10 Code Names and Aliases in Modern History

About ten code names and aliases used in modern history for various covert operations.

10 CODE NAMES IN MODERN HISTORY

1. TORA TORA TORA

The Japanese word for "tiger," used three times by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the aerial attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The word was to indicate to his superiors that the attack had indeed caught the Americans by surprise. But Fuchida was so excited that he sent the message two minutes before the first bomb fell.

2. BARBAROSSA

German designation for the 1941 invasion of Russia in W. W. II.

3. MANHATTAN PROJECT

The working title for the development of the atomic bomb by the U.S. during W.W. II.

4. FORTITUDE

Designation for the massive, ersatz diversion employed by the Allied forces in W.W. II to convince the Nazis that the Allies wouldn't invade the Normandy beaches but instead would either take a shorter English Channel route from Dover to Pas-de-Calais or send troops from Scotland to invade southern Norway. Part of the 1944 fictional story involved the establishment of a "U.S. Army" in Scotland.

5. OVERLORD

Project for the Allied liberation of France commencing on June 6, 1944, with the landing at Normandy beach sites coded "Omaha," "Utah," "Gold," "Sword," and "Juno." By stunning coincidence, the five beach code words appeared in crossword puzzles in the London Daily Telegraph in a period of several weeks preceding the invasion. The word Overlord was coined by Winston Churchill.

6. LITTLE BOY

Name given the atomic bomb dropped by the airplane Enola Gay on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

7. HELTER SKELTER

Title of a song by the English rock group the Beatles that was--according to his prosecutor--appropriated by convicted killer Charles Manson. In Manson's view, the prosecution said, "Helter Skelter" meant that the black man would rise up and destroy the entire white race--with the exception of Manson and his "family." The two words were found printed in blood inside the residence of murder victims Leno and Rosemary LaBianca on Aug. 10, 1969.

8. GEMSTONE

Cover designation for the break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office-apartment-hotel complex in Washington, D.C., by five men early on the morning of June 17, 1972.

9. DEEP THROAT

Unrevealed, surreptitious White House source for Washington Post reporter Robert Woodward during the course of reportorial investigation into the Watergate break-in by Woodward and fellow reporter Carl Bernstein. It was borrowed by Woodward and Bernstein from the title of a pornographic film of the early 1970s. In 1978 former Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman guessed that Deep throat had been Fred Fielding, onetime deputy counsel to the president. Fielding called this "sheer fantasy."

10. PAINTBRUSH

According to testimony by FBI agents at the 1976 bank robbery trial of newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, this code word referred to various public pay phones throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The FBI said that whenever Miss Hearst or her companions, Symbionese Liberation Army members William and Emily Harris, sensed trouble, they were supposed to contact help via one of the "paintbrush" telephones.

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