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The Invasion of Sicily 1943 (Paperback)

WWII Photo Books Colour Books WWII Photographic Books Italian Front in WWII

By Jon Diamond
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War Books
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781473896093
Published: 7th August 2017

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With victory in North Africa complete, the Allies had a choice. The Americans wanted an early cross channel attack from Britain on North West Europe. Churchill favoured invading the soft under-belly of Italy to weaken the Axis forces and gain Italian surrender. With Eisenhower's army and battle-hardened Eighth Army in North Africa, Churchill prevailed.

The ambitious Operation HUSKY required meticulous planning. Montgomery's Eighth Army and Patton's Seventh landed successfully although the air landing proved costly. While the outcome was not in doubt the mountainous terrain acted in the defenders favour. The German presence was higher than expected and the vast bulk of the enemy were Italian. In little over a month, the first Americans reached Messina.

The strategic plan was successful: the Italian capitulated, Hitler had to reinforce his Southern flank relieving pressure on the Soviets and valuable lessons were learnt by the Allies for D-Day.

A wonderfully illustrated book with tons of interesting information about the battle for Sicily.

Read the complete review here.

FSAddon, Francois A. Dumas

As featured on...

Digital Digging

In 1943, British, Canadian and American forces launched a seaborne attack against Germany's Axis partner, Italy. It was the first step in the war to free Europe of the Nazi yoke. The target was Sicily. The invasion was code named Operation Husky.

On July 10 1943, the British 1st Division successfully fought their way ashore and captured the bombed and ruined port of Pantelleria. In his book 'Images of War, The invasion of Sicily 1943', Jon Diamond provides a gallery of rare photographs from wartime archives. The invasion was preceded by an airborne invasion by British and American airborne forces. Tragically many dropped into the sea and drowned. The invasion barges passed through the men in the water, ignoring their pleas for help,and sped towards the heavily defended beaches. The town was swiftly captured by British troops and in the first week 20,000 Italian soldiers surrendered. The photographs are predominately of Canadian and American forces: one interesting point is the photographs show American airborne troops carrying a reserve chute. The British airborne troop were only carried one and it was only in 1957 were they issued with a reserve chute when Britain became a member of NATO.

The photographs give a rare ugly glimpse of war, each fallen soldier has a family, street fighting and an army on the move with donkeys and tanks, each playing its part. An absorbing read.

Richard Gough, Military Author and Historian

The text with each chapter makes for an interesting account of the operation, as well as the photos which illustrate the story of events and which in turn have more useful captions that tell more of the story. The terrain, the villages all give a good illustration of both the atmosphere and the character of the war that came to Sicily. For the modellers, there is some helpful detail on uniforms and equipment of the place and time which could be helpful as ideas and inspiration for a variety of dioramas.

Read the complete review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
 Jon Diamond

About Jon Diamond

Jon Diamond MD is a kidney specialist in the UK with a deep interest in the Second World War. He is a keen collector of photographs. His Stilwell and the Chindits and War in the South Pacific are published by Pen and Sword in their Images of War series.

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