Operation Baffle

This was an Allied unrealised plan, developed by the commanders-in-chief of the Mediterranean theatre, for the creation of a major air base at Zadar in Yugoslavia (December 1944).

The concept behind the plan was to provide facilities from which Air Vice Marshal W. A. Elliot’s Balkan Air Force could attack German communications and at which bombers of Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining’s US 15th AAF, flying from bases in Italy to attack targets in Germany, could land if they were too badly damaged to regain their bases.

The plan envisaged the landing of an initial 2,500 personnel, including airfield construction and aircraft servicing personnel, to be followed by another 4,500 personnel. As such the plan was a much reduced ‘Fairfax’, which had contained a large British army contingent to defend the air base and to attack the German withdrawal routes from the Balkans. ‘Baffle’ gave way to the further scaled-down ‘Accomplish’ (ii).