‘Operation Husky’ was the codename for the invasion of Sicily in 1943. The Operation began at night of 9/10 July. It was a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign. It was the beginning of the Italian Campaign. ‘Husky’ was launched during bad weather, with strong winds which made the whole operation very difficult, but on the other hand, it also surprised Axis defenders.
The Axis lost over 29,000 soldiers (killed or wounded) and 140,000 were captured as POWs. The invasion had also substantial consequences on the Eastern Front. From the Battle of Kursk, the Germans had to withdraw part of their troops to Italy. The Germans managed to evacuate over 100,000 men and 10,000 vehicles.
A British soldier reads up on Sicily, the target for the next Allied invasion, July 1943. [© IWM (NA 4105)] Royal Air Force glider pilots and pilots of towing aircraft are briefed before the airborne invasion. [© IWM (CNA 1658)] The Allied commanders of the campaign photographed in Tunisia. Front row, left to right: The Commander-in-Chief, General Dwight Eisenhower, The Air Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Air Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder; the Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Ground Forces Commander, General Alexander and the Naval Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Andrew Cunningham. In the back row are the Hon. Harold MacMillian MP, Brigadier General W B Smith and Air Vice Marshal H E P Wigglesworth (on the extreme right).[© IWM (CNA 1075)] Map of the Operation Husky [ via] View of the dockside of Sousse Harbour, Tunisia. Landing craft are loaded with vehicles and equipped in preparation for the invasion. [© IWM (NA 3938)] L.S.T’s lined up and waiting for tanks to come aboard. Two days before the invasion of Sicily. [ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration] A jeep is loaded onto an American WACO CG-4A glider before Operation Husky. July, 1943. [© IWM (CNA 1662)] Handley Page Halifax A Mark V Series 1 (Special), EB139 NN, of No. 295 Squadron RAF based at Holmesley South, getting airborne from Portreath, Cornwall, towing Airspeed Horsa glider LG723 to Tunisia, during Operation BEGGAR: the transit of Halifax/Horsa glider combinations from the United Kingdom to North Africa by units of No. 38 Wing RAF, in preparation for the Operation Husky. [© IWM (CM 6934)] A wrecked U.S. Army Air Force Waco CG-4A glider (s/n 42-73623) in Sicily in July 1943. [ U.S. Air Force Photo] An Airborne Division Horsa glider, after landing off course nose down in a field near Syracuse. Although unsuccessful in achieving their primary objectives, the Airborne forces did cause considerable disruption behind the lines. [© IWM (NA 5543)] The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: A small section of the vast armada of ships which took part in the invasion of Sicily as photographed from landing ship headquarters HILARY at dawn of the first day of the invasion of the island. [© IWM (A 17945)] Troops from 51st Highland Division unloading stores from tank landing craft on the opening day of the Allied invasion of Sicily. 10 July 1943. [© IWM (A 17916)] U.S. Navy LCVPs from USS Joseph T. Dickman (APA-13) landing vehicles through the surf at Gela, Sicily, on 10-12 July 1943. The truck in the center appears to have stalled. [ U.S. Navy photo 26-G-1788 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command]
U.S. and British troops landing near Gela, Sicily. 10 July 1943. [ U.S. Army Photo] British troops wade ashore during the invasion of Sicily, 10 July 1943. [© IWM (NA 4275)] During the Allied invasion of Sicily the Liberty ship Robert Rowan (K-40) explodes after being hit by a German Ju 88 bomber off of Gela, Sicily, Italy. 11 July 1943. [ U.S. Army Signal Corps] British ship HMS Warpite of the coast of Sicily. July 1943. [ Di ISpinksy – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0] A British Universal Carrier Mark I comes ashore during the invasion of Sicily on 10 July 1943. [© IWM (NA 4183)] German soldiers on the beach with Tellermines in their hands. [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-303-0598-04 / Lüthge / CC-BY-SA 3.0] Two bombers Savoia Marchetti S.M. 79 of the Regia Aeronautica flying over the southern coast of Sicily. 1943.[Archive photo of Riggio family., CC BY-SA 3.0] Two German soldiers with machine gun camouflaged between cactuses on Sicily. July 1943.[Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J14874 / CC-BY-SA 3.0] German troops in Sicily in the summer of 1943 preparing to fight with the Allies. [ Public Domain] German troops of the 29th Panzer Division near the Strait of Messina. Summer 1943. [ Public Domain] German soldiers maintaining the Panzerkampfwagen III N (Sd.Kfz.141/2). July 1943. [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-308-0799Q-15A / Fraß / CC-BY-SA 3.0] Machine gun crew takes a position in a vineyard and securing standing troops. [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J14917 / CC-BY-SA 3.0] German artillery crew in action with their 7,5cm cannon. [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-304-0615-32 / Lüthge / CC-BY-SA 3.0] Men of 1st Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, advance past a burning fuel store on Pantelleria. Left to right: Lance Sergeant A Haywood, Private C Norman and Private H Maw. [© IWM (NA 3668)] British dummy tanks on the Catania Plain. [© IWM (NA 5273)]
A German Mk III tank knocked out during the fierce street fighting in Centuripe. [© IWM (NA 5389)] American troops advance through a damaged street in Randazzo. [© IWM (NA 5893)] Personnel of a Beach Balloon Detachment bring gas cylinders ashore at “Cent” Beach near Scoglitti, Sicily. [© IWM (CNA 4180)] US soldiers in the vicinity of Gela. in the background destroyed German aircraft. 12 July 1943. [ U.S. Army Signal Corps] British wounded being treated, and Italian prisoners of war waiting to be evacuated from the beach on the first day of the invasion of Sicily, 10 July 1943. [© IWM (A 17912)] Anti-aircraft FlaK-38 20mm and its crew near Etna, Sicily. 1943. [Bundesarchiv, N 1603 Bild-226 / Horst Grund / CC-BY-SA 3.0] Destroyed palace after Allied bombing in Palermo. July 1943. [Bundesarchiv, N 1603 Bild-213 / Horst Grund / CC-BY-SA 3.0] The British Army in Sicily 1943 Men of the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders advance along a road near Noto, 11 July 1943. [© IWM (NA 4306)] Wrecked and damaged Italian fighters outside bomb-shattered hangars at Catania, Sicily, under the scrutiny of an airman, shortly after the occupation of the airfield by the RAF. [© IWM (CNA 1352)] Crew from the tank “Eternity” check their vehicle after landing at Red Beach 2, Sicily. 10 July 1943. [ Signal Corps Photo: MM-43-01-32 (Osborne)] Panzer VI ‘Tiger I’ in a city in Sicily, Italy. 1943. [Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J14953 / CC-BY-SA 3.0] Remains of the Italian Navy armed train “T.A. 76/2/T”, destroyed by USS Bristol while opposing the landing at Licata. [ Public Domain] A 4.2-inch mortar of 1st Princess Louise’s Kensington Regiment in action near Adrano. 6 August 1943. [© IWM (NA 5666)] Map of the advancing lines of the Allies in Sicily during Operation Husky. [ Public Domain] British Sherman tank advancing near Catania, Sicily. 4 August 1943. [© IWM (NA 5522)] Men of the 6th Inniskillings, 38th Irish Brigade, searching houses during mopping up operations in Centuripe, Sicily. August 1943. [© IWM (NA 5388)] Civilian resident of Misterbianco, near Catania, paints the slogan ‘Viva England’ on a wall after the village had been occupied by the Eighth Army. [© IWM (NA 5450)] A German Panzer III Ausf M moves along a dusty road in Sicily, August 1943. [© IWM (MH 6341)] A British self propelled ‘Priest’ gun in action against the town of Palazzolo. The ‘Priest’ was a 105mm Howitzer mounted on an American M7 Howitzer Motor Carriage and was first used at the Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. [© IWM (NA 4469)] Gunners of 66 Medium Regiment Royal Artillery in action on the slopes of Mount Etna at dawn. 11 August 1943. [© IWM (NA 5854)] General Patton during conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Lyle Bernard near Brolo. [ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration] The first Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfire lands at an airfield, converted from a wheat field, watched by Sicilian farmers who are working on the harvested wheat. [© IWM (CNA 1098)] A Martin Baltimore of the Tactical Bomber Force of the North West African Air Forces, flying over its target by a road in Sicily, while bombing retreating German forces heading for Messina. August 1943. [© IWM (C 3772)] Bombs bursting on the docks and harbour of Pantelleria, as seen from on board the cruiser HMS ORION, in preparation for the allied invasion of the island. Pantelleria, Sicily, 1943. [© IWM (A 17666)] The successful German rear guard action towards the end of the campaign enabled over 100,00 Axis troops and a large quantity of equipment to be evacuated to Italy from Messina. An aerial photograph shows one of the last German ships to leave Messina on fire after being bombed by the Royal Air Force off the Sicilian coast. [© IWM (C 3733)] A Sherman tank passes a tram in the Via Garibaldi during the entry into Catania. 5 August 1943. [© IWM (NA 5558)] A captured Italian 305mm gun being fired at night by the British during the Battle for Catania. This was the biggest gun used during the campaign. [© IWM (NA 5474)] Chandelier flares light up an Allied airfield during a night raid by Axis bombers. Bombs are bursting and a column of smoke rises into the night sky from a fire. [© IWM (CNA 1293)] General Bernard Law Montgomery is bid a jolly farewell by Lieutenant General George S. Patton. An Airport at Palermo, Sicily, 28 July 1943. [ Signal Corps Photo: MM-Bri-7-28-43-R2-6] Italian soldiers of the 206th Coastal Division, taken prisoner by British forces after the landing in Sicily. Typical of the second-rate equipment issued to the Coastal Divisions, they are wearing Adrian helmets, rather than the more modern M33 helmets. [ Public Domain] General Keyes and the General Molinero together arriving at Palermo in order to sign the surrender of the city. [ Public Domain] Italian gunboat ‘Geniere’ lies on its side in Palermo Harbour after being hit by a bomb, 23-26 July 1943. The Americans entered Palermo on 22 July, cutting off 50,000 Italian troops in the west of the island. But the mobile Axis forces, including most of the Germans, escaped to the north-east corner of the island. [© IWM (NA 5132)] A huge dump of German Teller mines captured by the Americans near Roccopalunba during their drive on Palermo. [© IWM (NA 5130)]
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