United States Army in World War II
Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Sicily and the Surrender of Italy

by
Albert N. Garland
and
Howard McGaw Smyth
Assisted by
Martin Blumenson

CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
UNITED STATES ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1993

 


 

. . . to Those Who Served

 


UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II
Stetson Conn, General Editor
Advisory Committee
(As of 15 June 1963)
 

Fred C. Cole
Washington and Lee University 

Maj. Gen. Hugh M. Exton
U.S. Continental Army Command 

William R. Emerson
Yale University 

Maj. Gen. Tom R. Stoughton
Industrial College of the Armed Forces 

Earl Pomeroy
University of Oregon 

Brig. Gen. Ward S. Ryan
U.S. Army War College 

Theodore Ropp
Duke University 

Col. Elias C. Townsend
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College 

Bell I. Wiley
Emory University 

Col. Vincent J. Esposito
United States Military Academy 

C. Vann Woodward
Yale University 

Office of the Chief of Military History
Brig. Gen. Hal C. Pattison, Chief of Military History

Chief Historian Stetson Conn
Acting Chief, Histories Division Lt. Col. Paul W. Phillips
Chief, Editorial and Graphics Division Lt. Col. James R. Hillard
Editor in Chief Joseph R. Friedman

 


 

Contents

 

Foreword vii
The Authors viii
Preface ix
PART ONE
Background and Plans
Chapter Page
I. Allied Strategy in the Mediterranean 1
Casablanca: The Decision for Sicily 1
TRIDENT: Beyond Sicily 12
Algiers–And Italy? 23
The Surrender Problem 25
II. The Axis on the Defensive 27
The Italo-German Alliance 27
The Disintegration of Fascism 39
The Allied Threat 44
III. Preparations and Preliminaries 52
The Beginnings 52
The Plan 58
Other Factors 63
IV. The Axis Situation 69
Pantelleria 69
Growing German Strength 73
The Defenses of Sicily 75
V. Final Allied Preparations 88
Missions and Forces 88
Seventh Army Plans 96
Naval and Air Plans 105
The Final Days 108
PART TWO
Operations and Negotiations
VI. The Assault 115
The Airborne Operations 115
The Seaborne Operations 119
VII. The First Day 147
The Axis Reaction 147
The Battle 150
The Beaches 156
VIII. The Axis Threat 163
IX. Airborne Reinforcement 175
X. The Beachhead Secure 185
Straightening Out the Sag 185
On to the YELLOW Line 189
XI. Continuing the Campaign: The Decisions 202
Sixth Army and OB SUED 202
The Allied Problem: How to Continue 205
Comando Supremo and OKW 211
XII. Seventh Army Changes Directions 218
The Eighth Army Attempt To Break Through 218
The II Corps Front 219
Agrigento 224
Army Directive of 15 July 1943 230
Discord and Harmony 234
XIII. The Drive to the Climax 239
The Feltre Conference 239
Planning the Western Sweep 244
The Pounce on Palermo 250
Denouement 254
XIV. The Climax 258
Sardinia Versus the Mainland 258
The Overthrow of Mussolini 263
Allied Reaction 268
Rome: Open City 278
XV. Dissolution of the Rome-Berlin Axis 281
Badoglio’s First Moves 281
Friction Along the Alps 288
The Italian Course is Changed 295
XVI. The Drive to the East 300
Developing an East Front 300
Axis Reactions 306
Nicosia 309
Along the North Coast 316
XVII. The Battle of Troina 324
XVIII. Breaking the San Fratello Line 348
XIX. Evacuation 368
The Tarvis Conference 368
The Italian Dilemma 371
The Decision to Evacuate Sicily 374
Allied Reaction 378
The Evacuation Begins 382
XX. Brolo 388
XXI. The End of the Campaign 406
The Race to Messina 406
Conclusions 417
Patton 425
PART THREE
The Surrender
XXII. The QUADRANT Conference and the Quebec Memorandum 435
Strategic Issues at Quebec 435
The Mission of General Castellano 440
The Quebec Memorandum 446
Approval of the Long Terms 448
XXIII. The Surrender Preliminaries 451
The Zanussi Mission 451
Castellano at Lisbon 455
Zanussi’s Negotiations in Lisbon and Algiers 461
Thoughts in Rome 465
XXIV. The Italian Decision 469
ACHSE 469
The Parleys at Cassibile 474
The Decision at Rome 479
XXV. The Armistice 482
The Signature 482
Planning GIANT II 485
Second Thoughts in Rome 489
XXVI. The Renunciation 497
“Innocuous” 498
The Announcement 505
XXVII. The Surrender 510
Badoglio’s Announcement 510
Flight of the King and High Command 513
Interpretations 519
XXVIII. The Dissolution 522
German Reaction 522
The Battle for Rome 524
Dissolution of the Italian Armed Forces 532
Mussolini 536
XXIX. The Second Capitulation 540
Mission to Brindisi 540
The Long Terms 543
Malta 549
Epilogue 552
Appendix
A. Composition of American Forces 555
B. The Quebec Memorandum 556
C. Short (Military) Terms in General Eisenhower’s Possession on 6 August 1943 558
D. Additional Conditions (Long Terms) Signed on 29 September 1943 559
Bibliographical Note
Glossary
Basic Military Map Symbols
Index
Maps
1. British Eighth Army Operations, 10 July 1943 122
2. The Seizure of Agrigento, 3d Infantry Division, 14-17 July 1943 227
3. 15th Army Group Front, 23 July 1943 305
4. II Corps Advance, 24-31 July 1943 312
5. The Capture of Troina, 1st Infantry Division, 1-6 August 1943 335
6. The Fight for San Fratello, 3d Infantry Division, 8 August 1943 362
7. 15th Army Group Gains, 24 July-10 August 1943 381
8. Brolo and the Naso Ridge, 3d Infantry Division, 11-12 August 1943 395
Maps I-IX are in accompanying map envelope
I. Central Europe and the Mediterranean (National Geographic Society Map)
II. The Battleground and the Enemy, 10 July 1943
III. The Final Landing Plan
IV. The Seventh Army Assault, 10 July 1943
V. Counterattack at Gela, 11 July 1943
VI. Seventh Army Advance, 11-12 July 1943
VII. The Seventh Army Changes Direction, 13-18 July 1943
VIII. The Seventh Army Clears Western Sicily, 19-23 July 1943
IX. The Race to Messina, 13-17 August 1943
Illustrations
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill 9
Allied Leaders in the Sicilian Campaign 13
Churchill Addressing the U.S. Congress, May 1943 20
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini 28
King Victor Emmanuel III 30
Generale d’Armata Ugo Cavallero 31
Feldmarschall Albert Kesselring and General der Infanterie Enno von Rintelen with Prince Umberto Di Savoia 34
Generale d’Armata Vittorio Ambrosio 36
Generale di Corpo d’Armata Giacomo Carboni 37
Count Dino Grandi 40
Count Galeazzo Ciano 41
General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery and Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., in Sicily 55
Lt. Gen. Sir Miles C. Dempsey 62
Lt. Gen. Sir Oliver Leese 63
Pantelleria Under Attack 71
Generale di Corpo d’Armata Comandante Designato D’Armata Mario Roatta 77
Generale d’Armata Alfredo Guzzoni 77
Generalleutnant Eberhard Rodt 80
Feldmarschall Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen 80
Generalmajor Paul Conrath 80
Generalleutnant Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin 81
Col. Ernst Guenther Baade 81
General der Panzertruppen Hans Valentin Hube 81
Looking South From the Heights of Enna 85
Gela Beach 90
Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley and Maj. Gen. Terry de la Mesa Allen 93
Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton 94
Maj. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway 94
Maj. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, Jr 94
Maj. Gen. Manton S. Eddy 95
Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Gaffey 95
Lt. Col. William O. Darby, Leader of Force X 95
Ponton Causeway From an LST to Shore 104
Landing Craft Massed in Bizerte Harbor for the Invasion of Sicily 109
Paratroopers Preparing To Emplane for Sicily 116
Glider Casualty 116
Ponte Dirillo Crossing Site 118
USS Boise Bombarding Coastal Defenses in Gela Landing Area 121
Licata and Beach Areas to the East 124
The Right Flank Beach at Licata 126
Highway 115 127
A Shore-to-Shore LCT at Licata Beach 130
Army Donkeys Wading Ashore at Licata 130
Bringing Up Supplies by Cart at Licata Beach 132
Knocked-Out Italian Railway Battery on Licata Mole 132
Enemy Defense Positions Along Coast Road East of Licata 134
Road Junction Y 137
Italian Prisoners Taken at Gela on D-day 138
The Coast Line West of Scoglitti 140
Landing Heavy Equipment at Scoglitti 145
Looking Down the Niscemi Road to Piano Lupo 151
American Troops in Gela on D Plus 1 153
Paratroopers Moving in on the Ridge at Abbio Priolo 166
American Ships Under Air Attack 167
Col. James M. Gavin in Biazzo Ridge Area 169
Wrecked German Tanks Dot Gela Plain 171
The Robert Rowan Exploding Off the Coast at Gela 178
Airborne Reinforcements in a C-47 Heading for Sicily 180
Paratroop Reinforcements Moving Through Vittoria 183
Ponte Olivo Airfield 186
Tank-Mounted Troops Rolling Through Palma 193
Canicatti Under Artillery Fire 198
Butera 221
Agrigento and the Surrounding High Ground 225
A Dukw Hauling Supplies in Porto Empedocle 229
Signal Corps Troops in Caltanissetta 234
Caltanissetta, Southwest Corner of the Enna Loop 247
General Ridgway and Staff Near Ribera 250
Mortar Squad Preparing To Attack Santo Stefano 251
The 2d Armored Division Rolls Into Palermo 252
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Keyes and Italian Generale di Brigata Giuseppe Molinero After Surrender of Palermo 253
Maresciallo d’Italia Pietro Badoglio 264
Southern Approach to Enna 302
Leonforte 303
Caronia Valley 310
Gangi, With Mount Etna in Distance 311
Coast Road Patrol Passing the Bombed-Out Castelbuono Railroad Station, 24 July 1943 316
Demolished Bridge Along Highway 117 322
Troina Ridge From the High Ground Near Cerami 326
Looking West From the Town of Troina 327
Goumiers Moving Toward Capizzi 330
Forward Observation Post Directing Fire on Troina 332
Artillery in Position Near Cerami 332
Half-Track Squeezing Through a Narrow Street in Cerami 334
Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner and General Allen, 8 August 1943 346
Provisional Pack Train and Mounted Troops 349
Enemy Field of Fire Over Furiano River Crossing Site From San Fratello Ridge 350
Looking South Over the Furiano River Valley 351
Looking North Over the San Fratello–Cesaró Road 354
Highway 113 355
San Fratello Ridge 356
Sant’Agata From the Seaward Side of San Fratello Ridge 364
Treating a Wounded Soldier 366
San Marco D’Alunzio 367
Axis Second Echelon Leaders at Tarvis 370
Smoke Pall Covers Parts of Messina After Bombing Attack 377
Randazzo From the Southern Approach 383
Destroyed Bridge Along Highway 116 384
Americans and British Meet at Randazzo 386
Pillbox Overlooking Highway 113 390
Cape Orlando 391
Brolo Beach From the East 392
Enemy View of Landing Area at Brolo 394
Setting a Machine Gun Position on Monte Cipolla 397
Lt. Col. Lyle A. Bernard and His Radioman in Command Post Atop Monte Cipolla 400
The Objective, Messina 407
Troops Moving Around Blown-Out Section of Cliffside Road 408
The Bridge That Was “Hung in the Sky” 409
General Dwight D . Eisenhower and General Montgomery Observing the Effect of Artillery Fire on the Italian Mainland 415
Secret Emissaries to Lisbon 456
The Tiber River at Fumicino 487
The “Rescue” of Mussolini 538
Signing Surrender Document Aboard H.M.S. Nelson

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