Five Sicilian Lessons For D-Day
BBC Earth|March - April 2021
Operation Husky provided the Allies with valuable learnings ahead of an even more momentous amphibious assault – on Normandy’s beaches in June 1944…

1. Don’t spin too many plates

Operation Husky was planned while the Tunisian campaign was in full flow, which meant the Allied commanders all had their hands full with the current battle while trying to organise the next. Too many plates were being spun at once, which made the success of the eventual plan for Sicily even more remarkable.

The lesson was learned, however: for Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, all the principal commanders were withdrawn from frontline duties and told to concentrate fully on the task ahead of them. This included most of the air commanders and a number of the naval commanders, as well as Generals Eisenhower, Montgomery and Patton, all of whom had been involved in both Tunisia and Sicily.

2. Work as a “brotherhood”

General Harold Alexander, who commanded the 15th Army Group for the capture of Sicily, pointed out that modern warfare needed to be a “brotherhood” of army, navy and air forces, working in tandem with one another. As was proved emphatically by Husky, this was essential for future operations, all of which would have to be mounted by sea and by air.

Air forces would hammer the enemy’s own air forces and lines of communication and then provide cover and support for the naval forces, who would in turn offer not only fire support but enormous logistical support too. The army would be supported from the air as it cleared the land.

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