Seaforth A Coy in the Salso Valley, Sicily - August 1943. The Seaforths posing with a German soldier that they just captured along with three German MG-34 machine guns and Nazi flag. (Seaforth Highlanders website). .

WW-II: Remembering a forgotten (almost) campaign July 10-Aug 7, 1943

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 then 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.


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.

Steve Gregory speaking at a commemoration ceremony at the military cemetery at Agira during Op Husky-2013 (supplied)

That major coordinated landing was called Operation Husky which Gregory has used to name his organised trips, this one being Op Husky-2018.

Seaforth A Coy in the Salso Valley, Sicily – August 1943. The Seaforths posing with a German soldier that they just captured along with three German MG-34 machine guns and Nazi flag. (Seaforth Highlanders website). .

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.

A Canadian Sherman tank moves through Regalbuto during the Sicily campaign, 1943. ( Library and Archives Canada)

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.

One of the many markers installed to remember the Canadian fallen, this one reads “July 22, 1943, soldier Norman Dwyer of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regt. died near this spot. That his spirit may rest in peace the marker records that his sacrifice will be forever remembered.

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.

From an earlier Op Husky, an aerial shot of the Canadian War Graves ceremony at Agira where more than 750 gathered to perform a Roll-Call for the souls of those Canadians buried there. Courtesy of the Italian Carabinieri

From Op Husky-2013, an aerial shot of the Canadian War Graves ceremony at Agira where more than 750 gathered to perform a Roll-Call for the souls of those Canadians buried there. (Courtesy of the Italian Carabinieri)

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.

Additional information
Categories: Uncategorized

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.