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Thread: Greatest Operations of WW11

  1. #1
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    Greatest Operations of WW11

    What do you think the greatest military Operations, covert or not carried out during WW11.were. I have heard some good stories of operations carried out by the L.R.D.G. This applies to all our military forces,

    Lincoln .7
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    Depends what your definition of great is, the logistics behind the 1000 bomber raids would make them great. Regardless of the result the Dresden raid could be classed as great, the likes of the Dam Busters had the training and actual mission which made them great.

    Personally I would go with Taranto due to the planning and the actual type of aircraft involved.

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    Exclamation Moderator Message

    I think this belongs in the Historic Aviation forum.

    Regards

    GA

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    Which limits the thread to aviation operations. Presumably the OP was asking for any operation be it land, sea or air based. However, notwithstanding this forum's restriction, for me, it would have to be D-Day - for conception, planning, execution and ultimate success.
    Last edited by Sky High; 26th March 2011 at 18:29.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

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    Lets pick operations from each area:

    Air - Dambusters/Taranto
    Commando - The raid that Cockleshell Heroes was based on (mind has gone blank on the correct name).
    Sea - Any convoy getting through to Malta/Russia
    Land - El Alamein/D Day.

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    The Bruenval Raid.

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    The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941...

    ...Oh, you meant Allied operations!
    WA$.

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    Lord Sir Jeremy Clarkson has already beaten you to the topic.
    "The Greatest Raid of all time".

    The St Nazaire Raid.
    Wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Nazaire_Raid

    And if you have not seen Clarksons prog. on it, then do so. At once.
    89 medals and 5 (FIVE!) VC's for one operation.
    Last edited by PeeDee; 26th March 2011 at 17:08. Reason: more bits
    Higher than Gods, in Concorde or a Mozzy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creaking Door View Post
    The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941...

    ...Oh, you meant Allied operations!
    Hi Warren, No all and any, just to make it equal, the planning and executions of same, a good successful raid takes a lot of planning. You quote a very good example with the raid on Pearl Harbour, was it a C*** up by the Americans or just extremly good planning and good luck by the Japanese, or a combination of both?.
    Lincoln .7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeeDee View Post
    Lord Sir Jeremy Clarkson has already beaten you to the topic.
    "The Greatest Raid of all time".

    The St Nazaire Raid.
    Wiki.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Nazaire_Raid

    And if you have not seen Clarksons prog. on it, then do so. At once.
    89 medals and 5 (FIVE!) VC's for one operation.
    PeeDee, as we no doubt all of us have seen the film version, Yes, a fantastic raid, and well up there amongst the all time greats.

    Lincoln .7
    There is no such thing as a problem, just a solution!!

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    Clarksons descriptive manner makes his version better than the movie. IMO.
    Higher than Gods, in Concorde or a Mozzy.

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    [QUOTE=inkworm;1724259]Depends what your definition of great is,

    Great as in the 1.000 Bomber raids, and great as an indevidual act of extreme
    bravery,two man sub raids, etc. I know it's generalisation, but somewhere in all the termoil of the last war, there must be at least one, which the majority of us would call the greatest, act of all.

    Lincoln .7
    There is no such thing as a problem, just a solution!!

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    Not necessarily the greatest in terms of a successful outcome but the August & September 1944 supply drops to the Warsaw partisans by 31 & 34 Squadrons SAAF ,178 & 148 sqdns RAF [agent drops in Poland] & the Polish SD sqdns, all flying from Italy, were of the most courageous.

    Many crews were lost because of the need to fly low, over the centre Warsaw, in the path of enemy searchlights , to be able to drop supplies to partisans hiding in the city .

    As well as the long flight to Poland and back to Italy.

    Anne

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    [QUOTE=Lincoln 7;1724372]
    Quote Originally Posted by inkworm View Post
    Depends what your definition of great is,

    Great as in the 1.000 Bomber raids, and great as an indevidual act of extreme
    bravery,two man sub raids, etc. I know it's generalisation, but somewhere in all the termoil of the last war, there must be at least one, which the majority of us would call the greatest, act of all.

    Lincoln .7
    Absolutely - as I posted earlier, D-Day, simply because it succeeded at each of the key criteria for an operation - conception, planning, execution and success. You used the word "great" in your title and I would say that an operation can only be great if it meets those four criteria.

    Sorry -should have used the operation name - Overlord.
    Last edited by Sky High; 26th March 2011 at 18:39.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

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    aestorm43,

    These Ops are commemorated by the Air Bridge Memorial in Newark Cemetery, which will feature in the new Aviation Heritage Guide for Nottinghamshire that will be released by Newark Air Museum before Easter!

    I last attended the annual ceremony in 2009 and it was humbling to be in the presence of so many people affected by these Ops!
    Find out what's happening at …. newarkairmuseum.org
    “The Friendly Accredited Aviation Museum!”

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    [QUOTE=Lincoln 7;1724372]
    Quote Originally Posted by inkworm View Post
    I know it's generalisation, but somewhere in all the termoil of the last war, there must be at least one, which the majority of us would call the greatest, act of all.

    Lincoln .7
    Therein lies the problem. We all look at the subject from different starting points and trying to find an operation we would almost unanimously consider the greatest is, I imagine, impossible.

    The thread is just 13 posts long but already the following have been mentioned;

    LRDG.
    1,000 bomber raids.
    Dresden.
    Operation Chastise.
    Taranto.
    Overlord.
    El Alamein.
    Malta/Russian convoys.
    Operation Frankton.
    Bruneval.
    Barbarossa.
    Pearl Harbour.
    St. Nazaire.
    Air supply of Warsaw.

    There are countless others you could add to that list.....

    Battle of Britain.
    Evacuation of Dunkirk.
    The Battle of Berlin.
    The Battle of the Atlantic.
    The Pacific Islands campaign.
    From the breakout following Overlord to the German surrender.
    Burma.
    The Allied Strategic Bomber Offensive over Europe.
    B29 raids on Tokyo.
    The dropping of the atomic bombs.
    From a Nazi perspective, you might wish to include the final solution to the 'Jewish problem.'
    The Falaise Gap.
    The Japanese conquest of the Far East.
    The Doolittle raid.
    Blitzkrieg. From the invasion of France and the Low Countries on 10th May 1940 to their arrival on the channel coast.

    The scope is too wide and they are all interlinked either by chronology or by strategy.

    I suppose from a British perspective the Battle of Britain, the successful withdrawal of 338,000 troops from Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain are lynch pins from which everything else became possible. Losing the Battle of Britain could have led to Sealion, the failure to evacuate troops from Dunkirk would have created a huge gap in Britain's ability to defend itself from invasion and without victory in the battle of the Atlantic we would have been unable to be supplied with foods and war materiel.

    From an American perspective I think, although largely ineffective militarily, the Doolittle raid came at a time when the American public were rocked by defeat after defeat and should not be underestimated. The decision to tackle Europe first. The sheer might of American industrialisation which armed Yamamoto's 'sleeping tiger.'

    At this point you'll all be very glad I am stopping.

    Regards,

    kev35
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    Not really, Kev, but you make the point very well. Several operations changed the course of the war, as you indicated, but did any change it as much as the arrival of the Americans combined with Hitler's disastrous strategy in the East?
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

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    Possibly yes. If Britain had been conquered do you really think the Americans would have come? Remember, had Sealion been successful it would have been before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

    Regards,

    kev35
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    That is a very good point indeed. No, I am sure they would not although a successful Sealion would still not have deterred the Japanese, would it, since they had their own reasons for attacking the USA.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

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    Of course it wouldn't have deterred the Japanese, it might even have encouraged them. Though I don't know what would have happened to British, Commonwealth and Dominion Forces in the Middle, Near and Far East.

    Regards,

    kev35
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    Operation Chastise and Operation Overlord.

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    Operation Mincemeat certainly made an impact.

    Lincoln .7
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    The Atomic bomb raids on Hiroshima/Nagasaki must be somewhere at the top as regards development, organisation, execution and effect.
    The Allied respsonses to the U-boats rank highly from a point of view of technological and tactical advances, inter-service cooperation and sheer bravery on a long term basis.
    But in the spirit of the question, to me it is the Bruneval raid; an almost textbook operation, audacious, low casualties and maximum return.
    Martin

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    Pegasus Bridge.

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    Wasn't that a component of Overlord?
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

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    Indeed, but if we are allowing portmanteau terms then wasn't Overlord a component of WW2?

    Seriously though I do feel that the Coup de Main on the left flank of Overlord was a gem of an operation, well planned and brilliantly executed. And of course it features the single greatest bit of piloting from the entire war bar none (IMHO) from John Wallwork and his colleagues.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    If we are being pedantic WW2 was not an "Operation" whereas Overlord and many others mentioned here were.

    Having said that I agree totally with your comments about Pegasus Bridge. Several visits to the site over the years have only served to cement my views about it and the "relatively" new Museum is excellent.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

  28. #28
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    How about 'Operation Tonga'

    Moggy

    (I had to Google that, not a name that is used often.)
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    Touche! How has that name escaped me? It must be mentioned everywhere in relation to the campaign...............
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

  30. #30
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    I think the name 'Pegasus Bridge' has become so well known that the codename (which I think also covered the Merville Battery operation) has lapsed into obscurity.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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