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Early on the morning of 10 July 1943 troops of two Allied armies began landing at various beaches in the south-east corner of Sicily.  The conquest of the island was success, fully concluded 38 days later, when the last of the German garrison retired across the Messina Strait to the Italian mainland.  This campaign, in which Canadian forces played a not inconsiderable part, marked the first major blow against the so-called "soft underbelly of the Axis", and provided the Allies with a springboard for operations against the mainland of Hitler's Europe.

The Sicilian operation is interesting to the soldier on several counts.  The assault involved amphibious organization on a very large scale.  The subsequent fighting meant, on one side, a difficult advance across mountainous terrain, which gave great advantages to the defenders; on the other side, a delaying action maintained in the face of superior forces.

Sicily SE Sicily

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