Prepare yourself for a wild ride through history, with tales of daring and courage that Hollywood could only dream up. From below-the-radar intelligence missions to full-on commando raids, here are some of the most daring secret operations of World War II you've never heard about! Trust us: these stories would make for an amazing movie — so settle in and buckle up.
Operation Zeppelin Targetted Joseph Stalin
Another day, another assassination plot to kill Joesph Stalin by the Nazis. They sent two Soviet defectors into Moscow. They were inserted into the Soviet Union via cargo plane.
They then got onto a motorcycle but were flagged down by guards at the first checkpoint because it was heavily raining and the two were dry. They were apprehended.
Operation Fortitude South Involved Decoy Tanks
Another fake D-Day plot was designed by the Allies. The British wanted to deceive the Germans into thinking they would be making landfall in France at the Pas de Calais instead of Normandy.
They built a fake invasion force and fed the Germans fake intelligence. They used inflatable tanks (like seen in this picture), wooden airplanes, and dummy fuel depots.
Operation Pastorius Was A Beach-Front Operation
In June of 1942, Coastguardsman John Cullen was doing his regular patrol along a beach in Long Island. He suddenly came across a group of men on the beach who were suspicious. They didn't identify themselves and spoke German.
They paid Cullen and said to forget he ever saw them. The FBI found explosives, uniforms, and liquor buried on the beach. The men were German spies who had a mission of Industrial sabotage in NYC.
Operation Jubilee Was Aborted After 10 Hours
You may not have known that the Allies attempted a raid on the French coastline two years before D-Day. It was a disaster.
6,000 British and Canadian troops tried to seize the Dieppe coastline. The Germans were ready and only 10 hours into the assault, Operation Jubilee was aborted. 1,000 were killed and another 2,000 were injured.
Operation Oak Attempted To Free Benito Mussolini
The Italian dictator was held up in an old hotel in Gran Sasso, Italy after the Ally invasion of Sicily.
Hilter thought that the Italians would submit to the Allies, so he ordered 100 men to infiltrate the hotel. They were able to get Mussolini out of confinement without firing a shot. He was reinstalled as the head of the Italian Social Republic which was the area control by Germany.
Operation Vengeance Targeted Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the mastermind of Pearl Harbor for the Japanese Navy. The Americans were presented with an opportunity to kill him, and President Roosevelt took it.
In 1943, he sent 18 American P-38 Lightning planes to intercept the Admiral. They had figured out his itinerary through hacking their code. His plane was shot down and it was kept a secret from the Japanese for a month after.
Nine Norwegian men trained by the British parachuted into Vemork, Norway with the mission to blow up a Nazi-controlled heavy water plant.
Heavy water was a crucial element in the production of plutonium, which was a major ingredient for nuclear bombs. The nine men were able to plant explosives around the facility and detonate them. The destruction was a crucial part in the Nazi's decision to halt production of an atomic weapon.
The Germans and the Allies were playing a game of deception in 1943. It was a waiting game to see where the Allies would strike Europe first.
Two British intelligence agents made fake official documents saying that they were going to attack Greece. They gave these documents to a Spanish homeless man turned fake Army Captain who turned them over to the Spanish government. Hitler fell for it and put all the resources over to Greece, meanwhile the Allies attacked Sicily.
A high ranking Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich, was named the Reich protector of what we know as Czechoslovakia. He declared martial law and began executing political prisoners.
Two Allied spies parachuted into Czech and spent six months concocting a plan. They waited for Heydrich to drive by with his guards and they shot at him, and threw a grenade close to his car. Heydrich died a week later from his injuries.
Kitty Schmidt ran the most luxurious brothel in Berlin. She wasn't a fan of Hitler. In fact, she transported cash to British banks via Jewish refugees she helped to escape Germany. She tried to flee in 1939 but was caught at the Dutch border.
She was taken to Gestapo headquarters when she was discovered by Walter Schellenberg, and was told to keep her brothel open so the Gestapo could spy on prestigious clients. Nazi agents would bring unwitting foreign diplomats to the brothel which was bugged.
In 1942, some elite commandos were tasked with blowing up a major shipping center for the Germans in Bordeaux, France. Due to the German defenses, they would have to canoe in at night and plant the explosives on the side of the ships.
One canoe got damaged and sank, killing the two men. Two canoe crews were captured and executed. That left two crews to carry it out, which they did.
Many people know of Operation Valkyrie. It's a relatively famous assassination plot against Hitler. Basically, Colonel Von Stauffenberg's briefcase exploded at an East Prussian military headquarters.
But, Hilter avoided death. The blast killed four people but Hitler was able to be shielded by a table leg. He must've been counting his lucky stars on that day.
The Great Raid
As soon as the Japanese knew they were going to lose the Philippines in 1944, they began to execute their prisoners. So, a group of 100 Army Rangers linked up with Filipino guerrillas behind enemy lines.
They attacked a camp that was holding 500 prisoners and were successful in getting them out. Only two American soldiers were killed during the mission.
It was summer 1942. The German offensive into the Soviet Union was becoming very stretched out. The Germans captured 90% of Stalingrad, but the SU had a counterattack planned. Operation Uranus.
The operation involved more than a million men, 1,000 aircraft and a massive artillery barrage. After a lengthy battle, the Germans had nowhere to go because they were trapped. 100,000 Nazis surrendered.