What's The Most Daring Rescue Mission Ever Attempted?

Illustration for article titled Whats The Most Daring Rescue Mission Ever Attempted?

There have been some truly unbelievable rescue missions in military history. Some work out, others do not. Which one was the most audacious?

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The craziest I can think of is when the Nazis snatched Mussolini from his Alpine prison using gliders back in 1943. I'm sure you can think of a more outlandish (successful or unsuccessful) rescue mission, or at least a less distasteful one.

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Photo Credit: the German Federal Archives

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DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane
DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane

Operation Credible Sport

The basic idea: Strap a shit ton of JATO bottles on a C-170, fly into Iran below radar, use the JATO bottles to land and stop inside a soccer stadium, get the hostages on board, use more JATO bottles to take off, and everybody lives happily ever after.

Successfully completed several tests, until a failed test snapped the wings off the plane. The pilot hit the stop rockets too early, and it seems C-170s don't like falling 30 feet when they land.

The plane was dismantled, but there were other airframes being converted. The project was finally scrapped when the Iranians finally released the hostages, so I don't know if the testing counts as an "Attempt", but still absurdly audacious.