Sicily ‘43: The First Assault on Fortress Europe

Atlantic Monthly. Nov. 2020. 592p. ISBN 9780802157188. $30. HIST
Even before the Allies secured victory in North Africa, they turned their eyes towards establishing a foothold on the European continent. Initially, the Americans argued for a cross-channel attack into France, while the British advocated for an offensive to knock Italy out of the war. Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, would be up to that point the largest amphibious task force assembled and would require an unprecedented amount of cooperation between army, navy, and air forces. Historian Holland (Normandy ‘44) covers the operation giving attention in equal measure to the men, tactics, and weapons used by all sides: British, American, Italian, and German, paying special attention to the role played by Allied air forces in driving the Luftwaffe from Sicily. Holland thoroughly describes events from the planning of Husky by commanders, the individual actions of troops as they fought across the island, and the Allied effort to capture the city of Messina from battle-hardened German soldiers. Based on extensive archival research, firsthand accounts, and interviews, Holland paints a detailed portrait of both Sicily and the battle.
VERDICT An excellent and accessible telling of the invasion that will be enjoyed by military history and World War II enthusiasts alike.

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