The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations

Over 3.3K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations

Military operation code names can be tricky to pull off. You want to have a name that conveys power and majesty, striking fear into the hearts of your enemies, but you don't want something that lets your enemy know what you're actually doing - such as the planned German invasion of England (its name, Sealion, let the British know exactly what it was). You also don't want something inappropriately glib, either because it's not macho enough (the US invasion of Grenada was briefly named "Blue Spoon") or sends the wrong message, such as the unfortunately named Korean War-era plan "Operation Killer."

The naming of military operations is thought to have begun with the German Empire in the final two years of World War I. Before then, operations were usually named after either their commanding officer or the general area they were taking place in (i.e., Somme Offensive, Neville Offensive, etc.) But German generals added code names to increase operational secrecy and give them a shorthand for referring to individual parts of the hugely complex battles on the Western Front.

In the decades that followed, operation names went from random designations to carefully chosen code names that would boost morale and offer clever description. American officers in Vietnam and beyond were faced with naming dozens of operations, everything from large scale troop deployments to clearing out small sections of cities. Here are the most awesomely American names for military operations from World War II through Iraq. Bask in their American kick ass majesty and upvote those that are screaming "U S A! U S A!" the loudest.
Photo: flickr / CC0
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  • H-hour, D-Day....'nuff said.

  • The US bombing campaign against North Vietnam wasn't particularly succsseful, but it had an awesome name that proclaimed exactly what it planned to do.
  • Operation Phantom Fury

    Operation Phantom Fury

    493 votes

    The Second Battle of Fallujah—code-named Operation Al-Fajr and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American, Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War.

  • Operation Desert Storm

    Operation Desert Storm

    840 votes
    The code name for the US-led assault to kick Iraq out of Kuwait, the name predicted the conflict perfectly - a storm of hell coming out of the desert.
  • Name the capture of Saddam Hussein after a movie where Americans kick ass and take names? You make the list.
  • The plan to take out Osama Bin Laden was carried out by Navy SEALS, whose symbol is the trident carried by the god Neptune - three prongs representing their capabilities on land, sea, and air.