This WWII newsreel shows the assault on the Italian island of Pantelleria, followed by the invasion of Sicily (2:42) by British and American, and Canadian troops. At 8:00, General Patton is seen in Sicily while his troops surge into the interior of the island.
Operation Corkscrew was the code name for the Allied invasion of the Italian island of Pantelleria (between Sicily and Tunisia) on 11 June 1943, prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily during the Second World War. There had been an early plan to occupy the island in late 1940 (Operation Workshop), but this was aborted when the Luftwaffe strengthened the Axis air threat in the region.
The Allied focus returned to Pantelleria in early 1943. The radar installations and airfield on the island were seen as a real threat to the planned invasion of Sicily (codenamed Operation Husky). The Italian garrison on the island was 12,000 strong in well-entrenched pillboxes and 21 gun batteries of a variety of calibres. In addition, there was an opportunity to assess the impact of bombardment upon heavily fortified defences. It was decided to see if the island could be forced into submission by aerial and naval bombardment alone. Failing this, an amphibious invasion was planned for 11 June.
Starting in late May, the island was subjected to steadily increasing bombing attacks. In early June, the attacks intensified and 14,203 bombs amounting to 4,119 tons were dropped on 16 Italian batteries. On 8 June, a Royal Navy task force of five cruisers, eight destroyers and three torpedo boats carried out a bombardment of the main port on the island.
The engagement was observed by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean, and Admiral Andrew Cunningham from the flagship HMS Aurora. From 8 May to 11 June 5,285 bombing sorties were flown by fighter-bombers, medium and heavy bombers, dropping a total of 6,202 tons of bombs on the island.
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis Powers (Italy and Nazi Germany). It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.
Husky began on the night of 9–10 July 1943, and ended on 17 August. Strategically, Husky achieved the goals set out for it by Allied planners; the Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island and the Mediterranean's sea lanes were opened. As a result of the invasion, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was toppled from power in Italy. It opened the way for the invasion of Italy. Also, Hitler "canceled a major offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy," resulting in a reduction of German strength on the Eastern Front.
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