This volume, the second to be published in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations subseries, takes up where George F. Howe's Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West left off. It integrates the Sicilian Campaign with the complicated negotiations involved in the surrender of Italy.
The Sicilian Campaign was as complex as the negotiations, and is equally instructive. On the Allied side it included American, British, and Canadian soldiers as well as some Tabors of Goums; major segments of the U.S. Army Air Forces and of the Royal Air Force; and substantial contingents of the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy. Opposing the Allies were ground troops and air forces of Italy and Germany, and the Italian Navy. The fighting included a wide variety of operations: the largest amphibious assault of World War II; parachute jumps and air landings; extended overland marches; tank battles; precise and remarkably successful naval gunfire support of troops on shore; agonizing struggles for ridge tops; and extensive and skillful artillery support. Sicily was a testing ground for the U.S. soldier, fighting beside the more experienced troops of the British Eighth Army, and there the American soldier showed what he could do.
The negotiations involved in Italy's surrender were rivaled in complexity and delicacy only by those leading up to the Korean armistice. The relationship of tactical to diplomatic activity is one of the most instructive and interesting features of this volume. Military men were required to double as diplomats and to play both roles with skill.
The authors were uniquely qualified to undertake this difficult volume. Rare indeed is the collaboration of an authority on Italian, German, and diplomatic history with an experienced infantry officer who is a Master of Arts in history.
15 June 1963
HAL C. PATTISON
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History.
Lt. Col. Albert Nutter Garland received a B.S. degree in education and an M.A. degree in history from Louisiana State University and has taught in New Orleans private schools and at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute. A Regular Army officer with more than 20 years of active service, he served during World War II as a rifle company commander with the 84th Infantry Division and participated in the Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe Campaigns. Since 1945 he has served in Alaska and Taiwan and in numerous assignments in the States. Colonel Garland was a member of OCMH from 1958 to 1962 and is now Assistant Editor of Military Review, the U.S. Army’s professional magazine, which is published at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Howard McGaw Smyth, a graduate of Reed College, received the M.A. degree in history from Stanford and the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He has taught, chiefly in the field of modern European history, at Reed, Princeton, Union College, American University, and the University of California, where he devoted himself to work in the history of modern Italy. He served a term as a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Modern History.
During World War II he served for a time in the Office of Strategic Services and then in the Department of State, working on problems relating to Italy in the Division of Territorial Studies and the Division of Southern European Affairs. Dr. Smyth was a member of the staff of OCMH from 1946 to 1952 when he joined the staff of the Historical Office, Department of State, where he is now Editor in Chief, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945.
With the expulsion of German and Italian armed forces from North Africa in May 1943, Allied forces in the Mediterranean prepared to jump ninety miles across the sea to strike Sicily and thus launch the first blow against Europe’s "soft underbelly." This is the story of that jump, a story which includes the high-level decisions of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff at the Casablanca Conference, the planning in Washington, London, and in the theater, and the subsequent fighting on the island.
Before landing in Sicily, the Allies had hoped that a successful island campaign, coming hard on the heels of Allied victories in North Africa, would cause Italy to abrogate its Pact of Steel with Germany and pull out of the war. How this Allied hope was fulfilled--the politico-military diplomatic negotiations, the ambiguities, the frustrations, the culmination in Italian surrender--is also part of the story.
A wealth of Allied documentary material, of captured German and Italian records, and of primary and secondary published material dealing with the period has been available to the authors in their attempt to reconstruct the crucial events of the spring and summer of 1943. Although their narrative focuses on American participation in these events, it does not neglect the important role played by Great Britain. The enemy side of the campaign and the Axis strategies and policies are also presented in full measure.
This volume itself has an interesting history. It was begun some years ago by Dr. Smyth when Maj. Gen. Harry J. Malony was Chief of Military History and it is a pleasure to testify to the stimulation and guidance which he offered; to acknowledge the assistance and encouragement given by Dr. George F. Howe and Dr. Sidney T. Mathews, colleagues in the then Mediterranean Section; to recall the helpful critical comment proferred from time to time by Dr. Hugh M. Cole, then Chief of the European Section. Mr. Detmar Finke and Mr. Israel Wice were unflagging in their aid in the search for materials.
At a later stage Colonel Garland joined the staff of OCMH and took over the responsibility for the work. The volume thus is a product of joint authorship. Colonel Garland tells the story of the Sicilian Campaign. Dr. Smyth narrates the story of the Italian surrender. The combined work submitted by the authors ran to excessive length and Mr. Blumenson was called in to assist in
condensing and revising portions of the manuscript. He contributed materially to its final structure and form.
In the later stages of the work this volume benefited from the assistance rendered by many individuals. Conspicuous among these have been Mr. Charles MacDonald, Chief of the General Histories Branch of the Office of the Chief of Military History, who guided the project during its last four years, and Mrs. Magna E. Bauer, of the same branch, whose exhaustive research in German and Italian records provided the authors with an invaluable series of studies on the enemy’s defense of Sicily.
The authors have also benefited from the help of other colleagues in OCMH, notably Brig. Gen. William H. Harris, Col. Leonard G. Robinson, Lt. Col. Joseph Rockis, Dr. John Miller, jr., Lt. Col. William Bell, and Lt. Col. James Schnabel. Many thanks are due also to David Jaffé, senior editor of the volume; B. C. Mossman, chief cartographer; Mrs. Loretto Stevens, assistant editor; and Mrs. Norma Sherris, photographic editor.
During the research stage, invaluable help was provided by Mr. Sherrod East, Chief Archivist, World War II Division, National Archives and Records Service, and certain of his assistants, Mrs. Lois Aldridge, Mrs. Hazel Ward, and Mrs. Frances J. Rubright. Without their willing and cheerful aid, this project might well never have been completed.
Although these individuals contributed much to the final product, the language used, the interpretations placed on the events, the conclusions reached, are the authors’ own. No one else bears this responsibility.
15 June 1963
ALBERT N. GARLAND
Lieutenant Colonel, Infantry
HOWARD McGAW SMYTH