Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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This page gives brief details of major RAF operations or combined operations in which RAF units played a part. For ease of reference they have been placed in alphabetic order.
World War 1
Army Reconnaissance - Units allocated to Army Wings, carried out reconnaissance of the enemies rear areas, such as railheads, support trenches and enemy airfields.
Battle of Aisne -
Battle of Amiens -
Battle of Cambrai -
Battle of Mons -
Battle of the Somme -
Battle of Ypres -
Corps Reconnaissance - Units allocated to Corps Wings carried out reconnaissance over the front line. These included photographing the trenches systems, artillery spotting and contact patrols
World War 2 and after
Operation 'Abigail' - Operations carried out by Bomber Command in December 1940 against a selected German town with the aim of creating the maximum possible destruction. The target selected being Mannheim.
Battle of the Atlantic - The name allocated to operations by Coastal Command to keep thesea lanes between Britain and the USA clear. It had no clearly defined start or end, being continuous throughout the war.
Battle of Britain - The name allocated to operations, both defensive and offensive to prevent a German invasion of Britain between July and October 1940.
Battle of France - The name allocated to operations, to stem the advance of German forces during the invasion of France and the Low Countries, May - June 1940.
Battle of Hamburg - The name given to the series of operations by Bomber Command against the City of Hamburg, 24 July - 4 August 1943. Also known as Operation 'Gomorrah'.
Battle of the Rhur - The name allocated to operations by Bomber Command against German's main industrial centre, the Rhur Valley during 1942 and 1943
Battle of Berlin - The name allocated to operations by Bomber Command against German's capital city, although other targets were also attacked during this period, Between November 1943 and March 1944.
Operation ‘Billy Boy’ - RAF/USAF flight refuelling training carried out during April 1965
Operation 'Brassard' - The capture of the island of Elbe by amphibious assault, 25 May 1944
Operation 'Bitin' - The code name for the raid carried out by commandoes on 27/28 February 1942 to capture vital components of a German radar on the cliffs at Bruneval.
Cab Rank - The use of fighter bombers in a holding pattern enabling them to be called down by radio to give immediate support to ground troops.
Operation ‘Canute’ - Flood relief operations in East Anglia following the East coast flooding of February 1953
Operation 'Channel Stop' - The code name given to operations designed to prevent German surface units to pass through the English Channel during daylight.
Operation 'Charnwood' - The code name for operations carried out by Bomber Command against tactical targets in the area of Caen, 7 July 1944.
Operation 'Chastise' - The code name given to the attack by No 617 Squadron on the night of 16/17 May 1943 against the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe Dams.
Operation 'Clarion' - The code name given to air attacks on communications throughout Central Germany on 22 February 1945.
Operation ‘Consolidate’ - The modifications to Thor Missiles and the associated ground equipment to speed the countdown sequence beginning 16 February 1961
Operation 'Cork' - The code name given to Coastal Command patrols carried out in the Channel area prior to the Normandy landings, in order to seal off the area from German U-boats.
Operation 'Crossbow' - The code name given to operations designed to counter the threat from German secret weapons, the V-1 and V-2. These included both offensive measures before and during the attacks as well as defensive measures once the attacks had begun.
Circus - Operations designed to entice German fighter units into battle by small groups of bombers escorted by five or six fighter units.
Operation 'Dynamo' - The code name given to the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk which lasted from 26 May to 4 June 1940.
Operation 'Flower' - The code name for operations carried out by night fighters carrying out patrols over German night fighter airfields.
Operation ‘Fresno’ - Post acceptance launch programme for Blue Steel (1966-67)
Operation 'Fuller' - The code name given to British plans to prevent to the German ships, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau escaping from the French port of Brest.
Gardening - The code name given to the dropping of sea mines by aircraft of Bomber Command.
Operation 'Goodwood' - The code name for operations carried out by Bomber Command against tactical targets in the area of Caen, 18 July 1944.
Operation 'Gomorrah' - The code name for Bomber Command's concerted attack against the German city of Hamburg, 24 July - 3 August 1943
Operation ‘Granular’ - High level firing exercise involving No 74 Squadron's F4J(UK)s against high speed Stiletto targets (1986)
Operation 'Haddock' - The code name given to plans for the operation of a British bomber force from the South of France in June 1940. Cancelled due to French fears of retaliation.
Operation 'Headache' - The code name given to counter measures operations taken against German navigational/bombing aids
Intruder - Operations carried out by night fighters over enemy territory primarily designed to attack enemy aircraft returning to or on their airfields. They also attacked communications such as trains.
Jim Crow - Fighters patrolling UK and Allied held coastlines to prevent enemy aircraft entering 'home' airspace or from leaving it if they had previously managed to enter.
Operation ‘Joint Venture’ - Practice refuelling from USAF KC-135 tankers by No 74 Squadron's F4J(UK)s in early 1990
Operation 'Mallard' - The code name given to the landing of the 6th Air Landing Brigade on the night of 5/6th June 1944
Operation 'Manna' - The transportation of supplies, particularly food to the population of The Netherlands during April and May 1945
Operation 'Market' - The code name given to the airborne element of the operation to seize bridges across the Rhine at Eindhoven, Nimergen and Arnhem in September 1944. The ground element was code named Garden, which resulted in the full name for the operation being Market Garden
Operation 'Millenium' - The code name given to Sir Arthur Harris' 1000 bomber raid on Cologne on the night of 30/31 May 1942.
Operation 'Neptune' - The code name given to amphibious assault element of the Overlord operations.
Nickels - The code name given to the propaganda leaflets dropped by Bomber Command, which led to the activity being named Nickelling.
Noball - The code name given to attacks against V-1 and V-2 manufacturing, storage and launching facilities.
Operation 'Oculus' - Support Helicopter operating in support of KFOR in Bosnia
Operation 'Overlord' - The code name given to all operations connected with the invasion of Normandy 5/6 June 1944.
Operation 'Plainfare' - The code name given to RAF operations during the Berlin Airlift.
Operation 'Plunder' - The code name given to the crossing of the Rhine by 21th Army Group on 23/24 March 1945.
Pointblank - This code name covered a operations carried out during 1943 and 1944 designed to reduce the effectiveness of the German fighter forces in Northern Europe. It included attacks on aircraft and associated component manufacturing plants and oil supplies.
Ramrod - Bombers and/or fighter-bombers attacking specific targets in daylight escorted by fighters
Ranger - Single or pairs of aircraft operating over enemy territory harassing ground and/or air defences
Rhubard - Offensive operations carried by small groups, usually two, of fighters aimed at harrassing the Germans in occupied Europe and making them retain large fighter forces in the west.
Rodeo - Similar to Sweeps, carried out purely by fighter .
Operation 'Round Up' - The code name given to a proposed 'invasion' of Northern France planned for 1943.
Rover David - Operations against tactical targets identified by ground based liaison officers by 'Cab Rank' fighters.
Operation 'Selfridge' - The code name given to Anglo-American operations against the German ball bearing industry at Schweinfurt.
Operation 'Sledgehammer' - The code name given to a proposed 'invasion' of Northern France planned for 1942.
Exercise Spartan - Large scale exercises carried by Home Forces and RAF units in preparation for the eventual invasion of North-West Europe, March 1943.
Operation 'Stopper' - The code name given to Coastal Command operations outside the port of Brest designed to prevent the German ships, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from escaping.
Sweep - Large numbers of aircraft operating systematically over enemy territory to bring enemy fighters and/or other elements to battle.
Operation ‘Tapestry’ - Surveillance of oil rigs, beginning February 1976
Operation 'Taxable' - Operations carried out by No 617 Squadron on the night of 5/6 June 1944. These operations used 'Window' to simulate a sea convoy crossing the Channel.
Operation ‘Tornado’ - Believed to refer to a world wide exercise of the co-ordination of Bomber Command and SAC war plans.
Transportation Plan - This was the name given to the Allied directive to Bomber Command and the US 8th Army Air Force to concentrate their attacks on centres of communications, such as marshalling yards, bridges, canals, etc; in order to prevent the Germans moving reinforcements into the Normandy beachhead.
Operation 'Varsity' - The code name given to the airborne support element of the Rhine crossing, Operation Plunder.
Operation 'Veritable' - Operations against the Rhineland by the Canadian First Army, February 1945.
Operation 'Wildhorn III' - A Pick up operation carried out by No 267 Squadron on 25 July 1944, when four 'agents' and 20 suit cases weighing 970 lbs were collected
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