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Italy in WWII
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Italy in WWII Articles
Operation Husky - Sicily
Anzio - Blunder of WWII
Italy in WWII Articles
Italy in WWII

Anzio -- The Allies' Greatest Blunder of World War II
by Irwin J. Kappes

Much has been written by military analysts about the conceptually faulty OPERATION SHINGLE—the Anzio beachhead in January, 1944. But the story that has been overlooked is the naval aspect of the operation, which was a resounding success. On the 50th anniversary of the Anzio landings, the office of the Chief of Naval Operations released a statement reading, in part: "A half-century ago American, British, Dutch and Greek naval forces landed soldiers of the American and British armies on the Italian coast. German resistance was unexpectedly powerful and rapidly increased in strength. For four months the invaders battled foul winter weather, heavy bombing and artillery fire to sustain the Anzio beachhead. Throughout this long struggle on the Italian littoral, our troops were strongly supported by naval gunfire, airpower and a shuttle of ships and craft that braved air and submarine attack to deliver reinforcements. Late in May 1944 the main Allied advance linked up with Anzio's defenders, and Rome was liberated a few days later. In what many consider a land battle, there were a total of 17 ships lost: ten British and seven U.S. Navy. In this action, 166 American sailors were wounded and 160 made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom.
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Operation Husky:  The Allied Invasion of Sicily, 1943
by Thomas E. Nutter

HUSKY (1) was an operation born in controversy. During the so-called Second Washington Conference in the early summer of 1942, an acrimonious debate raged between the British and their new American allies over the future strategic course of the war against the European Axis powers. General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, espoused the view that the Allies could successfully confront the European Axis only by means of an amphibious invasion of Western Europe, and that consequently no operations which might detract from this goal should be undertaken. General Eisenhower attended the Casablanca Conference only briefly. On January 15, after a harrowing journey in which his B-17 lost two engines, and he ended the trip in a parachute harness, he reported on the progress of the campaign in Tunisia. The decisions of the Combined Chiefs of Staff first came to his knowledge when he received his copy of the official minutes of the conference. Eisenhower had anticipated that the Allies would pursue some further action in the Mediterranean at the end of the Tunisian campaign, so that even before the Casablanca Conference his staff had been tentatively planning an operation against Sardinia and Corsica.
Suggested Reading

The Rock of Anzio: From Sicily to Dachau: A History of the 45th Infantry Division

Sicily - Salerno - Anzio: January 1943 - June 1944

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