Memorial Register Italy 3, WW2, Syracuse War Cemetery, Sicily

THE CAMPAIGN IN SICILY I I hasT been written of Sicily that “the list of its conquerors and governors is perfectly oppressive to the imagination. It must indeed abe beautiful and fertile country to have been worth so much contention in past times.” The most recent invasion the progress of which is described below was of course no new instance of acquisitive war but the very opposite a sad necessity which yielded an outcome in Sicily and beyond of supreme importance to general liberty. The price paid by the liberating armies was not alight one and the name of Sicily henceforth must long call up the remembrance of this honoured sacrifice. II The campaign in Sicily which might be considered the first instep the final phase of the war being the first invasion by the Allies of the home territory of one of the Axis powers followed quickly after the successful conclusion of the North African campaign. On 12th May 1943 all resistance in North Africa ceased. From January of that year plans were being laid for the invasion of Sicily and it was eventually decided that while the United States Seventh Army landed on the shores of the Gulf of Gela on the south coast of Sicily the British Eighth Army should inland the extreme south-east corner of the island astride the Pachino peninsula (the farthest south-easterly point of Sicily) and on the beaches of the Gulf of Noto on the east coast of the island south of Syracuse. The tasks of the Eighth Army under General Montgomery were to capture the airfield of Pachino and the port of Syracuse to extend westwards to linkup with the United States forces in the vicinity of Ragusa to secure the ports of Augusta and Catania and the airfields in the plain of Catania and then to complete the capture of the island in conjunction with the Americans. The United States Seventh Army under Lieutenant-General Patton were meanwhile to capture the port of Licata and a group of airfields to the north-east of the Gulf of Gela then to work north and west protecting the left flank of the Eighth Army. It was estimated that there were on the island some 267000 Italian troops and 56500 Germans. The Eighth Army troops brought together from Tunisia Libya Egypt and the United Kingdom made their landings early in the morning of July 10th. A gale and a heavy sea had caused the defenders to relax their vigilance and the landing troops, having the advantage of surprise gained their initial objectives without meeting much iii
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