Airborne landings in Sicily

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Airborne landings in Sicily

Post by Thomhasj » 16 Nov 2003 13:26


Which units were involved in the airborne landing in Sicily during Operation Husky?

What were their objectives? Which units (orbats, please!) participated in the operation?

How did the operation proceed?

What consisted the German & Italian resistance off?

Thanks in forward.

Greetings from Holland.

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Post by Andy H » 16 Nov 2003 13:54

British 8th Army (Force 545)

13th Corps
5th Division
50th (Northumbrian) Division
1st Airborne Division
4th Armoured Brigade

30th Corps
51st (Highland) Division
1st Canadian Division
231st Inf Brigade
1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade

Reserve Units
46th Division
78th Division

7th US Army (Force 343)

II Corps
1st Division
45th Division
6th Armoured Regiment
Force X ( Rangers)

Joss Force
3rd Division

Floating Reserve
2nd Armoured Division
9th Division
82nd Airborne

From Carlo D'Este "Bitter Victory"

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Post by alf » 16 Nov 2003 23:26

The airborne assault was not particularily successsful, quoting from John Terraine's " The Right of the Line" p572

[quote]"unexpected strong winds and insufficent training for the DC-3 pilots wrecked the First Airborne Division's attack: out of 137 gliders released , 69 came down in rough sea, 56 were scattered along the south-eastern coast of Sicily and only 12 all towed by the RAF, found their landing zone. Less than 100 Officers and men out of 2000 were effectively carried into battle"

Field Marshall Alexander said "these two thousand men could have been landed much less wastefully from the sea. The sacrifice of the most highly trained soldiers in both armies by entrusting them to inexperienced aircrews still seems unpardonable"

Out of nearly 3000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division, only 250 came down in the right place, the remainder being scatterd as much as 50 miles apart. Only one battalion came to earth anywhere near intact, and it was 25 miles from the designated drop zone.

two more large airborne attacks were carried out, one American (july 11) and one British (July 13) On each occasion, navigation error again constituted a severe hazard, but now greatly increased by the heavy volume of Allied anti-aircraft fire which greeted the aircraft from the massive naval armada below. According to the American historians, "perhaps 25 out of the 42 aircraft lost had been shot down by friendly naval and ground fire."[/quote]

All in all the airborne experience highlighted many shortcomings in Allied expertise in undertaking large scale airborne operations, but they persisted and worked through the issues for later Airborne operations.

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