8 of the all-time worst named military missions and war games in history
- Winston Churchill believed that military operations should be named to instill resolution in troops and remembrance for the fallen.
- Here are some military names that fall well short of that mark, like those named after small, furry animals.
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While researching another story, I came across a recent exercise designed to steel NATO for battling Russian subs. The war game was named for a ferret-like creature that subsists on insects and worms.
How do military leaders come up with these? In the case of the US, military commands are assigned blocks of the alphabet, say from AA to AD, from which they can choose two word names. Such as Agile Diver. The rules forbid "commercial trademarks," "anything offensive to good taste," or that are similar in spelling to a code word.
They also set aside words for certain commands. "Cheese," for example, is only to be used by the chief of naval operation's office. Ditto "rabbit."
(Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill specifically warned about "frivolous" words, saying no one would want to tell a grieving mother her son died in an operation named "Bunnyhug.")
Here's a totally objective guide to the worst-named military operations and exercises of all time.