component, “garden” = ground component) or have related meanings, though in an obscure way. I think of it the same way with hollywood movie working titles (“Blue Harvest” = Return of the Jedi) or top secret weapons programs (“Have Blue” = Lockheed F-117 program demonstrator and “Aurora” = Northrop B-2 program).

    Recent entire war-scale operation names are less interesting and more expository on the subject matter: “Operation Enduring Freedom”, “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the proposed “Operation Inherent Resolve” … they are all so self-explanatory and pretty boring. “Operation Desert Storm/Shield/Fox” are in this category but are a little better.

    The above operations are all essentially proxies for the entire wars that they represent, which I don’t think fits the intent. Operation names should be for given offensives or theater operations rather than an entire war. But I suppose if Congress is not going to declare war then you have to call it an “operation”, but I digress.

    “Overlord”, “Husky”, “Olympic”, etc… all fit the bill in my opinion. “Neptune Spear” is cool; it relates to the Navy Seals, but is not as obvious as saying “Operation Kill Osama”. There were a series of Afghanistan operations that just used professional sports team names, with no real thought how they pertained to the operation. I like that because it is seemingly random (Ex. “Operation Red Wings” Lone Survivor movie  - Detroit Red Wings).

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @CWO:

    Speaking of hindquarter-kicking names, a U.S. Representative (John S. Williams, of Mississippi) once made the following motion when Congress was debating a proposal to lay down America’s first all-big-gun battleship class, in response to Britain’s introduction of the first such warship, HMS Dreadnought: “That whereas the battleship sea monster we are imitating has been named the Dreadnought – an archaic name – this man o’war is hereby named the Skeered o’ Nothin’ as an expression of our true American spirit: provided further, that it is hereby made the duty of the first captain who shall command her to challenge in the nation’s name the so-called Dreadnought to a duel a l’outrance, to take place upon the sea somewhere in sight of Long Island, and upon that occasion of the combat the President and his Cabinet … shall be entertained on the quarter deck as guests of the ship and the nation.”

    He must have been at least half joking.

    We should re-name the Gerald R. Ford - class to the We’ll F&%# You UP - class.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @LHoffman:

    To me, a true and classic military operation code name has very little or nothing to do with the operation itself. It does not really describe the operation, the title is seemingly random though the component words may themselves stand for something (eg. Market Garden - "market = air component, “garden” = ground component) or have related meanings, though in an obscure way. I think of it the same way with hollywood movie working titles (“Blue Harvest” = Return of the Jedi) or top secret weapons programs (“Have Blue” = Lockheed F-117 program demonstrator and “Aurora” = Northrop B-2 program).
    Recent entire war-scale operation names are less interesting and more expository on the subject matter: “Operation Enduring Freedom”, “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the proposed “Operation Inherent Resolve” … they are all so self-explanatory and pretty boring. “Operation Desert Storm/Shield/Fox” are in this category but are a little better.
    The above operations are all essentially proxies for the entire wars that they represent, which I don’t think fits the intent. Operation names should be for given offensives or theater operations rather than an entire war. But I suppose if Congress is not going to declare war then you have to call it an “operation”, but I digress.
    “Overlord”, “Husky”, “Olympic”, etc… all fit the bill in my opinion. “Neptune Spear” is cool; it relates to the Navy Seals, but is not as obvious as saying “Operation Kill Osama”. There were a series of Afghanistan operations that just used professional sports team names, with no real thought how they pertained to the operation. I like that because it is seemingly random (Ex. “Operation Red Wings” Lone Survivor movie  - Detroit Red Wings).

    Yes, from a security point of view a good code name for an operation should reveal nothing about the nature of the operation (unless perhaps it’s actually intended to be a deception), in the same way that a sign / countersign recognition code should never make it possible to guess the countersign from the sign (a mistake frequently made in the TV spy comedy series Get Smart).  The overall D-Day code name Overlord, as you point out, fits this requirement nicely; the code name for the overall deception operation, Bodyguard, wasn’t as good, and the name for the naval component of Overlord, Neptune, was rather ill-advised.  The problem I see with names like “Enduring Freedom” is that, while they sound nicely inspirational, they also sound like marketing slogans intended to “sell” the operation to a possibly sceptical public (which, admittedly, may be a useful thing to do).

    By the way, I think the land operation that followed Desert Shield and Desert Storm was called Desert Saber, not Desert Fox – though I’m sure Rommel wouldn’t have minded the homage, especially given that the US troops were by that point in their history using the German-style “Fritz” helmet.  🙂

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @CWO:

    The problem I see with names like “Enduring Freedom” is that, while they sound nicely inspirational, they also sound like marketing slogans intended to “sell” the operation to a possibly sceptical public (which, admittedly, may be a useful thing to do).

    Yes, that is my main problem too. It is all political I am sure and it just feels like utter pandering to the public. Just so it seems positive and nice to the low information populace.

    @CWO:

    By the way, I think the land operation that followed Desert Shield and Desert Storm was called Desert Saber, not Desert Fox – though I’m sure Rommel wouldn’t have minded the homage, especially given that the US troops were by that point in their history using the German-style “Fritz” helmet.  🙂

    You are correct, there are a number of the Desert Operation derivatives, but the one I was talking about was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Iraq_(1998)

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @LHoffman:

    He must have been at least half joking.

    I’m pretty sure he was.  At the very least, the part about inviting the President and his cabinet to observe a British/American ship-to-ship duel from the quarterdeck of the American vessel was either a joke or a grossly irresponsible suggestion, since that would be an ideal place for them to get killed during the battle.  He should have suggested the armoured conning tower as an observation post, which would have been much safer.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Interestingly, the German operation to save the 6th army at Stalingrad was Operation Winter Storm.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Winter_Storm

    Failed as you are all aware.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    Interestingly, the German operation to save the 6th army at Stalingrad was Operation Winter Storm.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Winter_Storm

    Failed as you are all aware.

    I assumed that it barely began before they either said, “Nah, this is a bad idea…” or they were quickly annihilated.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Not the German way, Hoffman.

    There was only one full strength Panzer Division (the 6th) for Operation Winter Storm. Manstein did not think he could  wait for the very good 17th PD.  We know they hot within 30 miles of 6th Army, but only needed Paulus to cooperate and move towards him.

    1st Panzer Army managed to extricate itself from the Caucasus too. That was no mean feat. The lead elements were 400 miles from Rostov, while the Russians were only 50 away.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    but only needed Paulus to cooperate and move towards him.

    Which Paulus had been prohibited to do by Hitler.  Paulus had requested earlier to be allowed to break out, but Hitler told him to stay put and offered instead to send troops to break in to relieve him, which was the origin of the plan to send in Mannstein.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Afternoon Marc.
    Troops which did not exist or could even get there.
    If Manstein could not make it work, no one could.


  • Special Access Programs have codenames that have zero bearing on the item to which they relate, nor do covert operations.

    Big to-dos (Enduring Freedom, Desert Storm) etc., usually have political agendas associated with the names (i.e., garnering domestic or international support), hence the need for a name that is 1) romantic and 2) bears some relation to the activity being executed.

  • '18 '17 '16 '15 Customizer

    @MightyChris:

    Big to-dos (Enduring Freedom, Desert Storm) etc., usually have political agendas associated with the names (i.e., garnering domestic or international support), hence the need for a name that is 1) romantic and 2) bears some relation to the activity being executed.

    But when did this really start? I cannot think of any operation in WWII era that was named with a political bent. Even the Berlin Airlift doesn’t qualify. My impression is that the political tinged operation naming started (at the earliest) in Vietnam and possibly later. In my lifetime I have really only been exposed to the 1990s Desert Operations and post.

    The non-related naming for Special Programs/Covert Ops makes sense, but I like similar ideas for theater scale operations. My issue with the Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom etc… is that they are not really operations in a theater sense but are effectively names for a war.


  • I think it came into vogue with 1979 Desert Eagle attempt to get American hostages out of Iran.

    But you’re right, when you don’t have a war but you have operations, you need a cool name for them.


  • Yes, the other name was Desert One, but Eagle Claw is also used interchangeably.  My mistake.

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