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REGALBUTO, ITALY, July 31, 1943: Since the 12th the British 30th Corps had been battling through the hills and valleys of central Sicily, protecting the flank of the 13th Corps' advance on Catania. Instrumental in that scheme was the clearing of Agira and Regalbuto. Finally, after days of bitter combat in the barren countryside, the Canadians had seized Agira on the morning of 29 July. Now it was up to the Devonshire and Dorsetshire battalions of the 50th Infantry Division to take Regalbuto; but dominating the town was the massive ridge that ran southwest of it, and that was held by the grenadiers of the Hermann Goering Division. In a brilliant night march and attack, elements of the Devons swept up and took the heights. But early next morning, as the British had come to expect from their tenacious German counterparts, the weary Tommies had to face a sharp counterattack, spearheaded by combat engineers.
Allied Invasion of Sicily
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers (Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany). It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, and initiated the Italian Campaign. To divert some of the Axis forces to other areas, the Allies engaged in several deception operations, the most famous and successful of which was Operation Mincemeat. Husky began on the night of 9–10 July 1943, and ended on 17 August. Strategically, Husky achieved the goals set out for it by Allied planners; the Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island and the Mediterranean sea lanes were opened for Allied merchant ships for the first time since 1941. The Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was toppled from power in Italy and the way was opened for the Allied invasion of Italy. The German leader, Adolf Hitler, "canceled a major offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy", resulting in a reduction of German strength on the Eastern Front. The collapse of Italy necessitated German troops replacing the Italians in Italy and to a lesser extent the Balkans, resulting in one fifth of the entire German army being diverted from the east to southern Europe, a proportion that would remain until near the end of the war.
Introduction to Wikipedia Article
Wikipedia: Allied Invasion of Sicily