Road to Messina - Europe May-August 1943

Churchill speaks to U.S. Congress May 19, from ILN, 1943/06/12

VP Wallace and Speaker Rayburn listen, from ILN, 1943/06/12

TRIDENT conference

June 2 - FDR sent Stalin Trident communique, but Stalin angry over 2nd Front delay

June 5-11 - Pantelleria

June 12 - Lampedusa surrendered, then Linosa and Lampione by June 14

Mediterranean map from ILN 1941/04/19 - mid bott


July 10 to Aug. 17, 1943 - the invasion of Sicily - only 90 miles from Africa - "greatest amphibious operation in history" - 38 day campaign - see images

LSTs loading 2 days before invasion, from NA
Landing craft LST and LCT and LCA, from ILN 1944/02/05 - more landing craft images
from ILN 1943/05/15 - big
Sicily invasion map
from Newsweek 1943/09/06
German 88mm gun captured in Sicily, from ILN 1943/08/14
Patton, Arnold, Clark, ca. 12/08/1943, from NA
German 88mm gun captured in Sicily, from ILN 1943/08/14
Sicily map, from USAAF - bg

objective = Messina on NE coast, only 3 mi from Italy, vital communication center - Mt. Etna

U.S. 7th Army under Patton landed on south coast with objective to take Palermo (150 mi west of Messina)

Brit. 8th Army under Monty landed on east coast with objective to take Syracuse (80 mi south of Messina)

shortage of landing craft delayed campaign

82nd Airborne Division - Gen. Matthew Ridgeway

July 10 - lucky bomb hit on HQ of Italian Gen Guzzoni - no communication for 24 hrs

July 10-12 - US struggled against elite Livorno Division and Hermann Goring Panzer Division

July 11 - 144 allied transport planes fired on by US Navy ships

July 13 - Brit. take Augusta

July 19 - Hitler met with Mussolini at Feltre, northern Italy

July 22 - US 3rd Division took Palermo

July 26 - fall of Mussolini

Aug. 11 - German retreat began

Aug. 8 - Amphibious landing captured Sant Agatoa and Cesaro Island.

Aug. 10 - Amphibious landing captured Brolo.

Aug. 15 night - patrols from 3rd Division reached Messina 1st - Monty 12 mi. away.

Aug. 16 - Truscott ready to accept surrender, but had to wait 2 hours for Patton.

Aug. 19 - Surrender negotiations began in Lisbon By Gen. Bedell Smith with Castelllano, who signed final surrender Sept. 3 in Sicily as Allied invasion of Italy began.

In the Sicily campaign, U.S. lost 7000 casualties but took 100,000 prisoners; British lost 12,000 casualties.

significance of Sicily:

radio and newsreel reports:

Victor Emmanuel, from ILN 1943/07/31
Badoglio, from ILN 1943/07/31
Hitler and Mussolini in Munich, from ILN 1943/07/31
Hitler and Mussolini, from ILN 1943/07/31
Mussolini, from ILN 1943/07/31

The War Elsewhere May - August 1943

On the Eastern Front:

May 10 - Hitler approved CITADEL plan to attack Kursk.
July 5 - Manstein launched Op. CITADEL against Kursk.
July 12 - battle of Kursk - 1800 tanks - largest of the war.

In the Pacific:

June 30 - CARTWHEEL began in New Guinea and the Solomons.

In the Air War:

May 16 - Dambusters raid.
July 24-30 - Hamburg firestorm, RAF began use of "window" to evade German radar.
Aug. 17 - RAF bombed Peenemunde.

In Occupied Europe:

May 17 - German SCHWARTZ offensive against Tito in Yugoslavia.
May 27 - De Gaulle's agent Jean Moulin organized Comite National de la Resistance in Paris.
Aug. - Open resistance and strikes began in Denmark; German Gen. von Hanneken declared martial law Aug. 29.

War in Europe Aug.-Dec. 1943

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