Quiz on military operations

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on May 26, 2017


Inspired by Anthropoid, a British special operations team, this week's quiz is on military operations

On May 27, exactly 75 years ago, Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated in a daring attack by a British special operations team. Anthropoid, as it was named, is the inspiration for this week’s quiz on operations.

1 Which military operation was originally named Operation Fritz, but later renamed by Hitler after the colour of the facial hair of one of the greatest ever rulers in German history?

2 This American military operation of the late ’80s was named Operation Blue Spoon, which was changed to Operation Just Cause, thus forcing even its critics to utter Just Cause while denouncing it. Which was the country in which it was executed?

3 Which recent operation was named Neptune Spear, after the trident, which appears on the US SEALS insignia, representing their ability to operate on sea, air and land?

4 After which fearsome military leader did the Pakistan Air Force name its preemptive strike on 11 Indian Air Force bases on the evening of December 3, 1971?

5 Which 2001 operation seems to be named after London’s theatre district, but was more likely named after a colony in Delhi where the first part came into effect?

6 In 2014, the Delhi Police launched Operation Milap,, a scheme aimed at uniting missing children with their parents. But in which film would you come across a project called Milap which aimed to repatriate civilian captives on either side of the Indo-Pak border?

7 In 1984, a property developer named Ronald French confessed to putting many words into his teacher’s crossword puzzle which was published in The Daily Telegraph. Why was this a cause of great concern exactly 40 years ago?

8 Operation Mincemeat was a successful British disinformation operation suggested by British admiral Godfrey, where a dead tramp’s body was put into a military uniform with false plans and planted in Spain for the Germans to discover. However, it is believed that the admiral’s personal assistant was probably the man behind the plan. Who was he?

9 In April 1961, President Kennedy okayed the CIA-led Operation Zapata, one of the greatest disasters in US intelligence. What was Operation Zapata?

10 Operation Moolah was a US Air Force operation in the ’50s that involved rewarding enemy pilots for doing a specific deed. What did the Americans want?


1. Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, named after Frederick, nicknamed Barbarossa because of his flowing red beard.

2. Panama, to depose Manuel Noriega

3. The operation to eliminate Osama Bin Laden in 2011

4. Chengiz Khan; the operation was a failure

5. West End, the sting operation on the collusion between arms dealers and the military government complex

6. Main Hoon Na

7. Ronald French, then a 14-year-old student, was friendly with soldiers in nearby camps, and got a lot of the words involving the Normandy invasion, including the name, Overlord, into the crossword, leading British intelligence to suspect that the plan had been compromised

8. Ian Fleming

9. The US-funded Cuban rebel attack on the Bay of Pigs, to depose General Castro

10. They wanted a fully operational Russian MiG-15 fighter, and were offering handsome rewards for any communist pilot to defect with one

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on May 26, 2017
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