Saturday, January 28, 2023

Videos: Operation HUSKY, Sicily, July 1943 (Pt 3)

80th Anniversary of HUSKY Coming Up This Year

One Good Video Often Leads to Another

Just after dawn men of the Highland Division are up to their waists in water
unloading stores from landing craft tanks. Meanwhile beach roads are being
prepared for heavy and light traffic during dawn of the opening day
of the invasion of Sicily. Photo Credit - worldwar2today


While reviewing the many good videos related to Operation HUSKY on YouTube and other sites one will be led to others or think of ways of finding others.

Below is a selection of several videos 'found along the way.'

1. Title - Catania Captured - Successful Climax of Great Battle in Sicily, 1943 by British Pathé as found on YouTube

Time - 04min:15sec.

Details, if provided - Minesweepers check city streets, bombed German planes sit at an airfield, conquering British forces march into town amidst the rubble, scenes show the devastation of the battle, and some Sicilian peasants welcome the Eighth Army while others indulge in looting. As well, 8th Army clear mines in Catania OIL. Natives thrashing Linseed in Sicily. RAILWAYS. Bomb damage at Catania, Sicily, marshalling yards. RAILWAYS. Blasted tracks and rolling stock at Catania marshalling yards. Wrecked German planes in hanger. Blasted marshalling yards... 

2. Title - Fall of Catania, 1943 by British Pathé at YouTube

Time - 02min:03sec.

Details, if provided - Long shot of the town of Catania. Various shots of the troops advancing through Catania. Various shots of the engineers with mine detectors clearing stretch of street as a precaution. After that, Bren gun carrier moves through. Various shots of the Allied troops moving through streets and rubble. Some Sicilian civilians start to loot buildings that the Germans have evacuated. The British army has to restore order although nothing gets out of hand. Various shots of the allied troops moving through to the cheers of the civilians.

3. Title - Sicily Latest 1943 by British Pathé at YouTube

Time - 03min:01sec.

Details, if provided - Sicily, Italy. Various shots of the priest guns and 105 mm guns in action near Catania. Various shots of British infantry advancing along the road towards Catania. Several shots of a section of troops getting trouble from Italian snipers on the outskirts of Enna. The soldiers run through the ruins of the town and fire at their attackers. A couple of Italians surrender. Several shots of a poster with a picture of Churchill being put over the Fascist propaganda poster. Various shots of food being handed out by members of the Allied troops which have organised supplies for the refugees at small town of Floridia. Sherman tanks moving through street in Grammichele. Various shots of British troops advancing, they cross Coralunga Bridge. Various shots of Canadians and British of the 8th Army moving in column along road. Some soldiers find a stream and go for a swim. Some go in the water fully clothed and they do their laundry at the same time.

Caption: "...Every strip of usable beach was organized as a miniature port."
A view of supply and infantry landing craft on a beach near Syracuse.
Photo is found opposite page 15 in They Left the Back Door Open

Please click here to read more about the Canadian Landing Crafts and Beach Organisation used during the invasion of Sicily. 

Back to links to informative videos:

4. Title - Invasion of Sicily WWII, Operation Husky by War Documentaries at YouTube

Time - 23min:30sec.

Details, if provided - The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers (Italy and Nazi Germany). It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, and initiated the Italian Campaign. [Editor says, "Visit the YouTube page and not only watch the video but read the comments, from surviving family members of participants in Operation Husky. Very moving.]

5. Title - The Invasion of Sicily (1943) by Nuclear Vault at YouTube

Time - 09min:26sec.

Details, if provided - Motion Picture Films from "United News" Newsreels, compiled 1942 - 1945. An invasion fleet of over 3,000 ships forms and crosses the Mediterranean Sea. Gen. Patton receives a new battle flag. Shows the amphibious assault on Gela, Sicily. Land mines are cleared and troops advance. Shows Gen. Lucian Truscott.

6. Title - The Invasion of Sicily - Deception and Strategy by Warographics at YouTube 

Time - 16min:35sec

Details, if provided - "Talk about cooperation..."

I found the article below on microfiche on January 26, 2023 at University of Western Ontario:

As found in The Ottawa Citizen, December 23, 1943

Leading Seaman Arthur Roy Warrick, RCNVR, Hamilton appears below:

6 Canadians (RCNVR) in Combined Operations, on Vancouver Island, 1944-45
Front, L - R: Joe Watson (Simcoe), Doug Harrison (Norwich), Art Warrick 
Back, L - R: D. Westbrook (Hamilton), C. Rose (Chippawa), Joe Spencer (TO)

Time - 09min:06sec.

Details, if provided - The Sicily Campaign was the first extended battle for the Canadian Army in Europe during the Second World War. Coming ashore with an Allied invasion force on July 10, 1943, the Canadians would see heavy action on this hot Mediterranean island and played a key role in defeating the strong German forces that were holding it. The “Heroes Remember Presents... the Italian Campaign” mini-documentary offers viewers a chance to hear what fighting there was like from those who know best – our Veterans. [Editor's Note - There is a Part 2 and 3 re Italy and the video should appear to viewers, with others, when visiting Part 1]

Time - 11min:00sec.

Details, if provided - Prepared for the home market, this silent WWII era Excel Newsreel was sold in Sears and other department stores for viewing by the American public. The film shows Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943, and contains some great shots of General George S. Patton in command of invasion forces. 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 big amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign and was the beginning of 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 sea lanes were opened for Allied merchant ships for the first time since 1941. Benito Mussolini was toppled from power in Italy and the way was opened for the invasion of Italy. 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. The invasion of Sicily, code-named Operation Husky, began before dawn on July 10, 1943, with combined air and sea landings involving 150,000 troops, 3,000 ships and 4,000 aircraft, all directed at the southern shores of the island. This massive assault was nearly cancelled the previous day when a summer storm arose and caused serious difficulties for paratroopers dropping behind enemy lines that night. However, the storm also worked to the Allies’ advantage when Axis defenders along the Sicilian coast judged that no commander would attempt amphibious landings in such wind and rain. By the afternoon of July 10, supported by shattering naval and aerial bombardments of enemy positions, 150,000 Allied troops reached the Sicilian shores, bringing along 600 tanks. The landings progressed with Lieutenant General George S. Patton (1885-1945) commanding American ground forces and General Bernard L. Montgomery (1887-1976) leading British ground forces. Allied troops encountered light resistance to their combined operations. Hitler had been so deceived by “Mincemeat” that he had left only two German divisions in Sicily to battle Allied soldiers. Even several days into the attack he was convinced that it was a diversionary maneuver and continued to warn his officers to expect the main landings at Sardinia or Corsica. The Axis defense of Sicily was also weakened by losses the German and Italian armies had suffered in North Africa, in casualties as well as the several hundred thousand troops captured at the end of the campaign. For the next five weeks, Patton’s army moved toward the northwestern shore of Sicily, then east toward Messina, protecting the flank of Montgomery’s veteran forces as they moved up the east coast of the island. Meanwhile, jarred by the Allied invasion, the Italian fascist regime fell rapidly into disrepute, as the Allies had hoped. On July 24, 1943, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was deposed and arrested. A new provisional government was set up under Marshal Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956), who had opposed Italy’s alliance with Nazi Germany and who immediately began secret discussions with the Allies about an armistice.
On July 25, the day after Mussolini’s arrest, the first Italian troops began withdrawing from Sicily. Hitler instructed his forces to make contingency plans for withdrawal but to continue to fight fiercely against the Allied advance. As July turned to August, Patton and Montgomery and their armies battled against determined German troops dug into the mountainous Sicilian terrain. The U.S. and British soldiers pushed back the Axis forces farther and farther until most were trapped in a northeast corner of the island.

On the left are an LCT/landing craft (for) tanks, and troop and supply (cargo) ship.
On the right horizon are two LCMs, i.e., landing craft mechanised, used to carry
troops and supplies (the material of war) to the beach. My father manned LCMs,
as did scores of other members of RCNVR and Combined Operations in WWII.

9. Title - Allied Troops in Sicily 1943 by British Pathé on YouTube

Time - 06min:13sec. No Audio, but lengthy shot list follows as a guide.

Details, if provided - Sicily - MS. British officers. WS. Square with signpost Centrale Sicula. LS. British Jeep passes burnt out army truck. LS. Truck. WS. Shelling seen from a distance. WS. Countryside plumes of smoke from shelling. LS. Radio operators with headphones. WS. Troopers watching shelling. WS. Tank advancing through open country. LS. British tanks advancing through open country. LS. Truck towing artillery gun VS. Tank advancing. WS. Army Officers seated on the ground. LS. Army Officers seated and examining map board. Milestone "37 Enna (Bivio) Km 9.1." LS. Army truck up and past camera. WS. Soldiers walking past camera. LS. Soldiers with rifles over their shoulders. WS. Donkeys pulling carts loaded with goods. WS. Couple seated on a donkey cart. WS. Street with man herding goats. LS. Herd of goats making their way down a street. MS. British soldier holding a portrait of Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) he draws a line under Mussolini's neck then hitches his thumb over his shoulder. WS. Bomb damaged Railway tracks at "Dittaino" WS. Railway yard. LS. Railway truck damaged in fighting LS. Burnt out railway carriages. MS. Railway carriage pan to soldiers taking an improvised shower. WS. Pan down flow of water from tower to soldiers. MS. Group of soldiers in open air shower. MS. British Officers study a map. LS. Tank officers mount onto tank and climb in. CU Tank officer giving instruction through mouth piece. WS. Burning vehicle in open countryside. CU. Pro Nazi poster in Italian. CU. Finger pointing to Hitler's name on poster. WS. Sicilian street an army Jeep drives through shot. WS. Large crowd listening to the allied proclamation being read out in village square. MS. O/S Official reading out the proclamation. MS. Crowd listening. CU. British soldier. WS. Crowd applauding. WS. British and Italian officers as the proclamation is pinned up. LS. 1st Viscount Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein arriving by car. Several MS's. Montgomery and High Ranking British officer studying a map. LS. Montgomery and British Officer walk back to his car. MS. Montgomery standing up in open topped car and waving as he leaves. MS. Crowd of Villagers

10. Title - Allied Occupation of Sicily Continues (1943) by British Pathé on YouTube

Time - 04min:27sec.

Details, if provided - Allied armies advance to Francofonte, prisoners are rounded up, Italian citizens gather for rations, action takes place against German paratroopers, pipers march and play, citizens cheer for and welcome invading soldiers, General Montgomery passes through, a company of infantry sets up camp on a Sicilian farm and plays with children, prisoners of war are deposited in Africa and England 

Full Description: SLATE INFORMATION: Occupation of Sicily Continues. Germans from H. Goering Regt. in Britain (prisoners). Italian prisoners in SICILY disembarking in Africa & on London Rly. Station w. Germans. Piper & Scotties in SICILY. British enter FRANCOFONTE. Monty in a Car. SOLDIER W. CHILD... Allied armies advance to Francofonte, prisoners are rounded up, Italian citizens gather for rations, action takes place against German paratroopers, pipers march and play, citizens cheer for and welcome invading soldiers, General Montgomery passes through, a company of infantry sets up camp on a Sicilian farm and plays with children, prisoners of war are deposited in Africa and England.

Please click here to view Videos: Operation HUSKY, Sicily, July 1943 (Part 2)

No doubt other good videos re the invasion of Sicily exist. Happy hunting, I say.

More details re other topics, e.g., correspondence, the Italian Campaign and D-Day will be shared as soon as possible.

Unattributed Photos GH 

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