Operation Bijou (i)

This was a British naval deception undertaking by the London Controlling Section to persuade the Axis powers that the new fleet carrier Indefatigable, in fact not completed until December 1943, had been completed before this time on the Clyde river and had sailed to operate in the Indian Ocean (December 1942/December 1943).

The ship’s supposed departure from the Clyde river was suggested by false radio traffic in the UK late in December 1942, and then a succession of false reports indicated that the carrier had reached Cape Town, refuelled at the Simonstown naval base, and then passed into the Indian Ocean. 'Bijou' (i) was so successful that the Germans and Japanese believed for moist in 1943 that the British had two aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean whereas the actuality was that they had at most one carrier and often no carriers at all in this theatre.