Assault on Sicily
On the night of 9/10 July 1943, an Allied armada of 2,590 vessels launched one of the largest combined operations of the Second World War - the invasion of Sicily, Operation 'Husky'. Over the next thirty-eight days, half a million British, Canadian, American and French soldiers, sailors, and airmen grappled with their German and Italian counterparts for control of this rocky outcrop of Hitler's 'Fortress Europe'. The Allied assault on Sicily featured airborne and amphibious landings, mountain warfare, international rivalry, poorly performing troops, tenacious German resistance, and, improvements in tactical air support and the ultimate Allied victory on the island. Almost the whole of the progress of the Second World War is illustrated by this one campaign. It was the only action where the whole Allied war effort was brought to bear on a single objective, with one army commanded by Patton and one army commanded by Montgomery. Both men were insufferable egoists and insubordinate commanders, they always chose to do their own thing, regardless of others' sensibilities and always with one eye on how history would see them.The seeds of rivalry between these two key Allied commanders that were sown in the Sicily campaign eventually grew to fruition in the battles for Normandy and the Ardennes.
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