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Thread: Blackmail Op's

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    Default Blackmail Op's

    Can anyone through some light on what these Ops were? I have seen some pages from a log book from 264 Sqdn showing Blackmail ofr Blackmail operations as the Op. The dates are around March 45 and flying out of Gilze-Rijen, Holland.

    TIA
    Bob
    Last edited by Bob; 5th October 2008 at 13:48. Reason: wrong date

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    Bob,

    A Dutch wireless operator was carried on "Blackmail" ops. Purpose of the ops was to maintain contact with the Dutch underground. See paragraph 65 on this 264 Sqn history:

    http://www.264sqnraf.org.uk/history1.html

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    I note that Bob has changed the date in his edit but the year is 1944 on the link provided by Ken
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks to you both.
    Have just checked the papers again and the date is '45. Don't know if this would make any difference as to the answer though.

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    Bob,

    The codeword "Blackmail" as related to operations over Holland can only have one meaning in the context of the war in Europe.

    The allied forces employed thousands of people throughout the war to ensure that there was no duplication of operations codewords in any of the theaters of war.

    Blackmail is a unique codeword, which once assigned, could not have been used previously or used again by any of the Allied Forces in any theatre of the Second World War.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken MacLean View Post

    The allied forces employed thousands of people throughout the war to ensure that there was no duplication of operations codewords in any of the theaters of war.

    Blackmail is a unique codeword, which once assigned, could not have been used previously or used again by any of the Allied Forces in any theatre of the Second World War.
    Ken, I thought so too, until I found the first duplication (2x Operation Bowery, both in 1942). I then heard from one of the assistants at The National Archives that there have been several cases brought to their attention. The best laid plans...

    Hope this helps,

    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce dennis View Post
    Ken, I thought so too, until I found the first duplication (2x Operation Bowery, both in 1942). I then heard from one of the assistants at The National Archives that there have been several cases brought to their attention. The best laid plans...

    Hope this helps,

    Bruce
    Hi Bruce,

    I know that one Op Bowery related to the delivery of Spitifres to Malta in 1942, but what was the other for?

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Default Ops Bowery

    Run the code names throught your TNA search engine:
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/search.asp

    ADM 1/12372 ACTIONS WITH THE ENEMY (3): Operation "Bowery" (attack on enemy forces off French coast): awards to personnel. 1942-1943

    ADM 1/11978 COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS (21): Operations `Calendar' and `Bowery' transport of fighter aircraft to Malta G.C. orders and reports of proceedings. 1942

    ADM 1/11978 COMBINED OPERATIONS (47): Operations "Calendar" and "Bowery" transport of fighter aircraft to Malta G.C., orders and reports of proceedings. 1942

    ADM 199/2440 Coastal forces actions: plots for Operation `Bowery' 1942

    ADM 223/552 Operation BOWERY: aircraft to Malta 1942

    AIR 2/7721 MOVEMENTS: Equipment (Code B, 52/2): Operations "Oppidan" and "Bowery": Spitfires for Malta flown off American carrier 1942

    AIR 2/7721 ROYAL AIR FORCE: Malta Command (Code B, 67/18): Operations "Oppidan" and "Bowery": spitfires for Malta flown off American carrier 1942

    DEFE 2/98 "Basalt" "Bunbury" "Bowery" and "Blarneystone"
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Blackmail Ops

    If anyone is interested one of the pages from the log can be viewed here:

    http://s520.photobucket.com/albums/w326/fk790/Operation%20Blackmail/

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    I realise this is a diversion from the thread, but the above posting quotes Operation Oppidan in the context of ferrying Spitfires to Malta from an American carrier. This was the USS Wasp, which was initially "borrowed" for Operation Calendar, a delivery of 48 Spitfires to Malta. The Luftwaffe reaction was so strong that the Spitfire force suffered heavy losses, and the mission had to be repeated - Operation Bowery. I have not previously seen any reference to an Operation Oppidan, but a quick "google" gave the following.

    http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/milestones-of-flight/british_military/1942_3.cfm

    The mission is described as Operation Oppidan/Handsford, including a follow-up delivery of 18 further aircraft. This is what is in other references, as HMS Eagle and Operation LB. HMS Eagle did take part in Bowery (Oppidan/Handsford), which is possibly the reason for the double name: Wasp loading in Glasgow but Eagle in Gibraltar, the two forces coming together for the ferry.

    Does anyone have any understanding of the linking of this operation to the name Bowery? Was it some kind of double-bluff? A simple mistake that was corrected by the Oppidan/Handsford naming but crept into history anyway?

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