Operation Husky - The Battle for Sicily

Posted in: World War II
Written on 13th July 2011 16:55pm
Canadian troops in Sicily during Operation Husky

Operation Husky was an amphibious assult of Siciliy, lasting just over a month, from the 9th of July to the 17th August 1943...

The descision to invade Sicily was made in January earlier that year after deciding that invading France was not feasable at that time.


During the night on the 9th and 10th of July Allied airbourne units (this was the first major invasion where AS-51 Horsa gliders were used) commenced landing and dropping off troops and supplies, three hours later main ground forces were dropped off on the south easter and southwestern coasts of the island.


The Allied forces battled through the Sicilian mountains and by July 27th the Axis realised that they would need to evacuate as many troops, vehicles, munitions and supplies as they could to the mainland. Between the 1sta nd 10th of August  German forces moved over 12,000 men, 4,500 vehicles and 5,000 tons of equipment. 


A full scale withdrwal began on the 11th of August and continued until the 17th. The Axis were ordered to withdraw between 5 and 15 miles each night and held Allied forces back using mines, demolitions and other obstacles.

Operation Husky mortars the support advance to Palermo

Allied forces tried to push through to Messina before the Axis could evacuate, however they arrived a few hours too late.


The fall of Palermo was one of the first major incidents which led to the overthrow of Mussolini in Rome.


The success of this operation held many a lesson for allied forces which they used in the Normandy D-Day landings.


To see one of the Horsa gliders used during World War II join one of our Normandy Battlefield Tours

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