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Operation Husky

This page in work

This was the code name for the invasion of Sicily. It was orchestrated deep in the Lascaris Bastion.
It commenced on the night of 9th July 1943 & ended August 17th. The invasion force consisted of between 2,590 - 2,760 ships (Various reports
give various figures). Poor weather with 40 mph winds hampered the landings - especially airborne elements.

This photo came in with no information. Obviously an aircraft carrier to the left with
possibly landing craft on the right. The invasion fleet was known to be here & also more ships from Tunisia were reported to
sail round the south coast of Malta to landing areas on the eastern side of Sicily.

This booklet was given out to soldiers prior to the Invasion of Sicily.
Courtesy of Glyn Howell

Commanders - Allied

Overall Commander
General Dwight David ('Ike') Eisenhower
Commander of land forces (15th Army)
General Sir Harold Rupert Leofric Alexander
Commander of British 8th Army
General Bernard Law Montgomery
Commander US 7th Army
General George Smith Patton
Commander Naval Forces - Mediterranean
Admiral Andrew Cunningham
Western Naval Task Force
Vice Admiral H.K.Hewitt
Eastern Naval Task Force
Vice Admiral B.L.Ramsay

Ships taking part - Allied

Aircraft Carriers
Escort Carrier. Carried Spitfires.
Corvettes - Minesweeping
Royal Australian Navy
21st Minesweeping Flotilla
21st Minesweeping Flotilla
21st Minesweeping Flotilla
21st Minesweeping Flotilla
22nd Minesweeping Flotilla
22nd Minesweeping Flotilla
22nd Minesweeping Flotilla
22nd Minesweeping Flotilla
Landing Ships
HMS Prince Leopold
HMS Princess Astrid
HMS Princess Beatrix
Argyll and Sutherland Highland 51st Div. - Col. Mathison
HMS Princess Charlotte
Temporary assignment only
HMS Prince Charles

Landing craft for Operation Husky. Tied up at Manoel Island 1943.
Many types of landing craft were used which were called LSTs, LCTs, LCIs, LCVPs and DUKWs

Photo courtesy of Len Hesling.

Photo courtesy of Len Hesling.

Landing craft LST 427 at Malta - July 1943

Convoy Codenames - MWS 36

Aircraft Available - Allied (Air Headquarters Malta)
Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park
A huge amount of units took part in Operation Husky. I have limited the list to those operating from Malta.
See this link for a long list of all units taking part including aircraft based in Algeria, Egypt, Gibraltar etc.

No. 248 Naval Co-operation Wing
Spitfire Squadrons
Other Squadrons
No. 69 Squadron RAF Martin Baltimore
No. 40 Squadron SAAF[9]
No. 23 Squadron RAF, de Havilland Mosquito (night intruder operations)
No. 108 Squadron RAF, Bristol Beaufighter
No. 126 Squadron RAF
No. 73 Squadron RAF Det., Hurricane IIC
No. 221 Squadron RAF, Vickers Wellington
No. 185 Squadron RAF
No. 256 Squadron RAF Det., Mosquito XII (night fighters)
No. 272 Squadron RAF, Beaufighter
No. 229 Squadron RAF
No. 600 Squadron RAF, Beaufighter (night fighters/intruder)
No. 683 Squadron RAF, Spitfire
No. 249 Squadron RAF
815 Naval Air Squadron Det. (FAA), Fairey Albacore
No. 1435 Flight RAF

British Glider force amounted to 144 aircraft but only 12 landed on target. Some 69 were lost at sea.

Ground Forces - Allied
Land forces were designated as the 15th Army.
See this link for a long list of land forces.

82nd Airborne, 7th Army
8th Army

On the 11th July an attempt to resupply the US landings with 144 aircraft resulted in 37 (some reports state 23 C-47's) being lost to freindly fire due to anti aircraft
units not being told about the drop.


Commanders - Axis Forces

Overall Commander Italian
General Alfredo Guzzoni
As the allies advanced a German General took over command
General Hans Hube

Ground Forces - Axis

200,000 - 300,000 troops - Italian VI Army
30,000 troops - 15th Panzergrenadier Division & Herman Goering Division.


Approximately 29,000 killed & 140,000 captured

The Biscari Massacre - 76 Axis prisoners were shot by US 180th Regimental Combat Team, 45th Division at Biscari Airfield July/August.
See link -

Force A To land between Syracuse & Avole in the south east.
Force B To land at Marzamemi & Cape Passero further south.
Force V To land round the Cape to the west
Cent Beach
Dime Beach
Joss Beach

Other Operations involved in Operation Husky

Operation Barclay
An operation to decieve axis forces into thinking the main assault would occur in Greece.
Operation Chestnut
A drop by 2 SAS (20 men) on the night of 12th July to disrupt axis communications. Radios & much of the equipment was lost in the jump & this operation did not achieve its objective. The force returned to friendly lines.
Operation Corkscrew

The invasion of the island of Pantelleria on 10th June 1943. In the 3 weeks prior to this 4 cruisers & 8 destroyers operating from Malta bombarded the island. A heavy aerial bombardment on the island preceded the British landing Four fleet minesweepers went in first to clear any mines. Their was little resistance & by 11.30 hours some white flags were seen. The Governor of the island surrendered to the allies on June 11th through lack of water of which the island had run out of 3 days previously.
Eisenhower & Cunningham watched the operation from the cruiser Aurora at Bone.

On the 12th June the island of Lampedusa was attacked by ships of the 15th cruiser Squadron. They shelled the island during the previous night. The island surrendered quickly to a pilot of a recently crashed (through running out of petrol) Swordfish of the Fleet Air Arm.
The Royal Marines were sent in to occupy the island & 5,000 prisoners were taken.

Linosa was the third island in this operation to be captured. A small force was sent ashore from the fleet destroyer Nubian who reportedly found the Commandant in bed.

Operation Fustian
An operation to capture Primrose bridge over the River Simeto, south of Mt.Etna on the night of 13-14th July. Three British Battalions of 1 Parachute Regiment took part. The bridge was captured intact where they were relieved by 4th Armoured Brigade.
Operation Ladbroke
This Operation was the code name for the British glider assault near Syracuse on the night of the 9th July.
Operation Narcissus
A raid by 40 members of British SAS on a lighthouse & high ground on the south east coast of Sicily on the 10th July. Intelligence suggested this would be occupied but the area was deserted.

These 4 scans are from actual leaflets dropped on Italy before the invasion. The symbols refer to - left USA Star - right RAF roundel. Both were identification marks
on the under wing areas of allied aircraft. Click each page to view larger picture.
Courtesy of Margaret Hodgson

References This is a link to the original operation plans for Husky. It runs to 185 pages. Wikipedia online - this is the most complete listing or order of battle I have seen. A lot of work gone into this.