Operation Husky: 9th July 1943 - the invasion of Sicily

Operation Husky’s landing force consisted of seven divisions – it was bigger than that employed on D-Day in 1944, which had five divisions

The invasion started on the night of 9 July 1943 when 1,600 British and 3,400 American paratroopers descended on to the island in what was the first mass parachute drop at night. The invasion was also the largest amphibious operation of World War II. 

Starting at dawn, more than 180,000 men landed along with thousands of ships and landing craft on the 105-mile-long stretch of coast between the Gulf of Gela and the Gulf of Noto.

General Sir Bernard ‘Monty’ Montgomery led the 115,00 men of the British and Commonwealth forces, who landed in the southeast corner of the island between Pachino and Siracusa. 

Lieutenant General George S Patton commanded 66,000 troops and the Seventh US Army landed in the Gulf of Gela. However, the support services meant that the total number of Allied soldiers.

 The operation ended only five weeks later, with the occupation of Messina on the northeast coast on 17 August.