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 Eisenhowers army and battle-hardened Eighth Army in North Africa, Churchill prevailed. The ambitious Operation HUSKY required meticulous planning. Montgomerys Eighth Army and Pattons 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 Allied for D-Day.
IMAGES OF WAR: THE INVASION OF SICILY
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. There is some helpful detail on uniforms and equipment.