Operation Husky. The Invasion of Sicily
70 years ago this week on 9th-10th July 1943, the Western Allies launched Operation Husky, the Invasion of Sicily. It was the starting point for the assault on Hitler’s forces in Europe. Churchill described Sicily and Italy as “the sofe underbelly of Europe”. Strategically Husky achieved all the goals set out for it. The Allies drove all the Axis air, land and naval forces from the island, opening the way for the Invasion of Italy. The Mediterranean Sea Lanes were opened and Mussolini was deposed from power. The Allies learned much from Operation Husky in their preparations for D-Day whilst Montgomery and Patton’s bitter rivalry intensified during their race to Messina. The Allies suffered 25,000 casualties during the campaign. Germany suffered 23,000 casualties and Italy 36,000.
Operation Husky started on the night of 9th – 10th July 1943 and continued until 17th August. The island was defended by 12 divisions, 2 Germand and 10 Italian, under General Guzzoni. In total there were 35,000 troops stationed on the island, 3,500 of whom were German. By Malcolm Clough