SICILY AND THE SURRENDER OF ITALY. By Albert N. Garland and Howard McGaw Smyth. (1965, 1986, 1991; 609 pages, 17 maps, 113 illustrations, 4 appendixes, bibliographical note, glossary, index, CMH Pub 6-2.)
This volume describes the events surrounding the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and the subsequent surrender of the Italian government. The book is divided into three sections. The first part sets the strategic stage by describing the debate between American and British strategists over the course of Allied operations in the Mediterranean theater during 1943. In recounting how the Allies came to agree upon the invasion of Sicily at the Casablanca Conference, the authors illustrate the difficulties of crafting grand strategy in coalition warfare. Additional aspects of the decision to invade Sicily and the interplay of Mediterranean operations with the proposed cross-
Channel invasion of France can be found in Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare: 1943-1944, Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West, and the two volumes on Global Logistics and Strategy. The problems of coalition warfare were not limited to the Allied side, however, and the book relates the difficulties the Axis experienced in formulating strategic plans and in defining command relationships. Part One of Sicily and the Surrender of Italy concludes with an analysis of Allied plans for the invasion of Sicily, code-named Operation HUSKY, and Axis defensive measures. In doing so, the volume highlights the challenges Allied planners faced in designing what was at that time the largest amphibious landing of World War II.
The second section of the present volume describes the invasion and conquest of Sicily-a rugged island bastion whose mountainous terrain greatly assisted the Axis defenders. The narrative fully examines the key Allied operational decisions of the campaign, including General Sir Harold Alexander's decision to shift the direction of the U.S. Seventh Army's advance, General George Patton's sweep to Palermo, and Anglo-American rivalry in the race for Messina. Axis actions on the island are also well documented. The book focuses, however, on the operations of the American Seventh Army. The combat narrative is written largely at the division and regimental level but occasionally dips down to individual companies in key combat actions. The type of operations described in the book include airborne and amphibious assaults, establishment and defense of a beachhead, mountain combat, and German rear guard tactics. Part Two of the volume culminates in the final Allied drive to Messina and the evacuation of Axis forces to Italy.
The invasion of Sicily sent shock waves through war-weary Italy and set in motion a movement that eventually toppled Mussolini from power. Part Three of Sicily and the Surrender of Italy returns to the strategic level, detailing the secret negotiations that eventually led to Italy's capitulation to the Allies, as well as Germany's countermeasures to seize control of the country. A discussion of the Allied decision to exploit the demise of fascism in Italy serves as a prologue for the next volume in The Mediterranean Theater of Operations subseries, Salerno to Cassino.
1. Strategic planning in coalition warfare, including the debate between the advocates of a "peripheral" strategy and a cross-Channel attack; the decision to invade Sicily; the Casablanca, TRIDENT, and Quebec conferences; and the question of how to exploit the collapse of Italy (Chs. I, XIV, XXI).
2. The erosion and ultimate dissolution of the Rome-Berlin Axis (Chs. II, XIV, XV, XXIV-XXIX).
3. Planning and organizing a large-scale, joint and combined invasion against a defended coast (Operation HUSKY) (Chs. III, V).
4. Negotiations for the surrender of Italy (Chs. XXII-XXIX).
5. Evolution of invasion plans (Chs. III, V).
6. The first major Allied airborne operation of World War II (Chs. VI, VII, IX, XXI).
7. Allied amphibious operations (Chs. VI, VII, XVIII, XX, XXI).
8. Modifying a campaign plan during the course of operations (Chs. XI, XII, XIII).
9. Challenges posed to U.S. forces by mountain warfare and German defensive
techniques (Chs. XVI, XVII, XVIII).
10. The successful Axis evacuation of Sicily (Chs. XIX, XXI).
11. Difficulties in strategic and tactical surface-air coordination (Chs. V, IX, XXI).
12. Efforts to deceive the Axis about Allied invasion plans (Chs. III, IV).
13. Patton and the slapping incident (Ch. XXI).
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