Abridged Encyclopedia of World War 2  
  O to Owen Stanley Mountain Range  
  Oak Ridge - Oak Ridge was a site established in eastern Tennessee in 1942 as a production site for enriched uranium to be used in the Manhattan Project - the massive U.S. government operation that developed the atomic bomb.  
  O'Connor, Richard N. - (1889 - 1981) O'Connor was a British Army general who commanded the Western Desert Force in the early years of World War 2. He was the field commander for Operation Compass, in which his forces completely destroyed a much larger Italian army - a victory which nearly drove the Axis from Africa, and in turn, led Adolf Hitler to send the German Africa Corps under Erwin Rommel to try and reverse the situation. O'Connor was captured by a German reconnaissance patrol during the night of April 7, 1941, and spent over two years in an Italian prisoner of war camp. O'Connor eventually escaped in December 1943, and in 1944 commanded the VIII Corps in Normandy and later during Operation Market Garden. In 1945 he was General Officer in Command of the Eastern Command in India.  
  Office of Civilian Defense - Office of Civilian Defense was a United States federal emergency war agency set up May 20, 1941, by Executive Order 8757 to co-ordinate state and federal measures for protection of civilians. It supervised protective functions such as blackouts and special fire protection and "war service" functions such as child care, health, housing, and transportation. The agency was terminated by Executive Order 9562 of June 4, 1945.  
  Office of Price Administration - The Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply was established within the Office for Emergency Management by Executive Order 8734 on April 11, 1941. This office would become the Office of Price Administration (OPA) on August 28, 1941. The functions of the OPA were originally to control prices and rents after the outbreak of the war. The OPA eventually had the power to place ceilings on all prices except agricultural commodities, and to ration scarce supplies of other items, including tires, automobiles, shoes, nylon, sugar, gasoline, fuel oil, coffee, meats and processed foods.  
  Office of Strategic Services - The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War 2. Prior to the formation of the OSS American intelligence had been conducted in an uncoordinated basis by the various departments of the executive branch, including the State, Treasury, Navy, and War Departments. The OSS was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines. The OSS predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency.  
  Okuda, Ojiro - Okuda was the Japanese acting consul general to Hawaii. Using this cover Okuda was in charge of reporting on movements of U.S. ships in the harbor, much of which appeared in American newspapers.  
  Omori, Sentaro - (1892 - 1974) Omori was a Japanese naval officer who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral. At the start of the war he was in charge a destroyer squadron and participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Indian Ocean Raid of early 1942, and the occupation of Attu Island as part of the Battle of Midway. Omori was given command of a cruiser division and suffered a major defeat during the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay in November 1943 where the Japanese lost 4 cruisers and 6 destroyers. After this defeat he was transferred to posts in Japan.  
  Onishi, Takijiro - (1891 - 1945) Onishi was an Japanese naval officer who rose to the rank of Vice Admiral. Onishi was responsible for some of the technical details of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After October 1944, Onishi became the commander of the 1st Air Fleet in the northern Philippines. He is commonly credited with having devised the tactic of suicide air attacks (kamikaze) on Allied aircraft carriers, but the project predated his tenure and was one that he originally opposed. Following the loss of the Mariana Islands, and facing orders to destroy the U.S. Navy′s aircraft carrier fleet in advance of "Operation Sho", Onishi changed his position and ordered the attacks.  
  Operation Alphabet - Operation Alphabet was an evacuation, authorized on May 24, 1940, of Allied (British, French and Polish) troops from the harbor of Narvik in northern Norway marking the success of Nazi Germany's Operation Weserübung and the end of the Allied campaign in Norwa. The evacuation was completed by June 8.  
  Operation Anthropoid - Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination attempt on the Nazi Germany Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. The action was committed in Prague in May 1942 after having been prepared by the British Special Operations Executive and the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. The attack wounded Heydrich who died on June 4, 1942. In the aftermath of Heydrich’s death a wave of retaliatory reprisals were carried out by the German authorities against the Czechoslovak population.  
  Operation Anton - Operation Anton was the codename for the military occupation of Vichy France carried out by Germany and Italy in November 1942.  
  Operation Basalt - Operation Basalt was a small British raid on the German occupied British Channel Island of Sark. It is believed that this contributed to Hitler's decision to issue his Commando Order instructing all captured Commandos or Commando-type personnel be executed as a matter of procedure.  
  Operation C - Operation C  was a naval sortie by the Japanese Fast Carrier Strike Force from March 31 to April 10, 1942 against Allied shipping and bases in the Indian Ocean. The Japanese, under command of Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi, compelled the Allied (largely Royal Navy) forces to retreat to East Africa, leaving the Japanese unopposed in the Indian Ocean.  
  Operation Calendar - Operation Calendar was a joint British and American operation to deliver Spitfire fighter aircraft to Malta in April 1942. The aircraft were desperately needed to bolster the island's defense against strong Axis air raids. Within four days, however, heavy German bombing raids on the besieged isle's airfields would reduce the number of flyable Spitfires, necessitating a second ferry mission.  
  Operation Catapult - Operation Catapult was a British operation designed to secure the French Fleet or keep it from under control of Germany in July of 1940. The operation was carried out in Plymouth and Portsmouth in Great Britain, in Alexandria in Egypt, and at Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria. The French ships were taken after minor skirmishes in Great Britain and after negotiations in Alexandria. The French resisted at Mers-el-Kebir and the British sank a battleship and damaged two others.  
  Operation Chariot - Operation Chariot was a successful British amphibious attack on the heavily defended Normandie dry dock at St Nazaire in German-occupied France. The operation was undertaken by the Royal Navy and British Commandos on March 28, 1942. St Nazaire was targeted because the loss of its dry dock would force any large German warship in need of repairs, such as the Tirpitz, to return to home waters rather than having a safe haven available on the Atlantic coast.  
  Operation Cherry Blossom - Operation Cherry Blossom was the code name for the Bougainville Campaign which was fought by the Allies in the South Pacific to regain control of the island of Bougainville from the Japanese forces who had occupied it in 1942. During their occupation the Japanese constructed naval aircraft bases and a naval anchorage on the island. On the nearby Treasury and Shortland Islands they built airfields, naval bases and anchorages. These bases helped protect Rabaul, the major Japanese garrison and naval base in New Guinea. The Allied campaign began on October 27, 1943 and ended on August 21, 1945 with the surrender of the Japanese.  
  Operation Citadel - Operation Citadel was the code name for the German operation aimed at eliminating the Red Army at Kursk. The town itself was of minor significance; it was chosen because it was situated in a bulge between the fronts of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein's Army Group South and Field Marshal Hans Gunther von Kluge's Army Group Center. Adolf Hitler believed the operation would destroy five Soviet armies and thereby prevent the Soviets from mounting any offensives for at least the remainder of the year. The operation led to the Battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history. The Germans failed to make any gains, lost an enormous amount of armored equipment and were forced to retreat.  
  Operation Claymore - Operation Claymore was the codename for a British Commandos raid on the Lofoten Islands in Norway on March 4, 1941. The Lofoten Islands were an important center for the production of fish oil and glycerine, used in the German war industry. The raid achieved its objective of destroying fish oil factories and some 800,000 gallons of oil and glycerine.  
  Operation Cleanslate - Operation Cleanslate was the recapture of the Russell Islands about sixty miles northwest of Guadalcanal from the Japanese by the United States in August, 1942.  
  Operation Corkscrew - Operation Corkscrew was the Allied invasion of the Italian island of Pantelleria on June 10, 1943. Pantelleria was located between Sicily and Tunisia. Pantelleria was garrisoned by 12,000 Italians and included radar installations and an airfield. An intense ten-day air bombardment substantially reduced the Italian defenses. The Italian garrisons on the nearby islands of Linosa and Lampedusa also were quickly taken. The capture of the islands cleared the way for the invasion of Sicily a month later.  
  Operation Cottage - Operation Cottage was the code name for the Allied recapture of Kiska Island on August 15, 1943.. The Japanese, which had been occupied by Japanese forces since June, 1942, had secretly abandoned the island two weeks prior, and so the Allied landings were unopposed. Despite this, Allied forces suffered well over 200 casualties during the operation, mostly due to Japanese mines and the difficult terrain.  
  Operation Drumbeat - Operation Drumbeat (Operation Paukenschlag) was Vice Admiral Karl Dönitz’s plan to attack shipping along the American seaboard at the onset of hostilities between Germany and the United States. The operation lasted from January 1942 to August 1942. German submariners named it the “happy time” because defense measures were weak and disorganized and the U-boats were able to inflict massive damage with little risk. During this period Axis submarines sank 609 ships totaling 3.1 million tons for the loss of only 22 U-boats. This was roughly one quarter of all shipping sunk by U-boats during the entire war.  
  Operation Eagle Attack - Operation Eagle Attack was the codename for the German operation by the Luftwaffe to destroy the British Royal Air Force in 1940 in preparation for Operation Sea Lion - the invasion of Britain. Operation Eagle Attack transformed into the Battle of Britain.  
  Operation Frühlingswind - Operation Frühlingswind was the German offensive in central Tunisia that led to the Battle of Kasserine Pass. The offensive consisted of four armored battle groups directed at American positions in the area of Sidi Bou Zid.  
  Operation Galvanic - Operation Galvanic was the code name for the U.S. amphibious invasion of Tarawa (in the Gilbert Islands. The operation took place between November 20 and November 23, 1943 and was the first American offensive in the central Pacific region. It was also the first time in the war that the U.S. faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. Nearly 6,000 Japanese and Americans died on the tiny island in the fighting.  
  Operation Goodtime - Operation Goodtime was the code name for the Allied invasion of the Japanese held Treasury Islands group so that a radar station could be constructed on the former and the latter be used as a staging area for an assault on Bougainville. The invasion was conducted primarily by the New Zealand Army supported by American forces.  
  Operation Harling - Operation Harling was a mission by the British Special Operations Executive in cooperation with Greek Resistance groups which destroyed the heavily guarded Gorgopotamos viaduct in Central Greece on November 25, 1942. This was one of the first major sabotage acts in Axis-occupied Europe and the beginning of a permanent British involvement with the Greek Resistance.  
  Operation Herkules - Operation Herkules was the code name given to a planned but never-executed Italo-German invasion of Malta. The Germans and Italians planned to eliminate Malta as a British air and naval base and secure an uninterrupted flow of supplies across the Mediterranean Sea to their forces fighting in Libya and Egypt. The rapidly changing war situation in North Africa resulted in the plan's cancellation in November 1942.  
  Operation Husky - Operation Husky was the code name for the Allied invasion of Sicily. Operation Husky began on the night of July 9-10, 1943, and ended August 17. The operation was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat in which the Allies took Sicily from the Italian and German forces. Operation Husky is considered the beginning of the Italian Campaign.  
  Operation I-Go - Operation I-Go was an aerial counter-offensive launched by Japanese forces against Allied forces during the Solomon Islands and New Guinea Campaigns from  April 1 - April 16, 1943. In the operation, Japanese aircraft, primarily from Imperial Japanese Navy units under the command of Admirals Yamamoto Isoroku and Kusaka Jinichi, attacked Allied ships, aircraft, and land installations in the southeast Solomon Islands and New Guinea. The goal of the operation was to halt the Allied offensives and to give Japan time to prepare a new set of defenses in response to recent defeats.  
  Operation Ironclad - Operation Ironclad was code name for the Allied campaign to capture Vichy-French-controlled Madagascar. The operation began on May 5, 1942 and fighting continued until November 6 when Governor General Armand Léon Annet surrendered.  
  Operation KE - Operation KE was the largely successful withdrawal of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal at the conclusion of the Guadalcanal Campaign. The operation took place between January 14 and February 7, 1943.  
  Operation KE GO - Operation KE GO was the Japanese evacuation of troops from Kiska Island in the Aleutians to Paramushiro via submarines. Between May 23 and June 21, 1943 13 boats would be involved in the operation that would eventually extricate 820 men. Three boats would be sunk and three damaged.  
  Operation Little Saturn - Operation Little Saturn was a Soviet operation on the Eastern Front that led to battles in the northern Caucasus and Donets Basin regions of the Soviet Union from December 1942 to February 1943. Operation Little Saturn was developed to exploit the success of Operation Uranus, launched on November 19, 1942, that had trapped the German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad.  
  Operation Longcloth - Operation Longcloth was the first deep penetration operation conducted by the Chindits under command of Major General Orde Wingate. The operation was directed against Japanese positions behind enemy lines in Burma from February to April 1943.  
  Operation Judgment - Operation Judgment or the naval Battle of Taranto took place on the night of November 11/12 1940. The Royal Navy launched the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history, flying a small number of obsolescent biplane torpedo bombers from two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack struck the battle fleet of the Regia Marina at anchor in the harbor of Taranto utilizing aerial torpedoes despite the shallow depth of the harbor. Four major Italian ships were sunk or put out of action at the cost of two attacking aircraft that were shot down. The operation was the beginning of the rise of the power of naval aviation over the big guns of battleships.  
  Operation Manhood - Operation Manhood an attempt by the Allies in 1942 in an attempt to decisively defeat the Axis offensive in Egypt. The operation began on July 26 and was cancelled on July 27. The failure of Operation Manhood was a factor in the decision of British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill to relieve British Commander-in-Chief, Middle East General Claude Auchinleck with Lt. General William H.E. Gott. Gott would be killed in an air crash before assuming command and was replaced by Lt. General Bernard L. Montgomery.  
  Operation Marita - Operation Marita was the code name for the German invasion and conquest of Greece April 1941.  
  Operation Menace - Operation Menace, also known as the Battle of Dakar, was an unsuccessful attempt in September of 1940 by the Allies to capture the strategic port of Dakar in French West Africa (modern-day Senegal), which was under Vichy French control, and to install the Free French under General Charles de Gaulle there.  
  Operation Mercury - Operation Mercury (Operation Merkur) was the code name for the German airborne invasion of Crete that began on May 20, 1941. German forces secured the island from British and Greek forces by the end of the month.  
  Operation Millennium - Operation Millennium was the codename for the first 1,000 bomber raid by the RAF. Cologne was chosen as the target and the raid took place on the night of May 30/31, 1942.  
  Operation Mincemeat - Operation Mincemeat was a successful British deception plan that was part of a wider deception plan, Operation Barclay, to cover the intended invasion of Italy from North Africa. Operation Mincemeat helped to convince the German high command that the Allies planned to invade Greece and Sardinia in 1943 instead of Sicily, the actual objective. This was accomplished by persuading the Germans that they had, by accident, intercepted "top secret" documents giving details of Allied war plans that were attached to a corpse deliberately left to wash up on a beach in Punta Umbría in Spain.  
  Operation Neuland - Operation Neuland (New Land) was the Kriegsmarine code name for the extension of unrestricted submarine warfare into the Caribbean Sea. U-boats demonstrated a longer range to disrupt British petroleum supplies and U.S. aluminum supplies which had not been anticipated by Allied pre-war planning. The Caribbean Sea remained vulnerable to submarines for several months until the Allies arranged counter measures.  
  Operation Pastorius - Operation Pastorius was a failed plan for industrial sabotage by Nazi German agents inside the United States. The operation was staged in June 1942 and was to be directed against strategic U.S. economic targets. All 8 agents were caught and six were executed.  
  Operation Paula - Operation Paula was the codename for the offensive operation by the Luftwaffe to destroy the remaining units of the Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) and bomb French aircraft factories in the vicinity of Paris. Operation Paula was conducted on June 3, 1940 during the Battle of France. Although the Germans considered the operation a success the operation only did slight damage to the French air capabilities. French civilian casualties in the Paris area, however, were heavy with 254 dead and 652 injured.  
  Operation Polar Bear - Operation Polar Bear was a series of German attacks on islands held by the British in the Aegean Sea in October 1943. The operation was designed to force Turkey to remain neutral after the British began occupying islands in the Aegean.  
  Operation Postern - Operation Postern was the code name of the operation to take Lae, Papua New Guinea. Operation Postern was a part of the larger Operation Cartwheel, designed by General Douglas MacArthur to take Rabaul by "cartwheeling" over other Japanese strong points dependent on Rabaul's support.  
  Operation Punishment - Operation Punishment (Unternehmen Strafgericht) was the code name for the German bombing of Belgrade during the invasion of Yugoslavia. The Luftwaffe bombed the city on April 6, 1941 without a declaration of war, continuing bombing until April 10.  
  Operation Reinhard - Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard) was the code name given to the Nazi plan to murder Polish Jews in occupied Poland, and marked the most deadly phase of the Holocaust, the use of extermination camps. During the operation, as many as two million people were murdered.  
  Operation Sea Lion - Operation Sea Lion was Germany's plan to invade the United Kingdom during World War 2 in 1940 after the fall of France. The operation needed air and naval supremacy over the English Channel. With the German defeat in the Battle of Britain, Sea Lion was postponed indefinitely on September 17, 1940 and was never carried out.  
  Operation Tidal Wave - Operation Tidal Wave was an air attack by bombers of the U.S. Army Air Forces based in Libya on nine oil refineries around Ploiești, Romania on August 1, 1943. It was a strategic bombing mission and part of the "oil campaign" to deny petroleum-based fuel to the Axis. This mission was unsuccessful and resulted in "no curtailment of overall product output." It was one of the costliest missions for the USAAF in the European Theater with 53 aircraft and 660 air crewmen lost It was the worst loss ever suffered by the USAAF on a single mission, and its date was later referred to as "Black Sunday."  
  Operation Torch - Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War 2 that started on November 8, 1942 and initiated the Allies North African Campaign.  
  Operation Typhoon - Operation Typhoon was the code name for the German strategic offensive against Moscow, capitol of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the largest Soviet city. Operation Typhoon was the beginning of the Battle of Moscow and started on September 30, 1941. The German effort to take the Soviet capitol was frustrated by the Soviet defense and ended in January 1942.  
  Operation Uranus - Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet strategic operation which began a larger Soviet campaign that led to the encirclement and defeat of the German Sixth Army, the Third and Fourth Romanian armies, and portions of the German Fourth Panzer Army at Stalingrad in February 1943. Operation Uranus commenced on November 19, 1942 and lasted until November 23.  
  Operation Vengeance - Operation Vengeance was the name given by the Americans to the military operation to kill Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku on April 18, 1943. Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was killed on Bougainville Island when his transport bomber aircraft was shot down by U.S. Army fighter aircraft operating from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.  
  Operation Watchtower - Operation Watchtower was the code name for the American offensive against Japanese positions on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands in the southern Pacific theater. The operation evolved into the Battle of Guadalcanal and was fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943. It was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Japanese and resulted in an American victory.  
  Operation Weserübung - Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway in 1940. The operation began in the early morning of April 9, 1940 when Germany invaded Denmark and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive maneuver against a planned, and openly discussed, Franco-British occupation of Norway. After the invasions, envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark and Norway that Germany had come to protect the countries' neutrality against Franco-British aggression. Operation Weserübung marked the beginning of the Norwegian campaign.  
  Operation Wikinger - Operation Wikinger Operation Wikinger (Viking) was a sortie into the North Sea by the 1st Destroyer Flotilla of the Kriegsmarine 0n February 22, 1940. A failure by the Kriegsmarine to pass on the message that the Luftwaffe was planning to fly anti-shipping night operations in the North Sea resulted in the loss of two German ships through friendly fire bombing and German or British mines.  
  Operation Wilfred - Operation Wilfred was a British naval operation in 1940 that involved the mining of the channel between Norway and her offshore islands in order to prevent the transport of Swedish iron ore through neutral Norwegian waters to be used to sustain the German war effort. On April 8, 1940, the operation was partly carried out, but was overtaken by events as a result of the following day's German invasion of Norway and Denmark.  
  Operation Winter Storm - Operation Winter Storm was a German offensive undertaken between December 12-23, 1942, in which the German 4th Panzer Army failed to break the encirclement of the German 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad.  
  Oppenheimer, J. Robert - (1904 - 1967) Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist who, along with Enrico Fermi, is often called the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer oversaw operations at the Los Alamos, New Mexico facility where the first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945.  
  Oslo Report - The Oslo Report was one of the most spectacular leaks in the history of military intelligence. Written by German mathematician and physicist Hans Ferdinand Mayer on November 1 and 2, 1939 during a business trip to Oslo, Norway, it described several German weapons systems, current and future. Mayer mailed the report anonymously in the form of two letters to the British Embassy in Oslo, where they were passed on to MI6 in London for further analysis, and proved to be an invaluable resource to the British in developing counter-measures, especially to navigational and targeting radars, and contributed to the British winning the Battle of Britain.  
  van Overstraeten, Raoul - (1885 - 1977) van Overstraeten was a Belgian general who was military advisor to King Leopold III of Belgium from 1938 to 1940. van Overstraeten was one of those who wanted to continue the resistance after the eighteenth day of the German invasion of Belgium. van Overstraeten spent the war in Brussels guarded by the Germans who do not want to intern him because they wanted to show that they could behave chivalrously.  
  Owen Stanley Mountain Range - The Owen Stanley Mountain Range is the southeastern part of the central mountain chain in Papua New Guinea. The range is flanked by broken and difficult country, particularly on the southwestern side. There are few practicable passes, the easiest being the Kokoda Trail which crosses the range between Port Moresby and Buna. The Kokoda Trail was the site of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 between Japanese and Allied, primarily Australian, where the Japanese first pushed across the range towards Ports Moresby and then were driven back by the Allies.  

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