Sicily landings 1943- Op Husky
Almost everyone knows about the Normandy landing of D-Day in the Second World War but the prior invasion of Europe, if not forgotten, seems largely ignored. That was the invasion of Sicily and followed by the invasion of Italy.
One Canadian man has made it his goal to remember. This came after a elderly veteran sadly said to Steve Gregory’s family that his history in the Sicily and Italian campaigns was lost. This prompted Gregory’s son to use the Sicily campaign for a school history project. The research for that project discovered that there indeed was not much information readily available. This led to Gregory deciding that the sacrifices must be remembered. He founded the Operation Husky Project, named after the code name for the Sicily landing..
In 2013, the Montreal businessman organised a commemorative trip to Sicily and has had information kits prepared for Canadian teachers about this important aspect of Canada’s Second World War history in which 25,000 Canadians took part. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Sicily invasion and Gregory will be leaving this week with an even larger group for Op Husky-2018.Listen
The commemorative trips are designed to raise awareness among Canadians and others of the tough battles, the sacrifices and lives lost in the Sicily campaign on July 10- August 7, 1943.
That major coordinated landing was called Operation Husky which Gregory has used to name his organised trips, this one being Op Husky-2018.
While the Dieppe Raid in Normandy has often been labelled as a practice run for the later D-Day landings, in fact Op Husky a huge and complex coordinated landing in Sicily was actually the far more realistic model.
It was the start of a bitter campaign to push the Germans out of Sicily, and later out of Italy and limit their resources to counter the coming D-Day landings.
The Canadians had an extremely tough job with many incredible feats of courage and daring, including scaling a 1,100 foot cliff at Assoro which the Germans thought was impossible and so hadn’t reinforced. The Canadians scaled the cliff silently at night after an arduous overnight trek to surprise the German defenders from behind.
Gregory points out that these trips commemorate the lives lost and provide markers at specific locations to ensure the memory of these events is not lost.
- Op Husky-2018 website
- DonMoore War Tales- Assoro
- Canada: Seaforth Highlanders: Op Husky 1943
- Canadian Soldiers- Assoro
- Canadian Soldiers-Agira
- Op Husky 2018 Fund raising- fund a bugler
- Op Husky-2018 Facebook
- Ottawa Citizen:2013: Jack Wallace wartime diary:Sicily
- Op Husky-2018 – twitter
- Book: Mark Zuelke: Op Husky